The Christmas season is upon us at last, and so you may be thinking about decking the halls with all of your festive decor. But what if you want to add a nerdy touch to your home for the holidays? You could add a wreath or other bits and bobs to evoke your inner geek, but there still seems to be something missing. Maybe under the Christmas tree?
If you want that extra edge in you decor, then you can certainly add a nerdy Christmas tree skirt to your collection. While the idea of making one on your own may seem daunting, it is much more simple than you think! You just need a about an hour, a sewing sewing machine, and some necessary supplies to trim your tree with the finest nerd swag. So, choose your favorite fandom, and get ready to get crafty!
From your utility belt, you’ll need:
- Sewing machine
- Fleece or flannel fabric (yardage depending on the size of your Christmas tree)*
- Coordinating thread
- Straight pins
- Tailor’s chalk (good for dark fabrics
- Wrapping paper or newspaper
- Iron and Ironing Board
Step 1: Determine the size of your tree skirt
Since trees and tree skirts come in all different sizes, the most crucial step of this process is determining how wide your tree skirt should be. The easiest way to do this is to do a little window shopping. Take a look at the different kinds of tree skirts being sold, and find the size you think would suit your tree best. I have a small tabletop tree, so the tree skirt in this DIY will be 18” in diameter.
Alternatively, you can also take your tape measure, and starting from the base of your tree stand, measure outwards until you have reached your desired length.
Mark down the size of your tree skirt, then move on to the next step.
Step 2: Make your pattern
Grab your wrapping paper/ newspaper, marker, cardboard, thumbtack, and yarn: you are now going to build a makeshift compass. Start by laying down a large, flat piece of cardboard. Next, lay out your paper; the paper will soon be your traceable pattern piece for this project. Make sure you give yourself ample drawing room on this piece of paper. If it makes things easier, you can draw a dot on the middle of your paper so you know where to start.
Now, take the thumbtack and press it through the paper and cardboard. This will be the base on which your compass will rotate. Take a length of yarn that is the length of the radius of your tree skirt. If you’re not sure what a radius is, it’s half of the size of your tree skirt. For example: my tree skirt’s desired size—or diameter—is 18”, therefore my radius would be 9”.
Take the length of yarn, add 2” to the measurement, then cut. Wrap or tie the yarn to the marker at one end, and secure it to the thumbtack at the other (this is why you need the extra 2″). Trace your circle, making sure to keep the yarn taught as you trace. Connect the ends, and you’ve got your outer diameter!
Next, you are going to need to make the inner hole, which is how the skirt will wrap around the base of your tree. This is where I fupped up a bit with my own tree skirt, and I actually made the inner hole way too big.
To avoid my mistake, measure the base of your tree with a tape measure. If you have a live Christmas tree, be sure you measure around the tree stand. Add about 1/2” to this measurement (this is your inner diameter, or your inner hole measurement). Now, divide that diameter by 2 to get your radius, and adjust the length of yarn to reflect this new measurement. Draw, and you should now have two circles: one big. One small.
Cut out your pattern, including the inner circle.
Step 3: Trace and cut your fabric
Pin your pattern onto your piece of fabric. Trace the inner hole onto the fabric, then cut along the outer edge. You will need two circles for this skirt. If you’re cutting on fabric that is already folded, do not unfold your circles. If you cut your fabric out of two separate lengths, then stack these two on one another. Mark a straight line from the outer edge to the inner circle, following that line with your scissors so that you can cut out the inner circle.
You should now have two circles with a slit at one side. This slit is how you will wrap the skirt around the base of your tree. We’ll add closures to it in a later step.
Optional Step: Add Decorations
If you’re adding any extra decorations, like piping, sequins, ribbons, or rick rack (in my case), sew those on to the circle that will be the top (or the circle that will be seen). Make sure you give yourself enough room away from the raw edge so that none of your decorations get hidden by the seam once you attach the other circle.
Step 4: Combine the Circles
Taking your two circles, place them right sides together and pin into place. Sew them together, starting at one end of the inner, smaller circle, and follow that perimeter around all the way. Next, sew around the outer perimeter, making sure to leave the straight edges open to turn out the tree skirt after you’ve finished stitching.
When you’re done, clip the curves to ensure the two pieces lay nicely, then turn the right sides out and press with an iron and lots of steam.
Step 5: Adding Closures
You can add a closure any way you’d like, whether that’s a with Velcro®, snaps, or ties, but make sure you hide that raw edge of the straight, open sides by turning them inward about 1/2″-5/8″ as you’re ironing your skirt.
If you’re curious, this is how I did mine:
I took a large piece of the red fleece I used for the top of my tree skirt and cut two rectangles that were an inch and a half wide, and two and a half inches long. I folded each piece together, then stitched around 3 of the sides. I didn’t bother turning them or anything because I was going to hide these underneath the tree skirt.
I pinned these two pieces where I would want them to sit, then traced around the edge so I would know where to place the Velcro®.
I then cut two 1″ pieces of Velcro®, and pinned one side of the Velcro® to the tabs I just made, and then did the same for the other side of the Velcro® in the boxes that I traced. This was sew-in Velcro®, so I went back to my machine and stitched them into place.
Step 6: Close Up Your Skirt and You’re Done!
Once your closures are securely fastened to the skirt, check to see that everything is to your liking, then place around your tree! You’re done!
Now all you have to do is decorate your tree and you’ve got one festive—yet nerdy—Home for the holidays! Here is my tree skirt with my Star Trek-themed tree I have in my sewing room:
I think it really adds a certain something. Do you have a themed Christmas tree in your home? How do you incorporate your fandoms into your decor? Let me know down below so we can nerd out! And Merry Christmas to all who celebrate, and Happy Holidays! 🎄
Life was meant to be lived nerdily, so what are you waiting for?