Dreaming of a White Christmas Tree (or Two)

By Kate Riley December 9, 2010

When I was little, I remember my grandparents always had a flocked Christmas tree.  As a girl, I always loved sitting under my Memah and Papa’s white tree, it was so enchanting, like something out of a storybook.  The tree had a crispy texture and funny smell, but I still loved it.  Every single time I see a flocked tree in reminds me of my grandparents.  (And that mothball scene when Lucy hides in the wardrobe before she discovers Narnia, strange but true.)   

Growing up, my parents always kept it green and natural, so after I got married, I followed their lead.  Never ever have I even considered a white Christmas tree in my house.   At the lot the other day, while walking passed the flocked trees, I told my hub about my affection for my grandparent’s tree.  Funny, we’ve spent fifteen Christmases together and he never knew! 

 cg white tree left side


So this year, we decided we wanted a flocked tree too, as a throwback to their generation.  The decorations are a fun but unexpected mix of gold berries, mini disco balls, teal plastic garland, crystals, brown ribbons and mercury glass, and of course, new and old treasures. 

 cg flocked tree fur skirt gold cross



There is no ‘tree smell’ but I have greenery other places, and since we don’t get any snow around here, faking it has its appeal.  I so love how the white backdrop shows off the ornaments on display !

frame ornaments




blue gold ornaments


I spy with my little eye last year’s DIY fur trimmed tree skirt.  LOVE it.  That skirt is stuffed like a Santa suit to give it extra fluff.  Just a few summer throw pillows and some leftover bubble wrap, fo reals.

 cg white flocked christmas tree


This flocking idea is new to me, and as I understand, it acts as a tree preservative.  I’m the kind of gal who keeps preservatives at arm’s length, but when I heard a properly stored flocked tree could be reused for at least another year, maybe two, I thought, well that’s pretty darn economical.  There is one more drawback: disposal.  Flocked trees can be reused, not recycled.  In my excitement, I forgot about that, so we’ll have to figure out proper disposal when the time comes. 

Meanwhile, I’ll thoroughly enjoy its beauty throughout the season!

noel on table


The kids got an extra treat too this year in the form of their own little tree in their play space.  Last year, I hit up the Goodwill the first week of January.  Tell me you do this too.  Tell me you visit the Goodwill in January for holiday decorations

OK, truth be told, I usually drop off all the stuff I don’t want in the back, then go right around the front to see if there’s anything new I really want.  Tragic but true.  But talk about a goldmine!  I found this white tree for a few bucks and I specifically recall paying 25¢ for this sweet candy garland!

 white tree red bucket


mickey garland


Santa and his friend keep all their favorite books and films ready to go!

fav books and films


The kiddos decorated their little tree with all of their favorite ornaments. . .

george and train

kid favorites


Speaking of favorites, oh Pepé, how do I love thee? 



Really, how can you honestly pick a Looney Tunes favorite?  Between Bugs, Yosemite Sam, Daffy, Wile E. Coyote, Foghorn Leghorn and Pepé, I struggle, truly I do. 


I’m linking up to Sarah’s Christmas Tree Party and Julia’s Holiday Party, a teensy bit tardy, but better late than never!  Have you visited them?  So many inspiring displays, don’t miss it! 




  1. We got our first tree this year and they had a flocked one we really liked, but decided to go more traditional for the time being. But they certainly are beautiful!

  2. Oh, WOW! Your flocked tree is absolutely gorgeous. I wouldn’t have thought to use brown ribbon on a white tree, but it works! It’s beautiful. Thanks for joining my party and sharing it with us! :)

  3. Lovely, Kate!! I had actually never liked white flocked trees but this year I thought about how pretty they would be, all white and dressed up. I still didn’t get one but it is fun to see yours, so beautiful!!

  4. Your tree is absolutely beautiful! I have always wanted a flocked tree but have never found a place which sells them. Seeing yours makes me want on even more. I will be interested to find out if you decide to keep the tree for another year and if you do, how it looks next Christmas.

