DIY FLOCKED CHRISTMAS TREE TUTORIAL - Dimples and Tangles

DIY FLOCKED CHRISTMAS TREE TUTORIAL


*A few great Cyber Monday deals are at the end of this post!


A few posts back when I shared some gorgeous Christmas trees that were inspiring me this year, I noticed a theme.  Most of them were flocked!  I've never been a huge fan of flocked trees in the past, but this year I've been drawn to them and wanted to try one out.  I hated to spend money on a new tree since mine is only a few years old and still perfectly fine, so I decided to try flocking it myself.  I felt like I had nothing to lose!  I did look around a little online to get an idea of what this project might entail, and this tutorial was helpful.  I ended up doing mine just a bit differently so I thought I'd share my experience with you.

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I considered using the snow spray in a can, but found that better for projects like frosting windows, and it wouldn't build up and be fluffy on the branches like flocking on store bought trees.  After looking online I came across this flocking powder.  It had great reviews and was fairly inexpensive, so I decided to try it.  (Note, even though it stated a longer delivery date, mine arrived in just a few days.  Hopefully yours will too if you decide to try it!)
   
I began by gathering my supplies- the flocking powder, a strainer, and the hose with a sprayer attached that has a "mist" setting.  A spray bottle with water could be used instead of the hose, but a hose is SO much faster if you can use one.  A mask and gloves are also recommended for application, although the powder is non-toxic and washes out easily so I wasn't nervous to use it.  I set up my tree outside in the yard.  This is NOT an indoor project.  Also, you'll want to wear old clothes and shoes.  The flocking will most likely end up on you too.  :)

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Start by fluffing all of the tree branches.  You'll want the branches spread apart as much as possible so the flock will spread out and cover them nicely.  I worked with a section at a time, starting with the bottom portion of the tree.   I fluffed and flocked only the bottom before adding the middle section on and then fluffed and flocked it, this made the tree a little bit easier to work with.  Here's how it was looking after the bottoms section was done-


The first step is to put a fine mist of water on the area you're about to flock.  The flock comes with very good instructions, but generally the idea is to put some of the powder in the strainer, shake it out over the damp tree, and as it's falling out spray the mist on it so it attaches to the tree.  The powder contains an adhesive that activates with water, so it sticks to the tree when it gets wet.

I also want to mention that you'll want to do this on a still day, which is virtually impossible in Oklahoma.  I was fighting a bit of a breeze, and it took a bit of trial and error for me to get the hang of what would work best.  Actually, rather that sifting the powder through the strainer, it worked better for me to sprinkle it out the side and spray it with water as it was falling.  I just had to be careful not to dump my entire strainer out at once!


In a few areas where I needed a bit more control, I grabbed a pinch of powder in my hands and sprinkled it on a targeted spot as I sprayed.  It will stick to your hands but washes out easily (I should have followed the directions and worn gloves!).  As soon as the powder lands, mist it again to lock it in place.


My tree is 9 feet tall, so rather than attach the top and work with a ladder, I propped the top section on the ground which made it much easier to work with.

A note on the lights:  My tree is prelit.  The flocking directions state to make sure that your lights are indoor/outdoor.  I have no idea if mine are but I assumed so and everything turned out fine. The flocking powder will build up on the outside lights and make them frosty, but it gives them a pretty, soft glow.

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The 2 pound bag that I bought was just enough to cover my 9 foot tree, however if I would have had more I would have put it on a little heavier.

I did a final mist all over the tree once I was all done to make sure all of the adhesive got activated.

After I was finished there were still some spots here and there that I wished were a little more covered, so I picked up this spray from Hobby Lobby (available online here) to fill in some bare spots.  This does not build up like the flocking powder, but it's like a thick spray paint that gave me snowy-looking color where there were still some green spots here and there.


Here's a before and after of a section that I had flocked, but then I hit it with the snow spray to make it a bit whiter.  The spray also helped get the under side of some of the upper branches that the flocking powder missed.

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You can see how the powder builds up in some spots nicely, and it does a nice job of coating the needles.  There are some iridescent "ice crystals" mixed in with the powder too that give a little shine if the light hits them right.


After a few hours when the tree dried, I brought it in.  I noticed a few pieces that flaked off when I pulled it through the door, but for the most part the flock is staying on well even when I move the branches around.  For about $25 and an hour or two of work, I'm very happy with the results!

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Remember that round tablecloth I told you about that I was going to make into a tree skirt?  It's not fluffed and fixed yet, but I think it's going to work out great!

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One last thing:  When I plugged my tree in this year, there were two sections of lights out.  Nothing is more frustrating that having to deal with lights that are out when you're all set to decorate!


I've had this tool for years, and it's magic!  After connecting one of the bulbs that's out, you click the trigger and most of the time the lights come right back on!   Occasionally the problem is more severe, and there are other steps that this tool walks you through to fix them, but generally it works the first time.  Both of my dark spots were back on in seconds... hooray!


Alright, we've enjoyed it bare for a few days but it's time to get some jewelry on this tree!

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**Update- See the tree all decked out in my Christmas Living Room Tour here!  




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8 comments

  1. I love this I always wondered how people do it. Now is it going to be messy and come off when you pack it away each year?

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    Replies
    1. I expect for it to be like any ready-made flocked tree. I'm sure some will flake off as it is packed away but I don't expect it to be significant. It really sticks on well!

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  2. I ordered the powder and applied it to my tree just this past weekend. I was shocked how easy it was and how well it turned out. I do wish I had the can of snow to add a bit more, but maybe next year.

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  3. That turned out so great. I always wondered how you could flock a tree yourself.

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  4. Love your flocked tree-so pretty! (My artificial tree is almost 30 years old, and I still LOVE it-wish I was brave enough to try the flocking!)

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  5. You are a braver woman than I! A few years ago, we tried to revive an originally white prelit tree with white spray paint. Let's just say it was not a success. ��

    I very much admire your can-do attitude!

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  6. Impressive DIY! It came out great Jennifer!

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  7. Your tree looks just gorgeous and I love it a lot! You did an amazing job!

    ReplyDelete

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