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Cool DIY Xmas Tree Skirt Ideas (Two Ways) Using a Drop Cloth

Not one but two Xmas tree skirt ideas to share today! 

Pink dyed Xmas tree skirt with tassels

The first is a modern take on a traditional tree skirt. Complete with tassels and hand dyed canvas that is actually made from a store-bought $10 drop cloth.

And the second (also made from an inexpensive drop cloth) is a patchwork tree skirt inspired by mudcloth.

Wanna see how these Christmas tree decorations turned out? Click through for a step by step tutorial for each DIY tree skirt.

Pink DIY tree skirt with simple ornaments and a Scandinavian style Christmas tree

Materials for Dyed Drop Cloth Tassel Tree Skirt

This dyed canvas tree skirt is made from a $10 dropcloth and a few yards of ribbon tassel, making this Xmas project super affordable (and easy). Plus, look at that pretty pink color.

*I bought my drop cloth locally, so it was under $10. But I linked to a similar one on Amazon (that is a few dollars more) in case you aren’t able to make it to a home improvement store to pick one up.

**Keep in mind that whatever dye you choose will ultimately create a slightly more muted version of the color shown on the bottle because of the natural canvas material being dyed.

How to Make a (Dyed Tassel) Tree Skirt

Prepping Your Drop Cloth

Start by throwing the drop cloth into the washing machine. Wash with the hottest water and a little bit of detergent to wash away any of the coating the drop cloth has on it. And then throw it in the dryer to pre-shrink your material.

Making a tree skirt form a drop cloth

Cutting out a Tree Skirt

Once your drop cloth is washed and dried, cut out a square that is 45 inches on every side (or larger if you’re opting for a larger tree skirt). Just make sure whatever size you make your tree skirt, it is the same measurement on every side, forming a square.

To cut your skirt into a circle, fold the square you just cut into 4ths (in half one way, then half another way). Divide whatever measurement you made in the previous step by 2.

In my case that number is 22.5 inches. So, I measured 22.5 inches down from the tip of the interior corner (the corner where there are no outside edges of fabric) and made a mark with tailors chalk.

Then moved the measuring tape over 3 inches (while the top of the measuring tape is still at the interior corner tip) and made another mark. Repeat every 3 inches until the outline of the rounded curve is marked out

Then, cut along that curved line that was created.

To cut out the center circle for your tree stump, measure 3 inches from the interior corner tip on each side and then in the middle and mark with tailors chalk again, Then cut along that rounded line that’s been created, forming a circle.

Now that your skirt is cut into a skirt shape, cut a line from the center to the edge to be able to wrap your skirt around the base of your tree. Set that piece aside.

Sewing a tree skirt made of drop cloth canvas

Sewing a Tree Skirt

Now, cut 3 long strips of drop cloth that are both 4′ long and 3 inches wide. Sew them together long ways so you have one strip of fabric that is approx. 12′ long. Starting on one side of the slit in the circle, sew the strip and the edge of the skirt together.

Once you’ve sewn the strip all the way around the base of the tree skirt, heat up your iron and grab your ironing board to press the the hems. You’ll want to fold the strip inward so that there are no raw hems shown. Press the fold all the way around, then pop back onto your sewing machine and sew the hem about 1/4″ from the edge.

Sewn tree skirt with tree hole and slit

Do the same thing with the hem of the circle that’ll wrap around your tree stump. With that, you’ll want to cut a strip that’s about 20″ long and 3″ wide.

Sew that strip together with the strip laying on top of the top of the skirt. Repeat the same process of folding and pressing the hem. Sew that hem 1/4″ from the edge.

Now, go back to your ironing board and press both of the slit edges about 1/2″ underneath the skirt. Sew them both.

Dying simple canvas tree skirt with pink dye in a stainless steel sink

Dyeing a Tree Skirt

Now it’s time to prep your dye bath. I did mine in the kitchen sink. Ours is stainless steel, so I didn’t really worry about it getting dyed on accident. If you don’t have a stainless steel sink, you can also do this in a large bucket like the ones they sell at hardware stores.

*Instructions may vary slightly based on the type of dye you are using, so be sure to follow the instructions on your bottle or box dye. But I’ve included what I do just in case.

Fill your sink or bucket up with enough HOT water to completely submerge your completed tree skirt. And when I say hot, make sure its the hottest water you can use. Without your skirt in the water, pour in a tbs of table salt and stir to dissolve.

Now, pour about 1/4 of the dye into the water. Fully submerge your skirt into the dye bath and stir it with a spoon (make sure not to use a wooden one or it will soak up the dye).

Rinsing excess dye out of canvas DIY tree skirt

After about 5 minutes, you can remove your skirt and drain the water. Rinse your skirt and get as much of the dye out. The water should run mostly clear after you give it a good rinse.