  5. Love the white tree! My grandma and grandpa always set up a white tree in their formal living room, and it was decorated with white lights and all pink ornaments. they always told me it was my princess tree. awww thanks for bringing back the memory. :)

    yours looks amazing!

  6. I’m not a huge flocking fan, but that is LOVELY! And it just “looks” like your home. Bright, cheery, and beautiful!

  7. I am in love with your tree skirt! So pretty! The flocked tree is awesome! I remember my Grandma having one too! Maybe next year we will try that out. Oh and I am going to do my first Goodwill trip after the holidays this year…I am looking forward to all the goodies I will find!

  8. I love this! I’ve always ooohed and ahhhhed over white trees and I have been dying to get one. I love how fluffy yours looks – like real snow! I want to get a small white tree for my dining room – it’s an ocean/beach themed space and I think it would look awesome with a white tree!

  9. Oh, Kate! Girl, I have not thought twice about flocking, but your tree is just perfection! I love it & the heavy flocking is what makes it. Truly gorgeous and looks so at home in your room. you outdid yourself again this year.

  10. My humble tree is suddenly looking a bit… green and lacklustre! I particularly like the way you have a ‘kids’ tree for the kids. Otherwise, it’s all a bit stylish! x

  11. My humble tree is suddenly looking a bit… green and lacklustre! I particularly like the way you have a ‘kids’ tree for the kids. Otherwise, it’s all a bit stylish! x

  12. Hi Christy! That skirt is stuffed like a Santa suit . . . summer throw pillows and some leftover bubble wrap too. Fo reals.

  13. ohmygosh the pepe le peu ornament is too cute! I love the snowy look of the white tree! I’ve noticed some can look a little tacky but i feel like yours is the poster child for gorgeous white trees! =)


  14. I love that three – it looks so elegant with the ornaments and your other decor. And I’m really in love with that tree skirt!!

  15. OH MY! I’m speechless……seriously. I love you all my blog friends but this is the most GORGEOUS tree I have ever seen. I’m so serious! Wow! WOW! SO beautiful. It make me wanna crumple up my lil walmart tree post and throw it in to the waste paper basket! I’m kidding….but really, Kate. wow! I love the kids tree too! :)

  16. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a flocked tree. My Nannie had a white tree when I was growing up, but it was a genuine white “heirloom” tree from the 60s. Yours is lovely! You’re right…the ornaments really do pop! Love the kids’ tree. I bet they had a blast hanging their own ornaments. :)

  17. That tree is beautiful, now maybe my family will let me get a tree other than the “traditional” green one. I saw a lovely black one that I want to buy.

  18. I just love your little white tree by the window….the kids did a great job of decorating it…It makes me smile! :))
    Your flocked tree is gorgeous…how pretty the Robins Egg blue ornaments are hanging on it!!
    Merry Christmas

  19. Oh, Kate, it’s gorgeous. I mean really gorgeous. I love every single thing about the decor…even the gifts wrapped are exquisite. Hope you can come link up tomorrow for the Christmas challenge we’re having…prizes coming! :) I’m loving all your decor this season…makes me ready for Christmas morning big time!! -shaunna :)

  20. Really nice! Am i understanding right, there is a real tree under there? I guess I have only seen the fake flocked trees. Either way, really nice and that tree skirt is amazing. I was thinking that my skirt looked kind of sad and limp, maybe they just need some pillows and a touch of fur! Take care, Laura

  21. I’m so JEALOUS! My grandparents had a flocked tree every year, until 2008, then they went with artificial-pre-lit-green. I miss the magic that the white trees provide!!!

  22. I love love love the golden frog ornament.. if you get this far and are feeling generous, I would love to hear where it came from!!!! I’m a grea fan of frogs but have not found anything in the last few years that said ‘I gotta have it!’.. until I saw your frog!!

  23. Amazing tree, it really makes your ornaments pop. My grandmother had a flocked tree, too. We were only allowed in that room to be close to it when we opened presents! I do remember standing at the doorway gazing at the beautiful tree.

