Wednesday, November 21, 2012

No-Sew Ruffled Christmas Tree Skirt

Okay, I know we haven't even celebrated Thanksgiving yet but Jer decided to break out the Christmas movies over the weekend and it put me in the mood to decorate. :) 

We made the mistake of keeping our old Christmas tree in the basement of the old house and it developed a musty smell so we picked up a new one this year. Since our new house is fun and retro, we decided to go with a white tree and found this one at Walmart for only $40! It is actually a lot fuller than our old one too. I'll have to share pictures of that later though because I underestimated how many lights I would need and currently only half of the tree is lit. 

Anyway, today I am here to talk about the new tree skirt that I made! A couple of years ago I made a Snowy White Fleece Tree Skirt which we really liked but since we have a white tree now, I wanted something with a pop of color. Normally I'm not a big fan of ruffles but I have seen a bunch of tutorials for ruffled tree skirts and they were pretty cute so I decided to try it out. I was even able to make it using fabric that I already had in my stash! 

I measured the diameter of my tree which was about 44". It was perfect since that was the width of some spare fabric that I had. To make the basic skirt shape you can use a measuring stick like I did with my old skirt. Or you can fold the fabric in half, then in fold that in half two more times like you would fold a piece of paper to make a snowflake. Then cut a curved line along the bottom and snip off the top. You should now have a large circle with a small circle in the middle. Cut a straight line from the edge into the middle so you can slide it on to the tree.

Next you will need to cut the strips for your ruffles. I made mine 4" wide and cut it straight from my mini fabric bolt. If you are making the entire thing with the same fabric you will need about 3 1/2 or 4 yards. If you want each layer to be a different fabric,there is a little break down below of approximately how much you will need of each kind. Just remember that the amount will vary depending on how tightly you bunch your fabric. It also makes a difference how thick your fabric is. My silver fabric is thicker than the red and I seemed to use less of it. As you see below, layers 2 and 3 used the same number of strips even though layer 3 was smaller and should have used less. Like I said, this is just a basic guideline.

Each strip is 4" x 44". If your fabric is a width other than 44" you will want to adjust the amount.
Starting from the outside in:
Layer 1 Red = 6.5 strips 
Layer 2 Silver = 4.5 strips
Layer 3 Red = 4.5 strips
Layer 4  Silver = 3.5 strips
Layer 5 Red = 2 strips
Layer 6 Red = 1.5 strips
Layer 7 Red = .5 strip

Most stores like to cut in either whole yard or half yard anyway so basically you will want 1 yard for layers 1-3, and 1/2 yard for layers 4-7. You can even do without layer 7 if you don't mind a bigger hole around the base of your tree.

Hopefully that breakdown was more helpful than it was confusing. Lol!

Now that your strips are ready, it is time to start gluing them in place. I considered sewing the skirt but the bunching part was faster with glue. Unless you want to ruffle the strips first and then sew them to the skirt. Anyway, you just make a 2 or 3 inch line of hot glue and stick the edge of your fabric strip to it, bunching it up as you go. Continue this all the way around the edge of your skirt. 

Some people have mentioned getting hot glue burns during this process but I didn't have any problems with that. Either I have gotten better at avoiding burns or my fingers gotten used to it and I just don't notice anymore. :) If you are getting burns though, some people have suggested wearing gardening gloves or pushing the fabric down with a dowel rod or pencil instead of using your fingers. 

Depending on the look that you are going for, you could stop right here and it would be pretty cute with just the edge ruffled. The rest will probably be covered with presents anyway. You could even stick on some cute ribbon to cover your glued edge. Or maybe some thick rick rack or pom pom trim. I didn't like the color of my base fabric though and I wanted the skirt to pop even more so I kept going.

For the remaining layers I made a dotted line about three inches above the previous line. Then just continue gluing and bunching. 

My white fabric has some silver glitter on it which gives my skirt just a touch of sparkle. As you can see in this photo, the cheapo red fabric is fraying. I don't have a problem with that but if it is something that will bother you, you might want to find a thicker, higher quality fabric. I didn't do anything to treat the edges of the silver fabric and it isn't fraying at all just because it is better quality.

I almost don't want to put the presents under the tree now because it will cover up my pretty ruffles! 

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MariaSelf said...

Thank you for sharing, this project is perfect for me, cuz I can't stand sewing;-) Thank you!

Carolina Charm said...

Oh, I LOVE this! Every year I say I am going to make a tree skirt, and this year I may just do it! Fantastic tutorial. Happy Holidays!

runtspickins said...

I love this look! I wanted to do this for my tree this year but I am on extreme budget and don't have any leftover fabric laying around. I came up with another idea that will help me get my little sis in law involved though. It'll be fun, inexpensive and I hope to get the ball rolling on it soon. I kind of like the frayed edges on your tree skirt. I personally don't like when things look "too perfect". This was a really good tutorial by the way! Maybe I'll try it next year.