Throw it into the wash for a quick wash with a small splash of soap. Then dry it. It’ll come out pretty wrinkled so you’ll want to iron it before applying the tassel trim.

Sewing small tassels onto pink homemade tree skirt

Sewing Tassel Trim to Tree Skirt

After ironing the skirt nice and flat, take it back to the sewing machine for the final step – applying the tassel trim. Pin your trim along the underside of the skirt all along the base.

Make sure your machine is loaded up with the thread that matches the dyed skirt so that you can’t see it after you sew.

Sew the trim all the way around making sure the back stitch at the start and end. Trim you thread, and you’re all set!

Hand painted DIY mud cloth tree skirt idea for Christmas

And if that dyed tree skirt DIY isn’t quite your thing, how about this patchwork mud cloth version instead?

It’s also made of affordable drop cloth and is actually a little cheaper to make than the first tree skirt because the only major supplies you need outside of the drop cloth is paint and paint brush, which you probably already have at home.

Wanna make this mud cloth inspired tree skirt? Here’s what you’ll need to make your own…

Materials to Make Drop Cloth Patchwork Tree Skirt

  • large drop cloth
  • thread that closely matches canvas
  • sewing machine
  • white paint (or really any color of your choosing)
  • fabric scissors
  • tailors chalk
  • measuring tape
  • *optional* seam ripper

How to Make a (Patchwork) Tree Skirt

Cut and paint patches

Start by cutting a square that is 48″ on each side. You can make yours larger if you want a bigger tree skirt. This size is slightly more toward the smaller size in terms of tree skirts.

The average tree skirt is anywhere between 48 and 56 inches. So keep that in mind when cutting the initial dimensions for yours. Generally, the rule for tree skirts is bigger the tree, the bigger the tree skirt.

Painting canvas squares and rectangles to create patchwork mud cloth tree skirt

You may have to seam rip the edges if your drop cloth is hemmed around the edge. OR just cut the hem part off – up to you. Now, cut that square piece into as many patches you’d like in varying sizes.

It’s helpful to keep the square shape in tact even as you are cutting the pieces up so you know how they’re all fit back together when sewing. It might even be helpful to take a picture of the placement of all the patchwork pieces so you can reference it if things get mixed up later in the process of tree skirt making.

All painted pieces on the floor and arranged and ready for tree skirt cutting

Next, start painting different patterns on each of the pieces. You can do simple patterns like polka dots and stripes, dashes, plus signs, etc.

If you need pattern inspiration, try pulling up mudcloth fabric patterns online. You’ll find some really good ones to mimic that way.

Once dry, make sure the painted pieces are arranged in a square once again and take a photo to reference later if needed.

Sewing patchwork pieces together on sewing machine

Sew patches together

Next, start sewing the pieces together based on the image you captured. Sew each piece about 1/4″ away from the edge.

Once all your pieces are assembled, cut your tree skirt into a circle.

Cutting hole into tree skirt with scissors and measuring tape

Fold your square piece into 4ths (in half one way, then half another way). Measure 22.5″ from the center of the square every 3 inches or so and mark with tailors chalk. Once the outline of the rounded curve is marked out, cut along the line.

To cut out the center circle for your tree stump, measure 3″ from the center and repeat the same process above.

Cutting slit into mud cloth DIY tree skirt

Sew your tree skirt

Now, cut 3 long strips of drop cloth that are both 4′ long and 3 inches wide. Sew them together long ways so you have one strip of fabric that is approx. 12′ long. Starting on one side of the slit in the circle, sew the strip and the edge of the skirt together.

Sewing patchwork mud cloth tree skirt on sewing machine

Once you’ve sewn the strip all the way around the base of the tree skirt, heat up your iron and grab your ironing board to press the the hems. You’ll want to fold the strip inward so that there are no raw hems shown.

Press the fold all the way around, then pop back onto your sewing machine and sew the hem about 1/4″ from the edge.

Do the same thing with the hem of the circle that’ll wrap around your tree stump. With that, you’ll want to cut a strip that’s about 20″ long and 3″ wide. Sew that strip together with the strip laying on top of the top of the skirt.

Repeat the same process of folding and pressing the hem. Sew that hem 1/4″ from the edge.

Now, go back to your ironing board and press both of the slit edges about 1/2″ underneath the skirt. Sew them both. Trim you thread, and you’re all set!

Closeup of mud cloth tree skirt DIY

DIY Tree Skirt FAQ

What is the average size Christmas tree skirt?

Typically, the average size of an Xmas tree skirt is 48-56 inches. Both of the DIY tree skirts I shared today are one the small end of the tree skirt spectrum. So keep that in mind when making your own.

