How do you flock a Christmas tree? The 3 easiest methods to try for perfect DIY snowy branches

Dreaming of a white Christmas? These experts share their top tips for flocking a christmas tree for authentic-looking snow

An all-white dining room decorated for Christmas with a flocked Christmas tree in the corner
(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? For a lot of us it's an unlikely reality, but that doesn't mean we can't bring the snow inside! Flocked Christmas trees make the perfect addition to your festive decor, especially if you're after that all-white interior, but how can you flock one yourself? 

If you're not sure what we're talking about, flocked Christmas trees have their branches adorned with fake snow for a wintery look whatever the weather. If you have an artificial tree, it may well already be flocked. They often have sparkly white tips to their branches that look pretty similar to the real deal these days. Adding one to your Christmas decorating ideas is like transporting your living room to the North Pole, and kids absolutely love them. 

Perhaps you want to add a smattering of snow to your existing faux tree, or maybe you want to give your real tree a dusting of the white stuff; whichever the case may be, we've asked some experts for their best DIY methods on how to flock a Christmas tree at home. 

Lilith headshot for bio
Lilith Hudson

Lilith is an expert at following news and trends across the world of interior design. She's committed to sharing articles that help readers embrace emerging trends and keep up-to-date with changing styles to keep in tune with the seasons. With the festive season nearly upon us, she spoke with stylists and bloggers to learn how to flock a Christmas tree for the white Christmas of your dreams

What is a flocked Christmas tree?

christmas tree

(Image credit: Lights4fun)

Let's clear a few things up. When we refer to flocking in relation to Christmas trees, we're talking about decorating their branches with fake snow, be it with cotton wool, corn starch (yes, really!) or foam. What we're not talking about is inviting flocks of birds to perch on top of your tree (an easy mistake to make!) 

Flocked Christmas trees have been an enduring decoration idea, but they were especially popular in the mid-century when many families would use a mixture of cotton wool mixed with cornstarch to get that alpine look. Soon after, flocking powder and foam were introduced, making it easier than ever to create the frosted effect. 

How do you flock a Christmas tree?

A frosted white Christmas tree

(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

1. Spray-on snow

As we've already brushed upon, there are various methods when it comes to flocking a tree, but foam sprays remain the most popular. 'This is done by spraying a thin layer of foam onto the tree and then allowing it to dry,' explains Judi Kutner, head writer at apartment living blog, Apartment Notes (opens in new tab).

To flock your tree with foam you'll need to buy flocking spray cans, like these ones, available at Amazon (opens in new tab). It's a good idea to lay your floor with a dust sheet or old newspaper before you spray your tree. Once you've prepared the space, simply spritz the nozzle across your tree until you achieve the desired effect. A small amount will give you a light dusting while a heavier spray will make your branches look laden with snow. 'Once the foam has dried, you can remove it with a hairbrush or vacuum cleaner,' says Judi.

Flocking spray, Amazon (opens in new tab)
Get the look

Flocking spray, Amazon (opens in new tab)

Bring the outdoors in with this textured snow spray from Amazon. With this pack of four cans, you can adorn your tree and then use the spare spray to lightly frost centerpieces, ornaments, and other decorative arrangements, or even spray on windows and mirrors, for a snowy landscape look comparable to Lapland. 

2. Flocking powder

Flocking powder, like this pack from Amazon (opens in new tab), is another modern way of instantly introducing a snowy look to your tree. This powder is applied using a sieve (we recommend doing it outside, as it can get quite messy!) followed by a water spritzer which helps activate an adhesive in the powder. Just follow the instructions on the packet to ensure you leave enough time for the powder to dry before decorating with baubles and Christmas lights.

SnoFlock flocking powder, Amazon (opens in new tab)
Get the look

SnoFlock flocking powder, Amazon (opens in new tab)

This is made with a durable snow powder adhesive that sticks to your tree as you spray it on with a water spritzer. It includes glitter crystals that mimics the delicate shimmer of fresh snow and, what's more, it can be recycled along with your real tree since it's biodegradable!

3. Traditional methods 

If it's the day of decorating your tree but you don't have any flocking kits to hand, fear not! Traditional flocking methods make use of household items you almost certainly have lying around in a cupboard. One of these methods is to use a mixture of flour and liquid corn starch for a DIY snowy formula. Simply mix one part liquid corn starch with two parts flour until you reach a thick consistency, then apply the mixture to your tree's branches using a brush or your fingers.

If you don't have flour and corn start to hand, a mixture of glue and shaving foam can have the same affect, or simply glue tufts of cotton wool to the tips of your branches. Just be wary that these methods are less durable than the snow flocking kits so are unlikely to last until next year.

Why flock a Christmas tree? 

A faux Christmas tree with snow effect foliage

(Image credit: Luke Arthur Wells)

We think a flocked tree speaks for itself, but if you do need convincing, we can help with that. Not only does flocking your tree bring a touch of the outdoors in (albeit artificially) introducing the wintery theme of Christmas no matter where you are in the world, but it's also an excellent way to decorate for Christmas cheaply, something that's on all of our radars this festive seasons. 

If baubles, tinsel and a tree topper weren't enough, it also adds a little extra something to your Christmas tree. 'The idea brings the feeling of nature into the house,' Judi notes. 'It's a great aesthetic improvement for the family photos and provides a cozy sense of winter while enhancing holiday spirit.' What's not to love?