As you have (hopefully) read, this year, the Andersons are doing a sustainable Christmas. As a part of this, I am deviating from the standard topics of this blog to give you a few tutorials on Christmas presents and other accouterments you can make yourself (instead of purchasing them at Target). The first project on this list is a super-easy tulle tree skirt.
- 2 1/2 yards 54″ tulle, color of your choosing
- 1 1/3 yards coordinating ribbon, minimum 3/8″ wide
- Coordinating thread
- Sewing machine (or handsewing needle)
- Find the center of your fabric. Your fabric should come folded in half on the bolt; the fold line from this makes a convenient marker. If not, measure across the shorter side to find the middle, then use a pen/marker to draw a line down the middle from end to end.
- Baste along this line. “Basting” means to stitch a simple straight stitch at a high stitch length. If you are handsewing, a simple running stitch will work just fine. Make sure you leave long tails of thread at each end.
- Tie a knot at one end of this stitching. This is very important, otherwise you will need to restitch everything you’ve just done. If you’re handsewing, make sure you tie the thread through a stitch (don’t just tie a knot in the thread).
- Once you’ve done this, go to the other end of your stitching and find the top thread. Pull gently on this thread and gather the material. It will be quite poofy. Keep doing this until the gathered (stitched) side is approximately 1-2″ longer than the circumference of the trunk of your tree. Tie a knot at this end as well.
- Cut six 8″ pieces of ribbon. These will be the ties that keep the skirt together.
- Along the two short ends of your fabric, mark a point at each end and halfway up the side. Place the pieces of ribbon between the two layers of fabric and stitch them in place, with approximately 7″ hanging out. Stitch over the ribbon 3-5 times. Clip all your threads short.
- Place the skirt around the base of your tree and knot the ties. Make sure to put the ties in the back of the tree. Unless you think they’re pretty, then you can leave them in front. Whatever.
- Admire your handiwork.
This whole project cost me $3 (I only had to purchase the tulle; I had ribbon already, but you can buy 10 yard rolls of 3/8″ ribbon for about 50 cents in many craft stores) and took me less than half an hour, including stopping to photograph each step. I put a white pillowcase over the plastic base of the tree, and then tucked our excess lights between the pillowcase and the skirt. Simple and cheap, and keeps your money out of corporate pockets!
If you’re not big on crafting, but you still want to own something like this, you can check out any of the shops here. Also, don’t forget to check locally-owned small businesses in your area–you’d be surprised what you can find!