How to Make A DIY Artificial Plant | Realistic and Thrifty

6 Materials
2 Days

During the cold months, I need to have faux plants in the house, which is why I decided to make this beautiful DIY artificial plant.

For more DIY projects make sure you head over to Open Doors Open Hearts and never miss a thing!

I love large displays

It doesn’t take very much time following along here to realize that I’m a fan of BIG plants in our home.

I started with this pretty and large lilac display a couple of years ago.

From there I graduated and just kept getting bigger.

Wildflowers growing in the ditches, multiflora roses, and autumn olive displays are among the most common in our home.

Summer Home Tour 2021

Oh and all the tree limbs my husband prunes!

My father-in-law told me this year I’m allowed to come and “borrow” some forsythia for a big display if I want.

Earth European Entryway

I know his English words were talking about pruning a bush, but it translated to “I love you!” in my native language of over-the-top greenery displays haha!!

I can’t have them all year long: Que DIY artificial plant

Well, you guys.

I live in Ohio.

This means we have long cold winters, with plants looking like dead sticks coming out of the ground until April.

I’m not going to complain.

I love the calm and the excuse for putting our time and energy into the “honey-do-list” items inside our house.

Does anyone else lose their husbands for all things indoors when the weather gets warm?


In order to help me have those large gorgeous displays, I decided to make a DIY artificial plant.

I’ve seen people do this to make a thrifty faux tree, so why couldn’t I do it for something resembling a shrub?

Now that it’s done, I’m so excited!

I love it!!

Added bonus, this little guy hasn’t made a big mess on the floor yet!

Yes, those displays are gorgeous, and they drop pollen, bugs, and leaves all over the floor.

But some things are worth it.

Summer Home Tour 2021

All of that to say, I love this DIY but don’t be surprised when I put him away to bring on the real deal when Spring and Summer arrive.

Side note: We planted 2 viburnum and 2 autumn brilliance serviceberry bushes this Fall when we had our patio refinished, and I can’t wait to see and smell their BIG SHOW this Spring, Summer, and Fall!!

DIY Artificial Plant | Supplies

  • small bucket
  • concrete
  • tree limbs / large sticks
  • artificial leaves
  • hot glue gun
  • glue sticks

DIY Artificial Plant | Instructions

Step 1

The first thing we did was go outside and prune a few branches off our trees.

I had to chat with my husband about this because every tree is different and has different pruning requirements.

So if you are doing this with baby trees like we did, make sure you do research on your specific tree and make sure you’re not hurting your tree.

Step 2

This is actually a picture of the patching compound. I totally forgot to snap a picture of the concrete in the bucket before I put the limbs in it.

The next thing we did was mix the dry concrete with water in the bucket we selected to become the base for your DIY artificial plant.

I chose something small because I am one to put large displays in all sizes of buckets or baskets and I wanted to make sure it would fit.

Not to mention this ultimately makes it lighter and easier to move around the house.

Step 3

While the concrete was still wet we took the branches and pushed them down to the bottom of the bucket.

Make sure you leave space for the concrete to rise in the bucket without overflowing for this step.

When you add the branches it will push the level of the concrete up within the bucket.

Once the branches were in the concrete and looking the way I wanted them I tied them and propped them up until the concrete was fully set.

Step 4

After the concrete was set I removed the dead leaves and began adding the faux leaves.

This part was the most fun part of the entire project.

The leaves I chose were from Hobby Lobby.

Ficus Leaves.

They had two types.

The ones I picked were $4.99 regular, but I got them for $2.50 a branch during their 50% off stems week.

I went with these ones because I liked the way the leaves just pulled off the fake branch.

The rhythm that worked best for me, was putting hot glue inside the hole on the fake branch and then sliding it over the real branch.

So, I went through and trimmed the real tree branches in such a way that the little hole on the fake leaves would slide over the real branch, and with hot glue, in the fake branch, it just stuck perfectly!

This gave this artificial plant the realistic look I was going for.

There was no science to how I did it.

I simply added branches and then stepped back and looked at it, and decided where it needed more leaves.

Then I went back and added more.

Step 5

I did spin the concrete bucket around to make sure that I added the leaves in such a way that the DIY artificial plant looked full and three-dimensional.

I didn’t want to just add the leaves on the front side and it look and feel flat.

Lessons I learned making a DIY artificial plant

I have to be honest, I thought I had the best idea ever!

When I was doing research to learn how people anchored the tree limbs, everyone was using concrete.

But I didn’t need a lot, and I didn’t have any just lying around, so I decided to try concrete patching compound instead.

Okay, it didn’t dry.

I left the tree limbs in there for over 2 days and then finally switched to concrete.

Not to mention the bag of concrete was $3 and the patching compound was $8.

Learn from my mistakes, save yourself the $5, 24 hours and just go buy concrete.

FAQ about DIY artificial plants

How do you make a fake tall plant?

There are 2 ways you can make a fake plant look tall.

  1. Use longer branches
  2. Use containers that allow you to raise the artifical plant up within the container

How do you display DIY artificial plants?

The possibilities for displaying artificial plants are really endless!

You can display them the same way you would real plants.

Spring Home Tour 2021

One of my personal favorites is putting them in baskets or buckets.

The basket I added multiflora roses to in the entryway last year is a top favorite, but so is this box we got from a local farmer full of fresh produce.

European Farmhouse Elements

But a simple vase or pot are also beautiful options.

Raw Wood Bookcase Makeover

I added links below all the images if you’re looking for more inspiration on how to display your fake or real greenery/blooms.

But if you missed it you can head to these posts for the inspiration:

Open Doors Open Hearts Blog

Spring Home Tour 2021

Summer Home Tour 2021

European Farmhouse Elements

Raw Wood Bookcase Makeover

Earth European Entryway

How do you make fake plants look real?

The way we made this look real is by using faux leaves that look realistic and then using real tree branches.

I have found more times than not that finding realistic-looking branches is more difficult than finding realistic blooms or leaves.

Seriously, when you compare this DIY artificial plant to the autumn olive I have in the house sometimes you really can’t tell.

DIY Branches
Real Autumn Olive Branches

Pin for Later!

Don’t forget to head over to Facebook or Instagram to see our day-to-day fun!

Also, make sure you follow along on Pinterest to check out all the other inspiration I’ve been pinning!

Have a great week! XoXo

Open Your Doors,


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Suggested materials:
  • Small bucket
  • Artificial leaves
  • Concrete
See all materials
Aliya - Open Doors Open Hearts
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