D.I.Y. No-Sew Ruffle Christmas Tree Skirt

I like ruffles…A LOT.  And my new obsession is burlap.

So, when I saw Ashley Johnston’s tutorial for a ruffle Christmas tree skirt, I knew it was my next d.i.y. project.  Here’s my completed skirt:

D.I.Y. No-Sew Ruffle Christmas Tree Skirt by The Thinking Closet

I’m in love with how it turned out, however, let me shoot straight: this project is not for the faint of heart.

    • It’s time-consuming.  Although a few bloggers mentioned this only taking two hours, it took me closer to eight!  Though, I confess I did have Christmas movies playing the background, which may have slowed me down.
    • It’s messy.  If you use burlap, your workspace and the area around it will be blanketed in a thin layer of burlap hair.  If you are a neat-freak, this is your nightmare.
    • Be prepared to endure a few burns from your glue gun.  And by a few, I mean that your fingers won’t have much feeling left in them by the end.  But I have faith it’s only temporary!  :-)
    • You may or may not knock over your box of pins four different times, sending pins flying e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e.  (Or maybe that’s just me.)

I felt that it was important to be up front about what you’d be getting into.  But if you’re up to the task or just plain curious, here’s the how to:


  • 1.5 yards of felt fabric OR your old Christmas tree skirt
  • 4 yards total of fabric for your ruffles
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric marker or chalk
  • Fabric scissors
  • Rotary cutter
  • Cutting mat
  • Acrylic ruler
  • Pins, lots of pins!
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Optional: twine and heavy duty needle

Step 1.  Create a felt base for your tree skirt.  If you already have an old tree skirt you can use as your base, great!  But if not, never fear.  It’s really easy to create your own using 1.5 yards of felt.  I followed some pointers I picked up from this video tutorial on Monkey See.  Fold your felt in half, then fold it again to create four squares.  At the point where the two folded edges meet, pin down the base of a measuring tape.  Then, like a compass, use the measuring tape to mark your fabric from one side across to the other at 24″.  (This will create a tree skirt with a 48″ diameter, which is standard size.)  The pictures below should help.

D.I.Y. No-Sew Ruffle Christmas Tree Skirt by The Thinking Closet

Like my socks?

Then, once you’ve cut across your marked lines, do the same, but at 2.5″ to create the center hole of your skirt.  Most skirts have 4″ or 5″ opening.

D.I.Y. No-Sew Ruffle Christmas Tree Skirt by The Thinking Closet

Same concept as cutting a snowflake!

Once you open up the felt, you should have something that looks like this.  Don’t forget to cut your slit!

D.I.Y. No-Sew Ruffle Christmas Tree Skirt by The Thinking Closet

Poinsettia photo-bomb.

Step 2.  Cut your fabric strips.  I opted for two different types of burlap for this project.  Using my rotary cutter, cutting mat, and acrylic ruler, I cut a slew of 3″ strips of fabric.  Here’s where the messiness begins.  Embrace it!

D.I.Y. No-Sew Ruffle Christmas Tree Skirt by The Thinking Closet

Step 3.  Pre-pin your ruffles.  As recommended by Ashley in her tutorial, it really makes a difference to pre-pin your burlap into ruffles ahead of time.  Why?  I found that it takes longer for the burlap to bond to the felt, so pre-pinning will save your fingers excess burning and a lot of mess down the line.  This is a great time to turn on A Charlie Brown Christmas (free on hulu!).

D.I.Y. No-Sew Ruffle Christmas Tree Skirt by The Thinking Closet

Step 4.  Glue gun your ruffles to the felt.  This is the part where you start to wonder if there really is a light at the end of the tunnel…because it might take you 45 minutes to complete your first row of ruffles.  But remember, the first row will be the longest, and each row after that gets shorter and faster.  You can do it!

Tips?  When gluing, I made a line of glue for the top edge of my ruffles about 8″ long.  Then, I’d gently apply the ruffles.  You have more time than you might expect to work with the glue before it sets, so don’t feel the need to press it down and burn off all ten fingers right away.  Just wait until it starts to cool, then press firmly.  I even started using a pair of scissors to do the pressing when my fingertips needed a break.  After each row was completed, I pulled out the pins.  At the end of it all, I ended up using about 1 1/4 yards of the white burlap and 2 3/4 yards of the brown burlap, so 4 yards total should have you covered.

D.I.Y. No-Sew Ruffle Christmas Tree Skirt by The Thinking Closet

Many hours later when I reached the middle, I decided to fold over some brown burlap squares to “seal” it all up.

D.I.Y. No-Sew Ruffle Christmas Tree Skirt by The Thinking Closet

And then, I used my scissor to trim up some of the fraying edges…but of course, fraying is part of burlap’s charm!

D.I.Y. No-Sew Ruffle Christmas Tree Skirt by The Thinking Closet

Step 5.  Optional: Add twine closures at the slit.  These are only really helpful if your skirt is going to lie flat on the ground…however, I didn’t really figure that out until after the fact.  Turned out I really didn’t need them, but at least they look cute!

