7 Tips For Making Faux flowers Look Real

Faux flowers can be a beautiful, fool-the-eye part of spring decorating. Get tips for making them look like their real counterparts. The only difference is that faux flowers don’t need to be thrown away.

Making faux flowers look real is easier than you think! Wouldn’t you love to have your favorite flowers blooming in your home any time of year? Me too! Today I’m sharing easy to do tips to make your pretty faux boom look real!

Let’s talk about faux flowers! I am on a quest to make sure all home decorators know how absolutely fabulous faux flowers can look! And how to get the most out of each pretty bloom!


If you can, study real flowers.

Or at least find real flower images of the faux flowers you are thinking of buying online and give them a good look!

Since I was looking to buy poppies I wanted to study how the real ones look!

I found tons of poppy images. Here are just a couple…

For this flower, finding faux poppies with realistic stamens and pistils was important! And the crape paper look of the petals was high on my list too and so was finding buds along with open poppies!

Also, I wanted to find poppies with fuzzy leaves and stems for a real look!

I was lucky enough to find everything on my poppy wishlist!

All of these things work together to help the faux poppies more believable.

Each flower is different.

When I graduated from college I was a bank teller for 5 months and went to bank teller school. One of my favorite things we studied was how to spot a counterfeit bill. And how did we do that? By knowing what the real thing looked like! I’ve never forgotten this important lesson!

Know what the real flower looks like so you can find one that will or almost will fool the eye!


I think faux flowers have gotten a very bad rap in recent years. It’s because there are some very bad imitations of their real counterpart on the market!

I agree some faux flowers can look pretty bad so overlook those. And opt for gorgeous and realistic faux flowers! There’s more than you think!

My first choice for faux flowers is always a local source! If I’m trying to make faux flowers look real, then I want to see them up close and touch them! And I think local decor shops carry better quality blooms for the most part!

Here are a few things to look for in faux flowers…

  • blooms that look real
  • stems that look real and bend easily
  • realistic leaves that are wired and bend
  • centers that look like the real thing


One tip that will go very far in making faux flowers look real is to handle every single bloom. Fluff it. Make sure every petal is where it belongs. Gently shape each bloom with your hand. This will make a huge difference in the way your flowers look!

One of the biggest tale-tell signs a flower is fake is the way the leaves look! Crumpled up and folded leaves have no place in a pretty arrangement.

The poppies I found had beautifully realistic leaves. But the leaves were a bit too bent and folded.

You can coax the leaves to relax and you might even be able to get the fold lines out of leaves by gently pressing them with an iron.


Be super careful if you try ironing a leaf. Here’s the best way to iron leaves…

  • test one leaf
  • put a cloth down on an ironing board (I used a dishtowel)
  • choose a leaf and smooth it out with your hands
  • cover the leaf with a cloth
  • on a low setting, gently iron the leaf

I have found most misshapen leaves respond very well to the ironing method. Just be very very careful!!!

I also like to give the leaf a little burst of steam. Sometimes it works but I have had a few leaves lose their stiffness or texture using steam.

And don’t forget to bend the stems of the faux flowers you choose. In real life, most stems have a gentle bend to them. So, gently bend each stem to mimic its real counterparts.


The right vase for your faux flowers is so important! Use the same vessel you would choose for the real deal! Think about using something as simple as a clear glass cylinder, like the one I’m using today, or something as iconic as a ginger jar or silver ice bucket!

Arrange and rearrange them until your arrangement is so pleasing to your eye!



Don’t be afraid to cut the stems of faux booms. Remember our goal is to make faux flowers look real! We want to make the flowers look pretty in the container we choose!

Wouldn’t you cut real ones to arrange in a container? Then do the same for their faux friends!

Look at the images below. Which one is more pleasing?


The flowers on the right have been cut to fit the vase. The flowers on the left have been put in the vase without being cut.

A big, big difference, right?

Cut each stem individually and add it to the container you are going to use. And use heavy-duty cutters for the best result.



The biggest way to tell if florals are real or faux when they are in a clear vase is the lack of water!

Yes, you can put faux flowers in water. But do this first!


Paint clear fingernail polish on the bottom of each stem. This works!

And use common sense! A week or two in water is probably about enough!



Faux flowers are hardy but don’t abuse them.

Keep your blooms away from direct sunlight as they can fade.

When I put faux flowers away I like to put them in a tall plastic kitchen garbage can (with other faux blooms) and then cover them with a plastic bag. Standing them up and not crowding them keeps them looking nice so you can use them again!

With just a few easy tips you can have your favorite blooms gracing your home all year long!


If the vase is clear glass put water in the bottom of it. And paint on clear nail polish to keep the end of the faux flower from getting wet.

