The most visually-striking aspects of an artificial flower arrangement are the petals’ colors and shapes. There are, however, many more considerations (than simply the petals) that contribute to the appeal of a well-styled bouquet. The more technical details, like number of stems, height of stems, number of leaves, the amount of space between each stem, and the way the stems fall or bend, may not be as noticeable as shape and color, but do play key roles in creating the perfect aesthetic. Before you think about the more visual elements, make a checklist for sizing. Think about how tall you want the arrangement to look (consider the height of the vase), how wide the overall bouquet should span and how sparse or dense of a feel you’re going for.
1. Create Height
It goes without saying that the taller your vase, the taller your stems should be. Make sure all blooms peek over the edge of the vase. (How high the stems should be over the top will depend on the amount of stems/flowers; very tall, elongated stems that rise ten or more inches over the top of a vase look best in sparse arrangements of no more than two or three flowers, but shorter stems in which the blooms sit just above the edge of the vase look best in dense arrangements of nine flowers or more.)
2. Cut, Pluck and Trim
Most artificial flowers come in a group of stems of all the same length. While this makes it easy to know exactly the sizing you’re getting ahead of time, it also isn’t very attractive when styled in a vase – no layering whatsoever feels crowded and unoriginal. So, before you place your faux stems, grab a a pair of scissors and trim off a couple inches from a few of the stems in the bundle. It may help to hold all the stems you plan to use bunched together in your fist while cutting with your other hand, so that you can get a visual idea of how the arrangement will look when standing in a vase. (While you have the scissors, it may also be a good idea to pluck off a leaf or two and trim any unattractive or obviously-fake branches or petals.)
3. Add Fillers
Make fillers your go-to for artificial arrangements. Fillers are anything that are not the actual flowers and can include singular green leaves, twigs and branches. For a touch of character, do a sweep of your backyard for fallen greenery from trees to include in the vase. When you add other elements into an artificial flower arrangement, you create dimension and a fuller and seasonal look.
If the vase is clear (like if it’s made of glass), fill the bottom of your arrangement, too. Try cork wine bottle stoppers or sand (if you use sand, consider colored sand and layering the colors for a fun aesthetic!), or anything that’s small and that can be poured into the bottom of an arrangement, such as a pile of small buttons, pebbles and marbles. If your flowers are loose and lightweight, bottom-of-the-vase fillers are a good resource even if the vase isn’t see-through, since the added weight will help to distribute the flowers evenly, and even allow you to position the individual stems as you wish.
If you’re still struggling with making a vase appear fuller than it is even after trying the tricks above, it might be that your flowers are too stiff or straight. Try bending the stems slightly to fill in the gaps between the blossoms and make it look as though the flowers are naturally reaching out to catch the sunlight. (Remember that real greenery doesn’t stand up perfectly straight, so whether you’re styling faux plants or flowers, ‘breaking in’ the stems with a little bending is crucial!)
Of course, you’ll need a way to contain the stems. Vases, jars, bottles, canisters, planters, decorative boxes, planter boxes – all are green fodder for the faux floral arrangement aesthetic! Clear vases (and other containers) are perhaps the most fun, since you can add stylish bottom fillers like marbles and cork stops. (While dry bottom fillers for clear containers are a popular trend, consider water, instead! Planting fake stems in a vase with actual water will look so real, your guests may find themselves leaning over to smell the petals!) Want to go the DIY route? Try making your own planter box for fake flowers. (To make a box, you’ll need two wood boards of the same size for the length, two more for the width and a wood floor; use wood glue to glue the edges together, and finish off with a paint color of your choice!) For a rustic-chic look, you can also try recycling old crates!
As with all kinds of decorating, remember: you don’t have to pick just one! If you love a vase just as much as you love a planter box, get both – and style both with the fake flowers. Pair different shapes, containers and sizes together for a chic look.
5. Mix and Match Colors and Textures
A faux floral arrangement of just one kind of flower can feel boring, especially if you keep it out season after season, year-round. Not only does a static aesthetic feel stale, it also feels unreal, since actual flowers grow in different seasons. Keep an alternate arrangement handy and swap each out as the seasons change. Or, for a mix-and-match look, place different kinds of faux flowers (just make sure they would be in season if they were real) together.
Mixing and matching also applies to the containers. Try a textured wood planter box with a ceramic jar or bottle, or better yet, a ceramic jar or bottle in a textured wood planter box (as a sort of container within a container). (For the latter, make sure the box’s sides are low so that the ceramic container shows above them; the contrast of materials adds a rustic-modern touch.) When it comes to artificial floral arrangements, have fun – contrast, mix and match to incorporate dimension and bring the blossoms to life.