D.I.Y. No-Sew Ruffle Christmas Tree Skirt by The Thinking Closet

That’s all, folks!  Here she is, under our tree, looking mighty ruffly.

D.I.Y. No-Sew Ruffle Christmas Tree Skirt by The Thinking Closet

All we need now are ornaments!

D.I.Y. No-Sew Ruffle Christmas Tree Skirt by The Thinking Closet

And gifties!

Something fun for the pinners:

Gorgeous No-Sew Ruffle Burlap Christmas Tree Skirt.  Just grab that glue gun and go!

Oh, and just in case you were wondering what my Halloween costume will be next year, here’s a sneak peek:

D.I.Y. No-Sew Ruffle Christmas Tree Skirt by The Thinking Closet

And on that cheesy note, farewell, friends!

For more D.I.Y. Christmas Inspiration…

…these are some of my most popular crafts to help get that tree all gussied up for Christmas!

Gratitude Garland transitions from Thanksgiving into Christmas decor in a snap! via thinkingcloset.com

Gratitude Garland (From Thanksgiving to Christmas Decor!)

{I link up at these parties.}

This is Lauren, signing off.

Lovely comments so far...

  1. says

    That looks great! If only I had the time. Of course, my cat would probably destroy it in minutes. It looks like it would be fun to a cat. 😉

    P.S. My favorite photo is you as a bird. 😀

    • says

      Ha ha! We currently don’t have any pets, but I could see pets having a field day with this particular skirt whether on the ground or on a person!

      And I’m glad you appreciated the bird pic. The passersby on the bike path by our house must’ve thought I was off my rocker. (The things I’m willing to do for a laugh.)

  2. Nancy says

    Great job Lauren, your persistence and precision pays off! After many frustrating spills with pins, I now keep them in a vinatge melamine bowl – they are easy to grab and return and the bowl is weightier than the box and is less likely to spill. It’s also a way to make an old family relic useful; when I open the drawer that it lives in, I still go awwww, I remember when we used those dishes. Then again a thrift store find would do well too, just make sure it is not breakable :-)

    • says

      The bowl is a great idea, and I love that yours has personal significance. (I could have definitely used that the past few days!) I actually have the perfect bowl that I used to have on my desk at school with paperclips. It’s stored away in a tupperware downstairs…must find it and give it a second life! Thank for the inspiration, Nancy.

  3. Ellie M says

    Lauren Lanker. I am a lurker on this blog, but I am very faithful so I am practically a subscriber–I love it here! And I LOVE your tree skirt! We have only a tiny table tree this year, but if we had a full size one, this would be the tree skirt of my dreams.

    You are such a welcome addition to the world of blogging tutorials. Takes a true teacher to do it well.

    Wish I could pop in and visit you in my sunshiney home state!

    • says

      Dear, Ellie, it is an HONOR to have you reading my blog. Lurk all you want! And thank you so much for your encouraging words. It has been fun to be able to apply my love of teaching to this humble blog. Next time you’re in FL, let me know. We’d love to have you and your hubby in our home for a spot of tea and round of “guess whose voice this is.” :-) Merry Christmas!

  4. says

    Awesome job. It looks beautiful! I have been wanting to make one of these but from all white burlap or canvas drop cloth. Maybe after I finish all my homemade gifts I’ll have time to work on it!

  5. says

    This is gorgeous! I’m in need of a new tree skirt. I don’t think I’ll have time this year, but I’ll get working on it so it will be ready for next year. What a great tutorial! Thanks for sharing!

  6. says

    Oh, the ruffles! Perfection! I just wish I was patient enough to make one. So I will just have to pin it so I can ooh and aah over it instead :)

  7. says

    Lauren, this is SO beautiful!! The two shades of burlap were a great idea. I love ruffles, too, and bows, so I like how you used the twine bows to tie the two edges together. You are very patient and I’m glad you were honest about how long it REALLY takes! Hope your fingers have healed from the glue-gun burns. Poor baby!! The tree and its skirt look so festive!

  8. says

    It turned out beautiful! I’m glad you are straight forward up front… ’cause I don’t think I would have the patience for it. Maybe I could do it with a few less rows? It really did turn out great!

    AND I LOVE the bird outfit. Hahah!

  9. says

    This is fantastic. I wish I had to time to make one, but I really don’t see that happening this year. Maybe I can start in January, and by the time Christmas comes around again, I’ll be finish. Thanks for sharing.

  10. says

    Hi Kristen,
    That picture of you with your tree skirt on your arms is adorable! I needed a tree skirt for a tabletop tree this year but I just copped out and bundled up some burlap underneath it! If I had seen your tutorial, I would have attempted to make one because the ruffles are gorgeous! Well, there is always next year!

