Saturday, December 17, 2011

Canvas Drop Cloth Tree Skirt Tutorial

I. Am. LOVING my new tree skirt that I made from canvas drop cloth.

I FINALLY took the time to make it yesterday.  I know, Christmas is only next week.  My tree has been up since right after Thanksgiving . . . skirtless.  Yes, shameful.  But better late than never.  :)

So I thought I would share what I did in case you wanted to make one for next year.

I used a large canvas drop cloth.  I am in the process of refinishing a couple of sofa chairs with it and so had some of the drop cloth on hand.   The best price I have found is at Lowe's.  If you don't have a Lowe's, just check around at your different home improvement stores.  This tree skirt was done simply without a lining.  I felt the canvas would be thick enough and not need a lining.

The measurement breakdown:
22" for the main circle of the skirt - I did not do anything to the skirt hole except a zig-zag edge since no one sees that part anyway.
3.5" for the ruffle edge - I wanted a 3 inch ruffle and 1/2 inch allowance for sewing to the skirt.
I also used the finished edges of the drop cloth for my ruffle so that I wouldn't have to sew a new hem.
If you need to sew a new hem allow 1 inch more (= 4.5").

First I measured the radius for my skirt from the top of the tree stand to a little past the bottom branches of the tree, letting the measuring tape fall like I want the skirt to.  This is the finished measurement I want for my skirt radius.

Next, I folded the cloth into quarters.  Then using a tape measure and pencil to form a compass, I drew wear to cut our my circle for the skirt.  Cut.  I made this distance 22 inches.

With the same compass method a cut a hole in the middle of the circle (skirt left folded into quarters).  I made a 2" cut (even though in the photo it shows a 1" mark).

Then I cut a slit to the circle along one of the folding lines.

Zig-zag finish the slit edge and around the circle.  Then fold the slit under 1/4 inch and sew.

Next the ruffle.  I ended up making about a  130" long strip to make the ruffle by sewing 3 smaller strips together.

Make 1/2 wide Z-fold.  The distance of the fold can vary depending on the look you want.  Although if it is different than what I did, you will have to adjust your original strip length.  The distance I did from fold edge to fold edge was about 1 3/4 inch.  I ironed the pleats as I folded them.
Pin the right sides of the ruffle to the skirt.  Sew.  Zig-zag finish the edge.
You want to always finish the edge of the canvas some how so it won't fray.

Top stitch with the edge underneath laying toward the skirt.

To close the slit in the skirt I used ribbon to tie bows.
I folded my 7" long pieces under and stitched to the edge.  I had 8 ribbon pieces total for 4 closures.
Did I say how I loved how it turned out.  {Sigh}

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  1. Great tutorial- I'm not an experienced sewer but I can definitely handle this. Thank you for the tute! :) Merry Christmas!