With a thrift store Christmas tree and some basic supplies from the grocery store, you can flock a Christmas tree yourself. Find out how to flock a Christmas tree with these step-by-step instructions and tips.
I love the look of a flocked Christmas tree.
I am not in love with the price of a real flocked tree or even the price of faked flocked trees.
So I decided to grab a very cheap and sad-looking Christmas tree from the thrift store and set out to myself my very own DIY flocked Christmas tree on a budget.
DIY Flocked Christmas Tree
Now let me say something first.
Until, say, a couple of years ago, I had no idea that such a thing as a flocked Christmas tree existed, let alone that one could venture into making one yourself.
Over here, in the Netherlands, Christmas trees are always green (just a handful are blazingly white), usually, they are real, too, and there is not a flocked white tree in sight.
Enter the internet and Pinterest, and there were flocked trees everywhere. Apparently, back over there on your side of the big pond, there are even services that have a Christmas tree flock machine, and you can go there and have your Christmas tree flocked.
Go figure! A whole new world to me.
Ok. Back to today now, and my own flocking a tree project of the day.
Let me tell you how I turned that sad old green tree into this sparkly white flocked thing of beauty.
How to Flock a Christmas Tree Yourself – Step-by-Step Instructions
I searched online for the basic instructions, then only haphazardly followed them because I am opinionated like that, and ended up with a little flocked tree that stole my heart.
So off I went to the thrift store and the pharmacy to buy supplies. This is all I needed:
Supplies Needed for Making a Flocked Christmas Tree
You will need:
- A faux Christmas tree to flock
- One or two cans of shaving foam (shaving gel or cream will work too, but with foam you can skip a step)
- White glue, the cheap kind
As you can see you only need a few easy-to-get ingredients to make DIY snow flocking.
You will also need space to work and something covering the surface you are working on, because this can get messy.
How to Flock a Christmas Tree with Cornstarch, Shaving Cream and Glue
Step 1. Prepare Your Tree
This is the step to prepare your tree for the flocking. You don’t want to mess with the tree too much after it has received its fake snow. So if you have to fix the stand, or repair broken branches, do it now.
If you tree doesn’t come with lights built in, this is the time to add them.
I decorated my little tree with strings of lights. I used Led Lights because they don’t heat up, and chose lights that are fit to be used outdoors so they are completely watertight. I used green floral tape (a lot of it) to hide the cords as best as I could. This step took the most time.
Step 2. Prepare Your Snow Flocking
To make the snow flocking you mix whipped up shaving cream with cornstarch and glue.
Experiment a bit with how much of each ingredient to use.
For my small tree, I ended up using one canister of shaving foam, three small bottles of glue and half a cup of cornstarch.
Depending on the size of your tree and on how you’d like your snow to look you can change the amounts of the basic ingredients.
I emptied a can of shaving foam in an old bucket. Since I used foam instead of gel, it came out of the can already whipped and ready to use. I you have shaving gel or cream you will have to whip it up first. A hand mixer will be handy.
Don’t do as I did! Don’t empty your can of foam in one go, it will fill up your bucket and make mixing in the other ingredients more difficult. Mix up your mixture in smaller badges.
Most instructions say to use about a cup of glue for the whole tree. But it started to look so good as I was going along that I got very afraid that all that foam would just dissolve overnight.
So I ended up using all three bottles of the glue mixed in with not even one whole can of shaving foam. Ah well, the tree was still white the next morning, so all was well with the world.
Step 3. Apply the Snow Flocking Mixture to Your Tree
From the top, start spreading the mixture. I found that the ‘one-index-finger’ technique worked best.
Just scoop some foam up, spread it on the branch in dollops, rub it in in some places and move on.
Repeat over and over again until done.
At first, I listened to the instructions, telling me to only apply the foam to the top of the branches and not rub it in. Apparently, that would make it look more like real snow.
But as I went along, I realized that:
A, this was obviously a very fake tree, that
B. I was rubbing shaving cream all over said tree, that
C. no one in their right mind would mistake this whole project for anything natural, and that
D. it was more important to me that it all looked good instead of real.
So I happily smeared and smudged and put the foam wherever I felt like it, until I liked the look.
I recommend you do the same…
Step 4. Finish Your Flocked Christmas Tree
When you have finished adding all the snow flocking, and you like how it looks. Let the tree dry for 24 hours.
After it has fully dried and set, it is ready to decorate.
I really like my little corner of Christmas in the room. It adds just the right amount of atmosphere without it taking over the room.
I must admit I am rather enjoying this laid-back Christmas approach.
As you can see I stayed with the theme of a white snow flocked tree and decorated my little Christmas tree in white and silver. I reused the super easy to make (no) crochet ornaments and I added small silver ornaments.
Marianne Songbird is the founder of Songbird, where she hopes to inspire everyone to create a home they love, one DIY project at a time. She shares anything from craft ideas to home decor inspiration and from DIY projects to decorating hacks. Originally from the Netherlands Marianne and her husband Lex are currently renovating a 250-year-old farmhouse in Germany.