Choose the right vase for your flowers. Try a vase with a more narrow opening if your flowers are flopping over.

Take a good look at the real ones. Fluff each flower, bend the stems so they look more natural, and smooth out the leaves so they are not crumpled.


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  1. Yvonne, thank you for the tip on ironing the leaves! I’ve never done that before but I do cut stems all the time, and fluff a lot! 🙂 Great post and I cannot believe how real your poppies look… Amazing! Thanks for being on the Spring tour today. <3

    Barb 🙂

    1. Barb, thanks so much for inviting me! You are so sweet! I hope we do this again!

  2. Good Morning Yvonne: I love flowers, we have fresh flowers in our home as much as possible. There is a saving perhaps you have heard it before “Behind every flower hides a smile” by Anne Geddes. I think of that each time I pick flowers or purchase them. Flowers really do make you smile. Have a great day and stay safe.

    1. I do lover fresh flowers, but finding ones like poppies is difficult or impossible here. Love the quote! Thanks!

    2. Natalie Barton says:

      I I have been ordering faux flowers from Afloral and they are very realistic.looking. Also.got hydrangeas from Amazon that are beautiful. I find the silk ones are best. Thanks for all.your tips

  3. Kathy Menold says:

    I was organizing my faux flower stash just yesterday and found some pretty faux poppies I had forgotten I had and have never used. After I get my fridge cleaned( today’s task) I will find a vase and have some fun arranging these blooms and finding the right place for them. Thanks for suggesting this. Kinda of cool outside today so perfect activity to keep me in my faux garden?

    1. I love the idea of a faux garden, Kathy!!! When you are done all that you will be tired!

  4. Lovely post. I store mine in plastic grocery bags and hang them on nails in the attic. My wreaths go in grocery bags. Which local sources do yo use? I m thinking to try to use more locally owned places though we all know even regional or corporate ly owned businesses employ our children and friends.

    Enjoy the sunshine, Linda

    1. Hi Linda, thanks for the idea. I love the faux flowers at Cocalico Creek Home. Try there!

  5. Clear nail polish~ who knew!!! What a completely brilliant tip. It is truly amazing how a few simple steps can transform a bouquet.

    1. Hi Laura, So nice of you to stop by!Yes, nail polish keeps the wire inside from getting rusty!


    Thanks for the tips..I do decorate with faux flowers as well.I have some friends touch the flowers to see if they real.LoL!!! I sometime steam mine with the kettle to get them looking nice. I will use your trick about the nail polish. But doesn’t the stems get wrecked if u put them in water? I love your vignettes ..they always look so pretty. Be safe. ❤

    1. I love the idea of using steam from a kettle. We are not tea drinkers , but maybe I need a kettle for flowers! LOL! Thanks so much, Lorri!

  7. I had no idea you could iron fake plant leaves. Nor had I heard about the nail polish trick! Thanks so much for sharing your great tips! Pinned.

  8. Yvonne,
    Your faux poppies do look REAL. Thanks for all your tips for fooling our eyes with fakes. I think your best tip is bending the flower stems. Your poppies are leaning very much like real poppies in a garden do.

    Be safe, dear friend.

    Happy Spring,

    1. Kathy Menold says:

      I use faux flowers quite a bit when my garden is not supplying me with blooms. The quality of faux has improved so much but along with this the prices have gone up. My favorite place to buy faux flowers and greenery is thrift stores. If you know how to pick out the well made ones you can save a fortune. I got some beautiful poppies similar to the ones in your blog for a couple of dollars a stem. Another important tip I,got from you was to use only faux flowers which are in season. I have a silk amaryllis that fools friends every Christmas but I don’t use it in August.

  9. Excellent advice…as always!! Beautiful arrangement!

  10. Great post, and really nice pointers! I agree, purchasing quality blooms is essential. I just love the peachy-coral colored florals you used!

  11. I love your tips and tricks on using faux flowers, Yvonne. My faves are ironing the leaves and using clear nail polish on the stems! One smart lady!

      1. Julie Briones says:

        Of course! Featuring you on TTA this week!

  12. Wow! This was so helpful! The only time I purchase faux flowers is for graves or outdoor wreaths. I have read your blog several times, but I saw this post from Inspire Me Mondays. Happy Easter and stay healthy!

  13. Can you recommend a good heavy duty wire cutter? Cutting the stems has always been an issue.

    1. I’ve had my wire cutters for decades. So I’m not sure about one specific brand. Look online at the reviews. They will tell you a lot!

