December 17, 2008
DIY: No-Sew Tree Skirt
I fully intended to post this last year & I almost let it slip this year too! I was determined to get this on here though & maybe there's one or two of you who don't have a tree skirt yet. Or, you can always file it away as an off-season project & come Christmas '09 you'll have a skirt all ready for your tree.
After looking at tree skirts last year in the range of $50 - $70 from Target & other retailers, I resolved to make my own & do it without a sewing machine (because I was about a week away from getting mine). I was inspired by the felt poodle skirts my mom used to make me as a kid (big circle + little circle in the middle for the waist=hours of dress up fun). Here's a little dress up fun for your tree:
**This is my first tutorial of any kind so hopefully I did not just sabotage my good intentions. I hope this is easy to understand & helpful. Have fun!
1 3/4 Yards felt in color of your choice (72” wide)
1 3/4 Yards contrasting color felt for embellishment (if desired)
Chalk or fabric marking pen
Circle template for scallops if desired (approx diameter 2”. A spool of thread works well)
Ribbon for ties
Individual hole punch
Yardstick or measuring tape
1. Measure out a piece of string equal to the length you want your tree skirt. The length would be how far you want the circle to spread out around your tree all around. I decided on 30".
2. Tie a piece of chalk to one end of the string. You'll use this to draw your circle.
3. Fold your felt in half so that it is still 72" wide & measure from the fold 2" longer than you measured for the string. Cut your felt along this line, then fold again so that you have a square (like folding a piece of paper in quarters).
4. Now you'll draw a line from which to cut a circle from this square. You'll need to borrow a friend, spouse, little sister, etc..to help you with this part.
Find the corner that is on the fold (no cut edges) & line up the string along one edge. One person holds the end of the string on the corner while the other uses the chalk end to draw a quarter circle. See images below:
Make sure you keep the string pulled taut to draw a perfect line.
5. At this point you can cut along this line, or you can embellish the edge like I've done. I wanted a scallop border so I used a spool of thread & drew half circles all along this line.
If you would rather not do the decorative edge DON'T OPEN UP YOUR CIRCLE YET. YOU STILL NEED TO CUT THE INNER CIRCLE TO FIT AROUND THE TREE TRUNK.
I didn't measure very precisely for this - just did it as quickly & carefully as I could. It helps if you end up with a half circle at the end so the two will match up, but not really necessary. It's going to be at the back of the tree & who really looks there anyway?
Remember: DON'T OPEN UP YOUR CIRCLE YET. Continue to step 6.
6. Now measure for the inner circle the same way you did the larger one. I measured 5", but this gave me a 10" diameter hole & something smaller would have probably been better. This just needs to be slightly larger than the base of your tree.
Trace a line using the same method from step 4 (you can probably do this one all by yourself using two hands) & cut out the corner.
7. Now unfold your piece of felt once so that you have a big half-circle. You'll need to cut up one end to make an opening so you can get it around the tree.
**At this point you'll have a very basic tree skirt & you can skip to step 9 if you don't want to make the overlay. I wanted to give mine a little extra something special so I did a 2nd layer of contrasting felt to go over the top.
8. To make the 2nd layer measure out your felt just like you did for the first layer in step 3. A quick & easy way to get recreate the outer edge is just to lay your 1st layer over & trace with chalk.
Decide how wide you want your 2nd layer to be & use the chalk-string method to draw the inner line. If you did the scalloped edge you'll have to use your template to draw scallops along this line. Cut along the lines you've drawn.
9. To secure the ends around the tree use a household hole punch & punch three holes on each side of the open end, making sure the holes match up across from each other.
If you made the 2nd layer you'll want to line it up before you punch the holes. You might not be able to punch through both layers, but you can at least make sure you punch in the same place.
10. Now to the tree! Drape the skirt around the base of the tree & secure at the back by threading ribbon through the holes & tying in bows. Spread out the skirt so it is nice & even, cover with presents & you're done!