Posted on 159 Comments

Christmas Snow/Flocking From Soap

To go with the window frosting, I wanted to flock my evergreen wreath and Christmas tree. Yeah, flocking is not cheap. While discovering this fact, I came across website after website that gave recipes for making fake snow from Ivory Soap Flakes. Which, would make an awesome Christmas craft, if they hadn’t discontinued Ivory Soap Flakes back in 1978! How the hell do these recipes make it to the internet? Perhaps some old lady has a bomb shelter full of Ivory Soap Flakes that she pulls out each year to whip up some faux snow? Then she blogs about it… and everyone just copies the blog without actually trying it out. So, if you have a huge stock pile of Ivory Soap Flakes AND liquid starch here is the original recipe:

  • 2 cups Ivory Soap Flakes
  • 2/3 cup liquid starch
  • 4 tbsp hot water
  • glitter and 2 drops of blue food coloring

Unless you live in 1950 it’s going to be a lot of hassle to get your hands on at least two of the three ingredients, so, here is my DIY, modified recipe for Christmas tree flocking. Makes enough for a wreath and a bunch of pine cones with left overs:

  • 1 bar plain Ivory Soap* (grated) Get as close to one bar as you can without grating your fingertips
  • 1/2 cupish heavy spray starch (sprayed from the can) or Powdered Starch* mixed according to the instructions
  • 3 tbsp warm water from the tap (the hotter the better)
  • glitter and/or blue food coloring

Step 1

Grate the soap. My mother (Granny) had magically seen the elusive Ivory Soap Flakes in person, so, I went to her house to consult. We gathered her 15 or so graters (They have a bit of a kitchen equipment obsession. Though as hobbies go this is a tasty one Patrick and I take advantage of) and tried them out. We finally decided on one size that made little curls of soap. You definitely want to err on the side of too big, if they are too fine then they just dissolve.

Already snow-like

Step 2

Spray your starch into a measuring device. I wasn’t very particular and I got tired of spraying it, so, I ended up with slightly more than 1/2 cup. DON’T turn the can upside down! The propellant will shoot out without any starch. Though, most people probably already knew not to do this. Sorry there isn’t a picture of me spraying starch. If you need help with this step… Please email Patrick, I want to read his response.

Step 3

The old recipe had you put the contents in a mixing bowl and add glitter and food coloring. I wouldn’t bother; neither of them made a difference. Just throw the starch and soap in a mixing bowl and start whipping it with electric beaters? Mixer? Whatever the hell you call the things you use to make cake batter with.

Glitter- not nearly as awesome as expected

Step 4

Add the warm water and whip on high till it really stiffens and foams up. It will look and have the consistency of whipped cream with lumps.

Step 5

Plop on branches and let dry overnight and/or if you want a lightly flocked look put some in your hands and just stroke the branches. Try not to giggle at “stroke”. The first time I did this (yes I tried this a couple of times before actually putting it on my wreath) I didn’t A) whip it enough and B) wasn’t sure what the hell it would look like when dry. Dig to the bottom of the bowl and get some of the chunks mixed in with the foam. Put more than you think you need because some of the foam disappears as it dries. However, it does a good job of mimicking thick, wet snow and clings very well to the branches.

Snowy Christmas Balls :)

I made a new project from soap flocking! See my Perfect Faux Snowballs for more ideas on how to use this recipe.

Just a few notes

This recipe worked surprisingly well and as Patrick pointed out it was one of my only craft projects that made the kitchen cleaner than when I started. I was pretty dubious when I gooped it on the branches but I went online and looked at pictures of actual snow on wreaths and tried to mimic the layout. I just wish I given it a thicker coat. I also wanted the sparkle of ice crystals in the snow, but the glitter I mixed in didn’t show. I experimented and sprinkled glitter on the snow after I applied it and before it dried. Sprinkling glitter on the flocking worked much better.

It might be fun to tint the snow (retro pink?) but if you just want white then the blue food coloring didn’t make any difference. The only other issue is that up close it still smells like soap. For the wreath (hanging outdoors but under cover) it doesn’t matter, but I am going to try adding some evergreen essential oil before I do the tree. I want the house to smell like Christmas not soap.

I’m going to give the faux snow a thumbs up, and maybe after tinkering I’ll be able to give it two thumbs up. Anyone else have a fake snow/flocking recipe?

Edit: I ended up doing this recipe a couple more times to flock garland etc… The evergreen essential oil got rid of the soap smell and sprinkling crystal glitter over the top gave it the ice crystal sparkle. Finally, using hotter water doesn’t change the consistency at all but it gives you more working time. It starts to set as soon as it gets cool.

*These links are affiliate links. I have not received any compensation to review or use this product. Basically, I recommend it because I use it.

Tutorial on how to create your own flocking at home.  You can use household ingredients to create a biodegradable flocking for your Christmas and winter decorations.

