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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A pink, flocked, recycled Christmas tree

I about fell over laughing when my mom sent me these photos the other day. It was the christmas tree we had when I was almost two years old.

My dad has always been very clever. And for some reason he'd decided the year before to recycle our Christmas tree to use again the following year.

So, after Christmas he'd hung the tree upside down in the garage and let it dry. All the needles fell off and the branches fell downward, which was really upward once the tree was done and set right-side-up.

Dad and Mini Me

Back in the day flocking trees was very popular. Flocking is the stuff applied to a tree to make it look as if it's covered with new fallen snow.

The next year he flocked the skeleton of our previous year's Christmas tree with pink flocking, strung it with white lights, added pink ornaments and voila!

A little girl has her very first pink Christmas tree. LOL.

By the way, there's more than one way to flock a tree. The most professional flocking method takes minutes and is usually performed at nurseries or tree farms. A blower and gun are used to apply the flocking (a combination of cellulose, a derivative of wood, water, spray adhesive and, in many cases, a fire retardant) as the tree spins on a turn table. In the link above the nursery charges $10 to $12 per foot to flock a tree.

These are professionally flocked fresh trees with needles.

Or if you like to DIY you could use a mixture of soap flakes, starch and water with a bit of food coloring either blown onto a tree using a vacum cleaner or simply apply the flocking mixture by hand to create a tree covered with new fallen snow. This appears to be the most eco-friendly flocking method.

Here's a more time intensive DIY tutorial about how to use rayon lint and glue. It takes about 4-5 hours plus another 3-4 days for drying, depending on the temperature.

If you have pets the ASPCA says that the flocking material itself isn't toxic to pets but ingesting too much of it can cause an intestinal blockage so think twice before flocking if you have the pitter patter of little paws running around your house or apartment.

Flocked or un-flocked I'm sure your tree will be festive and bright as you enjoy the holiday season :)

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