Tuesday, December 16, 2014

No-Sew Oilcloth Tree Skirt

If you're like me you really love a retro tinsel tree. But, one of the drawbacks of artificial trees is the tiny little pole that holds all that kitschy bling. It's really hard to find a tree skirt that has a small enough hole that will cover up the tree stand. So when I set out to decorate my tree this year, I knew it was time to make a quick and easy tree skirt that would go right up to the pole.

My silver Christmas tree sits in a corner that has a radiator and a fireplace hearth, so I went with a small 28" diameter tree skirt. It's just a few inches bigger than the tree stand and works well in the space allowed. Oilcloth is 47" wide, so you can make it much bigger than my sample.

Once I picked out the red lace oilcloth, I needed to find the center of the oilcloth. Notice how the print has a medallion motif in the center of the width of the oilcloth? This motif repeats every 16 inches, so when you are working with a print with a predominate repeat you need to buy a bit more fabric than you need, so you can adjust your pattern left and right so your circular tree skirt looks its best.

Once I found the center of what will be my oilcloth tree skirt, I folded it in half and did a little finger press to mark my center with a crease.

Next, I fold it into quarters so the wrong side is out; do so by folding it half width-wise and then length wise. Thankfully you can see a faint bit of the lace on the back side to help you fold properly and find dead center of the medallion.

To double check the placement you can place a pin in the corner as shown above. Open up the fold and check to see if your pin is in the center. If not, make any adjustments needed.

Refold and place some clothes pens along the folds to keep the fabric from sliding around. Use your ruler to measure out a quarter circle. Once you decide on the diameter of your tree skirt divide your that number by 2. My tree skirt is 28", so I drew an arc that is 14" from the corner, or pivot point. Using a ruler or table measure, make a series of dashes every inch or two from the top to the bottom of your arc, then connecting the dots into a smooth curve.

Do the same process for the smaller hole that is in the center of your tree skirt. This hole needs to be the same diameter as the hole in the base of your stand that holds the pole of your tree. My stand has a 1" diameter hole so I make a tiny 1/2" arch at the corner of my folded tree skirt fabric.

Oilcloth doesn't fray or ravel so you don't have to finish off the edges. I used pinking shears to cut out the outer circle and regular scissors to cut out the center hole.

Now unfold the tree skirt and cut a straight line from the outer edge to the hole. I did this with a rotary cutter and ruler on top of my cutting mat. I just followed the print of the fabric to do so. This slit allows me to get the tree skirt on and off with ease.

June Suggests: If you have the time to make this super fancy you could trim off the edges with 1/4" bias tape, but you don't have to.
Simply wrap the tree skirt around the base of your tree and allow it to cover the stand. The back of the skirt will overlap and create a little volcano like shape. See, easy peasy!

Helpful tip: Oilcloth tree skirts are great for pet owners; the non-stick, water-proof, easy-to-clean surface helps with many issues.

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