159 thoughts on “Christmas Snow/Flocking From Soap

  1. Well apparently 2020 is the year of the flocked Christmas tree! I went to get a new-flocked tree and everywhere I went was sold out. I settled for a regular unfrocked tree. Couldn’t get over wanting flocking and found your tutorial?? Now even at my young age of 50, I remember Ivory Flakes. But alas, none to be found haha. I used the food processor to shred the soap, then I re-processed it with the regular blade. After mixing the soap, starch and water (with a dash of Mrs Stewart’s bluing) I put it back in the processor with the regular blade and let ‘er rip! Gave it a solid two minutes. Then I transferred it to the mob mixing bowl and used my hand mixer to give it some fluff. Schmeared it on the tree and Holy Holidays! Took my tree to a whole new level!! I was worried about the smell of the soap, I hate the smell of Ivory soap, but it’s not that bad. I also added some essential oils to the mix. So far I can’t smell those over the smell of the soap, but it’s not that bad honestly.
    Thanks for the tutorial!! My 12 yo son even helped with this and said it looks 100% better!
    Happy Flocking y’all!

    1. So glad it was so successful! This is one of my favorite tutorials I ever tried.

  2. Bravo on trying something old fashioned without a picture reference. My mother used to make this ‘snow’ when I was a child. I remembered that it looked so lovely and also, that we learned early on to not touch and then rub our eyes! ;) Your decorations look wonderful!

    Thanks for the smile!

    1. Awe you are so welcome. Trust me, once I made it I asked around to see if it was right since I had no picture to go on!!!! :)

    2. My husband parents use to use this recipe to put snow on their trees every year… So I started doing it also… But they never mentioned using starch and I never use it myself and it worked and looked fine… What is the purpose for adding the starch to the recipe, anybody know? I have always love the look I get on my trees it looks so real… This year I’m thinking about putting it on a Christmas tree stand I have for all my christmas villages, because I want something that will stay put, and I like how it last and dries hard…

      1. I believe the starch is there to really harden it up when it dries. It has a much harder texture than soap alone when dry with the starch.

  3. Back in the late 50’s to early 60’s when I was in the Girl Scouts we made mock candles using this same method, but we took bars of Ivory soap and grated it on a vegetable grater to shave it into small bits, then mixed and whipped it to a foam and made Christmas trees to look like candles, we added cake coloring and glitter as well, they were strictly table decorations but they don’t last very long in storage.

  4. Hi. I remember this. I was thinking of this idea and thought I’d throw it out to you. A mix of DAP drywall spackle, Elmer’s glue, a bit of white paint, a foam ball. Glitter.
    Cut the foam ball in half and take both halves and rub them together in a back and forth motion over a paper plate. Add spackle a bit at at a time till you get the consistency of what appears to be snow in a jar. Add some Elmer’s and white paint. Use on your items and glitter if desired.
    Must keep it covered with a damp cloth or it will dry out.
    I was thinking this would have more longevity. I haven’t tried it out but I have seen more precise recipes using these items. What is your take on it?

    1. So have you tried it? Do the styrofoam pieces give it texture? trying to picture how it would work. Especially, since the drywall spackle isn’t always a good clear white.

  5. amazing post and love it looks genuine from your photos. Can hardly wait to attempt it on our wreaths… gee, think about whether it would be alright on an outside wreath or would it dissolve away?

    1. If it was in a protected place I think it would last awhile. If it was getting consistent rain it would wash away.

  6. Thank you so much for your efforts and sharing! I found this only just the other day and was ecstatic! I wanted to have a “fresh from the outdoors” looking tree, but living in Oklahoma, it’s hard to come by…. especially one with snow. We have an artificial tree that looks like we just chopped it down in a snowy wood and brought it inside! I used 5 bars of soap, 4 1/2 cups of starch, and 1 cup minus one tablespoon super hot water to apply to our 7 foot tree.
    Just wonderful! We plan to make more for the kids to decorate the front door wreath and our two mini trees on the buffet cabinet.
    Merry Christmas and God bless your family!

    1. I would love to see pictures of you took any!

  7. Just use dreft powder soap with hot water and mix with beaters.

    1. I’ll have to try this trick.

  8. September 2016
    Has anyone ever used talcum powder dyed with powdered food coloring?
    I want to color an artificial tree & switch colors in the future.
    Basically, I want to change the tree color in the future, and I am looking for a very temporary, yet vibrant color for one month. HELP!

    1. I imagine you could dye the powder kind of like I do with sand in this tutorial. However, I bet it would take a lot of powder if you are trying to make it thick like snow. Soap flocking is dyeable, will come off, but you have to be willing to get the tree wet in warm water. A lot of artificial trees do not do well with water…

  9. Thank you so much for sharing Brianna! We just did this to our tree and it looks beautiful and so much more realistic than anything from a can. Also adding some pine essential oil did not seem to effect the consistency.

    1. Wonderful! So glad it turned out well. I would love to see a picture. I,too, have found a little essential oil doesn’t effect the consistency.

  10. Thanks so much for this article! I had no idea what the fake snow I have been seeing was; I just knew it didn’t come from the cans because it stuck so much better, was thicker and hard. Now I can do this myself! I love the way it looks.

    1. Yes, the fake snow made with soap has a great texture when dry! So much better than the canned snow.

      1. Definitely love this site. Whoever wrote this, you made my month ! ??

        1. Wow thanks! That is some huge praise!

  11. Speaking of memories, our grandmother used to help us make a Santa Claus Castle every year out of boxes (square or shoe boxes and Oatmeal cylinders or paper towel tubes) and fake Ivory Flakes snow “frosting.” I was looking for some such instructions for my grandkids (which is no where to be found) when I came across this blog. Wow! You’re a lifesaver! If you want to put up a blog about the Santa Claus Castle, I’d be back again, since I’ll just be winging it this year. I’m remembering the red cellophane taped in the windows with a light inside, and some sort of chain or string roping for a drawbridge. Thanks again.

