Tag Archives: Tutorial

Easy Ruffled Tree Skirt

As soon as the turkey was cleaned up from Thanksgiving last week, my husband and I started breaking out the Christmas decorations and by the end of last weekend we had everything up! (Granted- we live in an apartment right now so that doesn’t take too long! But stay tuned- I am going to do a post within the next week about how to decorate in such a small space). We spent a lazy Saturday putting up the tree and slowly decorating it, and when all was said and done it looked nice, but it was missing something. Tinsel maybe? Hmmm… but with a new dog, we were afraid he’d eat it… no… what we were missing was a tree skirt. When we went shopping the next day we looked at tree skirts and were shocked at the price of some of them– we saw skirts from $15- well over $100. The $15 ones looked horrible, so the next day, I took a trip to the craft store – I had a few ideas in mind, but nothing specific. After perusing the ribbon aisle, I decided I was going to make a ruffled tree skirt. I had originally discounted that idea because who has time to cut all that fabric, hem it, and then gather it? Not this girl! But- in the ribbon aisle, I discovered a host of ribbons that were wired, and I noticed that by gently pulling on the wire, I could easily “gather” the ribbon with no extra sewing for me. Score!

Before I continue- this is what I ended up with after an afternoon of sewing!
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After spending nearly 45 minutes in the ribbon aisle, this is the color scheme I went with- I thought the blue and silver looked so refreshing and was a nice change of pace from all the red and green.
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In order to make this project work, you need to make sure the ribbon you are picking has wire in it, and that the ribbon can easily gather on the wire. See that ribbon in the middle in the picture above (the one with the trees) – I guess I forgot to test that one in the store because the wire was glued to the ribbon and it wouldn’t gather- that one is going back.

My tree skirt is 40″ across – and for that size skirt, I ended up using 5 spools of ribbon. Each spool of ribbon had 12 feet on it and was 2.5 inches wide.  You’re going to have to do a little math to figure out how much ribbon you need– and don’t forget that you’re gathering it, so you’ll need about twice as much as you think to make up for the gathering!

Keep in mind that as the circles get smaller towards the center you’ll use significantly less ribbon.  My last four rows were all made with just 2 spools of ribbon, so even though my tree skirt actually has 7 rows of ribbon, it was only made with 5 spools total.

Also keep in mind that one 12 foot spool of ribbon (slightly gathered) will comfortably go around a 40″ diameter circle.  If your circle is more than that, make sure you get 2 of the same spools of ribbon so you can patch them together!

Besides ribbon, you’ll also need felt (as wide as you want to make your tree skirt), a pen, safety pin, ribbon or yarn and a sewing machine.
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To get started, decide how wide you’ll want your tree skirt.  We have a skinny tree, so I went with 40″ across.  Take your measurement, divide it in half, and get a piece of ribbon a bit longer than that.  Tie one end to a pen or pencil, and measure out your measurement and pin the ribbon in place in the middle of your felt.  What you’re essentially doing is making a huge compass to help you draw a large circle.

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After drawing your initial circle, you can draw concentric circles as guidelines to help you place your rows of ribbon.  My ribbon was 2.5 inches wide, and I wanted a bit of overlap, so I made my circles every 2 inches.  You could omit this step and eyeball it, but some people like that extra assurance!

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Cut out your circle, and then cut a slit from the edge to the center

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You’re going to be working from the outside in, so pick which ribbon you want on the outside edge and start gathering!

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Starting at the slit, fold a bit of the ribbon onto the back and then begin pinning the ribbon along your first guide line.

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Keep going until you get all the way around. My outermost row was one entire 12 foot spool of ribbon.

After it is pinned, you’re going to sew it down.  Carefully sew along the gathered edge, getting as close as you can to the wire without sewing over it (you don’t want to break a needle!)

After the first row is sewn down, you’re basically going to repeat the last few steps on each concentric circle- gather, pin, sew, rinse and repeat.

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This isn’t mandatory, but if your dog can insist on sleeping on your project while you’re working, that would be great.

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Keep going until you get to a point where there is about a 12 inch circle of felt left.  You can either leave it there (if you have an artificial tree, it probably won’t be a problem, because the “trunk” isn’t that wide), or if you have a real tree, you can cut the white circle out to make sure you have enough space to wrap the skirt around your tree.