If you have a small to medium size tree, a 48 inch tree skirt is a great size. But with a larger tree, you may want something a little bigger. Which means your measurements when making one of these tree skirts would need to be a little bigger than the dimensions I shared.

Type of drop cloth that works best for making a holiday tree skirt

Look for the highest quality canvas you can find when searching for a drop cloth that will work for DIY projects like this one. Usually that means opting for the heavyweight drop cloth (assuming your sewing machine can handle the slightly thicker material).

Typically with drop cloths though, you’ll find the canvas is a lower grade (it is a drop cloth after all), so look at the texture and quality of the drop cloth when choosing one for this project to make sure you’re getting the best option.

It’s also worth noting that if you’re only making one tree skirt, which is probably the most likely scenario, you can get away with a much smaller drop cloth size. So, you can up the quality and go down in size and still find a really good option.

Can I use regular canvas instead of a drop cloth?

Yes! You absolutely can use regular canvas instead, for both DIY tree skirts I’m sharing today. And if this is a tree skirt you plan to use year after year, buying canvas by the yard at an art supply store instead of a drop cloth from a home improvement store might be the best option.

It will cost a little bit more, which is why I like the drop cloth idea as a great affordable alternative. But if you have a few extra dollars to throw at this project, canvas by the yard is generally a higher quality material to use. And it’s still affordable – it just costs a little more than the drop cloth would.

Mud cloth DIY tree skirt for Christmas
  Patchwork Xmas tree skirt with metallic star pillows and cozy knit garland under the tree

Pink Xmas tree skirt with tiny tassels and presents under the tree

Pink DIY tree skirt with knit garland and pastel ornaments

DIY Xmas Tree Skirt (Dyed Pink with Tassels)

Make a dyed pink Xmas tree skirt with teenty tiny tassel trim thanks to easy-to-follow tutorial. And it’s all made with a drop cloth from the home improvement store.

Cost: $22

  • large drop cloth
  • fabric dye I used the Rit Fabric Dye in coral
  • 4 yards of tassel trim
  • thread one spool to match the canvas, and one spool matching your finished color. Use the bottle to find a close match
  • sewing machine
  • fabric scissors
  • tailors chalk
  • measuring tape

Cutting out a Tree Skirt

  • Once your drop cloth is washed and dried, cut out a square that is 45 inches on every side (or larger if you’re opting for a larger tree skirt). Just make sure whatever size you make your tree skirt, it is the same measurement on every side, forming a square.

  • To cut your skirt into a circle, fold the square you just cut into 4ths (in half one way, then half another way). Divide whatever measurement you made in the previous step by 2.

  • In my case that number is 22.5 inches. So, I measured 22.5 inches down from the tip of the interior corner (the corner where there are no outside edges of fabric) and made a mark with tailors chalk. Then moved the measuring tape over 3 inches (while the top of the measuring tape is still at the interior corner tip) and made another mark. Repeat every 3 inches until the outline of the rounded curve is marked out

  • Then, cut along that curved line that was created.

  • To cut out the center circle for your tree stump, measure 3 inches from the interior corner tip on each side and then in the middle and mark with tailors chalk again, Then cut along that rounded line that’s been created, forming a circle.

  • Now that your skirt is cut into a skirt shape, cut a line from the center to the edge to be able to wrap your skirt around the base of your tree. Set that piece aside.

Sewing a Tree Skirt

  • Now, cut 3 long strips of drop cloth that are both 4′ long and 3 inches wide. Sew them together long ways so you have one strip of fabric that is approx. 12′ long. Starting on one side of the slit in the circle, sew the strip and the edge of the skirt together.

  • Once you’ve sewn the strip all the way around the base of the tree skirt, heat up your iron and grab your ironing board to press the the hems. You’ll want to fold the strip inward so that there are no raw hems shown. Press the fold all the way around, then pop back onto your sewing machine and sew the hem about 1/4″ from the edge.

  • Do the same thing with the hem of the circle that’ll wrap around your tree stump. With that, you’ll want to cut a strip that’s about 20″ long and 3″ wide. Sew that strip together with the strip laying on top of the top of the skirt. Repeat the same process of folding and pressing the hem. Sew that hem 1/4″ from the edge.

  • Now, go back to your ironing board and press both of the slit edges about 1/2″ underneath the skirt. Sew them both.

Dyeing a Tree Skirt

  • Now it’s time to prep your dye bath. I did mine in the kitchen sink. Ours is stainless steel, so I didn’t really worry about it getting dyed on accident. If you don’t have a stainless steel sink, you can also do this in a large bucket like the ones they sell at hardware stores.