    1. I am intrigued by a Santa castle. Did it have faux snow decorations?

    2. Did you ever try it?
      I remember making a santa castle as a kid too. I know it was some powered laundry soap of some sort and it was mixed, but I never knew if there was anything else added.
      I remember it being so fun and wanted to do it with my kids. I remember us using all kinds of little beads and buttons to decorate it and then as it flaked away at the end of the holiday season we could save and reuse some of the decorations (and put the pieces of “snow” in the wash with our clothes).
      I’d love to know if this mixture dries in a consistency that will hold up decorations and work well.

      1. It actually gets really hard when dry. I haven’t ever tried to keep anything but I think of you kept it away from moisture it sure seems like it would hold up.

  12. […] Craft Thyme uses a bar of soap and one other ingredient to make a faux snow for flocking Christmas trees, wreaths and just about any other “flockable” holiday decor. […]

  13. Thanks so much for your recipe and comments. My daughter and I decided to put up a live tree this year in addition to the artificial one. (We have not had a live tree for years!) I remember my mother flocking her tree with the Ivory Flakes…so we decided to do that too. I started searching the internet for flocking recipes when I could not find the Ivory Flakes!! Project is now complete and looks great! Thanks again!

  14. For several years, in lieu of a live Christmas tree, I decorated a tall bare-branch sweet gum tree with Ivory “Snow” using the powdered version and my mixer to whip it. No starch. Branches on sweet gum trees grow little extensions or “wings” which are ideal for holding snow and my artist husband would add little mounds or clumps of snow where the branches emerged from the tree to make it very realistic. Added nothing for further decoration except icicles, made of twisted aluminum foil covered in glitter. Much prettier and professional-looking than it sounds. Of course, my children were grown and gone. Would never have deprived them of a real tree, and the grandchildren had real trees at their homes. It did make the house smell soapy for a few days — I should have added Christmas tree-scented oil. After Christmas we would put it in the yard (minus icicles) and enjoy it even longer, as we seldom get snow in Georgia.

    1. I am going to have to see these tin-foil icicles. They sound very interesting! I will have to try the recipe without starch sometime.

  15. This was the funniest damn tutorial I’ve read in a very long time!
    It’s refreshing to read down home (down-to-earth) directions. So many people out there that try to be politically correct! Blahhh I say…….Ya’ll take mental notes from this tutorial in case you ever write anything in the future.
    Have’nt tried the snow idea (my husband just bought a can but I’ll try this with the kids next time)
    Thanks Brianna, ya’ll are my kind of people.

  16. More evidence I was raised in a cave! We cut our tree down yesterday and I wanted to make wreaths for my front doors today and came across your demo on wreath making. How can I not know what flocking is and how to make it?! I feel robbed of my childhood!! Will be making this TODAY. P.S. I think we would be friends if the universe ever allowed us to cross paths!!

    1. I never did it during my childhood either!!! I was so happy to find it.

  17. Your wreath is so pretty. Thanks for the tutorial. I had a thought, and maybe someone mentioned it in the above comments, but I haven’t read them all. Sorry if I’m repeating things. You know when you put a bar of Ivory in the microwave and it explodes into a cascade of powder? I bet that would work in lieu of the flakes. And you can still find liquid starch. I went looking for a goop recipe for my son a couple years ago. Note that I could only find it in the US, not in Canada. Happy Holidays!

    1. I have heard of this but never tried it! If you do try making snow via the microwave please let me know how it works.

  18. Thanks for sharing . I read all the comments as well. I must say I have for many years made the fake snow . My kids loved it growing up and now it’s the fun they add with their kids when it’s the season .gets everyone in the spirit. I haves tired the soap shavings that was great to know. I use the Ivory snow washing powder mostly found in the little small grocery stores . I thank you so much now I know that it is something ,else I can use and not drive all over town to find the powder.

    1. Glad to be of help. I love to find substitutions that make a craft recipe extra easy.

  19. Yall are great!! You made my day!! Lol.. you too Patrick!! Lol… i think i will give your modified recipe a try for my very old tired looking work office tree!! Ive decided to do a Vintage them and i think this will add the perfect touch!! Thank you! An have a Blessed Christmas!!

  20. A soap snow tree is beautiful. It is a rather large project to take on, but I know the enjoyment I ,family and friends get is well worth the mess and effort .When the tiny white lights are turned on the soap makes the entire house smell wonderful .I’ts only September but I am already thinking about Christmas . So have a wonderful Christmas and try and and make your tree unique this year .Roberta

  21. […] article from Craft Thyme explains how to make snow out of soap, starch, and […]

  22. Smaller grated curls does make it better. I think a little more HOT water makes more foam.

    1. Yeah you need some foam otherwise it is too lumpy.

  23. Wonderful! I was just talking about this! Thanks!

  24. I grew up in the 50’s and the snow on the tree from whipped Ivory Flakes was a tradition in our house. My sister and I would use a hand mixer and used a large pot then spread the “foam” on each branch. Because it did harden, it actually held the needles on the tree!! I don’t recall adding starch, just warm water and it was the consistency of whipped cream. I too never thought of shredding a bar of Ivory Soap but I’ll give it a shot this year , so thanks!!


