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How to make a faux plant look real

You all know I love to decorate with real plants (see this post for proof), but I’ll admit sometimes faux plants are just easier. I don’t know what it is about certain spots in my house, but it’s like this crazy black hole vortex that sucks gorgeous green plants up and spits up shriveled brown ones back out. It’s like the Mr.’s selective hearing when it comes to taking out the trash, except I have selective seeing and I just forget to water plants in certain areas of our house!

A bathroom with two sinks and mirrors

I dunno, whatever it is, I can’t seem to water a plant in my bathroom to save my life (let’s not dwell on the fact that the bathroom is the place that probably has the most water in the whole stinking house and this should be a no brainer). All the plants on the main floor are thriving, but I seem to kill everything upstairs. So, I have a little trick to share with you when you have to go faux.

A vase of flowers on a bathroom counter

I really wanted one of those beautifully simple arrangements that Pottery Barn does so well in all their catalogs where they feature a gorgeous glass vase with a few pretty green branches artfully floating in it. Except I have better things to do than cutting new branches every week and artfully arranging them, which would really just look like two twigs half drunk in a bowl if I attempted this (don’t ask me how I know, I just know).

A vase of flowers on a table

If you too have this lack of branch arranging skills fear not! I picked up these green branches from Hobby Lobby for about $15 total. I had this glass vase sitting in a closet and I stuck the branches in it…they looked so lame. So I grabbed some potting soil that I had left over in the garage and stuck it in the vase, then I topped it with some landscaping rocks too. Boom! Total fake-out plus the rocks helped me arrange the branches exactly the way I wanted. No drunken or dead branches here, and it’s one less plant I need to worry about.

A vase of flowers on a counter

If you want to see more of my master bathroom you can check it out here.

A vase with flowers in front of a mirror

Oh, and don’t forget to check out my Joss and Main sale that’s still going on, only a few more days to shop! Click here to sign up!

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  1. I love, love, love this idea! I’ve been looking for something to place on my entryway table and this is PERFECT!! Thanks so much! You go, girl! Would it be okay if I mentioned this/you on my teeny tiny, itty bitty blog/Instagram? Seriously, I plan to copy this idea. Can you tell I’m excited!?!?!!!!! <—–Okay, I need to settle down… :)

    1. That would be fantastic Marie, thanks so much! I’m so glad this tip was good for you, I almost didn’t blog about it because I thought it was silly but I love the way it looks ha.

  2. K. Wish I would have seen this before I just went to Pottery Barn and spent a small fortune on their fake flowers just to have something that LOOKS real that I can’t kill! Ha ha! You are brilliant my friend! What a great tip!

  3. This looks fabulous! I love how you styled your master bathroom. I may have to copy that trick.

  4. I recently bought 3 of the most realistic little potted succulents I could imagine. The color variations on the puffy leaves are perfect. They’re planted in something that for all the world looks like dirt but is hard and solid. Several years ago I ordered some fake hydrangeas for the lovely planter they came in. They sat on a closet shelf until yesterday when I finally decided to ditch the ugly fakes and put the planter to use. I tugged and nothing happened! Dug around and found they were glued in some dense styrofoam with the surface painted a perfect dirt color. Now why didn’t I think of that? Only certain kinds of paints work on styrofoam. Checked the succulents and they were in the same stuff, although they had to paint the inside of clear glass planters to match the dirt.

    My dog eats houseplants like they were doggy catnip. I started researching and discovered that the Japanese were making perfectly realistic flowers with an air dry resin clay. Petals and leaves curled like the real thing and then painted with lots of realistic colors. Nothing perfect, just like nature. Now I know what to to plant them in! 2 part epoxy fake water works well but it has to be the good stuff. Envirotex works fine for fake water and won’t turn a yucky cloudy off color like the stuff that says it’s made for “silk” flowers.

    Sorry for being so wordy. I’ve gotten obsessed with making real looking flowers and greenery. I’ll hush now…..

  5. Thanks for the tip, Kelly! I have pretty much given up completely on having live plants in the house – it never ends well for the poor plant. Looks like I’ll be making a trip to Hobby Lobby – I love those branches!

  6. Great idea!! This is just the inspiration I need for some needed greenery in our house. You see, I used to have a green thumb. I was able to have a house full of plants and I would be able to coax many starts from the plants. Then I suddenly developed a brown thumb. The plants wilted then turned brown and finally died. It could be that we are gone for months at a time an no one water them :-( But I do like the looks of plants in a house. This is a great solution. Oh! I thought about a cactus but I don’t like the needles.

  7. I think I’m going to attempt this! I always kill plants in my guest bath. They sit on a shelf above the loo, and I always manage to neglect them. I have an assortment of convincingly realistic faux plants, but I always worry that they look fake when just shoved in a vase.

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