Creating a DIY flocked Christmas tree isn’t as hard as you might think. Learn how to flock any real or artificial Christmas tree with this easy tutorial.
Several years ago, I really, really wanted a flocked Christmas tree. So I decided to turn my old fake Christmas tree into a DIY flocked Christmas tree. And it turned out amazing!
I did casually check out a few flocked trees while I was shopping, thinking maybe I would find a killer sale. But I just couldn’t justify buying a new artificial tree, when I already had a perfectly nice one at home.
So, of course, the next logical step was to figure out how to flock the Christmas tree I already had! And it turns out it’s actually pretty easy to do, even if you aren’t particularly crafty.
Since then, I’ve flocked multiple Christmas trees, wreaths, and garlands and I’ve really perfected my method. Today I’m sharing everything you need to know to flock your own gorgeous Christmas tree, as well as a video tutorial and printable instructions.
What is a flocked Christmas Tree?
If you aren’t sure what a flocked Christmas tree is, flocked trees are those gorgeous, snowy white ones. Not the ones with white plastic needles, the ones that have a realistic white snowy texture.
Some are a little white with plenty of green still showing through and some are almost all white. They are meant to look like a beautiful evergreen covered with snow.
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What kind of flocking should you use?
You should absolutely use real snow flocking powder if you want great results.
When I was first trying to figure out how to flock my Christmas tree, I turned to Pinterest and found a few different DIY methods involving soap flakes, white glue, glitter, even spray paint. But when I looked at the results, they didn’t look like a real flocked tree at all.
Spray snow also gave similarly disappointing results that really didn’t have the look or texture of real flocking.
So I did a bit more research and I learned that you can buy real flocking powder, the same flocking material that florists and other professionals use.
It makes sense – if you want it to look like the real thing, you need to use the real stuff.
I’ve never been able to find any real flocking powder in stores, it’s something you need to buy online.
After doing a bit of searching, I found SnoFlock flocking powder on Amazon. I bought a box of SnoFlock to flock my tree and have since used it to flock many other projects with great results.
This year I decided to do a little test to see if SnoFlock really is the best. You can see all the details of my quest to find the best flock here, but I’ll go ahead and share that I found SnoFlock and Sno-Bond Flock in a Box both work really well and look absolutely beautiful on your tree.
This is especially helpful to know because SnoFlock sells out frequently, so having another awesome option really helps.
How much flocking do you need?
At first I wasn’t sure how much flocking I would need so I bought a five pound box. I figured it was better to have too much than too little.
In the end, I probably used a little less than half of the 5 pounds while flocking my tree. Our tree is 7.5 feet tall and I flocked it with plenty of green still showing.
If you are flocking a typical 7.5 foot tree like mine, a two pound bag of flocking powder should be enough to flock it lightly. If you are flocking a larger tree or want your tree mostly white, I would recommend going for a five pound box.
Can you flock a pre-lit tree?
Yes! You can definitely flock pre-lit trees.
I have flocked both unlit and pre-lit Christmas trees and either way works well.
When flocking a pre-lit tree, it’s inevitable that some flocking will stick to the lights. However, it doesn’t affect how the lights work at all – they still light up the tree beautifully.
If you are flocking an unlit tree, it is probably a bit easier to add the flocking before adding the lights, but either way is fine. Just remember to allow your tree to thoroughly dry after flocking before plugging in the lights.
How to Flock a Christmas Tree
- A real or artificial Christmas tree – you can also flock wreaths, mini trees, and garlands. I have flocked all of these and it worked beautifully.
- Real Flocking Powder – this is the flocking I used, but it tends to sell out quickly. In my recent test of flocking powders, I found that this one is very similar. Either one will get you that beautiful snowy texture.
- A spray bottle of water
- A strainer
- A dropcloth to protect your floor
You can flock real trees, fake trees, pre-lit trees, wreaths, garlands, pretty much anything. This same process works for just about anything you want to flock.
Protect your workspace
The actual process is super simple. It is a little messy, so I recommend working in a basement, a garage, or outdoors if possible.
Be sure to cover the floor under the tree with a tarp or dropcloth before you start.
Fluff your tree
It works best to assemble and fluff up your tree before flocking.
Once the branches are all fluffed, you can start working at the top of your tree and work down from there.
Mist with water and flocking powder
Lightly mist a section at the top of the tree with your spray bottle of water.