    1. If you try it without the starch and it works please let me know. I haven’t tried that.

  25. I grew up doing this every year with my brother & sister. At some point each of us ate the “snow” because it looked so much like whipped cream. When I had my kids I went looking for Ivory Snow flakes & discovered that they had been discontinued. I made the mistake of buying Dreft once, thinking it was the baby detergent that did it. That stuff was pink! So then over the years I used various brands of powdered detergent without dyes & fragrances but it never whipped up like it did when I was a kid. It still looked great when it dried but something just wasn’t the same. At any rate, my kids have grown up associating the smell of pine mixed with soap with Christmas just as I did. They’re now 20 & 16 and enjoy doing the flocking just as much as when they were younger. But this year I have had a hard time finding any powdered detergent at all. I stumbled across your blog doing a search on my phone at the grocery store & was so STOKED to see this idea (and kind of feeling stupid for not thinking of shaving the bars myself). We’re doing this tomorrow. My mother died in October & I only wish she were still here to see & do this with us! Thanks & I look forward to reading the rest of your blog

    1. That sounds like an awesome tradition. I was switching the colored light bulbs around the tree to get a good spread of color. My husband asked me what I was doing because the boys were impatient to get on with the decoration.

      What it came down to is that my Grandmother used to make is all wait while she moved the bulbs around the tree. It just doesn’t seem like Christmas without the ‘color fussing’.

      So your kids get awesome fake snow and mine now have the traditional of obsessive color moving. :)

  26. I have a question- does this harden? The stuff I used last year was like shaving cream- never dried completely and has little kiddo fingerprints in it! I need something that gets hard. Thanks!

    1. Yes it gets hard but also a bit brittle. So keep that in mind.

      I imagine in the summer if under humid conditions it might get soft again. But here in winter it gets very dry and non-malleable.

  27. Finally, someone straight , honest, to the point, with personality, I’m not the foo foo type.

    1. Thanks! I take that as a great complement.

  28. Thanks for this recipe. It was super simple and the wreath and pine cones turned out great. For people living in Texas I was able to find liquid starch at HEB and got the Holiday Forest oil from Pier 1 since Michael’s and Hobby Lobby were out of it. Added 1 tsp of oil to the mix and it definitely got rid of the soap smell.

    1. Thanks for sharing the info!

  29. In the late 60’s I made small Christmas trees out of Styrofoam cones and a recipe similar to the one mentioned above. I would attach small Christmas ornaments and would lightly tint the foam. They were a big hit and I was able to keep them from year to year. Of course they are long gone but I have wanted to try it again. Thank you for giving me hope.

    1. I have had a couple people recreate the styrofoam trees with this recipe. From what I can gather it works very well.

  30. My sister and I just finished flocking a bunch of fake mini pine trees that we will be using as part of the center pieces for her upcoming wedding in January. They turned out SO great! This was super easy, and we had a lot of fun with it. Thank you so much for posting the recipe and your methods:) You’ve helped make a winter wonderland wedding become more…..wintery (?). Love!

    P.S. – this is definitely the way to go for those of you who have tried to find spray flocking only to find disappointing cans of essentially white spray paint. It’s just as cheap, and well worth the labor (which really isn’t that much).

    1. How awesome! Do you have any pictures? Email them please I would live to see.

  31. I was so glad to find this article! I learned the Ivory Snow Flakes version way back in high school and used to make centerpieces with my kids using a styrofoam base, twigs for trees, and miniature people and items like houses, lamp posts, etc. Also used a mirror as a skating rink. The snow was beautiful, specially when sprinkled the clearish type of glitter. So this year I wanted to take a step back in time and make one with my youngest grandchild, but didn’t want to use that canned snow. Thank you for doing all the experimenting for me!! I can’t wait to do this project again.

    1. You aren’t the first person to say you used it to make trees and scenes. Now I want to try that! I hope your project turns out just like you envision.

  32. Hi!
    I am thinking of doing this on some of my live trees outside. Do you know if this is permanent or will cause any damage to my trees? Does it come off with water?

    1. Well it would be a lot if soap to put on a live tree. While the starch makes it a ton harder to wash off than plain soap I still thank a rainstorm would cause issues. I have only used it outside in protected areas.

  33. Brianna,
    Thank you for the detailed comments, they take the guess work out of the project. We are on a tight budget this year and will be decorating our tree in home made items such as pinecones, etc.. I cannot wait to get started!

    1. So glad you found it helpful! Let me know if you have any questions or I left anything out.

  34. Thank you….first article I’ve come across that was worth reading..flocking looks great!

    1. Wow, what a complement! Thanks.

  35. This may sound silly, but do you put the lights and ornaments on the tree before you flock? If so I guess everything would have to be cleaned really well when you take the tree down. Thanks for your post!

    1. Not silly at all. I would suggest flocking first. Something about the mix becomes super hard to remove off items when it dries. I made the mistake of thinking it would wash off like soap. No… Wrong!

  36. Can this be used on aluminum trees?

    1. I have no idea. Sorry. Never owned an aluminum tree. I do know that the soap is really hard to get off items after it has been put in them. It doesn’t wash off easily like regular soap.

