Welcome to Flawed yet Function! You may have read before that I believe in investing in hobbies because it fills a need in everyone’s life to do something they love. Let’s be honest, not all of us love our full-time, bring-home-the-bacon work. So having a hobby on the side that brings joy is necessary. DIY of any sort is my hobby, and just this week, I sewed a DIY plaid Christmas tree skirt, barely in time for Christmas! Check it out!
For years, our tree was wrapped in a sheet or blanket because I couldn’t find a tree skirt I liked. Don’t read this thinking you have to sew a dedicated tree skirt! There is NOTHING wrong with grabbing something from around the house to wrap around the base of the tree! I saw just last week a photo on Instagram with a tree wrapped with a antique rug. Beautiful! Use what you have!
This project was such a fiasco so learn from my mistakes which I made sure to note throughout! First of all, I should never be allowed to add to a project while walking through the fabric store. “Oh, look at this heavenly soft fabric! Let’s add a plush trim to the tree skirt!” Second, I should know my sewing skill limits and always pin my pieces together. Unfortunately, I got overly confident in my skills and ended up with the final edges of the skirt not quite lining up. Learn from my mistakes! Always pin your work!
So let’s dive into the steps. It really isn’t too complicated but a tad time consuming.
- 2 yards of Christmas-y fabric (at least 48″ width)
- 2 yards of trim fabric (54″ width)
- Hook and loop strips, about 8″ long, sew-on
- All-purpose thread
- Sewing machine
- Iron & ironing board
- Pencil or pen and string
- Straight edge
Draw & Cut Half Circle, 4x
I made my tree skirt double sided, so you’ll need 4 half circle shapes with a half circle cut out of the middle.
Use a high-tech compass, a pen/pencil with a string attached, to draw the arc of a half-circle. Hold the string securely in the center of the circle, stretch the string taught to the desired radius (half the width of the circle) of your tree skirt. I made mine with a 24″ radius, meaning the string was 24″ long.
Now draw another half circle, using the same technique in the center of the half circle, where the trunk will go. Make this smaller half-circle with a 6″ radius.
If using plaid or stripes, use one of the lines in the fabric as the center line of the circle. Otherwise, use a long straight edge to make a center line.
Cut out the half circle.
Use the first half circle as a pattern to cut out the four remaining circles. Be sure to line up the patterns for a seamless, professional look. Or throw caution to the wind and just cut it!
Make Pattern for Trim
There are several steps in this project where the circle might get the better of you. Don’t let it! When making your own pattern, make sure to account for seam allowances which can be tricky for the trim. (I typically use 1/2″ for seam allowance because that is easier on my brain, but 5/8″ is standard.) When drawing the pattern, remember that the seam allowance for where the trim attaches to the plaid fabric is BELOW the arc of the plaid fabric. Follow the steps below to see what I mean.
To make the pattern for the trim of the skirt, you will need a large sheet of paper and one of the half circles you just cut out. I used brown paper typically used for covering flooring during painting. Use what you have, I say!
Pin the fabric to the paper so it doesn’t move.
Trace around the arc of the fabric. Then use a ruler to make hash marks 4.5″ from the arc just traced. Next use a ruler to mark an arc 1/2″ BELOW the original traced arc. This will result in an arc that is 4″ across with a 1/2″ seam allowance on either side. Also add a line 1/2″ out from the end of the arc. There should be an extra 1/2″ on all sides of the arc pattern
Trace and Cut Out Trim Pieces
Note: I orginally only bought 1 yard of my heavenly fuzzy faux fur trim material, so I had to cut my trim pattern in half as I didn’t have enough fabric to cut more than one pattern out. Arg! So if you find your pattern won’t work as a full half-circle, just cut it in half.
Lay pattern on wrong side of trim material, pin it in place, then trace around the edges with a pen. Trace as many pieces as you can then cut them out. I use this tracing method versus just cutting around the paper pattern because I find fuzzy fabric shifts. To get a cleaner shape, trace then cut along the traced line.
Sew Trim Pieces Together
If you had to cut your half-circle trim pattern in half, then you’ll need to sew two of the arcs together before continuing.
With right sides together, pin and sew a seam with a 1/2″ allowance along one end. Repeat four times to make 4 half circle trim sections.
Sew Trim to Skirt
Now you need to sew the fuzzy trim material to the plaid half-circle. With right sides together, pin the trim material along the arc of the plaid material. Sew with a 1/2″ seam allowance.
This step can be tricky! The curves for the trim and skirt will be going in opposite directions. Pin and sew carefully!
You’ll see my trim fabric didn’t quite line up, but no worries, just trim that off before sewing it to the other half of the skirt. Don’t trim the excess before you sew though! It just might get used as you adjust and sew the pieces together.
Lay it out and make sure everything looks ok.
Repeat for the other 3 pieces of the tree skirt.
Sew Tree Skirt Halves Together
With right sides together, sew along one half of the middle line to sew the two plaid halves together. Do not sew all the way across because we want the skirt to be able to wrap around the tree. We will attach hook and loop tape at the end to keep that side shut.
Repeat for the bottom fabric.
Sew Top and Bottom Together
Almost done! Now the top and bottom of the skirt need to be sewn together. This is where I made an error by not pinning around the trim enough. This faux fur was very slippery, and I should have pinned the whole way around. I was lazy though and only pinned at the seams, so 4-5 times. Don’t be like me. The fabric slipped as I sewed which made my final seam off. It still looks fine from the top, but I can’t flip it over, like I intended to.
Place right sides together, pin, and sew with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Leave an opening of about 6-8″ at the end to turn the skirt right side out.
Turn the skirt right side out. Iron the open seam with a 1/2″ seam allowance and hand sew the opening closed with a ladder or invisible stitch.
Add Hook and Loop Closures
Sew the hook side (the scratchy side!) to the bottom of one side of the tree skirt opening. I chose to do 3, 1″ long sections.
Then sew 3, 2″ loop sections to the bottom of the opposite side of the tree skirt opening. The loop section should be long enough to attach to the hook side on the opposite side of the opening. See the picture below.
Wrap the Tree With a Beautiful Handmade Tree Skirt
Step back and admire your handiwork! Isn’t it fun to make things for your home? Well, I think it is! Even with basic sewing skills, you can make this DIY plaid Christmas tree skirt. As with everything I post here, if I can do it, so can you!