Thursday, December 15, 2011

12 Days of Green Christmas Crafts: Burlap Ruffled Tree Skirt

Ruffled Christmas Tree Skirt Tutorial

Is the space below your Christmas tree a little bare? You don't have presents out yet, but you always thought tree skirts were a little outdated? This ruffled Christmas tree skirt is inexpensive (or even free). It's contemporary, yet it has vintage appeal.

This tutorial will show you how to make it (it's super easy and doesn't even require you to sew, although I think the sewing method is easier).

First of all, get your hands on some burlap or other natural-looking material, like linen or canvas.. You could use an old canvas dropcloth that might be lying around, or you can buy burlap by the yard at the fabric store.

How much fabric do you need? It depends on the width of the fabric. My skirt ended up being about 40 inches in diameter, with five rows of ruffles. You'll need enough fabric for the base and enough for the ruffles. For the ruffled strips, I used about 2.5 burlap sacks, and each one was approximately 24" by 36". I'm bad at math. I always buy more fabric than I think I need and just guess.

But to get your burlap for free, check your local coffee roaster. Coffee comes in burlap bags, and the coffee companies usually just throw them out. If you live in Wilmington, check with Port City Java's corporate offices on River Road. They are really nice and are happy to give you as many bags as you want. That way, the tree skirt is not only free, it's green--you saved another few things from going into a landfill.
Ruffled Christmas Tree Skirt Tutorial

Start by cutting out the circular base of the tree skirt. It needs to be in the shape of a donut. If you have an old tree skirt, you could trace it. I just eyeballed it. I had to use two burlap bags, cut along the edges and unfolded. I sewed them together after cutting them to shape. Here is a tip: you want your skirt to be open at one end so you can wrap it around your tree. If you're sewing together two halves of the circle, only sew it together on one side, leaving the other open. If you cut out the skirt from one piece of fabric, cut a slit in one side of it.
Ruffled Christmas Tree Skirt Tutorial

Cut some of the other bags into strips. I cut them to be 5" wide.
Ruffled Christmas Tree Skirt Tutorial

Starting at the slit and on the inner part of the tree skirt, begin sewing on your 5-inch strip. Ruffle it as you go by folding it back onto itself. This is where you'll sew your stitches. Put a small stitch into each ruffle. I used natural-colored cheap yarn (similar to twine) and a tapestry needle.
Ruffled Christmas Tree Skirt Tutorial

Continue around the skirt, adding more burlap strips as you go. When you start the next row, put the top of the strip (and your stitching) underneath the ruffle above, so that it overlaps. Keep adding ruffled strips until your skirt is as wide as you want it to be. That's it! Wrap it around the base of your tree when you're done, and you have a free, eco-friendly, repurposed, beautiful Christmas tree skirt.

Ruffled Christmas Tree Skirt Tutorial

Ruffled Christmas Tree Skirt Tutorial

**No-Sew Instructions: Use a hot glue gun to glue down each strip, ruffling the strip as you go.**

Check out some of the other 12 Days of Green Christmas Crafts:
December 14: 
Felt Owl Ornaments

Check out more cute crafts at:
Michaela Noelle


  1. Christmas is my one of the most favorite festival. It is a nice Christmas craft. I like this Christmas Burlap Ruffled tree skirt. Its looks so amazing and attractive.

  2. Hi Gaby!

    I'm Julie, publisher of the Learn Your Christmas Carols blog with 25, 000 visitors. I found some good holiday content on your site that deserves a wider audience. Can I ask if you have something to share with me? This year, I'd like to include links on recipes, decorations and crafts on my web site . The only requirement would be a link back in your sidebar or footer. If you are interested please email me at or tweet me at