  37. Laugh!!! Well I found it funny. I am going to give it a try if only to amuze the rest of the family. You obviously write recipes like I do – e.g. dollop of this and that, throw in and bung in the oven are as accurate as I get. Thanks and here’s hoping for a cleaner kitchen. That in itself will prove interesting!!!

    1. Yep. That is how I go about everything :)

  38. As a child in the early 60’s in school we make faux candles mixing Ivory powder with water to make a paste then covered a toilet roll cardboard tube with this mixture. Then sprinkiled glitter all over it, put a top of somekind on the top. It looked just like a candle. Does anyone remember doing this craft? Can’t find Ivory Detergent Powder anymore. Lets tell Protor & Gamble to come back with the Ivory flakes and powder!!

    1. It would make my life so much easier! I bet they could make a killing at Christmas by selling the flakes to crafters.

    2. I stumbled on this website and FINALLY someone remembers the Ivory Snowflake Candles….mine was pike with tons of glittler and I was in the 4th grade! I was so proud to give it to my mom that Christmas. It smelled so clean and I thought it was BEAUTIFUL! Not one of my old classmates remembered making those candles that year of our 4th grade. Thank you!!!

  39. I have been looking for a good way to flock my tree, and the cans don’t seem to give the look I wanted. Also, I heard the chemicals used in them are “not good”. Soap sounds more up my alley, and honestly, I think it looks more natural than the sprays I’ve seen. Great tutorial! Definitely trying this!

    1. I really think it looks much more natural in person. Especially once dry. My pictures don’t really do it justice.

  40. What kind of soap is better

    1. As far as I know this only works with plain old ivory soap. I haven’t tried others, but I read that depending on the lotions, additives, etc other soaps won’t work. If you try another let me know.

  41. I got a great grade on a winter diorama in 4th grade (1965) using Ivory Snow. Took a friend’s son to the grocery store last week to find a box of flakes for a project and found out I was about 30 years too late. Thanks for the tips on using bar soap instead.

  42. Wow, that looks a lot better than the manufactured snow covered trees.

    1. Thanks! I thought so too. Honestly, I was surprised how much it looked like snow when I was done. I would just suggest putting more on if you try it.

  43. This started out so funny and funnier cause I know where I can get those flakes!! Article took me back to those grade school Christmas projects-oops told age bracket anyway this was great to read and turned out pretty nice,thanks for the laughs and recipe..

    1. I’d love to know who has those flakes still hiding out in their house. :)

  44. I love love this! It turned out so great! I have been looking everywhere for a flocked tree to buy and can not findone that I love. So I thought I would search how to do it myself and this is a great idea! One questions though, how does it store? Will you have to reapply every year?


  45. Hi all, I was thinking since I live out west (west) in Hawaii and they charge enormous prices for flocking, if we even have it available to us… of doing a DIY flocking on my tree. I remember as a kid in Cali going to the train yards in Los Angeles and you could flock your own tree in the booth.. I also remember momma doing the Ivory Flakes and helping her… soap snow all over the place and then waiting for it to dry over night…
    Hint… we used a lot of soap.. the more we put the better, it helped keep the dried needles from falling off..
    Loved Ivory Flakes… mostly used to launder baby clothes..
    Reading your responses brought back tons of memories….. thank you.

  46. […] More recently, people with too much time on their hands have been using Ivory to produce “flocking” for their trees and decorations. This is a simulation of wet snow that starts out wet and dries for a clumpier, wet snow effect. A good recipe is here. […]

  47. My mother and I used to do this all the time, so I was really surprised this year when I went to the store to look for Ivory Snow Flakes – and find out they no longer existed. I am going to try your recipe, although w/o the starch. We never used that. We just dumped the flakes in a bowl, added some water, and whipped up our concoction. I will take your advice though on the evergreen scent, because the smell of soap has lingered in my memory all of these years.
    Thanks for posting!

  48. […] buy a real tree already flocked, but what’s the fun in that? So when my friend Amy sent me this link, I knew I had to try my hand at a snow-kissed tree this year. It was surprisingly easy to execute, […]

  49. Thank you for putting this up! My mom used to do this when I was young, she has passed on now and I’ve been looking for her recipe but no luck, so thank you!

  50. I LOoooOoOooove this. I know I am a few years late on this post, but I just found it, and used it on my very first Christmas tree!. I couldn’t really figure out the best way to put the snow on the tree, so I just stuck my smallest whisk in the bowl, got some trapped, and just went to flicking it on there. It made a mess on my walls (good thing it’s soap, so it actually did me a favor I suppose), but turned out wonderful. I can’t wait to read the rest of your posts.


  51. Hey Loved your post! I know this first hand from back in the day. My father always whipped up the Ivory Snow detergent but I didn’t remember the starch. He probably did that step when I wasn’t looking or something. I used to think it was great fun to help. What did I know. You got to glop the stuff on the tree and ended up with all kind of prick marks up your arm. Now that was living! Those days you’d line up for any kind way to participate in things that were reserved for adults. It’s like the time when I tried making homemade ice cream with my kids. My mother’s recipe made enough custard for two batches and after a few cranks, I was abandoned to crank alone. I cranked for a half hour. My son asked, why couldn’t we just go to the store and buy some. He may have had something there. Your story was priceless. The faux snow, some blue giant Christmas light bulbs and vintage ornaments and I am there. Thanks for the reverie…oh and Merry Christmas!

