How to DIY a Flocked Christmas Tree

How to DIY a Flocked Christmas Tree

Flocked Christmas trees have always seemed a bit comical to me living in Southern California but this year, I just couldn’t resist. Last year’s mantel was classic and gold, this year I wanted to change it up without spending a thousand dollars on decorations. The flocked Christmas tree adds a bit of whimsy and plays off perfectly to the $3 white houses that I got in the Target Dollar Spot. 

I was surprised that a flocked Christmas tree was such an easy DIY project. Thanks to My Vintage Porch, I loosely followed her instructions and love the result. 

This post contains some affiliate links – meaning if you click through the links and buy anything, the retailer will pay me a small commission at no additional cost to you! 

DIY Flocked Christmas Tree

These trees are from Hobby Lobby and were $3. They are the perfect size for the mantel and easy to fluff up. 

Flocked Christmas Tree DIY project - perfect decorations for a rustic or farmhouse mantel. Ideas on how to pair them with white ceramic houses from Target with red accents and green garland. #christmas #flocked #mantel

Next step is to give them a good coat of white spray paint, I used this white chalk paint. I did from all angles too, including from the bottom up to make sure it was fully coated with just a bit of green peaking through. 

Flocked Christmas Tree DIY project - perfect decorations for a rustic or farmhouse mantel. Ideas on how to pair them with white ceramic houses from Target with red accents and green garland. #christmas #flocked #mantel

While the paint was still wet, I sprayed it with adhesive and then dumped on the fake snow. I used an old bucket to contain the mess. 

Flocked Christmas Tree DIY project - perfect decorations for a rustic or farmhouse mantel. Ideas on how to pair them with white ceramic houses from Target with red accents and green garland. #christmas #flocked #mantel

Once it was coated, I sprayed it with another layer of adhesive and then sprinkled on the baking soda. The snow that I bought was iridescent and I was too lazy to return it.  The baking soda toned it down a bit. 

Flocked Christmas Tree DIY project - perfect decorations for a rustic or farmhouse mantel. Ideas on how to pair them with white ceramic houses from Target with red accents and green garland. #christmas #flocked #mantel

Something I learned for next time, I’d attach a wire to the top of the tree so I could life and move the tree around without flocking my own fingers and smooshing the fluff on the top branch. 

Flocked Christmas Tree Mantel

I loved the white ceramic houses from the Target Dollar Spot this year. I’ve always wanted one of those quaint Christmas ceramic house villages and this is probably going to be as close as I get. 

Flocked Christmas Tree DIY project - perfect decorations for a rustic or farmhouse mantel. Ideas on how to pair them with white ceramic houses from Target with red accents and green garland. #christmas #flocked #mantel

Last year I laid the garland on top of the mantel but this year, I wanted something a little cleaner looking since the trees were so busy. Hanging it worked out great and I added in some live greenery into it to give it some depth. The wood nativity scene is this one from Melissa and Doug. The girls love to play with it and it keeps them from touching my vintage one in the other room. 

Flocked Christmas Tree DIY project - perfect decorations for a rustic or farmhouse mantel. Ideas on how to pair them with white ceramic houses from Target with red accents and green garland. #christmas #flocked #mantel

To add height to the houses, I used some of my cake stands that I already had. The gold reindeer votive candle holders were from Hobby Lobby last year. The red bulbs are from Hobby Lobby as well. They came in branches and I just cut them into smaller bundles. Some of the extra snow from the flocking made for the perfect topping to finish off the mantel. 

Flocked Christmas Tree DIY project - perfect decorations for a rustic or farmhouse mantel. Ideas on how to pair them with white ceramic houses from Target with red accents and green garland. #christmas #flocked #mantel

The big red bulbs give it a pop of color and work with the red beads in the garland. Plus it will tie in perfectly with our red stockings on Christmas morning. They will wait for Christmas morning since Little Nugget pulled one down on her head last year. 

I’m super happy for how they turned out and the entire mantel cost me under $50! 

Flocked Christmas Tree DIY project - perfect decorations for a rustic or farmhouse mantel. Ideas on how to pair them with white ceramic houses from Target with red accents and green garland. #christmas #flocked #mantel

 

Meat and Cheese Tray From Trader Joe’s

Meat and Cheese Tray From Trader Joe’s

A meat and cheese tray is my go to for any size gathering. They are so versatile and can be scaled up or down for any size budget or amount of people. I did one at our Christmas party last year and do them often, even if we just have another family over for a BBQ. 

Trader Joe’s

I have a love hate relationship with Trader Joe’s. I love their prices. I love their selection and I love all the fun, seasonal things that they bring in. My girls love their tiny shopping carts and the people who work there are always lovely. 

I don’t like how they wrap a lot of their produce in plastic. They always seem to be out of one thing that I need and if you hit that parking lot at just the wrong time, it will suck every kind ounce of blood you have in your body. 

That being said, they have some of the best pricing and selection of cheese and charcuterie meats. I grabbed some of my favorites and pulled together a quick board when we had some friends over recently. 

Meat and Cheese Tray Layout

Over time, I’ve accumulated a few different platters that I like to use for my meat and cheese tray layouts. I base that on the amount of people I’m expecting and the amount of items I have to fill the board. This particular board is from Crate and Barrel, I love the color and the versatility – you could write on it with chalk to label your meat and cheeses. So fun.

