Thursday, January 18, 2018

27 How To Flock a Tree (or anything really)

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season has come and gone, but today we are going to chat about one decorative detail that was a really nice addition this past year. Flocking! I wasn't introduced to tree flocking until a few years ago, and it always seemed as though it was either too expensive or too messy. But I LOVE all of the pretty, fluffy white! So file this one away for next year if you have been in that same boat. It is a little messy, but I can testify that it is worth that mess in the end. And because we purchased a non-flocked tree last year (which was the right size and budget), it didn't make sense to purchase a flocked tree this year no matter how much I wanted one.

So I did a little research and figured it would be worth it to try and flock one of our artificial trees myself. And based on your feedback, it sounds like many of you are interested in doing the same!


I flocked our artificial tree, but I don't think anything is off limits. Garland, live trees, wreaths... 

I put together a quick little video tutorial to show you just how simple the flocking process is, but will also recap a few things below as well.




First, let's chat about the type of flocking I purchased. I found a 5 lb box of Sno-Bond flocking powder on Amazon for $27 shipped, back in November. That seems like a really great price as I am struggling to find it anywhere near that now. If this is something you are interested in, I recommend setting up a price alert to keep an eye on it throughout the year. I used the powder, but I have also seen it sold as a spray. Also, 5 lbs was more than enough. I have maybe used 1/4 of the box to cover my 7 ft. pencil tree twice. I imagine you may be able to split that size of a box with a couple friends or family members, or use it to flock a fresh tree multiple years in a row, or even sell the remainder of the contents through a local Facebook group.


As I mentioned, it is a little messy. The process of flocking requires you to wet the surface and sprinkle the white flocking powder onto the branches. Then, you spray the water again to cure that flocking to the tree. To prep, I recommend laying out a large tarp or painter's plastic, below and behind where you will be spraying. It is cold here so we set up an area in our garage, but I imagine you could do it outside in warmer climates. Not only will the dust settle below the tree, it does waft through the air a bit, so just consider that if indoors is your only option.


If you are flocking an artificial tree, we found it easiest to work in sections. Our tree breaks down into three pieces, so we did each piece separately, and then one more coating on the entire tree when fully assembled just to fill in any gaps. It was also helpful to have a second set of hands; Bryan would hold or spin the pieces while I sprayed and sifted. This allowed us to get under and all around the branches much easier. He recommends wearing rubber gloves or your hands will also be completely flocked by the end (although it does wash off easily).

Another tips is you can use the power of your spray bottle to squirt and push the flocking powder deeper into the tree as you sift.



As you can see in the video, the process is:

  1. Mist water onto the branches to give the flocking powder something to adhere to.
  2. Using a colander, sift the flocking over the branches of the tree.
  3. Mist the water onto the flocking again, this time to cure the powder to the branch.
  4. Let sit for 24 hours to fully cure prior to decorating.

The goal is to make it look like your tree is covered in beautiful white snow. What I love most is that there really is no right or wrong. You can add as much or as little as you like. And because snow doesn't fall perfectly onto every single branch, you can add more or less and it can be as even or uneven as you prefer. Nature is creative, and you get to be with this project too!




We allowed the flocking to cure the recommended 24 hours prior to decorating. There was some flocking that fell off the tree and into the tree skirt and onto the floor and gifts during decorating and just over the course of the few weeks that we had it up. But it wasn't sticky or anything that the vacuum couldn't easily and quickly handle. And I sort of loved the little dusting it left on our ornaments. It really did have a snow-like magical effect.




And that is it! It wasn't nearly as intimidating as I had built it up to be, and I am so happy I gave it a try this year! Feel free to leave any additional questions you might have about the process in the comments below!




Now, enough Christmas chit chat for now. We are starting a closet project to get one of our boys more organized and I am more than ready to start sorting and labeling! More on that soon!

27 comments:

  1. Looks so pretty! Shannon

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  2. So pretty! A flocked mini tree would be a charming idea for my mantle or garden window next year. Thanks for all the information.

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  3. I'm so glad you posted, was thinking of trying that next year. How was the putting away process? Did it seem like it was all coming off, making a big mess for next year, or not too bad? So happy you are back!

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    1. I wrapped each section in a trash bag before returning it to its original box and the flocking seemed to be staying, but I really won't know how it holds up in storage until next season when I unpack it. If any comes off, it should be pretty simple to touch up with the extra flocking I have left. ☺

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  4. So pretty! I love it, thanks for sharing <3

    https://www.myblackcloset.com/

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  5. Looks gorgeous!! How was taking down the tree after Christmas? Did you loose more of the flocking then as well?...Im all about the mess level haha

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  6. Just seeing this brings me back to my childhood. Our tree was always "sprayed with snow," as I called it. We used the spray cans. As an adult I've never done my own tree this way, but it sure looks pretty!

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  7. I love it!! Think about it with Our old tree. Do you think it would work on a tree that you have to put the individual branches on instead of one that comes in three pieces?

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    1. Absolutely! You can do each individual piece or assemble some of it and do it as a larger section.

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  8. Thank you for the tutorial - it looks great!

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  9. My husband would love to do this for this year coming up. And since we live by the beach, it would give it a more christmas-y feel to our home for sure! thanks for sharing!

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  10. Wow! I had no idea the process was so simple! Our big tree is already flocked but this makes me want to try it on a little tree just for fun.

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  11. Thanks, looks beautiful! I wonder if you could just spray it with artificial snow?

    I would love to see a "day in the life" post from you so we can see what one of your "typical" days looks like. :)

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  12. I would love to see how it looks after storing the tree away for a year. It looks great now just curious as to how you would store it and how it would hold up.

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  13. Looks beautiful! What if you hadn't been happy with the result or you want a different look for next year, can you de-flock it? Worried about the long term commitment.

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    1. I don’t think it would be very easy to de-flock the entire tree. It seems like it is a long term decision. I thought the risk was worth the reward since I have been desiring a flocked tree for so long, but if you are unsure, I would hold off or try it on a real tree or something smaller like a wreath or garland.

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  14. I swear you are a mind reader. I was talking to someone recently about how beautiful I thought flocked trees were but had no idea how to accomplish it. Great tutorial. Love ur blog!

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  15. Hi Jen, beautiful tree as always:) can you share where the blue and white "tribal" pillow that is on your couch is from?

    Thank you

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    1. Thank you! The pillow was purchased from a shop on Etsy: http://bit.ly/2DY8HVb

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  16. My tree has the lights built in. Would you think it would be safe to flock. Next Christmas will be it's 4th year up so I wouldn't mind messing with it.

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  17. Awesome tutorial. I never thought flocking a tree would be so much easier to do. It looks like real snow. My husband would be more interested to see this video. And, will the flocking powder go off after a while? I mean how many days will it last after drying?

    Happy New years Jen...

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    1. Hi Varsha!

      This is definitely meant to be a permanent addition. There is some minor flaking with use, assembly, decorating and storing the tree, but it will remained flocked as a whole moving forward. I would recommend keeping/storing some of the remainder flock for quick touch-ups each year should it become too sparse in a particular area.

      Jen

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  18. Good to know its permanent. Stroring some would be better really. Thank you, Jen. Looking forward to more tutorials from you :)

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  19. All that work and it looks terrible. 👎👎

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  20. Well I disagree heartily with 1/24/18 commenter! Thank you for sharing this! It looks lovely and I'm looking forward to trying it on my own tree next year. Much simpler than I would have thought.

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  21. Looks great. I’ve done red flocked small trees from big lots. The trees cane out beautiful but boy was it messy! NOLA is so humid...the red flock stuck everywhere 😕

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