  52. Love this! Have had a good artificial tree for many years that just was getting a little flat and worn out. I flocked it with this recipe and it just brought the tree back to life! It has dimension again and is beautiful. Not sure how it will store for next year but is revived for this year anyhow. Note– the 7 ft tree took 20 bars of Ivory and 1/2 gallon of liquid starch, mixed in batches of 4 bars and 2 cups starch with the hot water at a time and working fast. It took more time and material than expected but am only into it about $15.00 anyway. Can’t beat that!

  53. Wow, Thanks for the tutorial! I will try adding the evergreen scent in this year for Christmas Decorations. Will definitely add to my list!

  54. Hi, I used the powered Ivory snow soap, I used your recipe here, added some fake snow to the mixture, and before it dried I sprinkled with glitter. The only thing I didn’t do was add the blue food coloring…(was afraid) I flocked a little 1 1/2 foot tree. It looks so cute. At JC Pennys right now, they are selling these little trees with ornaments for 5 bucks, so i wasn’t too worried about making a mistake. Hoping it stores well. Will have to let you know. Merry Christmas :-)

    1. Oh so the powdered worked too? I would love to see pictures!

  55. In grade school (40+) years ago we made up a batch of that (using flakes)and using cookie cutters as molds made ornaments out of them. I think we used a skewer to make a hole for hanging…I have always wanted make them again! THX

    1. I never thought to make an object with them!? I’m totally going to have to try this. Thanks for the idea.

  56. Thanks for sharing your recipe! It looks very pretty on the wreath. I may have to give this a try.

    1. If you try it I love to here how it goes. Let me know!

  57. My Grandmother did it for as long as I could remember so I have been doing with my tree. I love to watch the tree take on a whole new look each year and listing to the oooo’s and ahhhs from my family and guest.

  58. My grandparents made snow for their tree and I remember helping to put it on the tree. What fun and what memories! I like the soap smell with the evergreen scent. It takes me back to Mammow’s

    1. I love hearing the memories/traditions brought back by crafts. Makes me want to research some more and recreate some of the older craft recipes! Thank you for sharing.

  59. …a few drops (7-10) of the Yankee Candle refill…

  60. maybe you can ‘whip’ up a soap crown! Ha!!

    Brianna you are awesome – I’m off work for 2 days and will try to flock my pinecones.
    Will advise.

    ~Jackie O

    1. I would love to see pictures!

      1. Brianna – I’m posting here just so the next person will know…this easy craft makes for such a big impact! I added a couple of steps: after grating the soap, I placed the bowl outside for a half hour to help get rid of the soap smell. Followed your directions from that point as you’ve got them written, but it seemed a bit dry, so I added some extra water AS I was mixing for a consistency with which I felt comfortable. Also, while mixing, I scented my soap mix with a few (like 7-10) of Yankee Candle Sparking Snow (I used a refill pack for the home diffuser).

        Best thing about this: it’s like no matter how it comes out, you can’t make a mistake! I’m sending pics to your email; I liked my pinecones SO much, I also flocked the Christmas tree! I’m mixing a second batch to flock some more stuff!!

        Thanks so much for starting the original post. You made it sound easy; and it was!

        Merry Christmas always!
        Your pal, Jackie O

        1. I’m so glad it turned out! They look so much better than my first few attempts.

  61. First off- Congrats on being the Flocking Queen you have become- staying with this topic since last year and answering so many questions very helpful! Question- A few questions before I start- Is liquid stacrh the same thing people use to mix up themselves ‘Argo’ comes to mind? Also- If I use this on artificial greens and don’t like it (or want to change the effect’ or get it on my lights and want to remove it, how do I do it? Will just hot water do it?

    1. The flocking queen… I must get a crown :)

      Yes, it is my belief that the liquid startch is the kind you can mix up. We used to use that to starch hand crocheted angels and snowflakes my great-grandmother would make.

      Secondly, it will come off with hot water BUT it really sticks, so you are looking at some elbow grease once it dries OR running it under a lot of hot water OR using your fingernail to chip it off. A lot will fall off if you try to remove it, but the residue and tiny pieces will still remain and have to be removed in the aforementioned manner.

      Good luck!

  62. I was wondering if other soaps which were scented would work.

    Also, could the popularity of Ivory be just because it was the only soap that came in flakes?

    Has anyone tried other soaps?

    1. Well regular ivory soap is a little different than many soaps on the market. First it is a whipped soap so it is lighter and fluffier than others. Secondly the original type doesn’t contain as lotions and very much glycerin so it whips into a snow foam much easier.

      Another soap might work but the more additives there are will weigh down the “snow” foam you are going for. Let me know if you find another variety that works well!

  63. Be careful about leaving a bowl of this stuff out on the counter, unsuspecting teenage sons are apt to think its whipped cream. (yes, he really did) :)

    1. Yuck! :) I would think the smell would have clued him in. LOL. Good reminder though for my two year old who is apt to think it is frosting.

  64. Does this work with the Ivory Snow “powder” detergent? How long will it last on my tree?
    I just ordered two boxes of the Powdered detergent, because I just seen a thing saying us the powdered….Ordered, and Then I found this… Amazon sells the flakes.

    1. You need the flakes to give it a lumpy ‘snow’ texture. I think the powder might be to thin but if it works let me know. I’ll have to check out amazon for the flakes.

