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Drop-off Decorated Buoys

Drop off decorated buoys - Saturday, October 19 12-4pm & Sunday October 20 12-4pm

Annual Event,

Artist Call,

Family Friendly,

MAC +,


The MAC’s Buoy Tree is an outreach to the greater Milford community to come together and create a unique experience for the holiday season.

Volunteers build a 20-30’ tree form from genuine used lobster traps (some complete with seaweed, weights and line!) It is then wrapped in sparkly white lights and overlaid with boat line knotted with hand-painted and decorated buoys created by local artists, families and businesses.

At the tree lighting with special guests and events is usually planned.

How it Works

  • Purchase a Buoy  Or re-register with an buoy from a previous year.  Use purchase button below.
    • Pick up new buoys at Milford Arts Council,  40 Railroad Ave, Milford.
  • Decorate your Buoy – See guidelines section below.
  • Deliver your decorated buoys to the Firehouse Gallery per dates listed below to be sure they are included.
    • Our volunteers need enough time to string the buoys prior to the tree building date.

Key Dates

  • Drop off decorated buoys
    Saturday, October 19 12-4PM &
    Sunday October 20 12-4PM
    Firehouse Gallery, 81 Naugatuck Ave, Milford
  • Tree Lighting
    Sunday December 15, 4:45/5PM
    Lisman Landing
  • Tree Viewing
    December 15 to mid-January
  • Buoy pick up
    mid-January, date TBA
    Firehouse Gallery, 81 Naugatuck Ave, Milford

Decorators must agree to terms and conditions of participation on our submission form.
Please deliver your decorated buoys with the signed form.

Participant Guidelines

Creativity. Buoys can be decorated in all sorts of ways, painting, adhering all kinds of materials, fabric, paper, anything that will stay glued on, or stuck in, firmly. Some have even been carved. Artistic expression and creativity abound as we’ve seen in past years by our participants.

All submissions should be done tastefully, nothing inflammatory or rude please.

General Prep. The buoys are slightly shiny and slick from the factory, so a light sanding with a fine grade sandpaper may be required for best results. The buoys will be strung together for hanging on the tree, so the hole that runs through the center should be kept open on both ends.

Buoy Decoration Examples
Buoy Decoration Examples

Gluing. lf you are gluing decorations to the buoy, the sanding will help things to adhere. Use a clear glue like E6OOO, Power Tac, Quick Hold or Gorilla , all available from a craft or hardware store. White glues such as Elmer’s will not hold up in the weather. Mod Podge can be used for decoupage, but should be sealed with a cleartop coat for protection.

Sealing. All buoys should be properly sealed for weather protection. You can brush on a clear, water based polyurethane, or use a clear spray, 3 light coats are recommended. You can buy these at any craft or hardware store paint department.

Painting. All paints used should be weather proof: Acrylic, enamel and outdoor craft paint work well. Tempra paint or anything that will run is not recommended.

After Event Pick-up. Once the tree is dismantled, you can pick up your buoy at the Firehouse Gallery. Dates will be announced.

Notices. Any buoys not retrieved will become property of the MAC after 30 days of the pick-up date. While all buoys will be handled with care by our volunteers, the MAC is not responsible for any damage caused by handling, weather, etc.

Contact Milford Arts Council at info@milfordarts.org or 203-878-6647 to make alternate pickup / drop-off arrangements.

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