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In this post, I’ll share an easy home decor hack to make any old, beat up artificial plant look like new.
A few weeks ago I stopped at a local Goodwill store hoping to find a deal on large picture frames. And while I was able to locate one I wanted, my best find was something else entirely.
One of the things I’ve had on my “to find” list for some time was a large artificial plant. Nice quality faux plants can run you quite a bit of money.
Frankly, the amount of money most retailers ask for faux plants, I’m unwilling to spend.
Thrift Store Artificial Plant
But, thanks in part to the Mari Kondo decluttering craze, thrift stores are packed with goodies these days.
The store I visited was no exception. They had at least 10 extra-large artificial plants and trees available ranging from $4 to $25.
Now, the issue was no longer about money, but about time and effort.
Would this be a DIY project worth the effort?
After some quick in-store brainstorming, I decided it was and I purchased one large plant for $5.99. It definitely needed a little TLC, but it was an absolute steal.
Here’s a look at the large plant I found.
It’s very dirty, the grass/moss is a bit thin, and it’s leaning hard to one side.
When I saw this, I didn’t blink an eye. I knew these were easy fixes. The leaves themselves were a beautiful shape and style. That’s all I needed. Everything else could be fixed.
Before I started this thrift store artificial plant makeover I knew I wanted to address three things in particular.
I wanted to clean and shine the leaves, straighten the plant, and upgrade the pot. I was able to do all three of these things in less than an hour and without spending any extra money.
Here’s how it turned out in the end.
Home Decor Hack #1 – Clean and Shine an Artificial Plant with Endust
I started off by cleaning the leaves. There was a heavy layer of dirt and dust that has accumulated leaving the plant looks old and lusterless.
To clean them I used a simple solution of dawn dish soap and warm water. With a microfiber cloth, I slowly made my way around the plant hitting each leaf.
Luckily, I didn’t have any trouble keeping track of my place because the plant was so dirty!
When I finished one full pass, I let the leaves dry completely. Once they were dry I was able to easily identify any places that still needed cleaning. This was mostly the spines of the leaves where there was excess build up.
Again, I let the leaves dry completely. At this point, the plant already looked amazing in comparison to how it looked pre-cleaning.
But, I wanted to add a little extra shine so I lightly sprayed the entire plant with Endust Multi-Surface Dusting & Cleaning Spray. Then I wiped the leaves down with a dry microfiber cloth.
Note: I would skip this step if your artificial plant is made out of silk or a similar material. Mine was a plastic-like or vinyl material.
Home Decor Hack #2: Straighten an Artificial Plant with Vase Filler
Next, I tackled the leaning trunk problem.
This was occurring because the anchor stems/trunk which was stuck into thick floral foam in the base had created a hole that was too big.
I assume this happened due to excessive movement or pulling at the plant. As a result, it leaned from side to side easily because of the extra gapping where the plant met the foam.
To fix this I could have purchased and cut a whole new piece of foam to insert into the planter. But I wanted to find the easiest solution to the problem (so long as it still looks good).
So I used a few rocks that are used to fill the bottom of vases. I tucked them around the base of the plant to fill the hole in the foam and straighten the trunk.
That was it. It was an easy 2-second solution to the problem.
Home Decor Hack #2 – Upgrade Your Base By Nesting Not Repotting
The last thing I did to complete this artificial plant makeover was to find a more stylish base. There really wasn’t anything wrong with the wicker basket it came in, but I thought it looked a bit dated.
There are a ton of options to upgrade a planter or pot. You can paint them, embellish them, cover them in fabric, etc. etc. The list goes on and on.
I wanted a free, low-stress option. So I shopped my home and found a nice canvas basket that we purchased from Hobby Lobby last year. We were originally using it to hold toys for my daughter before we found her a nice toy bin organizer for Christmas.
To my delight, the entire plant fits into it perfectly. I didn’t even have to remove it from its old container! You’d never know there was another pot nested inside of the basket.
If you have something like this, I highly recommend the nesting method as opposed to re-potting the whole thing.
It will make it easy to switch up your decor in the future. Plus, the hard wicker of the existing basket had a lot more structure than the canvas. Maintaining that structure is important to ensure the plant stays standing straight.
Canvas and rope baskets have less structure and are easier to tip over.
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