Introduction: No-sew Burlap Tree Skirt

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It’s almost here! That magical time of year where everything changes – we bring trees in the house, put lights outside and move our budget to the red. Christmas time! Add some rustic flair to your home this year and keep your budget black with a super simple, no-sew burlap and duck-cloth tree skirt.

I made this tree skirt a couple years ago on a whim to impress my lovely wife. It worked! She even added more burlap to the tree she liked it so much. You can easily make a skirt like this in one evening if you have all the materials on hand.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

  • Hot glue gun
  • Glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Fabric (I used burlap and duck cloth)

Sizing the material

This is the trickiest part of the whole project. I was just ‘winging it’ and had to make a trip to the local Wal-Mart to get more fabric half-way through. However, you can estimate how much fabric to buy using the following formulas: (if math ‘ain’t your thing’, just wing it :-) ).

Center burlap circle – has radius ‘R’ in my example, R=24 inches.

Burlap strip – 7 inches wide by 19R long. That’s about 3 times the distance around the burlap circle. You need the strip to be 3 times longer than the center circle because when you pleat it the fabric is triple-thick (keep reading and you'll see what I mean)

Duck cloth strip – 7 inches wide by 19(R+W). (Where W is the width of exposed burlap strip, about 4 inches)

Duck cloth ribbon – 1.5 inches wide by 6.3R (that’s about the length around the center circle)

Step 2: Cutting, Hemming and Gluing

Cut the circle and a slit from the center radially outward. This slit allows you to wrap the skirt around the tree base. Also cut your strips.

Plug in your hot glue gun and let it heat up.

The first step is to add a hem. This step is very important because if you don’t do it you will have threads coming off your skirt and it will look a little shoddy. Compare the top of the duck cloth in the above image to the bottom; the top is hemmed. It doesn’t matter what the other edge of the cloth looks like, you won’t see it. To make a hem, simply fold over the edge and glue it down. I didn’t use a rolled hem because I wanted the hem to lay flatter.

Once your strip is hemmed, glue the burlap to the bottom of the burlap circle so that the un-hemmed edge of the strip is under the circle of burlap. I used a 2.5 inch overlap of the burlap strip and the burlap circle. The pleated circle is on top of the pleated burlap.

To pleat, fold the strip back under itself and then double back again. Glue as you go attaching the pleated strip to itself and the circle. Watch out to keep the overlap of the strip and circle consistent as you make your way around. Try pleating without gluing and then when you get the hang of it, glue it into place. I made my pleats about 3 inches long and about an inch in-between overlapped sections. Glue the pleated sections down. Hem the strip on both ends too.
Repeat the same idea hemming the duck cloth edge and then attaching it to the underside of the burlap strip. Take care to hide all unhemmed edges. Along the split end of the skirt, apply a thin line of glue to keep the burlap from fraying.

There is an unsightly seam on the top of your burlap circle. Cover that with a thin strip of duck cloth which has both edges hemmed.

Now all you need is a tree!

-instructodad (of

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