Scoop up some of the flocking powder into your strainer and sift it onto the damp tree from above.
Then spray the flocked section of the tree with water again.
The water activates the adhesive, fluffs up the flocking, and seals it all.
(By the way, you don’t want to accidentally mist your sifter full of flocking with the water – it will fluff up the flocking before it is on the tree and clog up the sifter).
Continue to do this moving from section to section.
Work from the top down
Working from the top down allows the flocking to settle on the branches in a way that mimics fresh fallen snow. Don’t attempt to smear the flocking onto your tree or add more flocking underneath the branches because this gives an unnatural look.
Afterwards, if you would like your flocking fuller, go back and add more water and more flocking until you get the look you want.
I love how much it actually looks like a snowy evergreen!
Allow the flocking to dry
Once you are finished, you need to let everything dry. This takes between 6 and 72 hours.
The more thickly you flock it, the longer it will take. I flocked my tree in the evening, let it dry overnight, and the next morning it was ready to move upstairs and decorate.
It has been several years since I first flocked my Christmas tree and it is still going strong! The photo above is of the exact same DIY flocked tree a few years later – still looking beautiful!
I’ve gotten a lot of questions about this project so I put together an update on how my DIY flocked Christmas tree is holding up after 5 year plus answers to frequently asked questions.
This is by far my favorite Christmas project ever!
Check out the before and after – the flocking just made such a difference.
How to Flock a Christmas Tree Video Tutorial
Just hit the play button below to watch the full video tutorial. It shows exactly how to flock a tree along with answers to the most common questions I’ve been asked about flocking.
And for those of you who aren’t sure you want to flock your own tree, I put together a round up of flocked Christmas trees you can buy all ready to go: 15 Gorgeous Flocked Christmas Trees for Any Budget.
I actually just bought a new flocked tree myself. After many years of use, the stand and some of the branches on my DIY flocked tree gave out. I bought this tree from Amazon. It’s pretty affordable and I’m really happy with how it looks.
How to Flock A Christmas Tree
Learn how to flock a Christmas tree using real tree flocking powder. This tutorial will help you turn any real or artificial Christmas tree into a gorgeous DIY flocked tree.
- Any Christmas Tree - real or artificial, big, or small
- SnoFlock flocking powder
- Spray bottle of water
- Before beginning, be sure to protect the floor under your tree with a dropcloth or other protective covering.
- Use a spray bottle to lightly mist a section of the tree with water.
- Scoop some of the flocking powder into the strainer and sift it onto the damp tree from above.
- Spray the flocked section of the tree with water again. The water activates the adhesive, fluffs up the flocking, and seals it all.
- Move around your tree in small sections. Spray each section with water, sift flocking powder over it, and spray with water again. Continue to do this until the entire tree is flocked.
- If any sections look a bit bare, simply repeat the process until you are satisfied with how it looks.
- Allow your tree to dry thoroughly before moving or decorating it. This will take 6 - 72 hours, depending on how thickly you apply the flocking.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
If you’re looking for more details on all things flocking, I’ve got you covered with the posts below:
- How my Flocked Christmas Tree Looks 5 Years Later – answers all kinds of questions including how much mess is actually involved.
- What is the Best Christmas Tree Flocking Powder – compares the most top snow flocking powders to see which is best
- 15 Gorgeous Flocked Christmas Trees for Any Budget – for when you don’t feel like going the DIY route
- Easy DIY Flocked Wreath – if you want to start with something quick and easy
- 23 Beautiful Flocked Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas – all kinds of gorgeous inspiration for decorating your flocked tree
I’d love for you to pin this post on Pinterest!
Google Web Story: DIY Flocked Christmas Tree
I am obsessed with this! I have a small six foot tree still in a box! I think we can make it happen! Thanks for sharing this tutorial!!!!!!!!
Thanks Amber! I am totally obsessed with it too!
This is a project that I have been wanting to do. The DIY’ers seem to use soap flakes and starch – both of which have smells that I react to with migraines. Did your flocking have any smell at all? Is it just called flocking? Will it last through more than one season? Thanks for sharing.
Teri, It did have a smell when I was putting it on – I’m not sure what exactly it was, probably the adhesive that is activated by water. It is called flocking in general but the brand I used is called Sno Flock. And I can’t say for sure about how it will last, but it supposed to last more than one season. I guess I will find that out for sure next year!
Lillian DiMaria says
Would canned snow give the same effect?
