How to Make a Fake Tree Look Realistic

One simple, thrifty trick to make a fake tree look realistic indoors or outside in just 5 minutes + the best artificial trees.

A thrift store find inspired this post (which is really how the vast majority of posts happen around here). Because a few weeks ago, I found the cutest vintage brass planter at the thrift store.

I knew instantly what to do with it to make the fake tree in our upstairs hallway look more realistic…

faux tree in a hallway with runner rug, art, and brass hallway light

A Common Fake Tree Styling Mistake

For years, I made this totally-insignificant-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things mistake when I decorated a room with a fake tree in the corner. But when decorating a room, sometimes it really is the small details that make a big difference.

I always used to place a fake tree just as it was fresh from the store without any kind of embellishment.

The thing about the cheaper faux trees from Amazon or Walmart or Overstock or wherever is you can ALWAYS tell because of that teeny wimpy plastic planter at the bottom filled with concrete.

faux tree with cheap base

So add “planters” to your list of things to search for at the thrift store. They’re always there!

I found this pretty vintage authentic brass planter at the thrift store for $15. If there’s one thing I love about a vintage brass planter it’s that great patina! I won’t dare clean it for fear of removing its lovely aging.

thrifted vintage brass planter

Favorite Faux Tree Planters

There are two ways to make a fake plant look realistic indoors or outside, and it takes less than 5 minutes to do. You can’t just stick the fake plant in a pretty planter and call it a day. You have to zhush it up, ya know?

How to Make an Interior Fake Plant Look Realistic

Step 1 – Stuff With Leftover Packing Material

Whatever you might have leftover from a shipping box – bubble wrap, packing paper, styrofoam packaging (better to use it here than toss it in the landfill) – stuff the planter with packing material up to 2 inches below the brim of the planter.

stuffing a thrifted brass planter at the base of an artificial tree

Step 2 – Top with Moss

I usually have craft moss in my stash since it tends to come in handy in a lot of craft projects. You can get a bag of it for about $8-10 at the craft supply store.

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Top the packing material with loose moss until concealed and it’s done!

adding moss to a planter at the base of a faux tree

Looks so much more realistic than that itty bitty concrete filled plastic pot this fake tree came with.

vintage brass planter stuffed with bubble wrap and moss to make a faux tree look realistic
vintage brass planter with faux tree stuffed with moss

How to Make a Fake Tree Look Realistic Outdoors

Our front porch has a dirty little secret with these UV resistant fake tree boxwood topiaries that I stuck in these Walmart urn planters… basically because I kill every plant that crosses my path.

urn planter filled with dirt to make an artificial tree topiary look more realistic

Step 1 – Stuff With Crushed Water Bottles or Cans

Crush any plastic water/soda bottles or soda cans you might have in your recycling bin and stuff them into the bottom of the planter.

Step 2 – Top With Potting Soil

Fill the rest of the planter with potting soil to make the fake tree look more realistic. The added weight of the soil helps to keep the fake trees from falling over in windy weather too.

Artificial tree topiary planter filled with dirt to look realistic

Top Rated Realistic Trees

These are some of my favorite artificial trees from low budget to high end.

Realistic Fake Trees for All Budgets

Have you ever stuffed your planters? It makes the difference, I’m telling ya.

Next time you go to the thrift store, keep an eye out for a tree planter, and I bet you you’ll see one.

More Thrifted Decor Ideas

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  1. I would love to have more information on the fake trees. I don’t see any links to identify the trees other than the photo. Am I missing something?
    Thanks in advance