7 Tips for Faking It: Decorating With Artificial Flowers & Plants

I’m on a quest to prove myself wrong.

Confession: I’ve been a fake flower/plant snob. Years ago, I used to decorate with them but stopped when I felt using real plants was much better. To me, they were better because they have their own scent, help clean the air, and definitely look better than the fake ones. No judgement on anyone using the artificial versions; I just felt having something as natural as possible was the best.

But today, I’m declaring that there is nothing wrong with using artificial flowers & greenery!

Artificial succulent arrangement cacti sand rock glass vase decorating Artificial Flowers Plants

Read ahead for tips on decorating with these and check out how I’ve incorporated them into my decor.

How I came to this conclusion is twofold. One of my creative resolutions for 2013 was to challenge myself with decor I wasn’t accustomed to or attracted to, so using fake flowers & plants is a great way to achieve this.

The other aspect is that I’ve been yearning to add more plants to my home. I envy people who have a jungle of plants in their home. I’d so be one of those people if my home received enough natural light. Because my home faces east, I have to limit my houseplant collection to those that require low light, such as pothos, philodendron and snake tongue. Using artificial houseplants is a great method of adapting to the low-light issue & still allows me to enjoy a bevy of greenery.

Here are my tried & tested tips for faking it:

1. First, do your homework. Save images of the real thing on your phone and take them with you when you go shopping. Compare the leaves, petals, stems, etc. I’ve found a lot of flowers & plants look great on the top but when you inspect the stems, they have that very obvious plastic appearance or those annoying plastic sleeves.

2. Consider the materials. Not all artificial flowers are made from silk (or a similar fabric). Some of the most realistic ones I’ve seen have petals made with foam. Not only do they look real, but they feel real also.

Fake cacti and succulents are a wonderful option because the real version of these plants have a plastic-like aesthetic. (Scroll down to check out my succulent arrangements.)

This “FEJKA” plant from IKEA is also fairly deceptive. This bad boy was only $10! I believe this is to be an Arrowhead plant. I used this plant in my bedroom to help establish the beachy vibe:

Artificial succulent arrangement cacti sand rock glass vase decorating Artificial Flowers Plants

I like the little touches of realness they added at the base of the stems and even the “dirt” in the pot:

Artificial succulent arrangement cacti sand rock glass vase decorating Artificial Flowers Plants

3. Buy or make arrangements that look natural. Don’t just throw some stems in a vase & call it a day. For example, you wouldn’t want to place a rose stem in a vase filled with river rocks.

I made these fake succulent arrangements using sand & rock as fillers. These fillers help trick the eye into thinking they’re real because they’re items used in growing live cacti.

Artificial succulent arrangement cacti sand rock glass vase decorating Artificial Flowers Plants

These were simple to make: pour sand into your vase, insert the stem of the plant, and add a layer of rocks while holding the stem with your other hand. The combination of the sand and rocks keep the stem firmly planted, so you don’t need to use styrofoam.

4. Use actual pots and planters. Years ago, I used coir hanging baskets for fake ferns. These appeared realistic because the baskets were not on eye level (close to the ceiling) and the container was used for real, live plants.

5. Create arrangements with faux water. We’ve all seen those simple, modern arrangements with one stem in a glass vase with fake water and you can actually buy the “water” to make your own. (This stuff is on my to-do list.)

Artificial succulent arrangement cacti sand rock glass vase decorating Artificial Flowers Plants Tips for Faking It Craft Water

6. Alternate your arrangements & place them in different areas of the room. If you’re concerned about guests in your home (and maybe even your family!) noticing the same vase of flowers week after week, rotate them.

You can also go one step further & make sure the arrangements are relevant to your locale and current season. A great example of this would be a pot of tulips since they’re only seasonal in the early spring.

7. Clean your fake arrangements regularly. Nothing will reveal your secret faster than a layer of dust on those lovely orchid petals!

What are your feelings on decorating with artificial plants & flowers? Feel free to share your tips on using them in your decor!

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10 thoughts on “7 Tips for Faking It: Decorating With Artificial Flowers & Plants

  1. lesleaknauff

    Thanks for bringing this up. A lot of people feel as thought they are “cheating” if they use artificial flowers and plants. However if you have a low light situation, have allergies, or are unable to water regularly, artificial plants are great! As a property stager, I am always on the lookout for high quality artificials. Beware of arrangements with boxwood-type plants, however. I fell in love with a boxwood-type arrangement that had a container made of twigs–perfect for a kitchen window sill. Within six months I noticed that the leaves were starting to curl and turn yellow. So much for that, although I did salvage the twig container to re-use with REAL artificial greenery!

    And thanks for the tip about the plant from IKEA. I need one just like that!

    Reply
  2. Ree Patrice

    I have been making artificial centerpieces and wreaths for over 7 years. I am now at a point where i am overly stressed trying to use the leaves that come with the stems on look full on my floral arrangements. The amount never seems to be enough to finish the project. In looking at your items, they look full and beautiful. Could you tell me if the matching leaf attached to the stem can be mixed with other flowers. Other than roses, can you mix and match an assortment of greenery with different flowers?

    Thank you,

    One stressed out crafter..

    Reply
    1. The DIY Homegirl Post author

      I say why not? I would probably make sure they are similar to the leaves that are naturally found with those flowers. I would also visit a florist to see how they combine different foliage with flowers. That could give you some good tips on what else you could use.

      Reply

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