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The Must-Know Guide to Christmas Tree Flocking

Find out how you can decorate your Christmas tree beautifully and safely with artificial snow by following our comprehensive guide on how to flock a Christmas tree.

What's Inside


A white Christmas is never truly complete without the image of snow falling softly on evergreen branches. Our frosted Christmas trees, the Frosted Sugar Pine and Frosted Fraser Fir, capture this vision of winter effortlessly with a gentle dusting of faux snow—a delicate design that is not only guaranteed safe to use but also beautiful to behold.

If you would like to create your own snow-kissed Christmas tree this year and own an artificial one, please remember to check the manufacturer's warranty before applying any flocking. Flocking a Balsam Hill Christmas tree will void the warranty due to possible damage to the foliage, or if the tree is prelit, damage to the light strands and bulbs. Proceed only if the tree you will adorn is suitable for the activity and hazard-free.

To achieve your desired snow-dusted effect, we have uncovered a variety of Christmas tree flocking techniques and mixtures that will transform your traditional evergreen into a wintry white display.

With this complete guide to Christmas tree flocking, you can create a snow-kissed holiday look with little additional cost or effort.

Before decorating your Christmas tree with ornaments and lights, try any of these four simple methods for creating your own high-quality Christmas tree flocking mixture to keep your favorite evergreen looking festive and lush for years to come.



Soap Shavings

Using soap shavings is a traditional way of making flock. The materials are readily available, making it a popular option for those wanting to test out homemade flock on their favorite tree. Try using a gentle soap, such as Ivory, which does not contain any heavy dyes or fragrances that can spark an allergic reaction. Soap-shaving flock can also be easily customized to fit any style or décor by adding simple additions to the mix, such as glitter or food coloring.

Making flock from soap shavings is an affordable way to add extra sparkle to your evergreen, costing anywhere from $5 to $15 (depending on the extras you choose to include). A three-pack of Ivory soap can be picked up for around $2, and will make approximately 2 cups of soap shavings. For the binding agent, you will need 2/3 cup of liquid cornstarch or 2/3 cup of white glue, which costs anywhere from $3 to $5. Try using Martha Stewart's glittering glue, which is specially made for Christmas tree flocking.

This method for flocking can take 14 to 30 hours to complete, so be sure to plan your craft time accordingly. Application time for the flock can vary greatly depending on the size of your tree, and be sure to plan for at least eight hours of drying time after the flock is in place.

Materials

Good for a 5-foot Christmas tree
  • 2 cups white soap shavings
  • 2/3 cup liquid cornstarch or white glue
  • 4 tablespoons warm water
  • Tint, e.g. food coloring (optional)
  • Silver or gold glitter (optional)
  • Mixer
  • Paint brush
  • Ladder
Pro Tip:
Soap shavings are a popular choice for making Christmas tree flock because they are cost-efficient and readily available.

mixture

Instructions for Making Soap-Based Flocking Material

1. Combine the soap shavings with liquid cornstarch or white glue in a mixer on medium speed.

2. Add warm water and continue mixing.

3. Add tint or glitter as desired.

4. Beat until the flocking mixture forms stiff peaks with the same consistency as nougat.

Take Safety Precautions Before Flocking

Remember to wear the appropriate protective gear to prevent inhalation or ingestion of the flocking mixture:
  • Mask
  • Gloves
  • Safety Goggles

Apply the Soap-Based Flock

1. Set up your tree outside where you can place sheets of newspaper around the base of the tree to catch residual flock.

2. On a ladder, stand close to the crown of the tree so you can flock the top needles first then work your way down.

3. Use a paint brush to scoop up a dollop of the mixture.

4. Flock only the needle tips. When it's time to place Christmas lights, make sure to keep the lights away from the flock.

5. Do not smear the mixture on the needles. Smearing will only make the flock look artificial.

6. Allow the foam to stay in clusters. Some of the residue may even drip off the tips and land on the lower needles. This should create a more natural snow-fallen look.

7. Never brush the underside of the branches.

8. Check your tree from time to time and step away to see how the flock looks.

9. Once you're done applying the mixture, allow the tree to dry for about eight to 24 hours, depending on the size of the tree and the amount of flock applied.

Cleaning and Storing Your Flocked Christmas Tree

When the Christmas season is over, you can leave your flocked tree in an upright position and simply pull a plastic or fabric cover over it. There is no need to unfluff the branches, as flock is best preserved when the branches remain in an outward position.

Flock that accumulates dust while in storage can easily be renewed with a simple two-step process. First, clean the flock with a soft, damp cloth. After the dampness has dried, wipe the branches again with coconut oil to restore the flock to its full shine.