Hi Lillian, Canned snow is definitely easier to find but it doesn’t give the same look as flocking. You can lightly spray your tree to give it a whiter look, but it won’t have any of the texture of flocking. It looks more like a dusting of white paint. I found this tutorial with photos of the finished product if you want to look into it more: http://www.utrdecorating.com/blog/how-to-use-snow-spray-yes-fake-snow-in-a-can/
Pamela Henderson says
How long does the process take to flock a 9 ft christmas tree?
It would probably take an hour, maybe two depending on how thickly you flock it.
yes! This looks amazing, Carrie! Sometimes it’s worth using “the real thing,” right? Makes me want to flock everything!
Me too! Thanks Chaney! It’s true – sometimes it really is worth it to use the best materials instead of looking for a cheaper version. Not always, but sometimes.
I love it! I wonder how long it will last???
Thanks Cheryl! I am wondering the same thing! Hopefully at least a couple of years.
I belong to a garden club that does a Xmas house tour to raise money. We do all of the decorating of four houses in our community. We love the idea of flocking our tree and greens, but I have only found one website that sells the flocking and the shipping doubles the price. I didn’t find anywhere to buy 5 lbs for $40. Could you please share where you purchased your materials?
Gail Martin says
Carrie, When I was younger, my dad used to flock our tree. I believe he used a garden hose and some kind of a flocking gun. He did it forever. My husband did ours as well. Not exactly sure what his method was since I was usually in the house with the children. I do know it was messy and all over the barn floor. You might look on ebay for what I am talking about. LOL
Thanks for sharing your memories Gail! I really love our flocked tree and can’t wait to get it out this year.
I’m so glad I found your post! It is absolutely beautiful! I can’t wait to hear your opinion on how the flocking held up…
Thanks Jennifer, I am planning to post about that in the next few weeks!
oh, I’m anxious to see how it held up too….. I have a 6 foot tree I bought for really cheap last year and wanted to flock it but was wondering how you stored it and if you have to do any “touch-up” after you take from storage this year. I’m not sure I can wait to find out though :) :)
Rebecca, I am posting next week about how things went with storage and touching up, etc. I’ll save all the details for then, but I will say I have zero regrets about flocking it.
This is amazing, and exactly what I was looking to do! Thanks for sharing.
Heather, I’m so glad to help! I seriously love my flocked tree.
Is this products safe for use with household pets??
I am not sure, but I am guessing it probably would not be good if a pet consumed it. The package of flocking I purchased did not say anything about safety.
Carrie, can’t wait for your comments (Thursday, Nov. 19) to see how things went with storage and touching up, etc. as I’m planning to flock my Christmas tree next week.
Sarah @ Little Red Brick House says
Your tree looks gorgeous, Carrie! I’m totally using your tutorial to flock mine this year. Yay!
Yay, I can’t wait to see it!
Stasia Neil says
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Your post and DIY flocking tutorial are exactly what I have been searching for. I was so close last year to doing the spray paint/glitter technique but as you said, I just could not find any photos of ones that used this method and actually looked like a real snowy tree. Your flocked tree is absolutely breathtaking and looks so real! I am totally willing to order some flocking and give this a try this year! Totally worth the mess! I just hope mine turns out as gorgeous as yours.
Thank you so much for posting!! Can’t wait to get started!
Thanks Stasia! I am glad I could help – I hope your tree turns out exactly the way you want it!
Do you think this would work on an old flocked tree – to kind of freshen it up? I think it’s silver underneath the flocking.
I think that it would but I have never done it. I used it on the same tree again this year to freshen up and it worked great. That’s not exactly the same thing but since it will stick to real or fake trees, I’m pretty sure it will stick to older flocking as well.
Marilyn Howard says
For what it’s worth, in the 1950s there was no flocking available. My mother, a very inventive person, took powdered laundry soap, mixed it with a small amount of water, then whipped it in her Kitchenaid mixer to make it fairly stiff. Then she would take a small amount in her fingers and draw it along the ends of the branches so that it looked like it had just snowed. Our neighbors couldn’t get over the fact that it looked so real. This could be an alternative but I’m not sure how it would store as she used it on real Christmas trees.
I have heard of this before but of course haven’t seen it. It sounds like a very inventive way to get a beautiful look!
They make flocking machines that you can use. There is a bottle you put water and the flocking in. You hook it up to a vacuum cleaner set to blow out instead of vacuuming up.