  14. I used to include faux flowers a lot around the home But living in PR doesn’t give me a good variety of craft/decorating stores. I began to use potpourri, spheres etc. Renovating our new downsized home I’ve discovered a new me evolved in the last 17 yrs!! I’m creating a totally different home than our previous custom home. I love reading your ideas, thoughts & your Sunday spiritual thoughts!! Thank u! What do u suggest as good online alternatives for buying faux flowers?
    Tnks for your time! Good luck ? on your kitchen reno??

  15. Love this post and your attention to detail. Thanks.:)

  16. Thank you for these valuable tips! Awesome!

  17. Cathy M Kalp says:

    Love the idea of faux flowers. Is there a brand that you would recommend or a site i could use to get them? The real water trick is the best.

    1. You can get some great faux blooms on Etsy and Pottery Barn! Great looking blooms can be a bit pricy but they last for years!

  18. Great post and love the idea of using water! In faux mixed arrangements I like to use real greenery to trick the eye too.

  19. Elizabeth Elarbee says:

    I just love everything you share. Your home is beautiful, your ideas so creative and I am a huge fan of all your decorating styles.
    Where do you purchase your faux flowers?
    Thanks and have a great day,

  20. Some excellent ideas. I have collected faux flowers at estate and yard sales over the years. I had purchased a bunch of wire gym baskets and they are up on shelves circling my tiny studio over my head and it’s like having an overhead garden….and everything is organized by color. So much fun, whether they are in “storage” or being used. Loved your hints.

  21. Lovely! would you be willing to provide an online resource for your beautiful posies?

  22. Such great tips Yvonne! I have many fake flowers and I can’t wait to try the iron on them. Yours turned out so pretty! I’m also into peachy colors since last summer. I love your poppies! Where did you purchase them?

  23. I forgot to mention that storing flowers in a trash can is brilliant!!

  24. Hi Yvonne:

    I will be spending an upcoming weekend in Lancaster with some friends to attend a show at Sight and Sound Theater, shop and enjoy the beautiful area. We would love it if you could share any of your favorite local shops, especially for faux flowers.
    Thanks so much!

    1. Go to THE TREASURED PLACE in Intercourse and Calico Home on rt 30. They are fabulous! Have fun! I’m hoping to see Queen Esther soon.

  25. Omg, I just love these ideas. I would have never thought to treat faux flowers this way. Thank you! Also, I would have never known that the flowers you have in this post, was not real. I can hardly wait for Spring to arrive.

  26. This morning (02/19/220 I saw a post on printable art and now I can’t find it. Can you help?
    Thank you. I really enjoy your blog.

    Luv your post on arranging faux flowers in a
    Love how seem to take such great care of your
    florals for years to reuse them over and over.
    Your basement must be very well organized to store
    accessories and extra furniture and rugs.
    A tour would be appreciated to obtain great tips.

  28. I had no idea about the nail polish trick and I certainly never thought about putting them in water, which is a fabulous trick if you want to put them in a clear vase. Love it!!

  29. Such a wonderful post! I am so happy to feature this post on Tuesday Turn About. Thank you so much for sharing!

  30. My fave tip is about nail polish! I had no idea that was a thing so thanks for sharing!

  31. Yvonne, lots of great tips. Those flowers are amazing. I have never seen stems that look so real… you sold me on them. I’m almost giddy with excitement to go out and get some faux floral. I’ve even read some other bloggers who use on my outside and they looked lovely. Especially for us who don’t have “green thumbs”…Thanks and “ Happy 1st Day of Spring”. ?

  32. Yvonne, your articles are so beautifully written. I love following your blog.Your design style is so lovely! Thank you so much!!

    1. Kelly, thank you so much for your lovely compliment. I love writing posts for my readers.

  33. Great ideas fo faux flowers, Yvonne. Cutting them to fit the vase made a big difference.

  34. I love your post regarding faux flowers. Where did you purchase your book from?
    Thanks for the great ideas!

  35. As a professional floral designer I have used snap on tool brand cutters for years…costly but worth every penny if you are doing much cutting. Winward makes beautiful faux flowers. Again, they are not the inexpensive ones but can serve you well for years. Additionally, many faux flowers can tolerate a little cleaning in a warm bath with regular Dawn dish soap. Test first for color fastness. Also, a very realistic faux can be made more realistic with a few real flowers. Consider something like mixing a lovely faux hydrangea with some fresh roses.

  36. Tips for floral storage. I store my wreaths in clear suit bags and hang in closet on wooden hangers (assisted by either string or shower curtain hangers). That way they don’t get dusty. Swags and smaller arrangements can be stored in the bottom of the bag too. Then they can be stored on clothing racks (if necessary) in environments like basements, garages, attics, etc.
    Also use clear tubbies and place the rest of my florals in separate tubbies by season except I have one for just “greens” meaning year round. This tip works well for me.

  37. Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed reading your post about how to make faux flowers look more real. I will surely bookmark this post.