Artificial Flowers Buying Guide

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Artificial Flowers Buying Guide

Using flowers for decorating is an easy way to incorporate a natural theme into the home while adding a splash of colour. Unfortunately, not everyone remembers to keep real flowers alive, and even under the utmost care these flowers only hold their beauty for a few days before they start to wilt. Many interior decorators and florists prefer to use artificial flowers for display because they look real, last longer, and require minimal care when compared to the real thing.

Finding artificial flowers is easy as these items are commonly sold in craft shops, department stores, and even online at websites like eBay. However, being able to choose a higher quality product and display it properly may take some time for beginners. The best way to select artificial flowers is to choose pieces based on their quality, colour, and price. There are many different types of artificial flowers available for sale that buyers can pick from once they know how.

Understanding Artificial Flowers

Professionals still refer to artificial flowers as silk flowers because once upon a time they were all made from silk. Today's flowers can be made from many different materials, including parchment, velvet, and latex. Whatever materials are chosen, the flower is ultimately developed to look just like the real thing. The best artificial flowers look so real that people feel the need to touch them just to see if they are real or not.

Artificial Flower Supplies

There is more to artificial flowers than the blossoms themselves. Supplies are needed for displaying the flowers and should be kept on hand when creating the display. It is best to either buy the supplies beforehand, or purchase them when selecting the flowers.

Styrofoam Holders

In an artificial flower arrangement, an oasis made of styrofoam usually takes the place of dirt. It is used to hold the flowers in place by piercing the stems through the styrofoam. Buy a large piece of styrofoam and then cut it down to fit inside the display vase.

One can secure the styrofoam inside the vase using several different methods. For temporary arrangements, use Cling-Clay, or any type of gummy clay that can be attached to the side of the styrofoam and the interior of the vase. Double-sided tape is another option some florists prefer over Cling-Clay. Permanent arrangements can be secured by using a hot glue gun. This creates a stronger bond than most of the other methods.

Moss

The best artificial displays look completely real, and this means designers have to cover up the styrofoam. One easy way to do this is by purchasing fake moss. Drape the moss over the top of the styrofoam to hide it entirely from view. If the florist is using a clear vase, cover the sides of the styrofoam with moss in order to give it a more realistic appearance.

Artificial Flower Quality

The quality of the flowers depends on the material used to make them. Silk flowers are still popular, and they are often found in craft stores. The least expensive silk flowers may often resemble the flower they are trying to imitate, but it is easy to tell them apart. Higher end silk flowers usually come with wires around the petals and leaves, allowing the designer to mould their shape more easily. This creates a more lifelike flower, but one that still looks fake when viewed up close.

Latex Flowers

Latex flowers are considered by many to be the ultimate standard in luxury when it comes to artificial flowers. The reason that even high end silk flowers usually still look fake is that they are made from fabric, and it is easy to spot the fabric's pattern on the flower. Latex is based from plastic, and the surface is perfectly smooth just like the real petal of a flower. It is shaped to look exactly like a petal or a leaf so that from a distance it is impossible to tell that the flower is fake.

Materials like velvet are often used to accent high quality flowers. For example, a flower's stamen is located in the centre of the petals. In real life, these stamens are usually loaded with pollen, giving them a slightly fuzzy appearance. Velvet fabric produces the illusion that the stamen is real, even down to its tiny balls of fuzz. When it comes to high end fabric, the price is in the detailing.

Single-Flower or Multiples

Artificial flowers are typically sold either as a stem with one flower or several flowers. This varies of course depending on the type of flower. Roses only come a single stem, but some species like lilies can have multiple buds on a stem. Purchase whatever type looks best for the way the flowers are intended to be displayed. Sometimes buyers can actually save money with purchasing a long-stemmed flower with several buds. They can then cut the flower into multiple pieces and use it throughout the display. This cutting method allows florist to buy high-quality flowers without having to spend a fortune at the store.

Artificial Flower Colours

Artificial flowers are dyed to match the colour of the real flower, or to create colour combinations that do not exist in nature. For example, buyers can find pink, red, and white roses, but they can also find tie-dyed roses, or blue roses. Buying artificial flowers allows buyers to experiment with different colours that do not exist in the natural flower world.

Hand-Painting

The least expensive artificial flowers are dyed one time, and then typically sold as-is. While these flowers are fine for those who are learning how to arrange flowers, or can work as very small pieces in a large flower arrangement, they tend to stick out like a sore thumb. Because of the lack of detail given to the colouring process, these flowers simply do not look very realistic.

Hand painting is an additional step that adds extra detail to the flower. Even a flower that only uses a single colour, like a red rose for example, is not altogether uniform. Oftentimes the red is slightly darker towards the edge of the flower, and lighter in the centre. Hand painting allows the artist to recreate a perfect petal every time by going back and adding detail into the flower. Hand painted flowers cost more, but they look incredibly lifelike.

Using Colour in a Display

Buyers need to also select the colour of the flower based on how it looks in a display. Professional florists do not add different colours at random, and neither should beginners. Floral arrangements are often planned around a colour chart, and are usually well organised.

Name

Colours

Example

Monochromatic

Single

Light red, burgundy

Analogous

Similar

Orange, Yellow

Complementary

Opposite

Blue, Orange

Triadic

Three Opposites

Red, Yellow, Blue

When buying flowers, it is best to already have a display in mind. By doing this, the buyer can pick the right colours the first time around.

Designers can then combine the different methods. For example, a display that uses the traditional colours of red, blue and yellow can also include different shades. This means the designer is free to add dark reds, pale blues, dark blues, and soft yellows like one would in an analogous arrangement.

Buying Artificial Flowers on eBay

eBay has all of the artificial flower supplies professional florists need for their business. It is also the ideal destination for aspiring florists who want to explore what they can do with their hobby. There is a seemingly endless selection of artificial flowers available at many different price levels to fit within anyone's budget.

If you are looking for fake flowers, start off by typing 'artificial flowers' into the search engine. This pulls up all results for flowers, which can easily number in the thousands. Make the search a little more manageable by focusing on a type of flower, such as 'rose artificial flower'. If you are looking for flowers based on colour, then type in 'white artificial flowers', or whatever variation is needed.

Both of these strategies allow you to quickly narrow down the results to the type of flowers you are looking for, and now you can concentrate on quality. Searching for 'silk flowers' returns only those flowers made out of this fabric, while 'latex flowers' only returns latex results. You can also search by how many buds are available on each stem, or if you prefer to buy your flowers in a bunch.

Conclusion

Artificial flowers are a minimalist's dream when it comes to lasting beauty and low maintenance. Designed to look just like their real counterparts, these flowers never need to be watered, kept in sunlight, or replanted when they become too large. When it comes to buying artificial flowers, quality is the most important factor, but it is also the one that has the biggest effect on the price.

Low quality artificial flowers are more affordable, while high quality pieces made out of latex can quickly become very expensive. If the buyer is looking into purchasing high quality flowers from eBay, or another flower shop, it is best to use cost saving strategies such as buying multiple buds on a single stem and then cutting them for display. Colour is also noteworthy, and florists have to understand how the different shades relate to one another for the best flower displays. Using these two principles, buyers can find beautiful artificial flowers at an affordable price.

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