Like a Ball Gown for Your Christmas Tree

You can make this tree skirt for $12 and in less than an hour!  A tree skirt is an important part of Christmas decor.  It helps conceal the tree stand and ground the tree.  The fabric goodness under the tree looks great before there are presents under the tree.  The downside to tree skirts…they are expensive, often starting at around $30.  Seems silly for something you are going to throw on the floor.  So, I just walked right past the tree skirts and started looking for an alternative.

DIY Ruched Tablecloth Tree Skirt

Enter the 70″ round table cloth and a simple ruching technique.  Chances are you can find an inexpensive table cloth in a color or pattern to match your holiday decor.  I chose this beautiful blue.  I plan to decorate the tree in neutral tones this year, so the tree skirt will be a great place to introduce some color.  This blue goes well with my normal home decor and I am confident it will look great wherever we decide to put the tree.

Supplies/Tools:

  • 70″ round tablecloth
  • Needle
  • Heavy duty string
  • Scissors

Step by Step:

  1. Start with the tablecloth folded in quarters. Round Tablecloth Tree Skirt
  2. Use a small plate or bowl to trace a semicircle at the center of the tablecloth.  Place the plate with the center at the point of the quartered tablecloth.  Cut out the quarter circle to create a perfect hole in the center of the table cloth. Round Tablecloth Tree Skirt
  3. Open out the table cloth and cut a straight line from the edge to the hole in the center. Round Tablecloth Tree Skirt
  4. For the raw cut edges on the slit and the hole, I folded the fabric over about 1/4″, then over again another 1/4″ and stitched a hem.  If you want a large, plain tree skirt you can stop here.
  5. Round Tablecloth Tree Skirt If you want to take it a step further, a simple way to dress up a plain tree skirt is to ruche the fabric.   (I finally ironed my tablecloth before this step.)  Thread your needle with heavy duty string and tie the ends of the string together in a knot.  Thread will not work for this.  It is too thin and will break easily.  Use string or embroidery floss.  Starting at the outer edge of the tree skirt, pull the needle up through your fabric and make large 1″ stitches in a straight line toward the center circle.  I stitched about halfway toward the center.   DIY Ruched Tablecloth Tree Skirt
  6. Start ruching by pulling the tail of the thread.  The fabric will start gathering toward the middle.   DIY Ruched Tablecloth Tree Skirt
  7. Once the gather is made, make a small stitch with the needle and pull the tail to the backside.  Tie a knot.
  8. Repeat the previous steps to make 9 ruched gathers around the table cloth.  The end goal is 8 evenly spaced gathers, but you will need to gather each side of the opening in the skirt.  The gathers at the slit are shown below.  I ruched each side separately.  They are not attached.  Around the tree you can overlap these two sides slightly to conceal the opening. DIY Ruched Tablecloth Tree Skirt
  9. When you lay the skirt around the tree, take a few minutes to play with the gathers to get the nice gathered ball gown look.  The tree will look all dressed up while it waits for the presents to arrive.

Sharing this project here:
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Dittle Dattle
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65 Responses to DIY Ruched Tree Skirt for $12

  1. brandi says:

    Wow, such a gorgeous tree skirt! You did such a beautiful job!

  2. Great way to create a tree skirt for less! It will be so pretty with all the gathers!

  3. jenni says:

    LOVE it! So simple, but so, so pretty! The color is beautiful!

  4. Tanya says:

    This tree skirt is very pretty and elegant. Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. Justine says:

    This is a really cute idea! Would you like to link it up at Sew & Tell Saturday at my blog SewCountryChick? Thanks!

  6. leann says:

    I would really love to try this idea. However, I am not much of a sewer…but I’m going to give this a try. Can you give me some more details for step 7, I’m not quite sure what it means.
    Thanks!

    • Jackie says:

      Leann,

      I hope you do try this tree skirt. It is so easy. In step #7 all you need to do is push the needle back through the fabric after you make the gather. This way the tail of your thread is on the underside. Just cut the string from the needle and tie it in a knot. Hope this helps.

      • Nichole says:

        this was my only confusion as well, thanks for the clear up! :) Where did you find this table cloth? i have a hard time finding much variety in stores as far as table cloths.

        • Jackie says:

          Nichole, Both the table cloths I used were from Target, bought in different seasons. Another good place to check is HomeGoods.

  7. Nicole says:

    It is so pretty and elegant!

  8. Saw this on Pinterest. Fab idea! Can’t wait to do it!

  9. Rebecca says:

    oh my goodness – this is brilliant! I just found you from Pinterest. Thanks for sharing! I’ve been looking for years for a nice tree skirt because I don’t want to do tons of sewing and I also didn’t want to have a weird seam so I’ve been unable to find a nice pattern for what I wanted. This is beautiful! It doesn’t hurt that the color you did is almost exactly what I’m going for. I may try doing an iron on snowflake design or something on it too – I love it!

    • Jackie says:

      Rebecca,

      An iron on design would be perfect. Stenciling might work too if you are braver than me :). Also for under $20 the patterned DwellStudio tablecloths at Target would be great for this.

  10. Sandi says:

    What an excellent idea to use a circular tablecloth! I like to change my Christmas theme often, and have improvised many different skirts, and made a few as well. I’ll keep this in mind!

  11. Using a round tablecloth is such a clever idea! I’ll definitely have to use this idea!

    I’d love for you to share this idea at my Christmas themed link party! http://afishwholikesflowers.blogspot.com/2011/11/help-save-my-christmas-spirit.html

    Hope to see you there!

  12. Lauren says:

    This is stunning! I saw this on Pinterest and had to come check out the tutorial- fantastic idea!

  13. Catherine says:

    This is so beautiful! Very simple yet so chic. I think I will make a mini one for the tiny tree we will be having this year!

  14. Catherine says:

    Now, that’s what I’m talking about! Phew, you just saved me a ton of money and time…thanks!

  15. Susan says:

    Love it! I was looking for a new tree skirt (as I’ve painted my whole house finally (in Martha’s Driftwood Grey thanks to your inspiration) and I am accenting in red this year…but was dreading paying $30 or more for a new skirt. Definately making my own now…great DIY.

  16. Pam says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this. So simple. Just what I am looking for!!

  17. Sarah says:

    I had picked up a red, white & green plaid table cloth on clearance a couple years ago for just this purpose, but I’ve not gotten around to making the tree skirt quite yet. I love the gathering detail that you added – it totally dresses up the skirt! Thanks for the inspiration! (Found you via Pinterest)

  18. April says:

    Love the color! What a great tutorial-thanks for sharing!

  19. Katie says:

    WOW–I’m loving the simplicity of this skirt!

  20. Daniela says:

    This is a brilliant idea! Your skirt looks fabulous and would be great for a Cinderella tree too!

  21. Emily says:

    So Awesome! I found this on Pinterest and $7.99 (from TJ Maxx) and a 1/2 hour later I’ve got myself a lovely new tree skirt. I can’t wait to get our tree! Thanks so much!

  22. Kira says:

    Love this idea! My one question is how big is the skirt once it is gathered? The 48″ tree skirts are too small for my tree and I’m hoping this skirt will end up bigger. Thanks for sharing your creativity!

    • Jackie says:

      Kira,

      I am jealous of your big Christmas tree. If you do not do any gathers it would be 70″ diameter (or size of your tablecloth). On mine with the gathers at the widest parts the tree skirt is still about 60″. You could do less or more gathers to change the fullness and diameter. Hope you give it a try.

  23. AmberLee says:

    Jackie! I completely adore this project. Totally beautiful. And I think I could actually pull this one off. What a great project.

  24. Andi says:

    Yay! I just made the “plain” version of this tree skirt, with the intention of embellishing with ruffles (next year!). Awesome idea, and I found my tablecloth on Amazon for $7!! The other tree skirts I saw around town were in the $50 dollar range, and sooo not my style; I was getting pissed! So glad I saw this on pinterest :)

  25. kathleen says:

    I just made this! Thank you for the wonderful idea and great instructions. I am planning to make it two tiered. I just did the plain black for the underside and plan to make a green print for the top layer. However, the black by itself is very pretty. It looks almost like black velvet from a distance. Thank you!!!!

  26. Angie Emerson says:

    Beautiful! And if you have pets who have accidents (like me), you can choose a washable tablecloth. You absolutely cannot purchase a washable tree skirt anywhere.
    Really creative and chic!

    • Jackie says:

      Good idea Angie. I never thought of the washability. I do not have an issue with pet accidents, but my puppy (affectionately called that although she is 6 years old), does like to sleep under the tree.

  27. dalys says:

    hi dear,

    tks for sharing this great tutorial.
    today I am making a post about christmas tree skirts and I am linking your tutorial, here is the link: http://burundanguitas.blogspot.com/2011/12/christmas-tree-skirt-ideas.html
    tks for visiting and sharing.
    rgds, dalys

  28. Cassi says:

    I love the color! Great tute.

  29. This is absolutely gorgeous and your tutorial is very well done. We will be featuring you today.

  30. Fantastic idea! I’m totally doing this!

  31. Lucy says:

    I did this with a round tablecloth a few years ago, but the ruching would make it even prettier. Thanks!

  32. Jessica says:

    So cute!

    My current tree skirt was made from a vinylish tablecloth… And is too big for my tree location. I’m wondering if it would work for this… It’s a good deal stiffer than regular fabric…

    (BTW, I found you through Sew What’s New)

  33. Karen Pior says:

    Very cleverly done. Simple yet elegant. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with others.

  34. Wow this is beautiful! I have been loving the ruffled tree skirts but felt they were too girly for my man to love them as well, this may be the perfect balance!

  35. Wow! You are a Christmas crafting genius! So glad I found your project via Centsational Girl.

    Please stop by for a visit to my blog. I am currently in the midst of a Gifts to Make series.

    Be Merry and Bright!

  36. Bethany says:

    Wonderful, thank you! I tried it and shared your tutorial here: http://winkleravenue.blogspot.com/2011/12/oh-christmas-tree.html

  37. TenleyPants says:

    I’m going to use this to make a regular skirt! it would look awesome with a bustle! Circles are a pain!

  38. Tara says:

    Not sure I understand step #8?

    • Jackie says:

      Hi Tara, Step 8 is just referring to making eight gathers around the tree skirt following the above steps. If you look at the finished picture at the top of the post it might be more clear how the gathers should be arranged.

  39. This is so clever I had to share on my Facebook page… Thank you for the idea!

  40. This is absolutely gorgeous! And it doesn’t seem difficult at all. I’m a bit bummed because I don’t celebrate Christmas (I know…shocking) :-D so I don’t have a use for a Christmas tree skirt, but I want to adapt this design for a different use. Hmmmm…the wheels are turning in my head. :) Thanks for sharing!

  41. Shelley says:

    This is a great idea for a Christmas tree skirt, but when I first saw it I thought it would be an easy way to make a window valance. Thanks for the idea!

  42. Melody says:

    This is perfect. Would a polyester tablecloth work just as well as cotton? They are so cheap on Amazon.

  43. Vanessa says:

    I made one this weekend. Thanks for the tutorial!

    http://vanessabishop.blogspot.com/2012/11/i-made-tree-skirt.html

  44. Jen K. says:

    I found your tutorial through Pinterest, and made my own tree skirt from a table cloth today!
    Thanks for making a super easy tutorial, I love all of the pictures of the process too :)

    I got my table cloth(now tree skirt) for $10.99 at my local Target, where the store bought tree skirts were going from $20-35!

  45. Melanie says:

    Thanks so much for this great idea! I’m having trouble finding a round tablecloth in my desired color scheme… I have found an oval one- how can I alter your plan so that my finished product looks as similar to yours as possible? Shall I gather the longer sides more to account for the extra fab? I just love your look and don’t want to make mine too much different.
    Thank you!!!

  46. Laura Faye says:

    I found this on Pinterest and had to say thank you! I just made a tree skirt out of a $2 thrifted tablecloth. It looks lovely (bonus: my cloth has a ruffled edge) and works perfectly for my strict holiday decorating budget!

  47. jaiden says:

    With a little altering this would make a cute circle skirt

  48. Donna says:

    Just found this wonderful tree skirt ! I’m going to make them for my family. Want to try not making the slit… Just make the center hole, put the trunk through and have the stand underneath. It should work. I love the gathering effects too. Thanks for your inspiring ideas!

  49. Katie says:

    Thanks for sharing this idea! I just made one with a 90″ ivory table cloth for $8.99! I am stoked :)

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