Meat and Cheese Tray Anchors

Then I lay out my cheeses. I always try to have at least one hard and one soft cheese. For this meat and cheese tray I used a brie, manchego and smoked gouda. I also used my favorite fig jam and some homemade apple butter

Meat and Cheese Tray Step 2

The next step is to layer in your meats. I like to peel the meat apart and fold them so they are a bit fluffy and easy to grab. If I am using prosciutto, I will cut the strips in half so they are a little more bite sized. 

Meat and Cheese Tray with Fruit

There is so much flexibility with meat and cheese trays. Once I have my main meat and cheese on the board, I will play around with the rest of the food to fill the tray. This particular time, I used blackberries, strawberries and pita crackers. I also grabbed some tiny pumpkins from the floral section of Trader Joe’s and added them in. What’s more fall and festive than tiny pumpkins!?!

Meat and Cheese Tray Fig Jam

Leaving room around the cheeses will give people space to cut in and get a good piece off without making a mess all around the meat and cheese tray. I also like to make cuts of the cheese before guests even arrive. People are more likely to dig in if they don’t feel like they are the first to do so. 

Meat and Cheese Tray Trader Joe's

As the party goes on, and things start to disappear off the tray, refill bare spots with extra crackers or berries. 

Meat and Cheese Tray Close Up

These are the Trader Joe’s Pita Bites that I used on this tray. I had intended to use the pretzel sticks and spinach/kale dip on this tray but it didn’t fit right so I served that in a separate bowl. They are staples in my shopping cart when we make a Trader Joe’s run. 

Meat and Cheese Tray Trade Joe's Favorites

Back to the meat and cheese tray, the finished product is so fun, festive and an easy way to wow your guests with the presentation. 

Have you done a meat and cheese tray? I’d love to hear some of your favorite things to include, comment below. 

An Advent Hashtag We Can All Get Behind #ActInAdvent

Advent is coming faster than we realize and this year I need your help to make it an extra special season of giving and spreading kindness. 

A few years ago a good friend of mine started Act In Advent on her Facebook page. The first year, she did one act a day during Advent. The next year she invited her friends to help and sign up for a day. It was just something for her friends, a way to remind us that the season wasn’t about the commercialization but about giving. A way to hold us accountable to act in service of others. I really enjoyed taking part in it. She’s not able to organize it again and I asked her if I could continue the momentum. 

What is Advent? 

Do you know what Advent is? Christians celebrate it during the four weeks leading up to Christmas. It’s a time to prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus. A time for reflection and a time for action.

Even outside of a church setting, Advent Calendars and Advent wreaths with four candles representing the four Sunday’s during Advent are everywhere during the holiday season. 

Act in Advent

My Dad always said the secret to a happy life was the 5 F’s – Faith, Family, Friends, Food and Fun. It’s been something I’ve tried to live by and the basis for this blog. But the faith part is something that I’m not really comfortable talking about. I have my own relationship with God and I have my own beliefs (and struggles) with my Catholic faith but it’s personal to me. Not really something I openly discuss.

That’s just me and I completely respect people who like to share their faith – whatever it is. I think there is strength in our differences, we can all learn from each other and I love that people are comfortable sharing – this is a judgement free zone.

So with that being said, Act in Advent isn’t about me getting on here and preaching. It’s not about any one church or even any one religion. It’s about us coming together to do some good during this holiday season. 

This is how it works. Sign up now for a day during the Advent season and do something good that day. Take one day or take more, whatever you feel comfortable with completing. It’s really that simple. It doesn’t have to cost you anything or much at all. Act in Advent is about acts of service to others, not elaborate or expensive gestures. Kindness can be free. 

Then share it! Use #ActinAdvent but remember that the reason behind the social sharing isn’t for praise – it’s an effort to spread the kindness. You don’t even have to share WHAT you did – just that you did something and encourage others to spread that kindness. 

#ActInAdvent Ideas

We’ve started the tradition of the Kindness Elves during the holidays (instead of Elf on the Shelf) and they are always encouraging our girls to do kind acts during this season. This post has some great ideas but here are some other Act in Advent ideas you can do in  your own community. These small acts are a great way to get the entire family involved and provides an opportunity to model for them the type of adult you want them to grow into. 

  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen
  • Make Kindness Bags with your family or friends
  • Buy the order for the person behind you at Starbucks
  • Drop off a poinsettia at your local nursing home
  • Make cards for the troops
  • Bring supplies to a local homeless shelter
  • Purge your toys and donate them to a local charity
  • Adopt a family for Christmas
  • Make cookies for a neighbor
  • Leave a thank you note for your postal worker
  • Donate old blankets and linens to your local animal shelter
  • Tape a bag with quarters and laundry soap to a machine at your local laundry mat. 

I’d love to fill up this entire sign up form with people committed to one day of #ActInAdvent. Share this post and get your friends or community on board. I can’t wait to see all the good we are able to spread this holiday season. 

Advent season is a time for devotionals, calendars and wreaths. This list of activities will give you ideas on how to spread kindness this holiday season and celebrate beyond the candles, decorations and garland. Perfect activities for kids to join the movement and #actinadvent. #christmas #advent #kindness