10 Tips for Building a Cardboard Pirate Ship

Finally posting this… four months later.

Liam’s first birthday was upon us. His theme had to be nautical, his middle name is Saylor after all. So pirates, of course!

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate birthday party!

A quick Pinterest search yielded all these creative people who made giant cardboard pirate ships, so we decided we needed one too, obviously!

Ryan joined in and was able to get some very big pieces of cardboard from work, a few sketches and a scale model later, and we had our design. About a week of building, and here’s the final ship!

Here are my top 10 tips for making your own!

1. Have a plan! Cutting that kind of cardboard is very difficult, you don’t want to have to redo pieces. Sketch and then try out your design. We made some significant improvements between our sketch, model, and the final ship.

2. Gather the right tools. We used box knives, sharpies, packing tape and duct tape (for decoration), and a yard stick. Remember extra blades for your knife, you’ll need them.

3. Let the pieces of cardboard be your guide. We discovered right away how hard it is to cut the cardboard, so we let the pieces we had help decide the final size of the ship. For example, rather than cutting a foot off the length, we just embraced that extra foot.

4. Work as a team. This project would have been too difficult to tackle on my own. A second brain, pair of hands, and muscles really came in handy.

5. Packing tape is your friend. The duct tape was fun to decorate with, but the packing tape was the true hero in keeping things together. We often taped both sides of a seam to help reinforce the ship.

6. Build on site. We had planned to build the ship in the garage and then transfer to the house on the day of the party. Boy, we would have been sorry. Think through the finished size and build accordingly.

7. Make sure to add supports across the ship. Our plan had both a cabin and a front deck. These were not only super fun for the kids, but they added necessary support to the ship. Support and style, right?!! The kids LOVED the cabin.

8. Decorate. When we started I thought we’d keep the decor pretty simple. Ha ha, that doesn’t sound like me at all.

  • Like I mentioned, we used the brown duct tape to decorate with. I also added it to the exposed edges for safety.
  • I used the yard stick and brown sharpies to create a planking effect. Mistakes became imperfections in the wood adding to the authenticity of the ship. 😉
  • Cardboard tubes and black spray paint made cannons, a mast, and a boom.
  • I made the sail from some inexpensive muslin and rope.
  • We added a wooden captain’s wheel and anchor as well.
  • We traced dinner plates for the portholes, and I had the kids stand next to the ship to determine a good height they could peak through.
  • We made a crawl-through door on the stern of the ship. Liam was particularly fond of this feature.
  • A pirate flag on the bow completed the look. Argh!

9. Embellish. As if all the previous items weren’t enough, we blew up blue balloons to look like water. And I cut out shark fins to place in the water (more cardboard, yes more, and some silver paint). The kids even made up a fun game of trying to sink the ship with all the balloons.

10. Enjoy! We made the ship big enough that adults could get in there too. Ryan and I both enjoyed crawling in and playing in the ship. The kids loved it even more when we were all pirates together. Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me!

Good luck, and just for fun, here’s a few more party ideas and a cute pic of the birthday boy as well.

XO,

-h

Marvel’s Black Widow Inspired Infinity Scarf

A big Marvel movie releases and there isn’t any Black Widow clothing or accessories to be found. How can that be? She quite literally kicks butt, but doesn’t warrant merchandise?

What’s a girl to do? Since I don’t want to make, much less wear a black leather jumpsuit (shocked, I know), I thought I could make a screen-printed infinity scarf with a subtle (or not so subtle) nod to this super heroine.

Materials:
Black knit fabric (cut to 16″ x 75″)
Thread
Red fabric paint (I used Martha Stewart Tartan Red)
Mod Podge
Embroidery hoop
Nylon
Small paint brush
Credit card or gift card

DIY:
1. Ok, it seems like a lot going on, but it is pretty simple, I promise. I started by sketching out the design I wanted to print. I looked for some references online and created my own “black widow” symbol.

2. I found a great blog post on how to screen print using Mod Podge, check it out here. I’ll also give a brief explanation. Stretch your nylon tightly across the embroidery hoop. Then place it face down on your design and trace it with a pen (I used a Sharpie). Once you transfer the design, take your Mod Podge and carefully paint it on the parts of the “negative space” on the nylon. Basically what you DON’T want to show paint. Take your time, this is important. Two coats.

Black Widow Scarf Screen Print logo

3. Next, I cut out my fabric to 16″ x 75″, I wanted a nice long infinity scarf. You might want to measure your favorite scarf to find the perfect size for you!