  24. This has to be one of the most beautiful trees I have seen. Did you buy the tree already flocked or did you do it yourself?

  25. It looks so lovely!

    Thanks for inspiring me to give my boys a small tree to decorate.

    Our family had the fake candy garland when I was a kid. I have looked everywhere to locate some. It was one of my favorite parts of the tree.

  26. It looks so beautiful and it really fits with your house. I love it when holiday decor blends seamlessly into a home.

  27. Wait – what on earth is this flocking that you speak of? I have never, ever heard of such a thing in all my 39 years! It is so lovely and I’m usually a lover of the fresh green tree. Of course you have the magic touch and could make a trash can into a fabulous Christmas tree! Love it Kate! Thanks for sharing!

  28. Ahh! So gorgeous! I went the minimalist route this year and am coming to regret it, especially seeing this fabulous-ness. I love it all!


  29. Kate,
    I loved your flocked tree, but my jaw hit the floor when I saw your kids’ tree! That candy cane garland is exactly like the one I hung on my tree every year as a child. Until it fell apart and was melted by the huge hot bulbs on our tree.
    When Mom passed away, we found the “leftovers” of the garland in mom’s Christmas decorations and cried over the precious memories of Christmases with her as a child.
    My sister has the “leftovers” because I got an heirloom piece of garland that was my great, great grandmother’s. (We tried to split things as fairly as we could.)
    I haven’t seen a candy cane garland since my childhood!!!
    My sister told me if I ever saw one, to get it.
    She is going to freak when I show her your post!
    Have you ever seen that anywhere else (besides GW)? :) If you do, let me know.

    And yes, I love shopping GW in January! I got an amazing lighted wreath last year for 3 bucks! And I also got a little tree for the boys room. You just can’t beat it!

    Have a wonderful weekend, Kate!
    And thanks for the sweet childhood memory. :)

  30. Love the flocked tree! My husband was entertaining the idea of having one last year. I wondered if they were messy or more flameable. We do have a white artificial tree that we hand his parent’s vintage ornaments they gave us on. It is usually our favorite as it holds many memories.

  31. My grandparents had a flocked tree too. My grandmother made the ornaments …balls decorated with sequins and braid and jewels. I loved watching her pick the trimmings from a big basket next to her chair and I was lucky enough to inherit about 10 of her original designs. Every year I say I’m going to do a “Grandma Tree” but always end up with a natural green one on which the ornate balls are pretty much lost without the white contrast. Your tree is so inspiring that I’m going out tomorrow and getting a flocked tree…I only hope that it turns out half as beautiful as yours!

  32. Gorgeous! So so pretty, Kate! And, your kid’s tree is fun and whimsical! Both should be featured in a magazine.

  33. Kate, I remember flocked trees about 25 years ago. I think I had one then — I’m a little older than you! They were all the rage and then totally “dropped out”. I’ve had green ever since. Your tree is gorgeous.

  34. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the flocked tree! My parents had a flocked tree when I was very small, and then switched to the traditional green tree. You have inspired me to try a flocked tree! Love the decorations and ornaments…sensational, as always! :)

  35. It looks beautiful! We got our tree flocked this year, too! We really like it. We put it up today but still have some finishing touches before I can share it on my blog (: We only got ours lightly dusted with flocking, so there’s a little green still showing. So far, I’m loving it!

  36. Beautiful tree and it looks beautiful in your room. I have longed for an old fashioned aluminum tree with the big color wheel that is placed at the base. One of these years I am just going to go for it! My parents always had a green tree but their “cool” friends has the aluminum one and I was impressed. (how come everyone else’s parents are cool and your’s aren’t?) Fun post and love your kids tree also.

  37. I love the fact that you got a trees for your kids! That way they’ll (hopefully) stay away from mommy’s gorgeous tree but still have that whimsical, bright, child-like xmas spot for themselves! Awesome job!