  11. says

    Awesomeness, and I love that you were honest about the time it took you. No sew are magic words to me! However even after all that I love that you “wore” the skirt you are one amazing chick! (bird pun…I realize I have gone too far, :P)

  12. says

    We are empty-nester’s, so we only have a small tree, almost primitive style. I am pinning this and will try to make a smallish one instead! I love it! It’s just perfect!

  13. Jean says

    I have such a blast making this with my mom this weekend… I would highly recommend having two people to assist with the cutting of strips. We used the rotary cutter (a life saver) and boards but made it much easier to get exact cuts. If you have a sewing machine, I would highly recommend sewing each layer down. We did and saved a lot of time (I’d say 1-2 hours!) & burnt finger tips. We used a 100% cotton for the layers doing three dark gray layers, three red layers, a few more gray layers and then the middle with red. It looks really rich. I wish I could upload the picture… Thanks for the tutorial. p.s. buy more pins than you think you need :)

    • says

      Hooray! Wow, I’m so happy to hear you made one – – and that it was a team effort (crafts with family and friends is always more fun). You offer up some great tips! I’m very impressed that you sewed your layers down; that seemed overwhelming to me, but clearly, it was a time-saver for y’all! And I second the motion about the pins. I had three boxes on hand and that was just enough. Gray and red sound like a luscious color combo. I’m so eager to see your finished skirt. Maybe you could email me a pic? thethinkingcloset {at} gmail {dot} com. Thanks for sharing about your experience, Jean! Merry Christmas!

  14. says

    You are so patient, Lauren! It does sound like this was time consuming, but well worth the effort. Clearly! It’s beautiful. Also, I love the cheese at the end. This blog truly is such a delight! The enjoyment increases on every post!

  15. says

    I love this tutorial! I like that there is a lot of great images that should be easy to follow, I just wish I had the time to do something like this. p.s. You’re too cute, I love the last image especially the lil’ birdie.

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Ha ha. Thanks, Rachel! And I’m glad you enjoyed my burlap bird impression. I’ll do anything to entertain! :-) Yes, this is a time consuming project, but perhaps could be speeded up and made more fun if done with a buddy?

  16. Rose Anne says

    Searching for burlap crafts, because I have a *ton* of burlap from my daughter’s wedding. Now I know how to use it… some of it! Thanks! And my tip for cutting those burlap strips: Pull one thread on the burlap at the width you want to cut. Be patient and gentle and work it all the way out, leaving a nice clean line to follow with the rotary cutter. If the thread breaks midway, use a seam ripper (or a straightened paper clip like I did) to grab the broken end and just continue. Works great for cutting, keeps the mess a minimum because there are not quite as many frayed edges! Same technique can be used to make ruffles!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Rose Anne, first of all, I love that your daughter incorporated burlap into her wedding. I’m sure it was beautiful! And also, I love that you found some inspiration in my burlap tree skirt! You’ll definitely save yourself some time (and mess) using that genius thread-pulling method you describe. Thanks for explaining it in such a way that I actually feel like I could (and will) tackle it myself! You’re the best!

      {Psst…will you send me a pic of your skirt once you finish it? It would make my day/week/month.}

  17. Crystal Celeste says

    So you only had to hot glue the ruffles to the felt but you never had to hot glue the ruffles at the top of the ruffle where you pinned, is that correct?

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Correct! (I’m assuming your question means that you are attempting your own no-sew ruffle Christmas tree skirt? Eek! So excited! Would love to see pics of your finished creation. Best of lucky, Crystal, and let me know if you have any more questions!)

    • says

      Thanks, Candice! I have bought all of my burlap from Jo-Ann’s Fabric and Crafts – – they always have a great selection of burlap, especially in the fall and winter months. Do you have one near you that you can check out?

  18. says

    Very nice tutorial! Though I must say, I feel like it might be easier to sewing machine this than to hot glue it, especially if you used a sewing machine friendly fabric instead of burlap ;P

    • says

      True true! Ya know, I think another reader shared that she was able to sew hers more quickly. When I first made this skirt almost 2 years ago, I was a VERY beginner sewist…but I think if I were doing it again, I’d probably give it a whirl on my sewing machine (with cotton perhaps). Let me know if you try it!

  19. Sarah Johnson says

    Hi Lauren, I just made my own tree skirt from your tutorial-I absolutely LOVE it! Thank you so much for taking the time to type up the step by step process! Thank you thank you thank you!

  20. Ashley says

    I adore this tree skirt! I actually made one of my own this year with inspiration from your blog I found on Pinterest. I used camo fabric in between the burlap since we have an out doors/cabin feel to our living room. Any helpful tips about keeping the fraying down to a minimum? I know you can’t burn the ends without torching the burlap


  1. […] I got on Pinterest, obviously, and started searching for ruffly Christmas tree skirts. I found this D.I.Y. No-Sew Ruffle Christmas Tree Skirt tutorial on The Thinking Closet. It was sooo ruffly and beautiful in burlap, and I fell in love […]

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