DIY Burlap Tree Skirt

I know that I said that the Snowflake Wreath was one of my favorite crafts, but this one beat them all. This is one of my most favorite projects that I have ever done! Last year at Christmas time, I wanted a tree skirt to cover up the very fake looking bottom of our artificial tree. Due to a college student budget there was no way that I was going to drop $50 or more for a tree skirt. And the cheaper ones looked, well cheap! Luckily, I had a handful of Jo Ann’s coupons and a plan! Did you know that you can use multiple coupons at Jo Ann’s for the same amount within one transaction? As long as they have different bar codes, you are free to do so! Often times, I will use the one from the flyer that they send me, the one from their web site, and the one from the booklet in the store at one time. Again, college student budget… Anyways, my plan was to make one without using a sewing machine because we have a college sized apartment and no room for a sewing machine.There was also no way that I was about to hand stitch it either! I dug out my trusty glue gun and sketched up my plan.

posted image

2014-12-10 22.20.00

Materials: 

  • Four yards of burlap
  • Flat bed sheet – Do not go out and buy an old sheet. I bought mine at Goodwill. If I had been at home, I would have used an old sheet from the camper.
  • Glue gun & hot glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Craft or Fabric paint (optional)
  • Pod Podge
  • Pins
  • Ribbon

Step 1: Cut your burlap into strips that are 7 inches wide and 4 yards long. My last two strips were a little bit skinnier, but that worked out perfectly! I used them for my two inner most layers.

Step 2: Next, paint circles (or any shape) onto the strips of burlap using craft paint and sponges. I used a metallic Martha Stewart paint and then a glittery sparkle paint over it once the first coat had dried. This step is completely optional, but as always, it needed a little bit of sparkle. Be sure to lay paper under the burlap as you paint because it will go through the tiny holes in fabric and get on your floor or counter.

Step 3:  Now it is time to tackle the base of the skirt.  Fold the flat bed sheet into a rectangle (In half then in half again). Then from the corner on the folded edge, draw a semi-circle from one folded edge to the other. To do this, I cut a piece of yarn to 25 inches long and tied a pencil to on end. I taped the other end to one corner of my sheet and used it like a compass. This will give you a full circle base of 50 inches when the sheet is unfolded. A standard size tree skirt is 48 inches, so this give you a little wiggle room, which is a good thing when you are essentially making a plan as you go! Cut along the line you just drew. DO NOT UNFOLD YOUR SHEET YET!


folds

Step 4: This next step is important or else you will just have a big circle that you tree awkwardly sits on. In the folded corner that you just had your string taped to, place a cereal bowl to create another semi-circle. Trace around the cereal bowl, then cut it out. This creates the opening for your skirt to go around the tree.

Step 5: You can now unfold your sheet! This will be the base of your tree skirt To finish to finish it up, cut a straight line from the outside edge to the inner circle.

cuts

Step 6: It is now time to create ruffles upon ruffles of burlap. This process takes a bit. It’s not necessarily difficult, just time consuming. To make the ruffles, you will start by pinching a small section upward, folding it to one side and then pin it! It’s that easy. Do this every three to for inches along the top of the burlap strip. Make sure that all of your ruffles are folded in the same direction or else the ruffles won’t really ruffle. Repeat on each strip of burlap.

Pinch

Pinch

Fold Over

Fold Over

Pin

Pin

Step 7: Now to start the assembly process. Before you begin, I am going to give you a few tips. 1. Work with one strip at a time. 2. Pin the burlap to the base before you start gluing. 3. Make a handy gluing tool. Since burlap is not a solid fabric, the hot glue oozes through all of those tiny holes. When you are holding down the burlap to the base you will burn your fingers. It only took about 15 minutes of me swearing and scolding myself before Josh made me a tool. He simply took a wood pencil, put some hot glue on the non eraser side and handed it to me. This saved my fingers, a lot.

Now that the tips have been said…  You will start at the bottom of your skirt and work towards the center. The ruffle side should be facing up and at the top of the strip. Line the strip at one side of the slit that you cut into the base earlier and pin it into place. The first strip should hang over the outside edge of the base by about 2 inches. As you place the burlap around the base, pin it to keep it secure. I overlapped each layer over the last by about 2-3 inches to cover the “messy part” of the ruffles. In some tiers, my burlap strips weren’t long enough to fit all the way around the base. But, there is an easy fix! I started a new strip of burlap, overlapping the edge over the end of the previous strip by 2 inches and kept going until it reached the other side. You can’t really even tell that I did this! Ultimately this method worked because the strips got smaller and smaller as I worked up the base, so I didn’t run out of burlap!

 

Step 8: It’s finally time to glue down all of the strips! Working in a full circle, start gluing the burlap to the base using your hot glue gun. I started at the bottom tier and worked my way up. This is when the little pencil tool is handy. I glued the fold of each ruffle down (after removing the pin!) and then glued that to base. I then added a dot or two of glue in the space between each ruffle, removing the pins as I worked. I did this with each layer.http://www.craftaholicsanonymous.net/ruffled-burlap-christmas-tree-skirt-tutorialDSCN2976

Step 9: To secure the skirt around the tree, cut eight pieces of ribbon to the same length. Glue them to either side of the opening in the skirt in equal distances. This gives you four ties down the center.

DSCN2987

Step 10: Using the same ribbon that you used to make your ties, cut as strip big enough to fit around the inner circle in the opening in your skirt (Where the skirt fits around the tree.) Glue one-half of the ribbon to the top of your skirt then flip it over and glue the other half to the underside of the the skirt.tree skirt inside

Step 11: Using Mod Podge, seal any open edges of burlap on the skirt. This will prevent it from fraying.

Step 12: You are done! Put your skirt around your tree and enjoy it! And probably vacuum up all of the little burlap frays that are now all over your work surface…

tree skirt

I know that this seems like a lengthy process, but I finished it in about a day! I watched a ton of Christmas movies on Netflix and powered through it. And it is totally worth it when the skirt will cost you only $10 (If you use coupons and materials you already have like I did!) rather than $45-$100+ if you bought a ruffled burlap tree skirt!

Enjoy!

Katelyn

Chirstmas extravaganza palooza