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Transform Fake Flowers to Look Real

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I have two tutorials in this post on how to make two different kinds of tissue paper flowers. You will find how to make both a pom pom flower and a frilly mum. 

I know terrariums and succulents are all the rage right now, but I have to admit – they hold no appeal for me. I love nature and like to bring living things into my home whenever I can, but I go for it in the way of flowers.  Big flowers with huge blooms like hydrangeas and peonies. Ooooh…la…la…  I love ’em!

Last week while on Pinterest I came across this photo and haven’t been able to get it out of my mind ever since.  I was in desperate need to have these flowers in my home.  I love everything about the room, but the simple white flowers – became an obsession! I had to have them, but how?

Linda McDonald DEsign

Linda McDonald Design

I know I could never find them fresh in my area this time of year and even if I did they would cost $20 or more, so I decided the only way I was going get them was to go fake, but even fake are expensive.   Instead, I did a little Semi-Homemade makeover on fake flowers I bought at the dollar store and used tissue paper flowers that I made to give the dollar store stems a makeover.

This is what I created by taking apart dollar store flowers and styling new blooms from tissue paper. I am very happy with how they turned out. Tissue Paper flowers with stems: Total cost:  $4.00.

tissue paper flowers step-by-step tutorial

After seeing that Pinterest photo I knew white blooms would make my dining room look a teeny tiny bit more like the room in the photo since it is done in all neutrals.

How to make a tissue paper flower bouquet tutorial

Since I have posted this post, I have updated my dining room. I stripped the table and used a driftwood finish on it. Now it looks more like the table in the inspiration photo from Pinterest above.

How to Make Tissue Paper Flowers

To make these flowers I removed the blooms from the stems on a bunch of fake flowers I bought at the dollar store. I then replaced them with the tissue paper flowers. Here is the tutorial showing how I did it.

supplies needed:

  • Tissue paper
  • Wire
  • Florist tape
  • Stapler
  • Wire cutters
  • Scissors
  • Dollar Store flowers that have  medium/light green colored stems and leaves – not dark green stems.  You can even use real tree branches

1. Lay 5 layers of tissue paper cut to 8” x 14” on top of each other. Accordion fold,

2. Find center and staple. Then wrap a 5” piece of wire around. Round edges with scissors.

Paper flower tutorial

3. Carefully begin to spread out each layer of tissue paper to start forming the flower.

4. Fluff so that most of the petals are to one side, unless you want to make pom-pom flowers to hang.

Paper flower tutorial

5.  You can see the fake rose bouquet I bought at the dollar store in the left hand side of the photo below.  Pull off all the flower heads. You will expose the wire stem tops. You want to attach the tissue paper flowers to these wire stems.

How to make tissue paper flowers

6. I poked the tip into the center of the tissue paper flower and then wrapped the wire around the stem to secure. You could also bend the tip of the fake flower stem to create a hook to wrap the flower and the wire around. I did a few each way. Cover the wire with florist tape.

How to make paper flowers

In this photo you can see I have most of the tissue paper flowers attached to the fake bouquet stems.

How to make tissue paper flowers

BEFORE: White Rose bouquet I took apart on the right.   AFTER: Tissue paper flowers  on the left.

How to make tissue paper flowers

I used the fake bouquet because the work of arranging the heights of each stem/bloom is already done for you. You could also gather up a bunch of branches from your yard and attach the paper flowers.


To make them look more realistic, cut the branches from the main stem and put water in your vase.

How to make paper flowers look real


How to Make a Fake Frilly Mum Flower

Frilly-Paper-Flower Tutorial

1.  Fold over a piece of tissue paper lengthwise.  If you want big blooms – just make the space between the folds larger.  If you don’t want loop for the petals – trim the top of the folded paper so there are no folds.

2. Use scissors to cut the paper every 1/4 –inch along the length.

3.  Roll it up and place a staple on each side of the roll to secure.

4. Cut the excess paper away under staple. This will let the flower sit flat on a gift box.

5. Loopy flower. The purple and white flower is more frilly since the folds were cut off along the top of the length of folded tissue paper.

More Tissue Paper Flower Making Ideas

I made a frilly flowers on the top of the ribbon spool gift box in my last post. It resembles a mum.

If you don’t mind a fake plant or two in your home, you may like the topiary I made using fake greenery.

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  1. Hi, Diane! I love this post (would like to feature it this weekend). :) I’ve never thought about ways to dress up Dollar Store flowers before…who knew?! ;) I was wondering if you’d mind updating the link to my blog at the bottom of your post (it’s incorrect)? It’s http://www.serenitynowblog.com

    Have a wonderful weekend! :)

  2. Diane,

    You are just so genius. I am not (found out) that crafty. I attempted the tissue flowers first time for Valentine’s Day and that cute container you taught us to make. I did not do well, but I am better now. The first try was a no go… I think I made it too thick or full. I am getting better and plan to keep trying till mine look at least close to as good as these you have done. Getting better is good, ……. sure it is. My first try was a bit sad, but this one is much better. I maybe don’t listen close enough also. It pays to pay attention to what you tell us.