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Tips for Making Faux Flowers Look Real

Faux flowers. In some decor circles, faux is a four-letter word. Yes siree, my die-hard, fresh-flower friends will argue that no self respecting household should ever be caught with faux flowers in their midst. Like never. Never. Ever.

Well, until recently.

Now, it seems that the fauxs are roaring back. With serious improvements in the quality of dried, paper, and silk flowers, faux is no longer the four-letter word of old. And with a few extra design tips and tricks, my Friends, fauxs can become fabulous.

Tips for Making Faux Flowers Look Real

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As a hat tip to my fresh-flower friends, I think we all agree that fresh flowers are just the absolute best. Nothing compares to the lift they provide a room or your spirits. But here’s the deal. The real life deal. Some people are so allergic that it’s pure torture to have these lovelies in the house. Then there’s the never ending cost and care. #justsayin 

Pink Ruffles Azaleas in my backyard | #orc #oneroomchallenge #fauxflowers #housebeautiful | www.thechelseaproject.com

 “Pink Ruffles” Azaleas in my backyard.

With this said, let’s explore some options. Some less nasally offensive, easier-to-care-for options. And while we’re at it, let’s talk about how to get the most out of the new and improved fauxs.

But first, let me show off one more flower. Can you tell I love me some flowers? I grow them like crazy, but always leave them outdoors. Always. #soallergic #ahchoo

Rain on a pink lily | #orc #oneroomchallenge #fauxflowers #housebeautiful | www.thechelseaproject.com

Pink Tiger Lily taken last summer.

OK.  Thanks for letting me share some of my favorite fresh bloomers. Now, here we go…..with the fauxs.

Choose flowers with the same bloom time.

Instead of making a lot of bad bloomer jokes, let me just say that, in general, one shouldn’t mix their spring bloomers with their winter bloomers. Or summer bloomers with fall. This wouldn’t happen in real life, would it? So keeping it real means keeping your bloomers straight as to their blooming season. 

And with the exception of the white stems, the arrangement below is assembled from a collection of spring bloomers. But since the flowers on the white stems resemble tiny dogwood blooms (which bloom in spring), I hope to get away with the inclusion. This fall blooming stem was specifically chosen for its delicate bloom size and color contast. Honestly, it looks springy to me.

But here I go, breaking the first rule #thatsnotreallyarule. What do you think? Can it work this time?

Faux flowers in a vintage copper pitcher | #orc #oneroomchallenge #fauxflowers #housebeautiful | www.thechelseaproject.com

Allow the flowers to stand as they do in nature.

Most flowering branches tend to arch up and over. Iris and tulips will reach for the sky with very little bend in the stalk. 

Faux flowers made of silk are making a comeback | #orc #oneroomchallenge #fauxflowers #housebeautiful | www.thechelseaproject.com

In this particular arrangement, I wanted the flowers to look as though they were cut and simply dropped into the pitcher.  To achieve this more relaxed and natural look:

  • Flowers are arranged in the pitcher asymetrically.

  • The iris and tulips are slightly bent at the stalk to gently relax the number of straight, vertical lines.

  • And wispy fern fronds soften the hard edges of the pitcher and tie the “woody” look all together.

See? Again I show how these tips aren’t etched in stone, but merely go with the faux.

Faux flowers made of silk in a relaxed Spring arrangement | #orc #oneroomchallenge #fauxflowers #housebeautiful | www.thechelseaproject.com

Use the same flowery stem in varying shades.

To add dimension and depth to a more formal arrangement, vary the shades of the same color stem. In my mind’s eye, a variation of shades (shown below) is more interesting than one solid shade.

And to support the long, heavy branches:

  • Trim the stems so that the bottom of the stem touches the bottom of the vase.

  • Place a couple layers of clear packing tape over the top of the container and poke small holes through the tape with a knife.

Faux flowers in varying shades of one color create depth and dimension | #orc #oneroomchallenge #fauxflowers #housebeautiful | www.thechelseaproject.com

If using only one shade of flowery stem…

  • Add depth and dimension by adding stems (without flowers) that have a similar color to the stems (with flowers).

  • For example, flower-less brown woody stems match the brown woody stems of these flowering branches. 

Faux flowers sometimes need woody stems for support | #orc #oneroomchallenge #fauxflowers #housebeautiful | www.thechelseaproject.com

I actually have this species of cherry tree in my front yard and the blooms look just like these silk stems in the spring. The tree blooms again in the fall and will have these delicate pinky-white blossoms dappled amid green leaves. It’s a seriously gorgeous tree with two amazingly different looks. 

Faux flowers in one shade of color can be paired with extra stems to increase volume and interest | #orc #oneroomchallenge #fauxflowers #housebeautiful | www.thechelseaproject.com

Add stems to (fake) water.

Fake water, you say? 🙂

Yes, a stem of any length can be added to virtually any size container…..and set in fake water. I know! This arrangement was purchased, but custom arrangements can be easily made.