  • *Instructions may vary slightly based on the type of dye you are using, so be sure to follow the instructions on your bottle or box dye. But I’ve included what I do just in case.

  • Fill your sink or bucket up with enough HOT water to completely submerge your completed tree skirt. And when I say hot, make sure its the hottest water you can use. Without your skirt in the water, pour in a tbs of table salt and stir to dissolve.

  • Now, pour about 1/4 of the dye into the water. Fully submerge your skirt into the dye bath and stir it with a spoon (make sure not to use a wooden one or it will soak up the dye).

  • After about 5 minutes, you can remove your skirt and drain the water. Rinse your skirt and get as much of the dye out. The water should run mostly clear after you give it a good rinse.

  • Throw it into the wash for a quick wash with a small splash of soap. Then dry it. It’ll come out pretty wrinkled so you’ll want to iron it before applying the tassel trim.

Sewing Tassel Trim to Tree Skirt

  • After ironing the skirt nice and flat, take it back to the sewing machine for the final step – applying the tassel trim. Pin your trim along the underside of the skirt all along the base.

  • Make sure your machine is loaded up with the thread that matches the dyed skirt so that you can’t see it after you sew.

  • Sew the trim all the way around making sure the back stitch at the start and end. Trim you thread, and you’re all set!

 

DIY Patchwork Mud Cloth Xmas Tree Skirt

And if that dyed tree skirt DIY isn’t quite your thing, how about this patchwork mud cloth version instead?
It’s also made of affordable drop cloth and is actually a little cheaper to make than the first tree skirt because the only major supplies you need outside of the drop cloth is paint and paint brush, which you probably already have at home.

Cost: $13

  • large drop cloth
  • thread that closely matches canvas
  • sewing machine
  • white paint or really any color of your choosing
  • fabric scissors
  • tailors chalk
  • measuring tape
  • *optional* seam ripper

Cut and paint patches

  • Start by cutting a square that is 48″ on each side. You can make yours larger if you want a bigger tree skirt. This size is slightly more toward the smaller size in terms of tree skirts.

  • The average tree skirt is anywhere between 48 and 56 inches. So keep that in mind when cutting the initial dimensions for yours. Generally, the rule for tree skirts is bigger the tree, the bigger the tree skirt.

  • You may have to seam rip the edges if your drop cloth is hemmed around the edge. OR just cut the hem part off – up to you. Now, cut that square piece into as many patches you’d like in varying sizes.

  • It’s helpful to keep the square shape in tact even as you are cutting the pieces up so you know how they’re all fit back together when sewing. It might even be helpful to take a picture of the placement of all the patchwork pieces so you can reference it if things get mixed up later in the process of tree skirt making.

  • Next, start painting different patterns on each of the pieces. You can do simple patterns like polka dots and stripes, dashes, plus signs, etc.

  • If you need pattern inspiration, try pulling up mudcloth fabric patterns online. You’ll find some really good ones to mimic that way.

  • Once dry, make sure the painted pieces are arranged in a square once again and take a photo to reference later if needed.

Sew patches together

  • Next, start sewing the pieces together based on the image you captured. Sew each piece about 1/4″ away from the edge.

  • Once all your pieces are assembled, cut your tree skirt into a circle.

  • Fold your square piece into 4ths (in half one way, then half another way). Measure 22.5″ from the center of the square every 3 inches or so and mark with tailors chalk. Once the outline of the rounded curve is marked out, cut along the line.

  • To cut out the center circle for your tree stump, measure 3″ from the center and repeat the same process above.

Sew your tree skirt

  • Now, cut 3 long strips of drop cloth that are both 4′ long and 3 inches wide. Sew them together long ways so you have one strip of fabric that is approx. 12′ long. Starting on one side of the slit in the circle, sew the strip and the edge of the skirt together.

  • Once you’ve sewn the strip all the way around the base of the tree skirt, heat up your iron and grab your ironing board to press the the hems. You’ll want to fold the strip inward so that there are no raw hems shown.

  • Press the fold all the way around, then pop back onto your sewing machine and sew the hem about 1/4″ from the edge.

  • Do the same thing with the hem of the circle that’ll wrap around your tree stump. With that, you’ll want to cut a strip that’s about 20″ long and 3″ wide. Sew that strip together with the strip laying on top of the top of the skirt.

  • Repeat the same process of folding and pressing the hem. Sew that hem 1/4″ from the edge.

  • Now, go back to your ironing board and press both of the slit edges about 1/2″ underneath the skirt. Sew them both. Trim you thread, and you’re all set!

Sewing Casey Harper
Photography Amelia Lawrence

Have you ever made an Xmas tree skirt of your own? How did it turn out? And would you ever consider making one of these? Which tree skirt is your fave?

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