4. I laid out my fabric on a piece of cardboard and pinned it down securely. I then decided how I wanted my pattern to repeat and put pins in those locations. This image should demonstrate this step…
Black Widow Scarf Screen printing in progress

5. Now it’s time to screen print. A little frightening, I know. But truly, it was easier than I thought it would be. With the nylon face down against the fabric, squirt some red paint onto the nylon, then use a credit card, gift card, piece of cardboard, etc. to swipe the paint evenly across the nylon. You might swipe a couple different directions to make sure there is even coverage. Then carefully lift your hoop/printer. Make sure to hold down the fabric when you do so, this will save you some smears.

5. Repeat, repeat, repeat! Between prints, be sure to check the surface of the nylon (the side that goes against the fabric), if any paint has leaked out, wipe it up to keep your printing crisp. As you go, don’t worry if a few of the repeats aren’t perfect. This is a draped scarf so likely you won’t see the imperfect ones. Also, I like the idea of this looking a little vintage, hence the screen printing, so embrace those imperfections!!
Black Widow Scarf Screen Printing

6. Once you have printed the entire scarf, allow it to dry completely before sewing. Seems obvious, but if you get excited like me, you might forget. 🙂 I chose a fabric that I didn’t have to hem, so all that left is to sew the ends together. For a neat finish, a flat-felled seem is a good choice, but can be difficult to execute on knits. So I’ll tell you my cheater way to do it…basically a french seam sewed down. So, wrong sides together, seam then trim. Then flip it around and sew with right sides together so the original seam and trimmed seam allowance is inside. You now have a finished “flap.” Pin the flap down to one side and top stitch. Quite tidy and worth the extra 5 minutes.
Black Widow Scarf finished on table Rockin the Black Widow Scarf

Now all that’s left is to pair your brand new scarf with some killer boots and an attitude to match!

–h

P.S. As I was working on this scarf, I cut right through my “self-healing” mat. Exploring my own super-human strength apparently! 😉

Black Widow Infinity Scarf DIY

Can’t get enough of Marvel or the Avengers? Check-out my Captain America quilt, Part I and Part II!

Braided Headband DIY

Spring is definitely in the air! It makes me think of fresh flowers, sunshine, sandals, and headbands! Ok, so that last one might just be me, but I was inspired to try making a fun new one this week!

This is a great DIY because you don’t have to sew a stitch! Yay!

Materials:
Fun cotton fabric
Elastic – I used 3/4″ because that’s what I had, but 1/2″ would be better
Ribbon
Thread
Hot glue & gun
Braided Headband Materials

Let’s Get Started:

  1. Cut your fabric into strips, I did 1.5″ by 55″ for an adult-sized headband. I think I might go just a little thinner next time…1.25″.
  2. Secure one end, and start braiding. I enlisted Ryan’s help to hold one end since it gets so long.
    You might notice some fraying on the fabric, but that was the look I was going for. If it bothers you, fold in the sides carefully as you go.
  3. I used binder clips to hold the ends in place once I was finished braiding.
    Braided Headband 2
  4. Use thread to tie off the ends, just loop around a few times and you should be good. Trim thread and excess fabric.
  5. Fold your braided piece in half, then try it on your head. Whatever gap remaining determines the length of your elastic.

    **TIP: Don’t cut the elastic too short. Have you ever have the problem of a headband falling of the back of you head? The secret is that you want the headband to be secure, but the elastic shouldn’t be working hard at all.

  6. Hot glue the ends of your headband to your elastic. I overlapped by about 1/2″.
    Braided Headband 5    Braided Headband 3

  7. Wrap your ribbon around the place the headband and elastic connect. The intent here is to make this look nice. You won’t be able to see it when you have the headband on, but why not make it look pretty! Then hot glue together.
    Braided Headband 4

  8. Plan your spring outfit accordingly!
    Braided Headband Finished 2 DIY Braided Headband

–h

Vote for a FREE Apron Pattern & DIY

I thought it would be fun to do an Apron DIY and provide a free pattern download to all my loyal followers (yes, all 10 of you) :-)! And, not to give away all my secrets, but I thought it might help generate more interest in my blog at the same time.

Anyway, I can’t decide which apron I should do, so I thought you all could help a girl out. Here are three favorites I’ve made over the years. So, please comment below with your vote! I’ll do a tutorial and free PDF download next week.

1 Black and White Toile Apron 2 Christmas Apron 3 Red Floral Waverly and Stripes Apron

 

Let the voting begin!!

–h

DIY Reclaimed Wood/Barn Door Baby Gate

I’m not sure how it happened. One day Kyrie was scoot/rolling, then literally the next day, she started crawling. Oh-no! We probably should have started baby proofing months ago, but now is good too, right?!?