  38. That tree is gorgeous! There are so many trees to look at out there in blogland, but this is a standout. I have never seen a flocked tree in person (only seen the fake white trees) but I love this!! My kids too have their own trees which they love to decorate. Theirs is a bit more tacky than your kids though, complete with good ole fashioned silver tinsel garland!

  39. Your tree is gorgeous! I too, love going to Goodwill, dropping off donations (getting that 20% discount card for my donations!) and going in to shop. I’ve even been know to stop at a store and buy something “cheap” just so I can donate it and get my 20% off card!! Love it! Great stuff!

  40. LOVE…no ordinary gal could make a flocked tree look so darling…but a CENTSATIONAL gal could! As with everything you do, absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for sharing!

  41. This is truly one of the most beautiful trees I have ever seen! I love that you chose a Cross for the top and the billowy effect underneath is genius! It looks like the tree is floating on a cloud. Thanks for sharing, Nan

  42. Can I please be transported back to childhood and come live in your house :-) What a special place it must be during Christmas. And this is my first comment to leave ya, even though I check out your site every other day and very much look forward to it. I feel like much less of a stalker now that I’ve finally left a comment. Keep doin’ what you’re doin!

  43. Oh, my grandparents always had a white Christmas tree too (fake white, not flocked). Every time I see a white tree it also reminds me of them.

    Yes, I also drop stuff off in the back of Goodwill, then come right around to the front and go in. Feels kinda weird sometimes. I usually shop Target and other stores for their Christmas markdowns.

    Funny about your children’s tree – this year I also got a white plastic tree for my kids, and decorated it with the same candy garland. Ours is a “Sugar Plum Fairy” tree though, with all candy/cookie related ornaments.

  44. I have dropped so much off at Goodwill, that I always feel they should be giving me free stuff when I’m at the check-out! How I love (and miss) Goodwill. There is nothing that size that I’ve found in the UK.


  45. Kate, we also have a white tree, but yours surpasses anything I’ve seen!! Where did you find such a gorgeous tree?? The color scheme is fantastic…your elegant tree skirt completes the picture! It is indeed quite like a fairyland fantasy Christmas !! How fortunate your family is to be able to enjoy such a beautiful scene as that!! You are just the greatest! Sorry I did not get a picture of my son’s Mickey Mouse ornament sent to you…I see you have one on your children’s tree–reminded me of his, which is wooden! Have a beautiful, joyous, Merry Christmas! Love, Pam

  46. Sweet story, beautiful tree.

    I love the way you tied ribbons on the branches. I normally drape ribbons throughout my tree as garland. But, I really like the way your bows look.

  47. I never thought I would like anything but the good ol’ reliable GREEN Christmas tree. However, after seeing your tree and many others similar to it, my heart has been changed! It is simply gorgeous. Plus, I LOVE your decision to use a cross as your topper! I have never seen that done before, but it is truly awesome!

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful tree with us. I hope you and your family enjoy a wonderfully blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.


    Teresa <

  48. kate,
    would love to know where you found that beautiful cross topper?????
    beautiful tree, by the way :)

  49. I am so excited about the glittery Santa and Reindeer you’re using as bookends. I have the same set! My boyfriend described them as “fun but classy,” and if Kate has them, I know he’s right!

  50. Beautiful decorating! Love to know where (and when) you found the bookends and the Pepe ornament!

  51. Last year our son begged us for a flocked tree and it was the most beautiful tree that we’ve ever had! Kate, your tree is even more gorgeous!! Oh, and I’ve been looking for a new tree topper this year… would you mind sharing with me where you got that beautiful cross tree topper?

    Merry Christmas and blessings to all!

  52. My Granny had a silver aluminum tree. Sort of foil strips on straightened out coat hanger wire effect really. BUT! [there is a but] The Dear old Soul was going blind due to Diabetes, and/or, this was one of the first “fakes” available and she got it cheap. Pick one.
    For years, after my Granny had died [I’d been 8yrs]; I put this tree up each Christmas in the basement play-room, in fear that : if she looked down from Heaven she may get mad we didn’t put it up.
    The last thing anyone wants is a mad Granny in Heaven. Who knows what travels through the mind of an 8yr old ? I’m sure I should have been in therapy.