    1. You know what? I’m going to let you out of my spam blocker because you were actually honest about just wanting to advertise. Cheers!

  65. This is FANTASTIC. I have scoured the interwebs looking for info and pictures of how this would look and yours is EXACTLY what i was looking for. I’m planning on Flocking/Snowing a tree and turning it into a frosty the snowman. I could just use a white artificial tree. only question i had was about application for a tree. should it all be done at once or can you do it in batches? Also, how much of the fragrance oil did you use?
    Thank you SOOOO much, you may have just made my Christmas!!!!

    1. I would suggest doing it in batches. As soon as the flocking starts to cool down it gets harder to apply. Also put a bit more on than you think you need as it shrinks some as it dries. You can easily add more, though, even days later.

      Per bowl I just used 2-3 drops. A little goes a long way with pine scent. Or at least to me it does. The soap smell also dissipates as it dries so if you want to leave the oil out entirely you would be fine.

      So glad I made your Christmas! I feel like Santa but without all the toys and elves. :)

  66. Hey I just came across this tutorial (SO AWESOME!!!!) I am wondering how your tree and wreath stored? Do you have to re-flock it this year, or does it stay nice?

    1. Glad you liked it! I used a live tree and fresh greenery so I didn’t bother to store it. I was actually wondering about that yesterday, because I was thinking about using some artificial garland I had in the basement and trying to flock it this year. If you try to store it let me know how it goes.

      I do know at the end of the season the flocking was HARD as a rock so I think it might store okay if it wasn’t some place very damp or hot.

  67. Cant wait to try. Do u add the essential oils to the mixture or put on after it dries?

    1. I added them during the mix. However, I think you would be fine either way.

  68. Brianna, here is a site for the ivory soap surprise balls. The kids love to make and use these. Happy New Year!

    1. Oh thanks for sharing! I can’t wait till McClain is old enough to do crafts. I’ll have to mark these to use in the future.

  69. More than 40 years ago, I remember mom and the other ladies of the Church Rosary and Altar Society making table centerpiece “flocked” trees as their fundraiser at the church bazaar. They whipped up the Ivory Snow with food coloring (bright pink, blue, red) and nicely glopped it onto styrofoam shaped cone placed on a paperplate. They added miniature silver balls into “the snow” when it was slightly dried as the tree ornaments. They finished it off putting white batting around the bottom of the plate and spinkling glitter over the whole thing. At the time they were a hot seller. Unfortunately, they did not last from year to year despite the hopes. ;-)

    1. That sounds awesome. I have got to think of a way to kind of modernize that idea for next year. Now that your describing them I have seen similar trees in older pictures, but it never occurred to me that they were made out of soap. Thanks for sharing.

  70. Making artifical snow from Ivory Snow Flakes was a long-time family tradition when I was growing up. Every year we mixed the “snow” in large mixing bowls and then, when it was still scalding hot, we would don rubber gloves and scoop out as much as we could at a time and lay it onto the branches so that it formed a thick blanket of snow (not the sort of flocking you normally see.) We always did this at night, on real tree, and in the morning the snow would have hardened. Everyone who came to the house would gasp and wonder how (In Lousiana mind you) we got a tree covered with real snow into the house?! Lights went on before the snow (unplugged until everything was dry) and then the ornaments the next day.

    Our recipe was to use Ivory Snow Flakes and boiling water, mixing them together (adding a little water as needed) with an electric hand mixer until it formed peaks (like you’re making a batch of whipped cream). Then we would add a little baking soda (I think it was just a tablespoon for a big bowl of snow) and mix in well. Next, while it is still very very hot and of the consistency of whipped cream, you would spread it thickly on the branches.

    We did not use blue dye or glitter.

    We tried to continue the tradition after the Ivory Snow company changed the chemical makeup of their product, but it never would come out the same and we had to give it up. So sad. Every year I long to make the Ivory Snow…

    1. I’ll have to try the baking soda and see if that adds anything. I’m sure it doesn’t look exactly the same, but it does still harden up nicely with the regular ivory soap. Also, I think thicker would be much better when doing the application.

      Love to hear the family tradition. It makes me want to try the same thing again next year on the tree, with my son.

  71. I sure hope I can find your blog again next year. I don’t have time this year to make snow but I remember it from my childhood, when every household had Ivory Flakes. Our neighbors’ tree had “snow” on it, as well as bubble lights, and I was so envious. Finally bought a set of bubble lights for this year’s tree. Snow next year!

    1. Well I will do my best NOT to loose our whole blog again. We’ve actually been at it well over a year, but I happened to loose everything when we migrates servers this past August. Yeah, major fail.

      I bet the snow would look PERFECT with bubble lights! Just keep my email handy and if you can’t find us I’ll be happy to email you next year.

  72. Would the spray “snow” in a can work? I used it to make a wreath for my daughter and it dried overnight, beautifully.
    It looked like the real thing and it was only $1.29. I have enough left to snow the whole yard. I found it in various places. Hobby Lobby, Wal-Mart. Joann’s, etc. Give it a try next time…much easier.

    P.S. I have done the grating thing before to make surprise soap balls, they have little toys inside. Believe it or not I used the grating disc on my food processor!

    1. Well the fake snow I had tried was kind of puny… I was looking for the thick look, and I wanted to add an ice crystal appearance. Cost-wise I can’t complain about the ivory snow, but a can is nice and easy :).

