It’s no secret I love faux florals. I spent the last four years of my life spending hundreds of hours a year sourcing the best quality stems on the market, teaching myself design, and mastering all the tiny details about everything floral. It would be a waste if I didn’t share all that, right? So buckle up, class. Here’s the basics of everything you need to know about how to get the best fake florals.
**There are affiliate links in this post, meaning I make a very small commission when you purchase from them. It’s at no additional cost to you and allows me to support my little family and continue bringing you beautiful inspiration. Thanks for your support.**
1. Quality Costs
The number one thing you should know about faux florals is that quality costs. A beautiful, detailed faux flower is going to cost more than the live version of it. That’s fair though, right? You get to keep it forever and it took some manufacturer somewhere time to pick the material, build the dimension, add all the color, and ship it. The average price for a top quality faux floral stem will be between $7-$35.
2. Detail Is Everything
What sets a good quality faux floral stem apart from a cheap-looking fake stem? Detail.
If you ever looked at dollar store flowers, the edges of the flowers are fraying, the entire stem feels like it could fall apart at anytime, and the whole flower is one solid color. Quality faux flowers should check off three important boxes:
- Finished edges that aren’t fraying: you may see a few small threads but the entire edge shouldn’t be falling apart as soon as you touch it.
- A solid “feel”: meaning the flower feels like it has been solidly adhered both within the petals AND to the stem.
- Multiple colors: At a minimum, a quality faux flower will have different colors in the center to mimic the stamen of a live flower. As a major bonus, it will have purposeful green/brown coloring around the edges of the petals to mimic a live flower going through the stages of blooming.
What material should you look for? Technically, real touch is the holy grail of faux flowers BUT I would argue that it depends on what you intent to use them for. The rubber latex that is used to create real touch flowers attracts and holds dirt over time and will discolor and lose shape in severe hot or cold temperatures. The majority of faux stems are made of a cotton or silk material that, while it may not feel as real to the touch, it photographs perfectly and looks absolutely real.
If you are looking for the most real “look” for a single event or intend to use only in climate controlled, clean areas, then real touch is a wonderful choice for you. But if you are a wedding photographer and know you’ll be using them outside, on venue floors, and possibly storing in your car, I would recommend not choosing real touch stems as they’ll most likely be ruined by the end of a single wedding season. Need proof that non-real touch stems can still photograph beautifully? I got you! Can you believe that in all the photos in this blog post, there are only two real touch flowers and they’re just small accent flowers? 99% of these flowers are just beautifully detailed and constructed cotton or silk flowers!
3. The 90/10 Rule
Before I ever started my own business, I remember asking our floral lead at the Hobby Lobby store I managed where to find the best florals (if you don’t know my story, click here!). I’ll never forget what she said because it was so, so true: “Most faux florals are 90% junk and you have to find the 10% beautiful quality stems.” Because of that, I’ve affectionately dubbed myself a faux floral “guinea pig” over the past four years. I’ve ordered in thousands of dollars worth of flowers that were absolute duds and I threw in the trash, even though their online picture looked promising. It’s a little bit of a problem with the industry if I’m being 100% honest. And I think it’s what has given faux flowers a bad name.
But I’ve worked hard to change that. If you’ve been following along with me for any amount of time, you know that faux flowers CAN be beautiful. They CAN look realistic. And they can be 1000% worth the investment. What you’re about to see below is my absolute favorites that I’ve held in my own hands and stand behind 1000%. I’ve done all the hard work for you and now you can just focus on creating beautiful images, arrangements, bouquets, and home decor with them.
5. The Most Important Thing To Know
Before you shop this list, you need to know something SUPER important: the faux flower market is very fluid and most of the stems are created in China. What that means is that stems go in and out of stock regularly from these suppliers below and restocks normally take 6+ months to happen IF they happen at all. The most important thing I’ve learned during my 4 years designing with them is that there are no guarantees your favorite stem will still be available tomorrow. So if you find something you love, buy it. DON’T WAIT. And maybe buy a lot of it if you really love it. Keeping that in mind, I’ll do my best to keep this list updated regularly with the most current in-stock stems I love!
**You may have an easier time shopping this list from your desktop!**
Photo credit throughout this post belongs to the talented Neva Michelle Photography who absolutely ROCKED a jumbo styling box I sent her! Definitely check her out and give her on a follow on Instagram @neva_michelle for more beautiful photography inspiration.