For the past couple of years I have been wanting a flocked Christmas Tree. I love the look and it brings back childhood memories when I lived in New York. Growing up it was a beautiful site to see snow covered trees. Now, living in Florida I don't get to see this. I've gone to various stores looking for the perfect flocked tree and have even looked online. Some were okay, but for me they either had too much flock or not enough. Add that to the expense of a flocked tree and I wasn't really impressed.
Through the years I've had a beautiful artificial Christmas tree that I have loved. Full of lights making it an amazing pre-lit tree. I was having a hard time finding a tree that met the standards of the one I already had in a flocked version. My tree is some 10 years old and I really do love it. But, each year I was finding that a lot of the lights were no longer working and I always had to add extra strands. Determined to achieve my flocked Christmas tree, this year I took to the internet and started researching the best flock, how to flock and I found that so many people were really over complicating creating this desired look. I had a couple old green wreaths and some smaller artificial trees that were table top and I began trying different methods to see what actually worked the best.
I started with the spray paint method - nope. All wrong. Then, the spray paint and flock, what the flock? That was a waste of time. Now, while things did get really messy ( first time flockers beware ), and I mean holy flock, what a mess, you can now learn from my mistakes and not flock a bunch of things up (puns intended).
Here is my step by step process (I will give links below to all the products used):
- The first thing I did was order flock and a strainer on Amazon. I was never able to find good flock in stores and the flock I ordered was amazing. I also grabbed some foam coffee cups from the dollar store ( you will understand later ) and a good spray bottle from Target.
- The next thing I did was tedious, but needed to be done. I cut off all the old lights. Yep, cut them off. Admittedly, this was a pain in my ass. Pre lit tree lights are wrapped in every which way but normal. It's time consuming, but wine will get you through anything.
- Next, I arranged all the branches the way that I wanted them and took off all sections but the bottom one and flipped it upside down.
Here is where the fun begins :
- Spray down your section of tree with water. Really coat it. The more the better. When wet the flock acts as an adhesive and will not flake off.
- Scoop cup fulls of flock into your strainer and begin shaking the strainer full of flock over your tree. Coat it well or to your liking. Remember, this is the bottom part of the tree so you will not need a lot here, just enough to cover some of the green. Now, spray the flock. Let it sit for a little while or if you can be confident in not rubbing the flock off, you can flip it over so that you now have it upright in it's base.
- You are simply going to repeat the steps you just did for the bottom. Spray, sift the flock, spray again. The bottom part is the easiest using the strainer. Now, some people will wait a day or say until the bottom dries, I don't recommend it. You want the flock to fall from the other sections while it's still a little wet/damp to give it a more realistic look and so that the falling flock adheres.
- Add your middle section and repeat the same process.The middle section gets a little tough because it's hard to get into the tree and all of it's branches with the strainer. This is where I started using the foam cups. The foam cups are more flexible and you can squeeze the top inward to control the flow of flock you start throwing on and into the tree to ensure you get all area.
- Now, add your top layer and repeat the same process. Spray, flock, use the cup to throw more flock, spray again.
- Look at the tree and see if there are any spots you have missed or want to add more flock to. You really can't mess up flocking a tree so don't worry. When you feel you have enough flock, mist the tree down again with your spray bottle. This will help to seal any loose flock that has fallen and activate it.
- I waited about two days for it to completely dry before bringing it in to decorate. In the meantime I chose the lights I wanted to add to the tree. These should be lightly dusted with flock as well. So, while I was waiting for the tree to dry, I carefully unraveled all of the lights and lightly sprayed them with my water bottle and lightly sifted the flock onto them. You really want the lights for indoor and outdoor use when doing this because indoor\outdoor lights are made for all weather including water, snow, etc and nothing will get damaged. Once flocked spritz again with water.
There is no need to white spray paint first and all the other jazz that a lot of people do. With the right flock you are achieving a beautiful and natural look and will transform any tree! Here is where you can learn from my mistakes.
- Wear old shoes. Disposable shoes. I literally flocked myself to the garage floor.
- Do NOT do this inside your house. It's messy. I repeat, it is MESSY.
- Wherever you complete this project lay down a tarp or plastic. Wherever the flock lands, it's flocked. The only way to get up the flocking mess is to pour water and let sit, it will soften and then you are trying to squeegee water and flock into a dustpan and into the garbage. It's a flocking nightmare ( inserts facepalm)
The finished product. For me, I still wanted some green to show, but I wanted more flock at the tips. It turned out beautiful.
Here is the year before so that you can truly understand the difference flocking the tree made.
And, here I am enjoying Hallmark Christmas Movies with my tree all lit up enjoying a peppermint mocha latte.
Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !
List of Supplies You Will Need :
- Flock ( there are two versions a 25 lb bag and a 5 lb bag. I bought the 25 lbs )
- Roll of Plastic
- Styrofoam Cups ( in case you don't want to leave the house )
Have fun! You can't flock it up.