Revamping Artificial Flowers

I have a white “silk” orchid that was very realistic looking when I purchased it several years ago.  Over time, however, it has yellowed badly.

Revamping Artificial Flowers. Ellen Lindner,

Revamping Artificial Flowers. Ellen Lindner,

I considered several ideas about how to best revamp these pretty petals.  Eventually, I decided just to paint them, with ordinary acrylic paint.

Revamping Artificial Flowers. Ellen Lindner,

This worked well.  I left the fiddly centers yellow and was happy with the results.

Revamping Artificial Flowers. Ellen Lindner,

Revamping Artificial Flowers. Ellen Lindner,

Not bad, right?  No one’s going to think they’re real, but they’re definitely pretty.

What have you painted lately?

Ellen Lindner
P.S.  What I really wanted to do was to decoupage black and white fabrics onto the petals.  It only took a little experimenting to realize that would be too difficult.  But if I ever create some from scratch?  Who knows.

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11 Responses to Revamping Artificial Flowers

  1. Barbara Nelson May 19, 2017 at 7:38 am #

    You know, I was just reading an article about dipping silk flowers into plaster of Paris (after adding water) and letting it dry. flowers come out looking like porcelain. I haven’t tried it yet, but it sounded worth giving it a go.
    Right now I’m gluing tiny buttons onto sneakers that Ii spilled paint onto. We’ll see what that turns into.

    • Ellen Lindner May 19, 2017 at 10:34 am #

      Hey, that sounds really cool, Barbara. Maybe I’ll research it.

      Buttons on sneakers is a great idea! I’d love to see a photo of the finished product.

  2. celeste beck May 19, 2017 at 8:31 am #

    What fun.

    • Ellen Lindner May 19, 2017 at 2:43 pm #

      Yes, Celeste, it was quick and easy. (A nice change to some of my time consuming projects!)

  3. Mary Frances Ballard May 19, 2017 at 9:18 am #

    Ellen, your are too young to remember, but many years ago, Porcelain Petals, were part of the crafting boom that followed the bicentennial celebration of 1976-1981. Much like your process, the petals of artificial flowers were painted with acrylic paints but then sprayed with high gloss clear enamel paint. Supposedly, this made them look like porcelain. Often the flowers were taken apart and attached to baskets, etc. to repurpose them. Thanks for posting this and bringing back the memories.

    • Ellen Lindner May 19, 2017 at 10:42 am #

      Hey Mary Frances, that DOES sound familiar. Commenter Barbara mentioned something similar. (I’ll bet we could find all sorts of options if we searched online!)

  4. G.M. May 19, 2017 at 9:21 am #

    GREAT – I, too, have such a plant …which is now yellow …
    thanks for experimenting and letting us know !!!

    • Ellen Lindner May 19, 2017 at 10:40 am #

      G.M., I should clarify. My flowers aren’t actually floppy fabric, like most artificial ones. Instead, they’re very sturdy, with almost a cardboard stiffness. If yours are floppy, watercolor paint might be more appropriate.

      Have fun!

  5. Suzanne Sanger May 19, 2017 at 10:05 am #

    Ellen, check out Petal Play, by Joan Shay for a technique that would let you make your own flowers from scratch.

    • Ellen Lindner May 19, 2017 at 10:43 am #

      Ooh, good idea, Suzanne!

  6. Linda Steele May 19, 2017 at 6:21 pm #

    I must remember that idea, what a great result

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