10 Handmade Flowers That (Almost) Look Real

If you can’t grow it, fake it, right? This is the time of year when homes are decorated to the nines, some with fresh flowers that seem like vestiges of summer. Where do they get these beauties (because I know they didn’t grow them)? And then there’s the Rose Parade, that New Year’s Day pinnacle of over-the-top flower amazing-ness that float aficionados, including our friends at HGTV, gear up for year-round. Those blooms are grown especially for the floats (which can ONLY use live flowers) in greenhouses and warm climates, but while the makers of these amazing floats can’t go faux, you certainly can. I am officially giving you permission to fake it — but only if you hand-make it. Here are the top handmade flower ideas from our site.

Paper makes more than a few appearances, but we have fabric flowers, too. With ideas as easy and lovely as these, why not grab your scissors and glue, turn on HGTV and join the Rose Parade party on New Year’s Day!?

Crepe-Paper Roses and Hanging Branches

handmade paper flowers hanging from a branch

Of course, we’re starting with roses — they’re the most beloved flower and the namesake inspiration for the Rose Parade. This idea for crepe-paper roses comes from a DIY wedding but hearkens to a Christmas tradition in Scandinavia, where branches suspended from the ceiling are decorated with hanging ornaments. In this creative twist, Camille Styles adorned the branches with leaves and roses made from paper.

Simple Paper Rose

a corsage made with a paper rose

If the Rose Bowl has taught us nothing else, it’s that one rose is never enough — so, here’s another way to make your own roses. These are stunning in multiples as a handmade bouquet, but I love the one-rose corsage or hairpiece, too. However you choose to use them, you should definitely learn to make these simple paper roses. It’s a craft skill that will come in handy one day.

Carnation Garland

make a fake flower garland

Ellen’s cheerful faux flower garland looks like hundreds of bright red carnations, but better. She made these tissue-paper blooms for a party with a less-than-luxury budget, and they’re the perfect pick for your budget-friendly parties, too. Check out Ellen’s fake flower garland how-to post.

Gorgeous Gardenias

a gardenia made from white paper

People who love gardenias really love gardenias. I don’t happen to be one of those people (their fragrance overwhelms me) but if you are, try making one of these paper versions and spritzing it with a little gardenia perfume to get pretty darn close to the real thing. Use them in a DIY wedding bouquet or, like shown above, to top a small gift — handmade jewelry, perhaps?

Colorful Mums

paper chrysanthemums in a pot

Live potted chrysanthemums basically get us through the fall and early winter, but after frost, fake is the way to go. These paper mums in rich fall colors look so pretty on this wedding table setting in a small clay pot. It’s a good thing these mums are also easy to make.

Funky Fabric Flower

Earlier this year, rock star and Made + Remade Creative Genius Ariel showed us how to sew up some fabric flowers. Made from scrap fabric, they shouldn’t cost a penny, are easy to make (we promise!) and have a variety of uses — from corsage to hair embellishment to gift wrap topper. You can check out her how-to video above and click through these images for more details on how to make fabric flowers.

Winter Magnolias

how to make paper magnolia blossoms

Here’s another from Camille Styles, and oh my goodness, isn’t it gorgeous? As a Southern girl, the vision of a magnolia makes my heart melt, and this centerpiece is simply a sight for my sore Southern eyes. It reminds me of Virginia’s fresh magnolia garland, but with handmade paper magnolia blossoms to top it off during winter when blooms are scarce. Get Camille’s step by step instructions to make your own paper magnolia centerpiece.

Other-Worldly Orchids

paper orchid DIY wedding bouquet

Orchids are tropical gems that inspire obsession (didn’t you read The Orchid Thief?), and while they used to seem rare, they’re now available nearly everywhere in some variety or another. But they can be finicky. If you love the ethereal shape of orchid blossoms but are afraid to grow them, you’ll enjoy crafting orchid petals and leaves from paper for a corsage or bouquet.

Sweater Blooms

flowers made from old sweaters

Do you have paper cuts yet? Okay, fine, put down the paper scissors and pick up your fabric ones, because this handmade flower is made from upcycled felted-wool sweaters. Simply cut out the petal shapes and attach them to a piece of wire hanger. Find 10 more ideas for remaking your old sweaters into fun crafts.

Rosebud Paper Streamers

paper rosebud streamers for a wedding shower
And because two roses, carnations, gardenias, mums, orchids, magnolias and some other no-name-but-still-beautiful flowers are just not enough (can you ever have enough flowers?), here’s one more way to make roses and display them: as pretty paper rosebud streamers.

Have you tried any of these fun, floral ways to fake it by making it? Tell us about it in the comments and post your pictures on Instagram using the hashtags #maderemade, #diynetwork and #hgtvnewyear.

4 Responses

  1. Alex Beckham says:

    Kelly, that's a really superb idea to make handmade flower bouquets. Specially I really like your Magnolias flower decoration at table centerpiece, these make a table look stylish, beautiful and elegant.

  2. Those are absolutely amazing. I'll be out of a job soon lol http://www.reidsflorists.co.uk/wedding-collection

  3. Harsh says:

    This is something really wonderful. The instructions too are perfect for everyone to understand. Really appreciated :)

  4. Oh I like it! I actually love making crafts and learning new designs for home and future use. Thanks so much.


About Kelly Smith Trimble 


I grow vegetables wherever I can find enough sunlight and forage roadsides and hiking trails for plants that can be used to make natural dyes. You can find both vintage ...

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