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How to Make Fake Flowers Look Real

Sure, real flowers smell good, they’re naturally detoxifying and they can grow (when planted) with love. They’re also messy, time-consuming and costly – and some make the whole ordeal not worth it, thanks to premature wilting or dying. The alternative, though, is much easier: fake flowers look just as good as the real thing, don’t take up any time or money, and, best of all, will never die. Here, learn how to make fake flowers look real; for these tips, your time, wallet and home will thank you.

House Them In a Beautiful Vase

Just because they’re fake, doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the same kind of love and affection real flowers get. For fake flowers, invest in the same kind of luxury vase in which you would have housed real flowers. (A great vase, after all, is more than just a container; it’s designed with quality shape and material to elongate and bring out the best of decorative florals.) Of course, a vase, no matter how beautiful and well-made, is cancelled out when the fake flowers are made out of cheap materials (like cheap plastic), stained with dust and overall low-quality. Above all else, the best way to make fake flowers look real is this: star craftsmanship. Make sure the flowers you use were designed to mimic the real thing – and not just act as an alternative.

Bring Them Outdoors

There’s such a thing as fake outdoor grass, so why can’t there be such a thing as fake outdoor flowers? We’re not saying to construct an entire garden out of them (but if that sounds appealing, then we’re not not saying to do that!) – just a few fake flowers in an outdoor planter or two will do the trick! Outdoors, fake flowers are soaked in sunshine and sky – both of which are very real. Outdoors, the fakeness of fake flowers isn’t noticeable, because it's the last place anyone would expect it to be.

Pair Them With Vintage Decor

Florals and vintage go hand-in-hand, and sometimes, just the right decorative touch can make an arrangement look fresher, more vivid (and more real). Instead of plopping fake flowers in a run-of-the-mill vase and being done with it, why not embed the same care and creativity as you would with the rest of your home décor? Consider, for example, turning a bouquet into a vignette. Utilize the space on all sides of your flowers – the space directly above, beside and below – with wall art, figurines, vintage lanterns and decorative boxes.
The materials of the decorations you use are just as important as the types. Distressed finishes add a roughened, weathered look to make fake petals feel like they too are roughened and weathered (in a good way). Obviously artificial materials like shiny plastics will just add more (fake) fuel to a (fake) fire; if there was ever a notion that flowers are fake, then fake-looking decorations will just reaffirm it. Your best bet is to stick to netural woods, galvanized metals and raw textures.

Need some specific, practical tips to make your fake flowers look real? Try any of these:

  • Trim the stems. Just a little bit of trimming can make a huge impact on a living look. Cut down stems so that no more than a few inches show above the top of the vase. If the flowers come with leaves that don’t mimic realness, you may want to rip those off, as well.
  • Throw in a real flower. Mixing fake and real flowers is a fun trick that will go over most people’s heads, every time. Just one or two real blooms amidst a bouquet of fake ones will add to a lifelike aesthetic – just make sure the real ones are of the same species as the fake and fit in with the colors!
  • Opt for wired stems. Fake flowers with wired stems make it easier to create lifelike positions. Make sure your fake flowers come with wires (or another bendable component) before buying.
  • Try before you buy. If you really want to make sure the flowers you’re getting look as real as possible, then you’ll want to make sure they feel as real as possible, too. Buying fake flowers without first feeling them for yourself adds chance to the mix; when possible, see and touch them in person beforehand.

Incorporate Them Into the Furniture

You wouldn’t try to hide real flowers in some back corner, where no one looks, so don’t do the same with fake ones. Instead, treat them as if they were hand-picked from your garden, just delivered from a local nursery or gifted by a loved one. Bring them out of hiding and place them front and center for all to see on a coffee table, kitchen table or entry console table. When you love your fake blooms as though they were real, it shows!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.