This year is a year of “firsts” for us as husband and wife…our first apartment, our first Christmas, our first Christmas tree! Truthfully, our tree is a little less exciting in that we had to settle for a fake one this year, but we didn’t think it made sense to get a real tree and then have to get rid of it before we fly home a week before Christmas to see our families.
Anyways, real or artificial, a Christmas tree is not complete without a pretty skirt underneath it. Most fancy tree skirts are too expensive for our budget so I decided to make one. I didn’t feel up for a complicated sewing or quilting project so I opted for a relatively easy fleece skirt. Although fairly time consuming, the fleece tree skirt doesn’t require an advanced crafting or sewing skill level – just patience!
- 2 yds red fleece
- 2 yds white fleece
- Sharp scissors
- Sewing machine
- Red and white thread
- Fabric glue
- For steps #1-2, you will work with one color fleece at a time. I created a diagram (open in new tab: Fleece Folding Directions) you can follow to make sure you fold the fleece correctly to make a circle. Fold the fleece in half lengthwise, creating a long rectangle with raw edges on top. Fold it in half again the other way with raw edges on the left side. Fold the top right corner down to meet the bottom folded edge. [It’s a good idea to test this with a piece of paper to make sure you did it correctly so you don’t accidentally cut your fabric the wrong way]
- Cut a piece of string or yarn 27″ long and tie one end to a piece of chalk or a pencil that will show up on the fleece. Holding the other end of the string tight against the folded corner of the fleece, swing the chalk across the fleece, drawing an arc approximately 25″ in radius. Cut along the arc you drew and open up the fleece to reveal your perfect circle. Repeat with the other color fleece.
- Once you have both circles, lay them on top of one another and pin them together. Cut 5″ long strips 1″ wide all the way around the circle through both layers of fleece.
- Tie each red-white pair of strips into knots.
- Fold the circle in half and then in half again. Using your chalk and string (3″ long) like you did to create the larger circles, draw an arc and cut along the line, creating a circle with a 6″ diameter in the center of the skirt. While the skirt is still folded into quarters, make a straight cut following the fold from the inner circle to the outer edge, going only through one red-white layer (this will be the slit in the back of your skirt that will allow you to slip it over your tree base).
- With some leftover white fleece, cut 6 strips 8″ long by 1/4″ wide. Using fabric glue, glue the end of 3 strips on each side of the long cut you just made in between the red and white layer. Make sure the strips are glued in pairs on each side of the cut. These will be the ties to tie the skirt shut in the back as you can see in the photo below.
- Using red thread on the top of your sewing machine and white thread in your bobbin, sew a 1/4″ seam along the cut edges, from one outer edge, around the inner circle to the end of the other edge. Make sure the while felt strips are sewn into the layers.
- [If you prefer not to make the poinsettias, you can cut out snowflakes from the leftover white fleece instead and glue those scattered across the skirt. If not, continue with steps #9-13]
- Here comes the tedious part…follow the link to this PDF template. Print and cut out the pattern for the larger 9″ poinsettia flower. Use this pattern to cut out 28 flowers out of your leftover white fleece. I found the best way to do this was to pin the pattern to 2 layers of fleece and cut along the paper outline and repeat.
- Using your leftover red fleece, cut out 28 strips of fleece 1/4″ wide by 2″ long.
- As shown on the PDF template by the dotted lines, hand sew a loose top stitch in a circle around the center of each flower with white thread. With the needle end, begin to pull the string tight. Before pulling it tight all the way, fold one of your red 1/4″ x 2″ strips in half and stick it folded ends into the center. Pull the thread the rest of the way until the petals close in tight around the red center. Tie the loose end of the thread into a knot and cut the excess thread. Repeat until all your flowers are done.
- Lay out your skirt and space your flowers evenly around the edge. Once you have the proper spacing, use your fabric glue to glue your flowers in place (there will be a bulging part in the back of each flower that you will want to glue down and you will probably want to put a tiny dot of glue on each petal as well to keep them flat).
- Your project is done! Place your skirt around the trunk of your tree and tie the opening shut! Admire your hard work.