christmas crafts: burlap tree skirt

Recently I decided to tackle a Christmas tree skirt.  Usually we just put a festive red sheet down since we always get a real tree and we need something to put it on when we bring it in from outside. 

A few weeks ago I came across this tutorial for a tree skirt made out of burlap, muslin, and lace.  I really liked the look of it, but was nervous about the part with the ruffles since A) I don't like anything too frilly, and I'm sure my husband doesn't either! and B) I am VERY deficient when it comes to sewing ruffles into fabric.  VERY.  But I bought the burlap and muslin using coupons last week, and as for the lace, I cut up an old window treatment that the previous owners left in our guest room.  I cut out 8-inch strips last night, as well as the muslin tree skirt base.

Then this morning I found this tutorial on Pinterest.  I really liked the smaller ruffles on it and the great contrast the pretty red fabric strips gave.  Most of all, I LOVED that it was no-sew.  Just tons of hot glue!  I knew I had plenty of burlap to do this, but I didn't really want to go out and buy more fabric, and I didn't really have any on hand that would work (trust me, I looked.  I have one-yard fabric pieces and remnants coming out of my ears, but that seems about it at the moment!).  So I decided to morph the two tutorials together. 

I used the tree skirt base and the 8-inch layers of fabric I had already cut out.  I started with a burlap layer placed a half-inch above the edge of the base's edge, then put the subsequent layers two inches above the preceding layers.  Took about two hours and tons of hot glue.  I also took a tip from the first tutorial and applied a layer of Mod Podge to the edges of the burlap layers to stop them from fraying.  I like the look of a little fraying, but not a ton!

The result?  Not bad. I like that it's not too ruffly, but I think it's a little plain.  I'm glad we have that red sheet underneath to give it a little punch.  Plus my top muslin layer didn't ruffle as much as I'd hoped.  But overall I think it has a nice effect, and this way we can still check the water level and water the tree without moving it around.

I think if I give this another go for next year, I'll try to find an actual tree skirt on clearance after Christmas to give myself a sturdier base to work with.  The muslin was flimsy and moved around a lot.  I'll also use shorter ruffles since 8-inch strips are harder to work with (especially with the burlap!), and finally I'll use red fabric with the burlap to give it more contrast.

Or maybe this skirt will grow on me as the season goes on and I won't want to change a thing.  We'll see!

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