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7 Easy Ways to Make Faux Flowers Look Real

Want to decorate with plants and flowers without the fuss? Here are 7 easy ways to make faux flowers and foliage look real for any season.

Faux flowers and greenery are an inexpensive way to decorate your home or office. However, not all faux flowers and foliage are the same.

Some look so authentic you have to touch them to know it’s not real. While others look more plastic and fake.

Follow these tips for finding the best artificial greens and flowers for DIY decor ideas while making them look like the real deal. And see what NOT to buy at the end of this post.

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What Artificial Flowers Look the Most Realistic?

For starters, when you see the words “real touch” that’s usually a great starting point. The “real touch” series of faux flowers and greens are made to look like you cut them from the landscape.

Next, would be silk flowers, but be careful that they look real and not like they are made of fabric.

Look for different color variations and avoid a flat color and imprints.

rustic farmhouse living room fall home tour 2021 with dark leather sofas and cozy fall pillows

Is Using Fake Flowers Tacky?

If done well, I say no. But what does that mean?

Doing faux flowers well means they look real and authentic as if you just plucked them out of the garden.

If you use fake florals that don’t look real, then I’d say yes, they will look tacky.

When done well, they will mix beautifully with your decorating style.

After the Family room makeover with round coffee table with flear market find filled with faux flowers and greens with black lab on area rug and houseplants

Are Fake Flowers Worth It?

Yes, they are totally worth it when executed well.

As a gardener recommending the use of fake plants and flowers, you might be wondering why is she using faux flowers?

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE live plants and flowers in my home and use them as well.

However, sometimes you want more of a set and forget approach to seasonal decor.

spring in my vintage farmhouse house tour with live and faux plants and flowers

Or maybe there’s dead space high up on a shelf that you don’t want to water. And maybe that space lacks light for live plants to grow. Or maybe you want to decorate a fireplace mantel but it gets too hot from the heat so plants scorch.

In these cases, faux plants and flowers are the way to go.

They can get pricey, which is why you want to be very selective about what you purchase.

I’ve been collecting fake flowers for years, so my collection is vast.

But the point is, they last forever if you take care of them well. So even if the cost is a bit higher up front, they are still worth it.

rustic farmhouse living room decorated for fall with faux pumpkins and greenery with fireplace and tv over the mantel with dark leather sofas and cozy throw blankets with neutral fall decorating ideas

7 Easy Ways to Make Faux Flowers Look Real

Now that we’ve covered why it’s worth using faux flowers when decorating, here are 7 simple ways to make faux flowers look real.

Look for Quality Faux Flowers and Greens

When purchasing faux flowers and foliage for any season, ask yourself this question, “Does this look real and authentic as if I cut it from the landscape?”

If the answer is no, put it back on the shelf and walk away because it’s not worth the money, even if it’s on clearance.

Look for different color variations in the flowers and foliage. Matte finishes typically look better than anything overly shiny.

As an aside, overly shiny pieces tend to look more plastic, so avoid those.

You also want to find foliage that pulls true green – not blue green. I can’t tell you how many faux plants I’ve found that not only look like plastic but also have a blue hue to them.

Most plants in nature don’t look like that, so don’t buy it just because you found it at Walmart or Target.

Be choosy with what you buy and trust me, they’ll look amazing when you bring them home.

vintage urn from the thrift shop filled with faux flowers on a garden style end table
These faux roses have a real touch to them and look very real!

Choose a Unique or Vintage Vessel

With almost all of my faux flowers and plants, I use unique, vintage vessels that I found thrifting.

Thrifting the vessel is a great way to save money on the arrangement because you probably spent some money on the florals.

There are so many different options to choose from that will enhance the look of your fake flowers and foliage.

To give you some ideas, here are 9 garden treasures you should never pass up at the thrift store.

When I’m decorating for the seasons, oftentimes, I’ll grab one of these garden treasures that I found thrifting and fill it with pretty faux flowers and foliage.

Thrift Unique Decorating Ideas with this old white wrought iron basket
Found this rusty wrought iron basket thrifting in Vermont
close up of boho round wood coffee table with vintage market find filled with faux flowers and greenery
Here’s the same vintage market find filled with faux flowers and greens

Mix Faux Flowers and Greens With Real Plants

Once you’ve got your faux flowers and vessel, place them around your home. Even if the arrangement is full-on fake, mixing it in a space with live plants fools the eye.

I can’t tell you how many times my husband has walked into a room and not known the difference between live and faux plants in our home.

He often needs to walk up and touch it to determine whether it is artificial.

In addition to mixing faux flowers and greens in your living space, you can also mix fresh flowers with faux to bulk up the arrangement.

I don’t usually do that, but I’ve seen others do it, and works pretty well.

thrift shop finds - the mirror over a painted piano with vintage market finds, faux flowers and greenery

Trim Faux Flower Stems

When you bring your faux flowers and greens home, trim the ones that are super long or bunched together so you get a more natural look in a vase or other vessel.

Add Some Water

If you decide to go with a clear vase, jug, or bottle, drop a few faux flowers stems in and add some water.

The water helps fool the eye into thinking the arrangement is real.

Mix Fake Flowers and Greens Together

When I make a dining table centerpiece using faux flowers, I typically mix them with greens and other organic elements to create a natural look.

To keep the fake flowers anchored, I like to use the greens as the base and then tuck in some florals with berry sprigs or another type of organic element for added texture and dimension.

Front entry hall decorated for fall with antique bench, black picture frames and a welcome sign plus a fall wreath and houseplants.rustic farmhouse fall home tour 2021 front entry

Fluff Up and Bend Faux Flowers and Foliage

Oftentimes when you bring those fake flowers and foliage home they are stiff and bunched up for packaging purposes.

After bringing them home fluff them up before using.

And be sure to bend them once arranged in a container to give them a more natural look.

cozy reading nook with throw pillows and houseplants decorated for fall -rustic farmhouse fall hone tour 2021

What Faux Flowers and Greens You Should NOT Buy

Particularly when you are decorating for a season, think about what flowers and greens you’d find in nature.

If it’s not something you’d find in the landscape, don’t buy it because it won’t look authentic.

Avoid flowers that look too blue. Because most flowers are not true blue, although there are some. But blue flowers pull a little more purple or pink than a true blue.

Also avoid foliage that looks flat, plastic and like it has an imprint. You can find much better quality greens than something like this.

And finally, if the branch and flower stems look like obvious and plastic, it won’t look real. So avoid purchasing those too.

Where to Find Quality Artificial Flowers and Greenery

There are a lot of great places to find beautiful faux flowers and greens. Here are some of my favorite retailers.

  • Afloral
  • Terrain
  • Target
  • Amazon
  • QVC
  • Pottery Barn

But even with the best places to buy, ALWAYS be choosy and don’t be afraid to return if it’s not what you thought when you receive. it.

Artificial Flowers and Greens for Fall That I’m Loving Today

I’m shopping around for some fresh faux flowers and greenery for fall as we decorate for our first autumn here.

This is what I’m loving today!

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Stacy Ling

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Home and Garden Blogger Stacy Ling cutting zinnia flowers in her cottage garden with wood picket fence in front of garden shed

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4 Comments

  1. So many good ideas! I love those red maple stems from Afloral…they’ve been in my imaginary shopping cart for weeks!!!