Trimming the tree and decking the halls…
…has become such a creative outlet for me over the past few years. I love to update my holiday looks with trending colors and textures that have grown in popularity over the current year.
Textural details of soft velvets, fuzzy boucle, and suede-like walls stood centerstage in most home designs with colors leaning towards the moody side. I wanted to mimic these trends in my holiday decor for a nod to the year’s accomplishments.
Recently Studio McGee designed a beautiful collection of velvet ornaments for Target’s Threshold line. They sold out in minutes and have yet to return to stores. I loved the juxtaposition of soft velvet in earthy tones against the green bristles of a Noble Fir, but I didn’t want to purchase new home decor this year.
I knew that there had to be a DIY solution so I did a bit of digging.
I found that the finish on the ornaments was very similar to that of the liner in my jewelry box drawer!
The ornaments are flocked.
WHAT IS FLOCKING?
When you think of flocking, I’m sure an artificial Christmas tree with fake snow comes to mind. Yes, this is a type of flocking, but not the one used to create the ever-popular ornaments.
The flocking on the ornaments is the process of adhering pulverized nylon to an object. You have seen this style of flocking on the interior of your jewelry box drawers, or on the green heads of a mallard decoy.
MATERIALS YOU’LL NEED
The best part is the materials are easy to acquire and are cost-friendly.
You can repurpose old ornaments or purchase inexpensive ornaments at your local Dollar Store or Walmart to give an upscale look to them. Flocking can be added to any type of material as well, such as wood, plastic, or glass.
You’ll need the following items to create this look
- A box
- A foam floral block or cup with straw (something to hold the wet ornament up while drying)
- Suede-Tex Undercoat Adhesive (I suggest brown, black or wine colors)
- Foam brush (this will be disposed of at the end)
- Suede-Tex Mini Flocker
- Suede-Tex Flocking Fiber (comes in a variety of colors)
I recycled an Amazon shipping box and grabbed a floral foam block along with paper straws at my local Michaels. The more unique materials, such as the adhesive and flocking fibers, I ordered from Amazon.
Shop Your Materials
The leading brand that I came across when purchasing my materials was Donjuer. There are also flocking kits sold on Amazon that come with acrylic paint, a squeezy bottle, and flocking fiber. I do not recommend this avenue. I purchased one to compare the end result with that of the undercoat adhesive version.
Comparison of Methods
This video shows the ornament flocked with acrylic paint and the squeezy bottle has discoloration and the flocking sheds. The ornament made with the undercoat adhesive and mini flocker has a consistent finish and the flocking does not shed.
STEPS OF FLOCKING
- Set up your materials. Place your ornament int he box and fill your mini flocker with the flocking fiber.
- Using a foam brush, paint on the adhesive. Be careful not to let it build up on any one area. The adhesive has a self-leveling agent in it, but you can get drip lines if you’re not careful. Place your wet foam brush far way from the flocking area and place the cap back on the adhesive can.
- Flock your WET ornament right away. The adhesive sets within 15 minutes, so there should be no wait time between painting the adhesive and adding the pulverized nylon.
- “Hang” your flocked ornament on a straw inserted into floral foam to dry. The adhesive sets quickly, but you should let your ornaments dry overnight.
- For added style, spray paint the ornament topper black or aged bronze for a nice constrast to the velvet baulb.
Clean up is simple, Reattach the top of the adhesive can for storage. Dumb the overspray back into the flocking fiber bag to use again, and give your countertops a good wipe down!
If you are a visual learner, you can watch the process below in a quick tutorial video.
TIPS I WISH I KNEW
- Flock one ornament at a time. The adhesive dries too fast to batch create.
- PPE. You’ll want to wear some sort of mask to keep from inhaling the pulverized nylon since you’ll be “puffing” it over the wet adhesive.
- Use a box to contain as much of the flocking as possible. I lined my box with foil and afterwards, emptied the overspray back into my container of flocking fiber to use again later.
- When you are flocking the ornament, try to angle your mini flocker downward into your box. The flocking material with create a layer of dust around your workspace, but it won’t stick so clean up afterward is a simple wipe down.
- Glass ornaments are heavier than plastic. Rest your drying ornaments in a sturdy container.
- If you are invested and want to make several dozen, a flocking gun can be purchased for around $50, but it isn’t necessary.
- Having another set of hands to flock or hold the wet ornament is helpful.
- Let your ornaments dry overnight which is longer than the suggested drying time.
Your beautiful handmade velvet ornaments can be displayed around your home in many ways. Place them on your Christmas tree for a gorgeous contrast to your evergreen branches. Display them in a collection in a woven basket as a centerpiece or use them as an embellishment on a wrapped gift.
I hope you enjoyed this simple DIY to achieve the beloved velvet ornament. Until next time, you can follow along with daily inspiration and posts on Instagram.