So we have been rearranging furniture, moving things around, but the real problem is the stairs. And yes, she has discovered them and seems to look at them as some sort of challenge. She has a rather determined personality (that doesn’t sound familiar at all), so we need a baby gate, like yesterday.

Baby on Stairs

So funny story, I thought we should run out to Target a buy a baby gate right away. But Ryan suggested we build our own gate instead. Hey, shouldn’t I have been the one to suggest that? 🙂 He did some searching online and found some ideas we liked and came up with the plan…

Barn Door Baby Gate Plan

Part I – Construction

Materials/Tools:
Reclaimed Wood (from a deconstructed pallet)
Wood Screws (1 1/4″)
Orbital Sander
Measuring Tape
Square
Circular Saw or Miter Saw

How to (Ryan):

1. I started by cutting out the pieces:

  • 2 outer frame side pieces: 30″ long, 5 1/2″ wide
  • 2 0uter frame top pieces: 23 1/2″ long, 5 1/2″ wide
  • 9 back pieces: 30″ long (various widths due to the wood available)
  • 1 long “X” piece: 30 1/4″ long, 5 1/2″ wide, cut to a “V” on each end. I put this piece over the outer frame, and used the square tool to help mark and determine where to cut.
  • 2 short “X” pieces: 12: long, 5 1/2″ wide, again cut to a “V” on one end. See above.Reclaimed Pallet Wood

2. Sand like crazy. Because this is a baby gate, we went for an extremely smooth finish. Started with 80 grit and finished with 180 grit. I spent a lot of time getting each piece perfectly smooth as the goal of this door is safety. Look at the difference…

Barn Door baby gate construction

3. In order to keep the screws hidden, I assembled it essentially from the back forward. So the outer frame side piece was screwed to a back piece (from the back side). Then I grabbed another back piece, snugged the two back pieces up, and screwed into the outer side piece. Then I lined up the outer frame top and bottom pieces, and screwed them to the back pieces. Then continued with the back pieces all the way across, finishing with the other outer frame front piece.

Barn Door Baby Gate Construction

4. Next I flipped over the door and fitted the “X”. Again, screwed it in from the back.

Barn Door baby gate construction (4) Barn Door baby gate construction (3)

Note: I pre-drilled all the holes before putting the screws in to prevent the wood from splitting.

Part II – Painting

Materials/Tools:
Jewel Shabby Paint (chalk paint)
Hazelnut reVax Shabby Paint
Black Matte Spray Paint
Paint Brush
Sandpaper (60 grit)
Sponge

How to:
Like every other DIYer out there, I have discovered and love chalk paint. You don’t have to sand or prime your project, and it gives this great matte finish. It looks great!

Shabby Paint Jewel and Hazelnut reVax

1. I decided I wanted an extra layer of black paint under the Jewel color to add some dimension when I distressed it. So I started by spray painting the entire piece black. I really didn’t worry about great coverage except on the edges and corners. But I did use an entire can of spray paint.
Barn Door Baby Gate black spray paint

2. After letting it dry I painted my first coat of Jewel Shabby Paint, let dry and added a second coat. The chalk paint really goes far. I used about 5 ounces of paint total. Flipped the door over and did the same on the back (2 coats). Pretty!

Barn Door Baby Gate Jewel Chalk Paint

3. Now is the part I love/hate. I took out the sandpaper and started distressing the door. After the beautiful coat of paint, it always makes me a little sad at first, but I love the look after it is all done. I paid special attention to the areas of the door that would normally experience wear and tear — corners, edges, etc. There is no real science to it, you just sand areas until you like the way it looks. You’ll notice some areas the black paint shows through, and others I sanded down to the wood, again, all personal taste.

Barn Door Baby Gate Distress Jewel Shabby Paint  Barn Door Baby Gate Back Distressed

4. The final touch is the product they call reVax, I applied it as recommended with a damp sponge. It is a great topcoat for durability, and in this case, I used it to deepen the color and add to the distressed look of the piece. Seriously, the Hazelnut reVax was like magic, I was so excited to see it go on, it gave the Jewel a more greenish color which is exactly what I wanted. I la la LOVE this color combo!!

Barn Door Baby Gate back distressed with Hazelnut reVax  Barn Door Baby Gate Distressed with Shabby Paint Hazelnut reVax

Part III – Installation/Finishing

Materials/Tools:
Hinges
Barrel Bolt
More wood screws
2 Trim pieces (30 3/4″ x 1 1/2″ x 5/8″)
Antique glass doorknob

How to:
1. Almost there! We started by cutting our two trim pieces, which will be mounted to the wall on either side and the door will connect to. On the top, cut a 45 degree angle (this just makes it look a little more finished). Then we painted them to match our wall color.

Trim Piece Barn Door Baby Gate

2. