My family has started a brand new Christmas tradition – a Family Memories Christmas Tree Skirt. This is a project you can do yourself. You don’t have to be incredibly talented in sewing or art to create it. You just need to have patience and determination.
What you’ll need:
Large Piece of Felt
Clear Tacky Glue
Needles and Thread for Sewing
First, you need to create the main skirt piece. You’ll want to measure how far out from the base of the tree you want the skirt to stretch and use some basic math to figure out how much felt to purchase. If you want the skirt to stretch 4 feet from the base, purchase 2 yards (3 feet in a yard) of fabric to give you a little extra just in case. Make sure the fabric is one piece.
Once you purchase the fabric, fold it in half corner to corner so you have a triangle and then fold it in half again and again until you have a triangle where the smallest angle is at the very middle of your fabric. Then, tie a piece of yarn to a pencil so it’s as long as the length you determined you want the skirt to stretch (4 feet in my example). You’ll probably need someone to help you with this. Have the other person hold the end of the yarn tightly at the tip of the triangle while you stretch the pencil tight and draw a curved line. This is the round edge of your tree skirt. Cut it out.
Felt is a sturdy fabric, so you don’t need to do any sewing to finish it off. I like the look of a plain red tree skirt, but you can add your own finishes according to your tastes. Places like JoAnn Fabrics have plenty of tassles, ribbons, fringe, etc. to choose from. You can determine how much you need by using the formula for the circumference of a circle (C=2πr where r is the radius).
Once the main tree skirt is finished, decide which memory or memories you want to record. I chose the birth of my daughter. Other ideas include: the purchase of a new home, the adoption of a pet, a graduation, a family trip, etc. I plan to commemorate each memory with a whimsical Christmas symbol (like a gingerbread house for a new home), but you can choose to be more realistic.
For the birth of my daughter, I had already seen a mouse design I wanted to use. I had used a version of it on the felt advent calendar I’d already made her. I had saved the clip art image, so I sized it on my computer according to how I wanted it to look on the skirt and printed it out. I cut it apart so the pieces for the body and hat were separate making it easy to use as a template. To make it more baby-ish, I also cut out a baby bottle to include.
My mother used her sewing machine to embroider my daughter’s name and birth date (removed from the pictures for safety reasons) on the banner above the mouse. If you don’t have access to a sewing or embroidery machine, a good fabric pen will work well.
Sewing the pieces on skirt took basic sewing skills. Some people really stress out about this part. Don’t! It doesn’t need to be perfect.
I love how Christmas Tree skirt turned out! As you can see, it isn’t perfect looking like something made in a factory, but it was created with lots of love and that’s even better. I plan on adding one new thing every year!
As for care, don’t machine wash. Only dry or spot clean the skirt and don’t keep it anywhere mice or moths might eat it. I plan on hanging it in my coat closet year-round.
Do you have any family traditions like this?