Faux flowers look great in a clear vase | #orc #oneroomchallenge #fauxflowers #housebeautiful | www.thechelseaproject.com

How to make Stems-in-Fake-Water arrangement

All you do is gather a clear container, some faux flowers and a bit of faux water. I kid you not. Did you know we can buy instant faux water on the internet? Don’t you just love living in 2018?

Turns out, there are several different kinds of faux water products on Amazon, but this kit looks like a good option for one container of flowers. I haven’t use it yet, but have it bookmarked for when I need a custom arrangement. (affiliate links) Click this link to see FloraCraft Floral Accessories Acrylic Water Kit

And while I was shopping around, this vase looks just like the one in the photo above Royal Imports Flower Glass Vase Decorative Centerpiece For Home or Wedding by Clear Glass, Cube Shape, 5″ Tall, 5″x5″ Opening.

Then, just for jollies, I bookmarked a taller vase, too. I really like the twisting column. It’s so original. WGV Clear Square Twist Block Glass Vase, 10-Inch

And last, but not least, are some silk peonies. Because…..we HAVE to have silk peonies, don’t we? #swoon  Duovlo Springs Flowers Artificial Silk Peony bouquets Wedding Home Decoration,Pack of 1 (Spring Pure Pink)

Once the items for the arrangement are collected, design your look, and follow the directions on the package to make the fake water.

Faux flowers of different colors and species can be mixed in a room | #orc #oneroomchallenge #fauxflowers #housebeautiful | www.thechelseaproject.com

And that’s all there is to it. If you’d like to save or share these tips, please….

Faux flowers are making a comeback and can look real with a few simple tips and tricks | #orc #oneroomchallenge #fauxflowers #housebeautiful | www.thechelseaproject.com


Faux flowers in a clear vase with faux water is super easy to make | #orc #oneroomchallenge #fauxflowers #housebeautiful | www.thechelseaproject.com

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  • Reply Jeweled Interiors April 18, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    So I have to be honest. You would have totally fooled me on several of those arrangements. Great tips here!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 18, 2018 at 8:09 pm

      LOL…thanks Jewel.

  • Reply Marie April 18, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    What a great post, Susie! Not only was it enjoyable to read but loaded with great tips. I’m a mixed bag year round bloomer. Real in the summer and faux in the winter. Pinned

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 18, 2018 at 8:10 pm

      Hi Marie and thanks so much! Mixed bagger sounds great! You have the best of both worlds.

  • Reply Heather K Tracy April 18, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    Susie! You clever character…when I think of all the times I’ve shoved faux flowers any-which-way into a vase, then let them just sit there, unstyled, seasonally inappropriate and forlorn…yikes! Thank you for sharing these well thought out (and charmingly amusing) rules/not rules! xox

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 18, 2018 at 9:46 pm

      LOL… Heather! You’re a hoot! Thanks so much… It’s always so good to have you visit.

  • Reply Kim Young -KnockitOffKim April 18, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    Susie, these are fantastic tips! I tend to mix faux and real in the same bouquet, mainly because I always get too excited and buy my fresh flowers early – By the time I get around to using them half have died and I need to fill in with faux. I really loved your tip on using packing tape for those heavier blooms. By the way, those faux iris’ are amazing!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 18, 2018 at 10:18 pm

      Hi Kim and thanks. I will also add that it is so hard to buy fauxs online because you just can’t see the quality in photos. I’m trying to find some good online faux vendors. I’ll make sure to let you know when I get a list of good companies.

  • Reply Tee April 18, 2018 at 10:55 pm

    Love your tips, Susie. Isn’t it great that faux flowers aren’t a “faux pas” anymore. Those arrangements in you “Pin” look so realistic!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 18, 2018 at 11:05 pm

      Oh shoot! I should have used “faux pas” in the post….Tee, you’re so clever!! And thanks.. XO

  • Reply Jen @ Jenron Designs April 18, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    Susie this is a great post, and something that everyone needs to know. It is very difficult to find high quality silks that actually look real and come in a color that naturally occurs in nature for that real feeling. Thank you for putting all of these great tips out there 🙂

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 18, 2018 at 11:09 pm

      Hi Jen and thanks hun! I am the queen of faux flowers and shop for them all the time. And I agree that finding a good vendor is hard. I’ll do a second post after I have some time to hunt down a few good companies for us.

  • Reply Susanne April 19, 2018 at 12:25 am

    Go with the faux….you crack me up! I am all about faux flowers and greenery. It is just amazing how far they have come. Not your mama’s fake flowers anymore that’s for sure! These are really great tips for keeping it looking real. I need to get some of that faux water!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 19, 2018 at 12:33 am

      LOL….Susanne! Between the word “faux” and “bloomers”..this post could be rich with so many puns. Thanks, girl

  • Reply Nomadic Decorator April 19, 2018 at 1:38 am

    Faux water, no way!! Is there anything you cannot buy any more? Great product idea though. I love faux orchids because they’re sure easier to keep looking good than real orchids.

