Flocking a Christmas Tree
Flocking a Christmas tree is a long, involved process that takes about 4-5 hours plus another 3-4 days for drying, depending on the temperature. This is no easy task!
This is a messy job so make sure to flock your tree in a place where you can make a mess - like your garage. It’s definitely not a good idea to do it in the house!
This material is actually a mixture of rayon lint and dry glue. It can sometimes be purchased at your full-service garden center, but more often than not, you will have to purchase it from a wholesale florist supplier. You can check with a local retail florist and see if they can order it for you. Andre says it usually comes only in large quantities. He has gotten a 25lb bag and this will last him about 8 years doing 1 tree/year. Andre also adds fine textured mica at the end to make the "snow" glisten. This can also be purchased from a wholesale florist supplier. If it is not fine textured enough, he sifts out the fine particles and just uses the fine mica.
- Flocking material
- Fine textured mica
- Hand mister that holds about a quart of water
- Very good quality dust mask or a respirator like you would use for spraying
- Wet the top of the tree with water using the mister. It is important to do a portion at a time and to always start at the top of the tree.
- Fill the sieve with the flocking material and shake it over the moistened branches of the tree. Continue working around the tree from the top adding “snow” to make it look natural.
- Continue to work your way down the tree, first misting with the water then sifting the flock on the moistened branches.
- When he is finished with the flocking, Andre adds a light dusting of fine particles of mica over the "snow" to create a glistening effect on his snow tree. He warns not to use glitter because glitter does not look "natural" enough.
- When you have finished this process, re-mist the whole tree with water. This seals the snow on the tree and helps keep it from losing the snow when the tree is moved and decorated.
- Now the tree must dry before it is brought inside. The drying time depends on the temperature where you are working. Normally in an unheated garage it can take a long time – up to 4-5 days. You can decrease the drying time by increasing the ambient temperature in your work area, but it still takes a while for the tree to dry. Just make sure it is dry before you bring it in the house.
- Carry the tree inside butt first. You may want to keep a tarp under it to catch any bits of "snow" that will undoubtedly drop off.
- As with all cut trees, make sure to keep the tree stand reservoir filled with water at all times and keep the tree away from heat sources such as radiators and heating vents.