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An overhead view

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I just can’t stop looking at this glittery ruffly goodness!

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And here it is gracing our tree!

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Hmmm….someone looks guilty don’t they?

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As always, if you use my tutorial to make your own, I’d love to see it! Comment, post to my Facebook or hit me up on Instagram at @sewin2disney so you can tag me and use hashtag #handmadeisbetter – I love to see what you come up with! The color combinations are endless!

Reversible Holiday Burlap Banner

Happy almost Thanksgiving! In honor of the holiday that gets no recognition (when it comes to decorations), I have an easy reversible holiday burlap banner tutorial today! I’m all for decorating for Halloween and then leaving some of the more “fall-ish” decorations up through Thanksgiving (like my Recycled Book Pumpkin!) But I feel that Thanksgiving needs its own special decoration, hence, my “Give Thanks” bunting. I got this idea a few months ago, and have been slacking since I bought the burlap. When I sat down to make it, I figured why not make it a two-in-one craft with a Thanksgiving greeting on one side and a Christmas greeting on the other? That way after the turkey has been eaten, I can easily flip this banner over and get a head start on my holiday decorating!

Reversible Holiday Burlap BannerTo get started, you’ll need a few items – about a half a yard of burlap (get more if you want a different size or shape bunting or if you want to write a phrase with more letters in it), a spool of ribbon at least 6 feet long (mine was burlap ribbon that was 1/2 inch wide), black paint, paintbrush, sharpie and either a hot glue gun or sewing machine to attach your bunting to the ribbon.

To begin, decide on your phrase – I picked “Give Thanks” on one side and “Believe” on the other. Since they don’t have the same amount of letters, I chose to put “Give” all on one flap. If you have 2 phrases with different amounts of letters you could always leave blank flaps on the reverse side or decorate the extra flaps with simple pictures (you’ll see what I mean below)

I wrote mine out on some scrap paper and played around with different fonts – I went with a script like font for “Give Thanks” and a funky mixed up font for “believe”

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Next, make your bunting pattern – you can go with the traditional triangle, or with the longer double-pointed flap like I did.  My dimensions are below- feel free to replicate that or come up with a size that better suits you (and the area you want to hang it in!)

*Note that mine is on the fold- so it is actually twice that!  Having it doubled lets you write letters on both sides without having the paint show through to the other side.

Cut one piece (on the fold) for each letter in your phrase.  I decided to add a “picture” flap at each end of my word, so I cut out 9 flaps – actually, I cut out 10- one extra to practice on.DSC_2902

 

Iron your burlap (you want to make sure it’s flat and it has a good crease at the top).

 

 

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Now it’s time to begin painting your letters! I used a sharpie marker to freehand the letters, but if you’re not confident in your lettering, you could use a stencil or print out your phrase on your computer and use a window or lightbox to transfer the font to your burlap.

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After you have written out your letter in Sharpie, go over it with paint.  I did only my first word, and laid out the letters in order. *Make sure you work on scrap paper or newspaper as the paint will bleed through the burlap.

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Now, for the reverse side, you’re going to want to work in reverse- so the “b” in “believe” will actually start on the “s” in “thanks”. (This is why I suggest doing only one word at a time!

Repeat with your Sharpie/Painting on the other side.

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All done!DSC_2912

Last, I decided I wanted a picture flap at each end- so on one side, I painted some simple leaves and on the other, some holly (And after I took this picture, I outlined both and added in some details with Sharpie markers)

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Next, lay out your ribbon – my window (where I wanted to hang the bunting) is 72″ long, so I made my ribbon 75″ long so that the bunting would have a slight curve to it when hanging.

Space out your letters and pin into place.DSC_2914 DSC_2915

 

I sewed my burlap down to the ribbon just because for me, it’s the fastest, but if you aren’t handy with a sewing machine, you could just as easily hot glue the letters to the ribbon.DSC_2917

 

With my extra ribbon, I made two little bows to put at each end and used some straight pins to attach it to the wall!

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Right now, we have “Give Thanks” hanging up, but come Friday, I’m going to reverse it….

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….so that it says “believe”!1DSC_2920

If you make this, what phrase(s) are you going to put! Let me know in the comments! Or show off your final piece on my Facebook page. More of an Instagram person? Follow me @SewIn2Disney so you can tag me and add hashtag #handmadeisbetter. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

 

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