Shaving Cream

Using shaving cream is another simple way of making homemade flock. The method is similar to using soap shavings, but is a lot quicker since the shaving cream naturally achieves the stiff consistency needed for flocking. Shaving cream can cost more than soap, but it is a good alternative for those looking to cut down on preparation time.

For this type of flock, you will need to purchase at least five cans of shaving cream, which typically retails for $2 to $5 dollars per can. You will also need 2/3 cup of white glue for the binding agent, and any other add-ons you may like, such as food coloring or glitter.

Much like the soap-based flock, this method can take anywhere from 14 to 30 hours to complete. Mixing the shaving cream and white glue solution is a quick 10 to 15 minutes, while the application time can take four to five hours, depending on the size of the tree. Drying time again clocks in at eight hours to a full day for heavily flocked trees.

Materials

Good for a 5-foot Christmas tree
  • 5 cans of shaving cream
  • 2/3 cup of white glue
  • Tint, e.g. food coloring (optional)
  • Silver or gold glitter (optional)
  • Mixer
  • Paint brush
  • Ladder
Pro Tip:
Shaving cream is an effective Christmas tree flock because it immediately achieves the stiff consistency needed to recreate drops of snow.

Make the Shaving Cream Flocking Material

1. Blend the foam from 4-6 cans of shaving cream with white glue in a mixer on medium speed.

2. Mix in as much tint or glitter as desired.

3. Beat until the flocking mixture forms stiff peaks.

Take Safety Precautions Before Flocking

Remember to wear the appropriate protective gear to prevent inhalation or ingestion of the flocking mixture:
  • Mask
  • Gloves
  • Safety Goggles

Apply the Shaving Cream Flock

1. Set up your tree outside where you can place sheets of newspaper around the base of the tree to catch residual flock.

2. On a ladder, stand close to the crown of the tree so you can flock the top needles first then work your way down.

3. Use a paint brush to scoop up a dollop of the mixture.

4. Flock only the needle tips. When it's time to place Christmas lights, make sure to keep the lights away from the flock.

5. Do not smear the mixture on the needles. Smearing will only make the flock look artificial.

6. Allow the foam to stay in clusters. Some of the residue may even drip off the tips and land on the lower needles. This should create a more natural snow-fallen look.

7. Never brush the underside of the branches.

8. Check your tree from time to time and step away to see how the flock looks.

9. Once you're done applying the mixture, allow the tree to dry for about eight to 24 hours, depending on the size of the tree and the amount of flock applied.

Cleaning and Storing Your Flocked Tree

In the off-season, allow your flocked tree to remain in an upright position. Simply cover it with plastic or fabric. Flocked branches should be kept in an outward position.

If your flocked tree accumulates dust while in storage, follow our easy two-step process. First, dab a soft, damp cloth on the needle tips to lift the dust off. When the dampness has dried, wipe the branches again with coconut oil to restore the flock to its full shine.



Desiccated Coconut

Desiccated coconut is the best all-natural alternative to traditional Christmas tree flock. This flocking method is perfect for households with small children or pets, or with members who are allergic to perfume, lye, dye, or paint. Since this mixture is all natural, it lessens the dangers posed by accidental ingestion of the flock.

Desiccated coconut has a naturally fluffy texture, making it the perfect ingredient to use as a stand-in for real snow. A strong binding agent will ensure that the coconut flakes stick to each other in clusters, as well as preserve the coconut throughout the holiday season.

A coconut-based mixture is a perfect flocking solution for one Christmas season, but will need to be removed completely before the tree is stored. It is not designed to be a long-term fixture on the tree like its soap-based and cream-based flocking counterparts, but rather as a temporary garnish for one season only.

The cost for this all-natural flocking method is anywhere from $10 to $20. A pound of desiccated coconut costs $5 to $7. Two cups of liquid cornstarch, which also costs around $5 to $7, is needed for the binding agent. You also have the option of applying add-ons, such as food coloring and glitter.

Though it's the shortest process in terms of time, you will still need to anticipate spending 10 to 15 hours to complete this flocking method. Mixing the solution takes 20 to 25 minutes with an estimated application time of 1.5 to 2 hours, depending in the size of your tree. With a desiccated coconut mixture, drying time for the flock scales down to 8 to 12 hours, making it a perfect overnight project.

Materials

Good for a 5-foot Christmas tree
  • A pound of desiccated coconut
  • 2 cups of liquid cornstarch made with a thicker consistency
  • Tint, e.g. food coloring (optional)
  • Silver or gold glitter (optional)
  • Large Mixing bowl
  • Ladder
Pro Tip:
Coconut-based flock is perfect for households with small children, pets, or with members who have allergies, since this type of flock is all natural.

