Burlap Ruffle Christmas Tree Skirt

Burlap Ruffle Tree Skirt

 I’ve seen lots of different ways to do this type of tree skirt, all no sew, which makes me nervous that you’ll put in all that work just to have it eventually come apart! I decided to make a couple versions of this one, sewing each layer on and playing around with colored burlap. I absolutely love the way these turned out… it is a LOT of work but it looks so impressive and is really unique. Things have been so crazy lately that we just got our tree up on Sunday (usually we do it the weekend after Thanksgiving) and I still have fall decorations up all over the rest of the house. I hope to find some time in the next few days to finish decorating because I have some fun ideas that I want to post on before Christmas is here! 

1. You have to start off by making the base of your tree skirt, this will be what the burlap is sewn onto. I used muslin but you could always save yourself some work and buy a cheap tree skirt to use instead. I took our tree skirt that we use now and used it as my template and traced it onto a 1.5 yard piece of 43″ muslin. If you don’t have a tree skirt to use as a template, tie a piece of string to a marker and then cut it 21″ long. Hold the end of the string without the marker at the fold in the middle of your muslin. Start all the way to the right of your muslin on the fold and then draw a semi-cirlcle using the string length as your guide.

2. I then used a hip curve ruler to trace a half circle to cut out where the base of your tree will go. You can use half a drinking glass or any circular object.

3. Cut a slit up just one half of the circle so that you can slip the skirt around the tree.

4. Once you open this up it will look like a standard tree skirt. It should be 42″ in diameter with a hole in the middle to fit around the tree and have a slit to allow you to put it around the tree’s base.

5. I bought 3 yards of red burlap and 3 yards of white burlap and had some leftover in the end but my motto is always better to have extra than not enough. Cut the burlap into 3″ strips {I find it easiest to measure the 3″ and then pull the string where that falls out. Once it’s out, you’ll have a clear line where to cut the burlap plus it cuts down on the fraying!}. Pick which color you want to be your outermost ruffle and start pinning it right on the edge starting at one side of the slit. Every couple of inches or so, fold a pleat in the burlap and pin it in place. For these first couple of rows, the 3 yards won’t be long enough to do the whole row so just sew two strips together and tuck the seam into one of the pleats!

6. Once you have the whole outside edge pinned in place, sew that layer on, being sure to sew in the direction the pleats are going to make things easier on yourself.

starting tree skirt

1. Next, start pinning your next color in the same way as before, making sure to overlap the line where you sewed the first one on. To make this easy, I mark two inches up from the top of the last row and mark in the middle of each pleat from the row before so the placement of the ruffles alternate each row.

2. Continue sewing rows, alternating colors in whatever pattern you prefer.

3. Once you get all the way to the inside edge where you cut the small circle out.

4. I couldn’t find bias tape wide enough to cover this seam so I used quilter’s binding instead, this will give the skirt a totally finished look. Pin the binding in place, making sure the slightly longer side is underneath and cut with about 1/2″ overhang on each end. Leave the ends of the binding open.

5. Slide a piece of ribbon into the ends of the binding and stitch closed. These will be the ties for your tree skirt! 

6. You can see from the underside of the tree skirt, you’ll have a finished look with a bullseye pattern from the stitching.

finishing tree skirt

I like the rustic look of some fraying on the ends of the burlap, but if you’re worried about it fraying too much or don’t like how it looks you can sew the edges of the burlap that are on the slit sides to minimize the fraying. If you’re feeling really ambitious you could sew along the entire strip’s edge to try and prevent it further! I take mine out of the decorations box, put it under our tree and then cut the strings that are loose {without pulling them} and then leave it along when it goes back in the box until the next year. This way there’s only minimal cutting happening and since it’s only once a year it’s not a problem!

Play around with colors, I also made one alternating green, red and white… the possibilities are endless!

IMG_6392I’ve also made this with standard colored burlap and white as well as red + green and have some of them for sale in my Etsy shop!


green and red tree skirt