Decorating a Christmas tree with flocking is a fun way to add a beautiful, wintery touch to your holiday decor. Flocking a tree gives it a light, frosty, snow-covered look. While flocked trees are beautiful, flocking a tree does require some special considerations. The flock is made up of very fine particles that can be messy to work with. With the right supplies and technique, you can flock your Christmas tree and give it a gorgeous snowy finish.
What is flocking?
Flocking refers to the process of spraying Christmas trees with small bits of material to give them a snowy or frosty look. The “flock” is a powdery substance that sticks to the branches and needles of the tree. It is commonly made from wood pulp or polymeric plastic. It may also contain dyes and scents to give it color and fragrance. When sprayed on the tree, the tiny flock particles give the appearance of snow or frost covering the branches. Flocking provides a beautiful decorative look for Christmas trees.
Why flock a Christmas tree?
Here are some of the main reasons people flock their Christmas trees:
- It creates a beautiful snow-covered look
- It hides imperfections in the tree
- It fills in gaps for a fuller appearance
- It adds a frosty, wintry touch to your decor
- The white flocking reflects light well for a shimmery look
- It allows you to use a sparse tree by making it look fuller
- It gives the tree a soft, romantic vibe
- It provides a clean background to hang ornaments
- It makes artificial trees look more realistic
- It gives your tree a unique, eye-catching style
Flocking transforms an ordinary green tree into a snow-globe winter wonderland centerpiece. It is especially popular for the cozy, snowy look it lends to holiday decor.
What supplies do you need?
Flocking a tree is a messy process, so you need to use the right supplies to contain the flocking material and apply it properly. Here are the key supplies you’ll need:
|Drop cloth||To protect floors from overspray|
|Painter’s tape||To cover carpets, walls, outlets|
|Tarp or plastic sheeting||To cover furniture and surfaces|
|Disposable gloves||To protect hands from dye|
|Safety goggles & mask||To prevent inhaling/irritation|
|Flocking material||The decorative substance sprayed on the tree|
|Flocking adhesive||A glue sprayed first to help flock adhere|
|Flocking applicator||A sprayer used to apply the flock|
You’ll also need a tree skirt or stand to catch any falling flock particles. Cover any surfaces, wear protective gear, and use an enclosed space like a garage.
How to flock a tree
Follow these key steps for flocking your Christmas tree:
- Prepare your work area – Cover floors, walls, furniture with tarps and tape. Lay down drop cloths. Work in an enclosed space like a garage if possible.
- Cover the tree stand and pot – Use plastic and tape to cover the tree stand, water bowl, and any exposed pot.
- Apply adhesive – Spray the flocking adhesive thoroughly on each branch, starting from the top. Follow directions on the can.
- Apply flock – Using a flocking applicator, evenly spray on the flocking material over every inch of the tree.
- Let dry completely – Allow several hours for the flocking to fully set and bond to the tree.
- Touch up bare spots – Look for any gaps in coverage and respray those areas.
- Clean up the space – Carefully remove tarps and covers. Vacuum up any fallen flocking material.
- Decorate as desired – Add lights, ornaments, garland and tree topper.
Go slowly to get an even coat of adhesive and flocking on the entire tree. Make sure to get an adhesive designed for flocking – regular spray glue or snow sprays won’t bond well enough. The key is letting the flocking dry completely before disturbing the tree.
- Test spray on scrap branches first to get the technique down.
- Wear old clothes and use a disposable drop cloth as flocking is messy.
- Apply flock in light layers, not thick coats.
- Fully cover each branch, spraying at all angles.
- Let the flocking dry at least 8 hours before decorating.
- Consider removing all decor before flocking for easiest application.
- Buy extra flocking to do touch-ups if needed.
- Vacuum up fallen flock instead of sweeping.
- Work in a well-ventilated area.
Applying flocking takes some practice to master. But once you get the technique down, you can easily flock your tree for a gorgeous snowy look each holiday season.
How to color flocking
While flocking powder traditionally comes in white or off-white, you can also buy flocking in an array of festive colors to match your Christmas decor. Here are some tips for coloring flock:
- Buy pre-colored flocking material in colors like green, red, gold, blue, silver, pink, etc.
- Use spray flocking and purchase color concentrate to mix in the sprayer.
- Dye white flocking powder using commercially available dyes.
- Color the adhesive instead of the flock for a tinted frost effect.
- Spray different color flocks on separate tree sections.
- Apply glitter flakes or powders along with white flock.
Test colored flocking on scrap branches first. The dye may not take evenly on the flock, giving a mottled effect. Go for bold, vivid flock colors that show up well on the tree.
For a fun project, you can use flocking to coat Christmas ornaments as well. Here’s how:
- Get smooth round glass ball ornaments.
- Thoroughly clean the ornaments first with alcohol.
- Apply a light misting of flocking adhesive.
- Gently sprinkle flocking powder over the entire surface.
- Tap off excess flocking.
- Spray with adhesive again for an extra coat.
- Allow to dry fully before hanging.
Flocked ornaments look beautiful on the tree or gifted in sets. For a creative touch, use red and green flocking on separate ornaments.
The flocking technique can also be used to decorate Christmas wreaths. Here’s how:
- Get a basic natural wreath form without decorations.
- Hang up the wreath securely to spray.
- Lightly spritz wreath with water first if greens are dry.
- Apply a thin mist of flocking adhesive, coating evenly.
- Spray white flocking in light layers until fully covered.
- Allow to dry fully before hanging.
- Decorate with ribbon, pine cones, holly if desired.
A flocked wreath provides that beautiful snowy touch over your front door for the holidays.
Storing and reusing flocked trees
Proper storage is essential for protecting flocked trees in the off-season:
- Careully pack away so flocking isn’t disturbed.
- Disassemble and gently wrap sections in plastic bags.
- Store in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.
- Keep stored flat or hanging to avoid crushing.
- Refresh flocking before reusing if it appears faded or splotchy.
With proper care and storage, a flocked tree can last for many holiday seasons before re-flocking is needed. Flock packing and touching up bare spots each year will keep it looking freshly snow-covered.
When working with flocking material, be sure to follow these precautions:
- Work in a well-ventilated area and wear a mask.
- Wear gloves and goggles since dyes may irritate skin and eyes.
- Keep children and pets away from the work area.
- Avoid inhaling the fine particles – flock outdoors if possible.
- Clean up fallen flock with a vacuum, not a broom.
- Wash hands thoroughly after flocking.
- Read product directions carefully and follow all warnings.
While beautiful, flocking does involve handling and spraying chemicals, so take appropriate safety measures. With the proper precautions, you can safely flock a gorgeous snow-dusted Christmas tree!
Flocking a Christmas tree is the perfect way to create a picturesque snow-globe look for your holiday decor. With the right supplies and some practice, you can easily flock your tree into a winter wonderland. Just be sure to use heavy duty flocking adhesive, apply multiple thin coats, and allow plenty of drying time before decorating or handling the tree. Colored and glittery flocks offer festive options for the season. And don’t forget to flock a wreath and ornaments to coordinate with your newly flocked tree! With a little time and effort, you can enjoy a beautifully flocked Christmas tree that looks freshly snow-covered year after year.