      I must hear more about the surprise soap balls? Do you have any pictures?

    2. It should be mentioned in the article that the fake snow chemicals are very bad for your health, possibly carcinogenic. That’s why this recipe is awesome, not to mention cheap.

      1. I meant the fake snow in the spray can has chemicals that are bad for you, sorry I didn’t clarify.

  73. I just now looked at the top of the page when you said you would run into Asheville. We don’t live too far apart. I was actually thinking about coming to Asheville this weekend to go shopping but a friend from Wisconsin is going with me and she wants to go to Concord Mills.

  74. I will be happy to. I bought the starch at Wal-Mart in the laundry section. I know they have it at our local grocery store (Ingles Supermarket) too. I had been keeping the starch to maybe wallpaper some fabric on a wall or something with. I’ll let you know if I try it. I have not started Christmas shopping at all yet…not bought 1 present yet. I know I am slacking. Maybe I can squeeze it in between shopping trips this weekend. :)

    1. Ha! Seriously I am so lazy when it comes to crafting. I thought about driving the extra mile to Ingles, but Rite-aid was sooo much closer. Walmart may as well have been across the universe…

      Shopping? Seriously? I haven’t even thought about it yet.

      But my husband calls me and says he’s seen a sofa I might like, and sure enough I’ll jump in a car, in 20 degree weather, with a baby, after working all day and drive to Asheville.

      Sadly, if I had this kind of initiative for DIY projects my house would already be renovated by now and my Christmas shopping done.

      If you squeeze it in let me know otherwise happy shopping.

  75. So have you tried it at all with the regular liquid starch? I have a bottle or two left from starching tablecloths for my daughters wedding. Thanks in advance.

    1. No, I couldn’t find any easily. Sadly when I get ready to craft I’m a bit impatient, so, I just substituted.

      I can tell you that the starch helps the snow to dry into a hard crust, instead of the softer nature of the soap. I’m pretty sure you could whip the snow up without starch, but it wouldn’t hold its form as well without the starch. Sooo…. this is my long winded way of saying, I’m sure the liquid would work. In fact it might work better!

      If you try it out let me know and I can add the info or link to the tutorial.

  76. I love it! That was a great tutorial. I had no idea you could make this stuff!

    1. I didn’t either! The web is a wonderful tool for learning, you know, when you’re not sucked into looking at cute pictures of kittens or the latest shenanigans of Lindsay Lohan. Not that I would ever stoop to star gossip.

      Anyway, glad you stopped by and glad I was useful! Please visit again.

  77. Wow! This is such a cool idea. I’ll have to try it out myself.

    1. If you do, let me know. I would love to see other projects.

  78. What an amazing idea! I seem to remember a laundry soap from my childhood called “Ivory Snow”…but yes, that’s long gone now. (That made me sound old, but I’m only 30.) Thank you for experimenting with this and sharing your snow trick! I just might have to try it with my stash of Ivory bar soap from Costco. BTW, it’s my first time on your blog!

    Cheryl Claudine (via Centsational Girl’s link party)

    1. Well, thanks so much for visiting! If you try it out let me know I want to see how other projects turn out. Hope you come back around sometime soon.

  79. Well if that isn’t the smartest idea!!! Your mantel looks beautiful! And you don’t have to worry about the ‘fake’ snow in your house, soap is so good!!! Love this, will remember this next time I see the fake stuff in the store . . . although I may add some to my tree this year!


    PS Thanks so much for linking to the party!

    1. Thanks so much for hosting the party! It is nice because it doesn’t float around like the plastic stuff, and it looks so good. I’m totally adding it to my rotation of Christmas tricks. Glad you could find it useful too.

  80. This is one of those projects that initially seems like so much work…until you see the result and it’s worth every minute! It looks so great!

    1. Honestly, other than the grating it was easy peasy. I will admit the grating sucked. Of course for the tree and garland I grated 4 bars of soap, and I had already done the snow trials and 2 wreaths earlier. So perhaps that’s why I was over the grating.

      Otherwise much easier than baking a cake.

  81. Love this idea! And it looks very real from your pictures. Can’t wait to try it on our wreaths…hmmm, wonder if it would be okay on an outside wreath or would it melt away?


    1. I used outside in a covered area. It held up just fine, however it would get a little soft on really rainy days… However, one of the good and bad attributes is that it does wash off. Not super fast mind your, but if it was in a downpour it would melt like the real stuff.

  82. You are a brave woman. I was skeptical at first but it turned out lovely.

    1. I felt brave when I put it on my wreath. I was not in the mood to tie another one of those damn things if the snow looked like crap. Must admit I was shocked myself on how nice the final effect was. Thanks for the complement.

  83. This is very cool. I love the end result! *hoarding several tons of Ivory Soap Flakes in my fruit cellar* Muahahahaha!

    1. I knew there was someone out there hoarding away! However you still gonna be S.O.L. on the liquid starch. :)

  84. Your faux snow is awesome! I would never have thought that it would look so good!

    1. Thanks! I was pretty shocked myself. When I read the recipe I wasn’t able to find a single picture of what it would look like when done (Probably because I could find the blog of the old lady hoarding the Ivory Soap Flakes) so it was a pleasant surprise. I think the next attempt will look better, with a thicker application.

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