Planting Sequoias

In which I blog about a life (hopefully) well lived.


Ruffled Christmas Tree Skirt (in which I repurpose a thrift store sheet into holiday decor)

Last Christmas, Laura and I found that our Christmas tree was lacking some vital undergarments.

Being a modest individual myself and seeking to promote that virtue in others, I decided to do something about it and made this ruffled Christmas tree skirt that has been dominating Pinterest.

However, I couldn’t just do things the normal way, which would have been to purchase some cheap white cotton yardage from a fabric store.

I instead took “thrifty” to a whole new level and repurposed a queen-sized sheet into this:

Looking good, right? I made this last year on several cozy evenings with my roommate Laura. If we’d had a fireplace, it would have been roaring…since we didn’t have a fireplace, we alternated between Christmas Pandora stations and Gilmore Girls. Another cheap substitute.

Looking into someone else’s tutorial would have been too easy/normal, so I instead just looked at the photo and made it my own way. I get that from my father.

Before I get any further, though, I’d like to offer a disclaimer–if you actually want to make this, go find a real tutorial. Or be in possession of some amazing abilities that allow you to interpret my forthcoming garbled directions. Good luck!

First, I chopped up that sheet, like this:

I would like to say I cut straighter than those lines, but I really can’t promise that I did. Sewing large hems provides a lot of grace and covers up my mistakes well. And yes, I really did use up that much of the sheet. Waste not, want not…or something like that.

The yellow circle was the base of the tree skirt. I cut a slit in it to the middle and cut another smaller hole (8″ish in diameter) for the tree to poke through.

To make the circles, I used a very scientific method of tying a string to a pencil, holding the end of the string into the perceived middle of my yet-to-be-drawn circle, and dragging the pencil around on the bedsheet. I got some funny looks from Laura through this process, but it worked out in the end.

Next I hemmed around the circle and up both sides of the slit. Ignore the raw edge of the inner circle.

Good heavens, is this making any sense? I’m confusing myself at this point. My apologies.

I then hemmed ALL OF THE STRIPS (there were a lot of them) on one side and sewed a line of stitching up the other side of the strips.

This was not a stimulating process. I may have nodded off at my sewing machine a few times.

Inserting picture to keep your attention:

Ohh, and look! You can even catch a glimpse here of last year’s holiday decor and 2 Christmas cards! Bonus.

Next I gathered ALL OF THE STRIPS (again, there were a lot of them) into ruffles. Also not a fun process, especially for the comfort of your fingers. Keep that Pinterest picture open in front of you, though, and press on toward that gorgeous end result.

Once you have all of the ruffles ruffled, it’s time to attach them to the skirt’s foundation (that round circle thing with the slit).

For this I revisited my pencil-and-string method for making more circles and marked out where to sew each ruffle on so that it overlapped the one below it.

Obviously I was quite precise.

And then I sewed some more.

Once I attached all of the ruffles (which was quite a feat!), I still had the raw edge around the top ruffle, the part that hugs the Christmas tree.

I managed to find a scrap of leftover bedsheet and attached it the way you bind the edge of a quilt.

If you’re not familiar with that method, I’ll explain. First, use the machine to sew one side of the strip to the edge you want to bind. Then fold the strip over, tucking the edge under, and then whipstitch it all together.

Goodness gracious. If that wasn’t a horrible explanation of quilt binding, I don’t know what it is. And I call myself a copywriter. Please see me if you actually do try to make this and I’ll just explain it in person. It’ll be easier on all of us that way.

Here’s a picture of what you’re aiming for, at any rate:

Since I wasn’t blogging regularly last year at this time, I only took 2 cell phone pictures to send to my mom. I need lots of encouragement and support while doing major projects like this.

These other pictures I took yesterday after I dug the tree skirt out of the box it’s been crammed into for the last 10 months. Thus the wrinkles.

Yes, these wrinkles.

I was a little panicky at the thought of ironing all of these ruffles (despite my new ironing board cover) until Kenny calmed me down and explained how the dryer’s steam setting could do the work for me. It’s handy to have a husband who is very knowledgeable about doing laundry. I was skeptical that it would work however, but…

No more wrinkles! It’s like magic. My iron and I breathed a big sigh of relief. I’ll definitely be hanging this on a hanger for after-Christmas storage next year, but I may still take advantage of my mother-in-law’s dryer’s steam setting, since it was that awesome.

This particular project will not make an appearance in our apartment until after Thanksgiving, of course, but I’m posting it now so you can get a jump on things and make one yourself.

And that’s the story of how I turned a $.99 bedsheet into a lovely ruffled Christmas tree skirt.


I’m linking up here:



I’m also linking up to Censational Girl!