  53. OMG…I love your flocked tree and skirt…bummer about the disposal part…maybe they can improve that part so I can get me one ;)

  54. This is terrific! Truth be told, I’m usually not a flocked tree person for many of the reasons mentioned. The tree lot near my house has them in many colors. There is only one flocked color, white, because most of us Bay Area folks don’t get white Christmas days.

    I am an ornament collector who hasn’t had a tree for years. Your photos really has given me the push to get things handled so I can have a tree next year.

    One option I’ve just started considering is a *gasp* false tree. Here in Denver, Saint Nick’s has a service that will set the tree every year and do repairs. They’re getting a lot better. Never know!

    I do love the Pepe ornament … reminds me of my “bro & sis” out there! ;-)

  55. i wish i could do a real tree, i’m so allergic! your tree is gorgeous and i love how you stuffed the skirt, great idea.

  56. Lovely post! You and I are on the same page this year as far as White trees, and kiddo trees! Fantastic job on your decorating! :)

  57. This is my first time ever posting a comment on a blog. I just couldn’t resist expressing how amazingly beautiful your trees are… Both of them are breath taking… Great work! I seriously think these are the most beautiful trees I’ve ever seen… WOW
    Yasmin @ WUSLU one deal a day

  58. I remember flocked trees from childhood, but I guess I had no idea they were real! Amazing. Seems like a great idea when you don’t have abundant snow. Of course, I’m writing from below the Great Lakes, and let’s just say that we’ve got a lot of white going on.
    In the spirit of “White Christmas”, I just wrote a posts with gift ideas “for the Black and White Thinker”… If you’re interested, here’s the link!

    Merry Christmas!
    – Heidi (saffronmarigold.com)

  59. My grandparents also always had a flocked tree with bright multicolored c-7 lights on it I don’t remember the ornaments but I loved the snowy look of the tree. My parents thought it was terribly uncool and not their style at all so we never had one but I always loved them. I thought you might be interested to know that the reason my Grandparents flocked theirs was that it reduced the fire hazard, Grandpa was a firefighter and was and, still is very concerned about fire hazards. I don’t actually know if the flocking is a fire-retardant or if it just helps the tree stay fresh for longer, either way I think it’s the perfect excuse to justify a flocked tree.

    And yes I cruise the Goodwill in January too, it’s also a great time to find new things that were likely gifts that weren’t well matched with their recipients.

  60. Now I’m really dreaming of a White Christmas. You’ve really outdone yourself.

    This tree is so beautiful, I can’t quit staring.

    Thanks for the Goodwill hint, will def be making a visit in 2011!

  61. Oh, Kate. I missed this post the other day. . . how? Too much going on, I suppose. But the topper–the tree topper! Oh, Kate! Can I know more about it?? (I don’t know if you’ve ever seen my cross collection–I’ve shown it a couple of times on my blog, but OH MY, I do so love your tree topper!!)

  62. I love your flocked tree. I had never seen a flocked tree until I visited my father one Christmas when he lived in California. My step-mother and I went to the lot and pick one out and they flocked it right there. I was dumbstruck. It was a gorgeous tree decorated. I will never forget it and the way my step-mother went out of her way to make a special Christmas for me that year….

  63. I love your Christmas tree. I recently borrowed a picture of it on my blog, mysweetelizabeth.blogspot.com and talked about how I want my christmas tree to look something like yours next year. Thanks for the inspiration.

  64. My Mom gave me a tree last year. It’s not horrible but it’s seen better years and I’m planning to get a new one maybe after Christmas so I thought I’d flock the old one & give it a new life. How many cans of spray does it take? Can you use the regular spray or does it have to be the “blower” type?

    • Hello Patricia, ours was flocked at the lot, but you could theoretically do it yourself. I’m thinking 2 or 3 cans should do it, just make sure you’re in a well ventilated space!

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