It doesn't matter whether or not you'll actually be experiencing a white Christmas where you live: There's an easy way to recreate that snow-covered evergreen look no matter the weather outside, and that's by flocking your Christmas tree! “Flocked tree popularity continues to grow, especially parallel to interest in farmhouse stylings—the two trends complement each other seamlessly," Esther Parkhurst, senior director of designs and trends at Lowe’s, says.
If you're looking to try a flocking project this season, you'll want to read on for expert advice. There are also many pre-flocked trees and accessories on the market if you're not looking to embrace your crafty side at this time!
What Is Flocking?
Christmas tree flocking is when you give your tree a snow-covered look by applying a white powder or spray to the branches.
Assemble Your Tree First
Flocking can be done to either a live or artificial Christmas tree. If you have an artificial tree, assemble and fluff it first, Parkhurst says. "As you flock, spray one section of the tree at a time, starting top to bottom," she advises. "This ensures the least mess and keeps application as even as possible throughout the tree, allowing the ability to layer if a snowier look is desired."
Or Purchase a Sturdy Real Tree
Before you hit the Christmas tree stand, keep this advice from Erin Swift, founder and creative director of Holiday Workroom. "Choose a tree that is sturdy and has branches that are pointing up to the sky like a noble fir," she says. "They are strong and have stiff branches which will hold heavy weight (either ornaments or flocking materials/moisture)."
Pay Close Attention to Color
When decorating a flocked tree, you will want to be strategic with your color choices, notes Julie Kleski, Frontgate's holiday expert. "When I design a flocked tree versus a green tree there is a difference in my color selections and approach," she comments. "You want to ensure you are picking a colorway that works with the tree." Rather than using all white or silver ornaments, think a bit outside the box. "[Flocked trees] tend to lend themselves to very colorful ornament selections," Kleski notes. "If working on a flocked tree consider using an array of colors and shapes, this helps the ornaments stand out and not look too much like polka dots if only the same size ornament balls are used."
Be Prepared for a Bit of a Mess
Experts will admit that flocking isn't the most seamless process. Swift suggests buying bagged flocking and a mini snow blower machine. "The process is messy but it’s worth it," she says, and recommends wearing protective gear and covering your surrounding space—if possible, completing the flocking process outside is best. "Prep like you will be spray painting," Swift says. She recommends stocking up on safety goggles, a mask, latex gloves, a painter's suit, and some tarps. Be sure to protect your walls and the floor. "A pro tip is to create a tent-like enclosure to keep everything in one spot even if you are outside," Swift says.
Wrap the base of your Christmas tree with a trash bag. "Create a cinch where the branches begin to keep it from getting flocking materials on it," Swift adds. Then, use a plant spray to wet the entire tree. Swift advises adding the flocking to small sections at a time and recommends spraying thin coats multiple times to create a full, even look. Then, wet the tree again. Once it's dry—"make sure it's really dry," Swift says—bring the tree inside, where you can continue decorating it with ornaments.
Alternatively, Try a Pre-Flocked Tree
Not up for a DIY? The flocking process is definitely time-consuming, so if you're not ready for the challenge, fear not. Note that many retailers offer pre-flocked options that you can order to your door. Frontgate offers a nine-foot flocked evergreen with a full profile. Lowe's offers flocked trees with light show settings, sells petite options, and you can also choose from a number of flocked accessories. As Parkhurst comments, "Whether a flocked wreath that brings a touch of snowy magic to the outdoors of a warmer climate or a centerpiece that adds wonder to the dinner table, flocked decor brings a certain element of holiday magic, which can be seen in the increased demand for the aesthetic."