Everything You Need to Know to DIY Your Own Christmas Tree Skirt

A finishing touch for your tree

Young woman drinking tea by the Christmas tree
fotostorm / Getty Images

Whether you need to cover up an unsightly tree stand or want to create a total picture with your Christmas tree, a Christmas tree skirt can serve as a special finishing touch for your tree. Get great ideas here about using and making a Christmas tree skirt that will really add a lot to your tree.

How Large Should Your Tree Skirt Be

This will depend on the size of your tree stand as well as the diameter of your tree.

In general:

  • You want to be sure that the skirt is big enough to cover the tree stand beneath.
  • The skirt should not be wider than the average width of the tree branches.
  • To avoid accidents, keep the tree skirt out of any area where people might walk. If the skirt you choose is too wide, just tuck the edges under.

Camouflage the Tree Stand

New Christmas tree stands today are very large and bulky. A traditional tree skirt may not be large enough to cover it. You may need to make your own tree skirt designed to fit around your stand. Or, simply drape a length of fabric around the base of the tree. See more here about Making Your Own Tree Skirt.

A "WOW" Skirt or a Simple One

If you want your Christmas tree skirt to be the center of attention, choose one made of a lush fabric, bright colors, or with shiny metallic thread. If you want it to be a background for other things, choose a simple or plain fabric in a neutral color.

How to Assemble Your Tree and Skirt

First, find the perfect place for your tree in the room, set it up, and fill the water reservoir. Next, string on the lights and garlands, and carefully place the ornaments around. Finally, clean up the floor around the tree and place the tree skirt over the tree stand, spread out under the tree.

You'll Need to Water the Tree

Remember that you'll have to water your tree almost daily. Be sure to locate the opening of the tree skirt so you can easily lift it up to get to the water reservoir. It is a good idea to cover the water pan with a sheet of plastic or foil so that the Christmas tree skirt doesn't fall into the water reservoir of the tree stand.

Decorating and Design

A Christmas tree skirt offers another opportunity to enhance your room's decorating color scheme and theme. A period Victorian living room could use a lush, red velvet Christmas tree skirt. A simple cotton patchwork or appliqued tree skirt would be perfect for a country or casual look. Learn more about using Design Principles for the Holidays here.

Trends in Christmas Tree Skirts

If you go shopping for a tree skirt, you'll find that there are lots of styles available. But the trend is toward more elegant styles, regardless of your decorating scheme. Look for gorgeous satin banded velvet skirts, designs with embroidered sheers over colored linings, sumptuous beaded styles, many of which are imported. You can choose cotton, patchwork quilts, and appliqued fleece if you prefer a casual look.

Making your own Christmas tree skirts can be as easy as draping a length of fabric under your tree or as complicated as making a custom needlepoint skirt. It's your choice.

Cut a piece of fabric about 4 to 5 yards long to make the easiest Christmas tree skirt ever. Choose a simple cotton print or a lush velvet or taffeta. Wrap the fabric around the base of your tree and tuck the raw edges and ends in. You'll be able to wash and iron it if it gets dirty, fold it for easy storage from year to year, and change the look as simple as changing the fabric.

If your family doesn't put gifts under the tree until Santa arrives on Christmas morning, your Christmas tree skirt will give a finished look, color, and texture to the base of your tree until the big day.

If you display gifts under the tree all during the holiday, however, you'll hardly even see the Christmas tree skirt. Don't spend a lot of money on the skirt if it will be covered up most of the time. And by the time the gifts are removed, you'll almost be ready to take the tree down.

Use What You Have

You can use almost anything for a tree skirt, so be creative and look around your house. You just have to find something that's big enough to cover the tree stand. Consider using:

  • Tablecloths
  • Quilts
  • Sheets
  • Bedspreads
  • Blankets
  • Leftover upholstery or drapery fabric
  • Drapery panels
  • Fleece or Chenille Throws

Felt Tree Skirts

Wide felt fabric is perfect for a Christmas tree skirt. Choose your favorite color in the widest and heaviest felt available. Cut the largest circle from the felt that you can, then cut a slit straight from the outer edge to the center of the circle. Next, cut out a small inner circle in the center just large enough to fit comfortably around the tree trunk, generally 4-7" in diameter for average size trees. You can either leave the fabric plain or add decorations of felt cutouts, beads, fringe, or appliques.

Draping Fabrics

Just about any fabric can be draped around a tree. You'll save lots of time and money using about 4 to 5 yards of any type of fabric. Tuck in the selvage and unfinished edges so they don't show, or sew in a simple casing along one long side and gather it up tightly with cording to go at the tree trunk.

Lots of Fabric Choices

Your Christmas tree skirt can be as plain or as fancy as you wish. Choose from any of these fabrics for a custom look:

  • Velvet
  • Taffeta
  • Needlepoint, tapestry
  • Lame, metallics
  • Matelasse
  • Felt
  • Corduroy
  • Burlap
  • Cotton, Calico
  • Quilted Fabrics
  • Patchworks
  • Blanket Fabrics, Fleece

Sewing Your Own

You won't even need a pattern to make a Christmas tree skirt, but you may want to look for inspiration and ideas for decorating in holiday stores, catalogs, or on the internet. Just be sure that you make your tree skirt large enough to comfortably cover your tree stand.

Keep It Looking Fresh

When you make your Christmas tree skirt or take it out of storage after being folded up all year, be sure to give it a good ironing. It will look like new every year.