Interesting, I haven’t seen this before.
Carrie, Years ago my dad used to flock his tree most every year. He, of course, bought a real tree. He used some kind of attachment to the vacuum cleaner. We had an old electrolux. You could change the hose to the opposite end so that it would blow. I remember him using a garden hose to get it wet first. You might check on amazon or ebay for one of those nozzles.
Gail, that is really interesting. I haven’t seen anything like that – I wonder if they still make them? I will have to do a little searching!
I love your tree! Thx for sharing. I am decorating a large atrium and there are several trees that I would love to flock but I’m wondering if it can be washed off the trees if we change the atrium design another year.
Gayla, decorating a large atrium for Christmas sounds like so much fun! I imagine it being very beautiful! I don’t know if it is possible to wash the flock off because I haven’t tried. But I would imagine that even if it is possible, it would be incredibly messy and labor-intensive to do. I probably wouldn’t recommend using the flocking if you think you may want to remove it later.
I had a 9 year old tree with lights that weren’t all working. I decided to try and flock the tree. This was SUPER easy and I love the results. Plus I was able to fix my lights! The tree looks beautiful now. I can’t wait to start decorating. This sure beat going out and buying a flocked tree since they are very expensive. Thanks sharing this information!
Yay, I am so glad you went for it. Adding flocking really does give an old tree new life and when you do it yourself it is so inexpensive too! Have a great Christmas!
I’m wondering will putting on the lights knock off the flocking or should I pre do the lights then add the flocking?
Heather, it is up to you. When I added my lights, some of the flocking definitely got knocked off but there was still plenty left. (I also really get in there and wrap lights around every branch so that didn’t help matters.) But if you add your lights before flocking and then want to use them for a different purpose or different type of tree later, it may be difficult to remove all of the flocking from them. You can see how much flocking my tree lost from adding lights in this post – https://www.lovelyetc.com/2015/11/diy-flocked-christmas-tree-one-year-later-and-a-giveaway/
Any idea if color can be added to this? I’ve got an old fake tree we’re wanting to do something crazy with as a surprise from our elf. Haha.
Tina, What a fun idea! I haven’t tried adding color but I bet you definitely could. You may be able to color it with food coloring or dye. Or you could just add some brightly colored glitter as you flock. I did see blue and pink flocking for sale a couple of years ago but I haven’t seen any yet this year. Good luck!
This is truly the easiest decorating you will do all year. I flocked by 7′ Frazier Fir and used about 1 – 1 1/2 pounds of the flocking powder. It took me about 20 minutes. My tree looks frosty, not snow laden. It is beautiful. I got so many compliments at our annual Christmas party and no one believed me that it was so easy. It was! I’ll do this again for sure.
Yes, it is so easy and crazy how beautiful the results are! I bet your part was beautiful with your flocked tree!
Kendra Vogt says
This turned out beautifully!!! I’m going to do this for Christmas this year for sure!
I really recommend mentioning wearing a dust mask if all it takes is moisture to set up the flocking. You definitely don’t want to breathe that stuff in.
Thank you for sharing :)
Good point Kendra! Thanks!
Do you know if the flocking can be taken off just incase i want a green tree the next year?
You might be able to remove it but it would probably take quite a bit of work. If you just wanted most of the flocking gone, you could probably knock a lot of it off with a broom or brush, but removing every bit of snow wouldn’t work well. Even though it loses some flocking over time and with use, the flocking is meant to be permanent.
It was very popular to “flock” your own Christmas tree in the 1950s and 60s. I can’t remember ever having a green tree as a kid. The kits came with a 1 to 1/2 lb bag of flock and a flock gun and water cup. These would be attached to the end of a vacuum hose that was connected to the exhaust end of the cleaner so it would blow out. The water cup was used to wet the tree down really well and then you’d refill it and use the flock bag which attached to the gun on the side with a special clip and between the dry flock and the spray of water you’d be flocking your tree. It was beautiful and is the way the pro’s did it except with big machines instead of household vacuums. And yes you could tint your tree any color by adding food color (some kits came with special color packets) to the water.
Real flock is flame retardant and non poisonous to children and animals. Because it’s really a paper mache’ product when the tree dries the flock is “bonded” to it but still has that soft snowy look.
*If you ever try one of these vintage kits do it outdoors or in a garage with drop clothes. It’s very messy but the results are like the professional (and very expensive trees).
