Christmas is over, but don’t toss out that old tree just yet! It’s probably too late to be taking on this project, but it may give you a little inspiration to hang onto that old tree or garland a little longer for next year. I so desperately wanted to buy a new Christmas tree this year. I had visualized a beautiful, tall, full, fluffy, snow-sparkled tree making a statement in my living room corner. Turns out, our budget didn’t allow–and honestly, that’s okay. As I get older, I realize more and more that all of these material things aren’t always worth the money. The “perfect” tree, gifts, lights, etc. won’t actually fill your home with Christmas spirit. You, with your love and goodwill create the magic. The laughter of children certainly helps!
Anyway, since I didn’t prioritize purchasing a new tree this year, I decided to get a little creative and add some fresh life to our hand-me-down Christmas staple item. I took on the project of flocking our tree. I felt like it would add just a small touch of sparkle and modern youth to its bland appearance. It seemed like just enough to light up the space, and somehow create the illusion of adding a little bit of fullness to the tree–especially coupled with meticulous fluffing of the leaves and layering coordinating lights, ornaments, and filler pieces. Flocking may take a little more work, but it’s nothing that can’t be accomplished within two hours. I certainly recommend it, and you don’t have to stop at your tree–you can use the same method to add a snowy appearance to really any of your greenery. It’s just a simple way to add a little bit of extra flavor to your wintry home.
- Tree (or garland)
- Multiple cans (varies depending on the size of your project) of white spray paint and/or artificial snow spray
- Homemade or store-bought flocking powder/paste (optional)
- I started with a bare tree. I quickly assembled it in the garage (or wherever you don’t mind spray painting). You don’t have to fluff the leaves perfectly. Just roughly spread them enough to cover your tree adequately. It’s also best if you remove the lights first (I recommend taking a few extra minutes to take on that step). My tree came with attached lights that no longer work, and I have been too lazy to remove them thus far, so I left them on for this process. I did, however, wait until the project was complete to put on my working lights. If you want to lay down sheets, newspapers, or anything to cover the area, now is the time to do it (although, if you guessed that I painted without covering my floor, you would be correct).
- You can use white spray paint or an aerosol can of fake snow like this. You can even find it at Dollar General. I used a combination of both. I had cans of left over white spray paint, so I used that as a base to just lighten up the tips of my leaves. After, I used the can of aerosol snow. I found this to have a bit of a better, snowier and thicker texture than white spray paint alone. You don’t have to be overly particular. Just focus mainly on the tips of the branches, and attempt to apply the “snow” in a more natural way (think of how snow would cover a tree: from the tip-top, then trailing down almost spontaneously to the protruding branches below). If applying in multiple layers, allow about 15 minutes in between sprays to avoid having a sticky tree that doesn’t want to dry. You do not want to apply products too heavily, though I did purposely get more heavy-handed randomly throughout the tree.
- To achieve the most realistic and textured appearance, apply a snow-like paste on your branches at this point. You can easily make your own with supplies that you likely already have. I really wanted to do this, but had no patience for it this year–but maybe next year 🤷🏼♀️. The YouTube channel Welcome to the Woods did a wonderful job showing the process on an easy to follow video.
- Once the tree thoroughly dries (ideally, the next day), bring your tree inside and place and assemble as you normally would. Now is the time to string your lights. I love the glowing appearance of traditional white lights. Layer your ribbon to add fullness and pattern to your tree. Hang your ornaments, top your tree, and add filler elements throughout to cover bare spots, add some pop, and try some natural filler as well for a more classic, earthy aesthetic. I have a real love for a simple, classic, mostly coordinating tree. I begin by hanging pine cones and scattering matching set of ornaments throughout. Then, we go through and add our sentimental ornaments. For filler, try a combination of both artificial and real decorative pieces. I used berry branches that I purchased for a very low price at Michael’s. I also added small twigs from the yard that we had previously spray painted white for my daughter’s Frozen-themed birthday party. You can try pieces of pine needles, pine cones, or really, whatever looks appealing to you. It’s your tree–your little corner of personality for the month.
The flocking adds that little touch of just enough sparkle–offering a simple (and cost-friendly) update. Merry Christmas ya’ll!