Make the Coconut-Based Flocking Material

1. In a large mixing bowl, pour in the desiccated coconut and two tablespoons of liquid cornstarch. The liquid cornstarch should only moisten the flakes for now.

2. Break up clumps using your hands.

3. Add the remaining liquid cornstarch gradually throughout the process until all of the flakes glisten with the binding agent. The point is to coat the dried coconut with the liquid to prolong its shelf life.

4. Aerate the mixture by continuing to fluff it. It should be loose, not pasty.

5. Mix in as much tint or glitter as desired.

Take Safety Precautions Before Flocking

Remember to wear the appropriate protective gear to prevent inhalation or ingestion of the flocking mixture:
  • Mask
  • Gloves
  • Safety Goggles

Apply the Coconut-Based Flock

1. Shower the flocking mixture generously from the top of the tree, letting the needles catch the coconut flakes. The residual flock should cascade naturally on the lower branches.

2. Continue the process of showering the tree with flakes until the desired look of snowfall is achieved. When it's time to place Christmas lights, make sure to keep the lights away from the flock.

3. Check your tree from time to time and step away to see how the flock looks.

4. Once you're done applying the mixture, allow the tree to dry for about eight to 24 hours, depending on the size of the tree and the amount of flock applied.

Cleaning and Storing Your Flocked Christmas Tree

To remove the coconut-based flock after the holiday season, simply use a vacuum cleaner set to a low speed. Hold the needle tips firmly in one hand then place the vacuum head about an inch away in the other direction to suck out the coconut flakes. Since the coconut-based flock is not permanently glued on the needles, the material falls off more easily than do other kinds of flock. Once all the flock has been removed, you can proceed to defluffing and storing your Christmas tree.



White Spray Paint

White spray paint is a common alternative to traditional flocking mixtures because of its ease and convenience. While it does provide a quick method for achieving an extra holiday glow, spray paint should always be avoided when flocking a pre-lit tree or decorating your unlit tree with Christmas lights.

For your materials, you will need three to six cans of white spray paint, depending on the size of your tree and the number of branches you wish to cover. Each can of paint costs approximately $6 to $12 for a grand total of $18 to $80 for this entire method of flocking. Food coloring and glitter are again optional additions that can really personalize the final result.

Depending on the size of the tree and the number of branches, the method of spray-painting the flock can take two to three hours to finish. A newly spray-painted tree will need to dry for at least eight hours before it will be ready for display.

Materials

Good for a 5-foot Christmas tree
  • 3 to 6 cans of white spray paint
  • Silver or gold glitter (optional)
  • Ladder
Pro Tip:
White spray paint is a quick alternative to traditional Christmas tree flock because it is convenient to use, but it should be avoided if you are decorating your tree with lights.

Take Safety Precautions Before Flocking

CAUTION: To avoid fire hazards, do not use spray-painted flock if you plan to adorn your Christmas tree with lights.

Remember to wear the appropriate protective gear to prevent inhalation or ingestion of the flocking mixture:
  • Mask
  • Gloves
  • Safety Goggles

Apply the Spray-Painted Flock

1. Set up your tree outside to allow the fumes from the spray paint to diffuse easily in the open air.

2. Place sheets of newspaper around the base of the tree for easy cleanup later.

3. On a ladder, stand close to the crown of the tree so you can flock the top needles first then work your way down.

4. Lightly mist the top-side of inner branches first then work your way towards the outer branches.

5. Optional: Add glitter to each branch while the paint is wet.

6. Never spray the underside of the branches.

7. Check your tree from time to time and step away to see how the flock looks.

8. Once you're done applying the paint, allow the tree to dry for about eight to 24 hours, depending on the size of the tree and the amount of paint applied.

Cleaning and Storing Your Flocked Christmas Tree

Make sure to dust off your flocked Christmas tree before storing it as spray-painted flock has a tendency to catch dust in the air. Once your Christmas tree has been dusted, follow these steps to defluffing and storing your Christmas tree.

Flocking a Christmas tree requires time, effort, and a good understanding of the type of Christmas tree, technique, and mixture to use.

As always, remember to check the warranty coverage of your tree before flocking it. Applying homemade snow on a Balsam Hill Christmas tree will void the warranty, so check if the Christmas tree you will use is suitable for the task and hazard-free. The joy in flocking a Christmas tree is in transforming it into a spectacle, without much cost or worry.

With this complete guide, you can infuse your home with the beauty of winter. Creating a snow-frosted evergreen by flocking your tree can be a time-consuming experience, so if you prefer a traditional Balsam Hill Christmas tree with beautiful faux snow and professionally strung clear lights, consider our Frosted Sugar Pine or Frosted Fraser Fir trees.