The Best (and Simplest!) Way to Flock a Christmas Tree

Do more than just dream of a white Christmas this year.

how to flock a christmas tree
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While we can’t summon the weather gods to dust all our evergreens with snow during the holidays, a simple flocked tree is an easy—and elegant—way to achieve a white Christmas. Flocking, which is the process of covering a bare tree in a white synthetic powder, gives the illusion of a fresh snow dusting while retaining the tree's natural charm.

While store-bought flocked trees are an acceptable alternative, doing it yourself is both cost-saving and customizable. “Even though you can buy a pre-flocked tree, I love the flexibility that flocking your own tree gives,” says Carrie Spalding of Lovely Etc. “Flocking an artificial Christmas tree you already own is much less expensive and less wasteful than buying a whole new flocked tree. You also have the option of flocking a live tree.” Whether you're ready to flock, or simply want to learn more, read on for our go-to guide for easy flocking.

Methods of Flocking

While some people go as far as to use soap shavings, shaving cream, and even coconut to flock their trees, the most popular options are 1) flocking kits, 2) flocking sprays, or 3) self-adhesive flocking powder. All three are recommended for easy (and simple!) application.

General Precautions

"Flocking a tree is a messy process, so you should be sure to protect the floor around the area where your are working," Spalding says. “Also, wear clothes you don't mind getting dusty.” She also recommends working in a well-ventilated area, as the chemicals can be harmful to breathe in or ingest.

Work outdoors or in a garage if possible. (If not, lay down a tarp or dropcloth to avoid staining or damaging your floors).

  • Work in a well-ventilated area.
    • Wear goggles, gloves, and even a mask for extra protection against chemicals from the flocking materials.
    • Two and a half to three pounds of flocking should be enough for a standard sized tree.
    • Allow yourself at least three hours to fully flock your tree.

      The Process of Flocking

      how to flock a christmas tree
      Carrie Spalding of Lovely Etc. in the process of flocking her Christmas Tree
      Courtesy of Lovely Etc.


      Regardless of which flocking method you choose (flocking kit, flocking spray, or flocking powder), there are some general tips we suggest following to ensure that your tree turns out the way you want it.

      1) Work your way from the top to bottom when applying the flocking, and only work on one section of the tree at a time.

      2) Start from the tips of the branches (outer branches) and work your way inward depending on how dusted you want the tree to be.

      3) Work in layers. To make the flocking appear fuller, apply the flocking once and then continue to add more as you go (as opposed to dumping a lot on all at once).

      4) If you are using flocking powder, mist the tree with water first, and add flocking through a sifter (then spray again with water).

      5) Allow the tree eight hours to three days to dry (depending on the amount of flocking). Simply touch the flocking to determine if it is dry or not.

        Pros and Cons

        “The biggest con to flocking your own tree is that it can be messy,” Spalding says. “The tree will lightly shed some of the flocking whenever you take it down and bring it back out. But for me, a little mess is worth it.” While flocking a tree takes some time and can be a bit messy, you'll save hundreds (and even thousands) of dollars for a pre-flocked tree. By flocking a tree yourself, you also have the option to use a real pine tree as opposed to an artificial version. Plus, as Spalding notes, “Once you have the necessary materials, you can also flock wreaths, garlands, mini trees, and anything else you want.”

        how to flock a christmas tree
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