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 19, 2018 at 7:49 am

      LOL… I know!! Isn’t that the funniest thing. Thanks so much for stopping by. Oh and P.S. …I love faux orchids, too. I’m on the hunt for a few in different sizes and colors.

      • Reply Jessica | Petal + Ply April 21, 2018 at 9:46 am

        Joanns carries some faux orchid stems that are SOOOO realistic. The stem is even a rubbery texture which seems to have a purposeful break in the wire so the top flowers of the orchid “hang” in a realistic way. I have the burgundy color but I know it also came in white too.

        • Reply theChelseaProject April 21, 2018 at 2:15 pm

          Thanks for the heads up! I am looking for an orchid for the dining room. This is perfect. XO

  • Reply ellenr886 April 19, 2018 at 8:19 am

    ooooh these are really great tips that I’m gonna have to try bc I love faux flowers!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 19, 2018 at 8:47 am

      Hi Ellen and thanks so much!

  • Reply Andi April 19, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    I am a huge faux flower fan. The sneezing and the constant changing them out just isn’t worth it for me. Love your tips!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 19, 2018 at 12:24 pm

      Hi Andi and thanks a million.

  • Reply Lisa April 19, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    Susie you make faux look so good!! I love the faux water tip, thank you. I didn’t know there was a product for that!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 19, 2018 at 5:46 pm

      Hi Lisa and thanks!

  • Reply Lindi April 20, 2018 at 1:41 am

    Oh wow! I wish I had the knowledge of florals that you have! I may need to come back here for more tips later! lol

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 20, 2018 at 8:29 am

      LOL….hi Lindi and thanks.

  • Reply Emy April 20, 2018 at 8:42 am

    I love faux plants! I’ve added tons to my vintage booth because they add so much life and I don’t have to care for them. In my home, all I have so far are faux green plants. Hubby’s trying to talk me into faux outdoor plants for winter.

    Your arrangements are gorgeous, by the way.

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 20, 2018 at 9:04 am

      Hi Emy and thanks so much! I’m happy to learn you love fauxs, too. But I must admit that I have all real plants outdoors. I try and add easy care blooming plants to the landscape and let them do their thing. But isn’t is wonderful to have options??

  • Reply Toni | Small Home Soul April 20, 2018 at 11:45 am

    I’ve heard the “experts” say they’d never use faux flowers but seriously who has the money to keep real flowers in your home all the time. I love your arrangements, especially the ones in the blue vases and the pink ones in the mercury glass. Swoonworthy my friend! I need to do more of this myself.

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 20, 2018 at 12:08 pm

      Hi Toni and thanks. I agree about the fresh flowers. I love fresh flowers, but taking care with the degradation to watch furniture finishes and textiles for spotting/staining also gets old. Plus….I like getting the color in place and having it there should unexpected guests drop by. With fresh flowers, it’d be my luck that guests would drop by just as the freshies are dead as a door nail… LOL.. #freshflowerproblems

  • Reply salvagesista April 20, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    Faux is not a four letter word in my circle! Love it!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 20, 2018 at 2:44 pm

      LOL…Deb! Another reason that you’re the tops!! XO

  • Reply Jessica | Petal + Ply April 21, 2018 at 9:42 am

    Great tips Susie! I love fresh flowers and used to work as a florist BUT I’ve also always loved silk floral arranging as well. If it is done right then no one will be the wiser. There are also so many high quality silks on the market!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 21, 2018 at 2:14 pm

      Thanks so much Jessica! I’d love to get some arranging tips from you!

  • Reply Vicki and Jenn 2 Bees in a Pod April 22, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    Great tips Susie – especially about adding faux flowers into a vase with water…genius! Thanks for sharing your ideas with us!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 23, 2018 at 10:38 am

      Hi Vicki and Jenn…and thanks a million! Appreciate the visit!

  • Reply mommacan May 2, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    These are very neat tips. I love flowers and use to grow a few but with the water be rationed here in California most of my perenials no longer bloom very well!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 2, 2018 at 9:17 pm

      Thanks! Maybe you can use faux flowers until the water situation improves.

  • Reply Susanne May 2, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    Great tips Susie!! Thank you for sharing with us at Create and Celebrate 🙂

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 2, 2018 at 9:18 pm

      Thanks Susanne! Thanks for hosting.

  • Reply rawsonjl May 3, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    Great tips! I have started decorating with faux flowers recently and I do love all the color and varieties available now.

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 3, 2018 at 4:49 pm

      Thanks so much, Joanne!

  • Reply Mary May 18, 2018 at 1:26 am

    That was a great post Susie. I remember back in the day when faux flowers were made from this hard plastic and looked well, fake. But now if you don’t look to close they can get away with fooling us. And your tips are really helpful to add to the illusion.

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 18, 2018 at 6:15 am

      Hi Mary and thanks so much! I’m with you about the plastic flowers. Ewwww. Thank goodness for improved technology. XOXO

    Thanks so much for your comment!

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