Easy Peasy Octagonal Tree Skirt



Look, I made a real tree skirt! I felt like since I have a sewing machine now, my yard of flannel that I never even bothered to finish was not really cutting it in the tree skirt department any more.

Back when we went to the beige fabric store, I had found this fabric. It was the right price, it seemed neutral and festive, and it was kind of synthetic feeling. Usually that is a detractor, but for something that I probably won’t be washing that often, I feel like a plastic-y fabric is a good choice.

I decided to go with an octagonal shape for two reasons. 1) I felt like cutting and sewing a circle would be hard and I didn’t want to deal with it, especially since I wasn’t confident I’d do a good job and be happy with the end result, and 2) I thought an octagon would be a more modern look.

For once in my life I didn’t just immediately start hacking into the cloth, but actually went ahead and made a template to try to get the right look. Cutting an octagon, it turns out, is all about the angles, and I’m super glad I made a second template because I got it wrong the second time. I’m still not totally sure what it is about the angle that makes it an octagon and not a square, so instead of trying to explain it to you, I’m just going to link you to this tutorial on how to cut an octagon out of paper, so you get the idea.

I did cut a little circle out of the middle, because nobody’s going to see that anyway and I wanted to give it a try. Cutting out of that many layers of fabric was tough, so what I did was lay a ruler down and cut a couple layers, and then cut the rest using the already cut layers as a template.


The rest of it was just hemming, and then adding a trim. I used a very stretchy trim, which was a BAD IDEA because that sucker was a bitch to keep straight. I had to go back and sew a lot of it by hand, so I’d definitely recommend a nice stiff trim that won’t freaking shift around every time you think you’re on track.

I like it! I think it looks nice and festive, and it should definitely get us through a couple years. Most of my sewing projects right now I am assuming I’ll want to redo in a couple years when I have some real skills, so I’m glad this fabric wasn’t too expensive or precious. I would say that having a white skirt with a real tree is kind of a bummer, because you can see every needle shed – a real problem when you have a dog whose favorite pastime is backing his butt into your tree as you shout ‘no! Sit!. I’m starting to wonder if he’d mind if we tied his tail to his leg for the season. However, as the month goes on and we get some presents under there I don’t think it will be as noticeable.

What does your tree skirt look like? I just saw on Design*Sponge that the new thing is having a basket instead so now I feel like a real dummy for making this skirt – whatever, I don’t have the space to store a basket anyway.