Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ruffle Christmas Tree Skirt

What do you do when you're newly married, newly relocated across the country, working hard to stay within budget, and it's that time of year when you're supposed to decorate everything?  You scavenge the internet for DIY Christmas decorations of course!  I thought I'd post this one up first as not all of you may have your trees up yet.  I found this tutorial on Pinterest a while ago for a no-sew ruffle tree skirt and decided to alter it slightly.  People who know me may not exactly say I'm a fan of ruffles and so I'm sure that it comes as just as much a shock to them as it does to me that this is the one I went with.  (This was after lengthy google image and Pinterest searches for a non ruffly one of course!)  Let's just start at the beginning, shall we?

My materials.  I have 2 yards of each fabric, the white is just a plain muslin to use as the base.
Man I hate ironing, but I was determined to make this finished product last and do this thing right, so ironing I did.
My 2 yards didn't make a 4.5'x4.5' square evenly so I altered it.  The corners will be cut off to form a circle anyway so it didn't need to be perfect.
Fold into a squre
Then into a triangle.  Resist the urge to cut a giant snowflake immediately...
If I were to do this over again I would have used bowls to help get the  curves just right as there was some fixing to be done later.
Hooray!  It's not perfect but it all gets covered in fabric anyway so you can't tell.  Now you get to cut the slit down one side so it actually fits around the tree.
The fun part, cutting the fabric into 2" strips.  Not.   I was not exact with this which was fine as I just paid attention when I put it all together but it would have been much easier if they were all the same width.
Because I want this tree skirt to last for a number of years I did choose to sew a zig-zag seam on one edge of each strip to prevent excessive fraying.  I used red thread with the tan fabric and yellow/gold thread with the red fabric so there was some contrast while still coordinating.
I love this pattern!
And now we're on to glue gun fun!  I found laying down glue for about 6-8 inches worked well for me to create the ruffles before the glue dried.  I also put a dab of glue at the top edge of the strip behind each ruffle to help hold them down so they don't stick straight up.  This is just a matter of personal preference.
It's coming together!  You can see where the layers of ruffles are uneven as I didn't pay as much attention when cutting. I kind of like the imperfect look this gives it.
Hooray!  The extra gap in the middle is because at this point I ran out of fabric and was trying to figure out what to do. 
First I decided to cut the center hole larger which turned out to be perfect since if I hadn't it wouldn't have fit around our tree!
I was still left with some white fabric left which I chose to cover with green ribbon I already had on hand .  (Thank you Williams-Sonoma registry!)
Next it's time to clean up the edges where it will be tied around the tree.  
All better.
12" strips of the same green ribbon used at the top were cut and glued to the underside.
The strips actually do line up, I just have them offset so you can see which direction they each get glued. 
Then tie them up all nice and pretty and you're done!
Complete and total finished project.  As you can tell you can't even see the green ribbon that's at the top but I feel better knowing it's there and the differences in rows due to my inexact cutting are mostly masked because of the way it drapes.
3 episodes of Doctor Who, the entirety of Fiddler on the Roof, and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen later I have a Christmas decoration I'm incredibly proud of and should last us a good couple of years!

Some tips if you want to give this a shot:
  • I used approximately 200 yards of each color of thread for the hemming so if you choose to do this step be sure you have enough.
  • I purchased 2 yards of each fabric I used and had I cut them to size it may have been enough, I thing I'd do 2.5 of each just to be on the safe side.
  • I used approximately 30 glue sticks.
  • After I'd completed it and added up the cost of thread, extra glue sticks, and fabric it turned out to not be as cost effective as I'd initially thought but in the end the time spent working on something I'm proud of was worth it.  If you're trying to save money and have most of these things on hand then this is an excellent way to go!
Thanks for reading and happy crafting!

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