Even for those of us who reside in climates that are a tad bit warmer than the North Pole, the prospect of a snowy, white Christmas (cue everyone's favorite song!) is still captivating. And flocked Christmas trees are an easy and fast way to make your cold-weather holiday dreams come true (especially alongside baking holiday cookies, shopping for the best personalized gifts, and fun projects like DIY ornaments). We've got everything you need to know when it comes to flocking a Christmas tree, storing a flocked synthetic tree, or simply decorating a tree once it's been flocked. But first, let's begin by answering a few basic questions about the pretty phenomenon known as flocking a Christmas tree.
What is a flocked Christmas tree?
A flocked Christmas tree, or "flocking a Christmas tree," simply refers to the process by which many people around the word capture the real feeling of a winter wonderland via a generous dusting of artificial snow. You've definitely seen flocked Christmas trees before, especially if you've ever browsed artificial Christmas trees.
Back in the day—the early to mid-1900s, to be exact—Christmas trees were flocked with materials like cotton, cornstarch, and flour. These days, though, trees can be purchased pre-flocked—aka already dusted with "snow"—or they can easily be spruced up at home using modern-day ingredients.
How do you flock a Christmas tree?
We've got good news: You can easily purchase Christmas tree flock online, so this can be a fun (and productive) holiday DIY project. Whether you're into a more rustic Christmas tree—something that's been just chopped down at the Christmas tree farm minutes before you buy it—or you're dusting off an artificial tree that you've preserved in the attic year after year, flocking will work on either.
To start, prepare a space with a drop cloth and enough room for you to create a bit of a mess, as this isn't the most tidy process. We also suggest that you take safety precautions by wearing a mask or goggles to keep from ingesting the flocking solution. You might also want to don some gloves to protect your hands. While most flocking sprays are safe to handle, some have been known to contain propellants, solvents, and other potentially harmful chemicals if ingested. Make sure to read the label before you begin, just to be safe.
When you're ready to begin the flocking process, fill a spray bottle with water and start with one section of the tree, misting the needles. Once the needles are damp, sprinkle the flocking onto the tree. To get more even coverage, you can shake the flocking through a sifter positioned over the tree branches. After flocking one section of the tree, mist that section again with the spray bottle to activate the flocking and seal it to the branches. Let the tree dry for a few hours (or even overnight) before adding lights or ornaments.
Are flocked Christmas trees messy?
Like any DIY project, flocking your tree can get messy, mainly in the application process, and the entire experience might take some trial and error. This is why many people prefer to buy their trees pre-flocked.
However, if you're still game to try out this snowy DIY, we recommend starting at the back of the tree or on a part that's less front and center. You might notice that if you don't use enough water from the first step, the flocking will simply fall right off, so this way, you'll be able to "test out" your skills on a less-noticeable region. (Pro tip: To make sure the flocking will really last, it should look like a thick, wet paste when it's first applied.)
How do you store a flocked Christmas tree?
To store a flocked artificial Christmas tree and maintain as much flocking on it for the next year, cover it with sturdy plastic wrap or plastic bags. If you're able to keep the tree upright, that's even better for maintaining the "snow." But if you've got flocking remorse...
How do you remove fake snow from a tree?
No problem. Wet the tree again with a spray bottle, grab a cloth, and rub the flocking from the needles. You might not get the entire amount off, but this method should remove the majority of the flocking.
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