Thanks Eddy! It seems like the flocking product is similar to what I used but the application is definitely different! Isn’t it funny how trends seem to come full circle so often.
Love love LOVE this!! I have one of those artificial trees with the color coded removable branches. If I were to do this to my tree, there is no way I could remove the branches to store it away after the holidays. Was wondering if you had any suggestions or how you store yours away? :)
Thanks Alexsha! I’m lucky enough to have a big basement so we just carry our tree downstairs to store it without taking it apart. We did this before I flocked it as well simply because it saves the hassle of putting it together each year! We used to have a tree like yours and if you did flock it, you would just need to be prepared to lose some of the flocking whenever you take it apart and put it back together.
Hi can you please post a link of the flocking you used i tried the one above and it came up with a snow globe. desperate to try this!
Whoops! The link works for me but just in case the Internet is being crazy this is the link to the flocking – http://amzn.to/2hTB1kY
I SO want to do this but the entire internet is sold out of snoflock except the link above and it won’t arrive until January 15th….bummed. is there another brand that self cliffs like this?
Cathi, That is such a bummer! Sno Flock is the only brand I have personal experience with – but this flocking looks like a very similar product. It might be worth a try: http://amzn.to/2iYAOKv.
Hey could you let me know from where you bought the flocking powder? I am unable to find a supply store :l also my tree is 8 ft tall and quite unsure how much I would need to cover the tree. could you Kindly help me out with it? :)
I bought mine from Amazon. The brand I use is sold out until after Christmas but this looks similar and has good reviews: http://amzn.to/2BYjJaP And 2 lbs should cover an 8 ft tree pretty well. Good luck!
dose this flock last for years or dose it come off?
Hi Jan, It’s a little bit of both. The flock does last for years but will slowly come off over time, especially as the tree is jostled when you are putting it up and decorating it and then taking it down again. After two years without adding any more flocking, our tree was still flocked but a lot more green was starting to show through. I plan to add a bit more flocking next year and experiment with sealing the flocking.
Every year we get a Fresh Cut tree can a fresh tree be flocked?
Elizabeth, yes you can flock a fresh tree using the same method! Even better, then you don’t have to worry about it making a mess when you store it away for next year.
Carrie thank you very much for sharing! Your post is just what I was looking for, I really want a flocked Christmas tree and the snow in the spray bottles is not a good option for me, looks very messy… But the material you used looks amazing! your Christmas tree looks fantastic!!
Thank you Adelina!
When you brought it in from the garage, through the door of your home, did you lose a lot of the flocking? I have a standard door! Thanks!
We did lose some flocking onto the floor, but not a terrible amount. The floor needed a good vacuuming afterward but the tree still looked great!
I’m thinking of flocking my own tree because it is difficult to find a flocked tree with multi-colored lights. I did find one and I fell in love with it. The tips of the branches look like there are snow crystals. The tree is taller thanI want and also $150 more than I want 5o spend. So, do you have any idea how to create the crystal effect?
I am not exactly sure without seeing it. The Sno Flock does come with what they call ice crystals which are large shimmery glitter type pieces. You could also consider plain old epson salt – I use it a lot for giving craft projects an icy look.
Thank you so much for sharing the details and even updating with FAQs! I’m about to give flocking another try, and your article was just the information I have been looking for. Last year, without researching, I tried the spray on ‘snow’ and had to toss the whole tree after…looked more like a thin layer of white spray paint. Also had a horrible chemical smell that I couldn’t tolerate.
Your tree and deco turned out beautifully! Just the texture I am hoping to achieve. Thank you again for sharing.
I am so glad it is helpful! I love a good flocked tree and this stuff really does look amazing!
My tree is prelit. Should I try to put tape over each bulb?
No, you don’t need to do that. I’ve flocked prelit trees and it works fine. Some of the flocking will stick to the lights but they will still light up and shine through just fine.
My tree is prelit.
You can still flock it! I have flocked several prelit trees without a problem.
Hi do you fold it up and store in a box or store it like it is? Have you ever used any sparkle on the flocked trees?
I store it upright in our basement because it saves so much time putting it up and taking it down every year. You can fold it up and store it – some of the flocking will fall off with all the movement but a lot will stay on. And the flocking actually includes clear sparkly flecks to give a bit of shimmer. You could always add more as you are flocking if you want.