Come Christmastime, it seems everyone is dreaming of a white Christmas, but if you live in an area where that's just as unlikely as Santa failing to deliver his presents on time, then you'll have to come up with a creative substitute if you want your decorations to go dashing through the snow. While there are many fake snow options, when you're decorating outdoors, it's important to find something that won't harm the environment. The best solution may vary based on what kind of look you're attempting to create.
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Creating Blankets of Fake Snow
Most commercially available outdoor snow blankets are actually the same polyester batting you would use for quilting. While you can purchase the ones specifically made for decorative snow, if you can find thick white batting for a lower price or if you already have some left over from a crafting project, this can be used as well.
The great thing about polyester batting for snow is that it can be stretched across a large distance for even coverage and can easily be cut into shapes to create circles or "patches" of snow or molded to create folds or hills of snow. It can also be ripped into smaller pieces to create smaller tufts of snow that can be put on your trees, bushes, or other outdoor decorations. Consider sprinkling a little white glitter on the batting to add a little glisten similar to that seen on real snow.
Eco-Friendly, Delicate Snowflakes
If you want the soft, fluffy appearance of actual snowflakes, most commercial products are unfortunately not good for the environment. Mashed potato flakes are an eco-friendly solution. They can be lightly sprinkled around your yard or even used to create a small flurry if you sprinkle them in front of a fan. In fact, this is exactly what they did to create the snow in many movies, including Home Alone.
That being said, there are some downsides of this snow option that limit its usefulness for most situations. First of all, if the potatoes get wet, they'll start to clump together. When you use a lot of the potatoes, they'll start to look more yellow than white. Most problematically, leaving potatoes on your yard can attract pests.
Fluffy Styrofoam Snowballs
Polystyrene balls are often used in place of snowballs for outdoor Christmas displays, but from less than a few feet away, the texture looks too rounded and perfect to be the real thing. Simply apply Mod Podge to some polystyrene craft balls and then cover them with Epsom salt to mimic the crystalline, sparkly nature of real snow packed into snowballs.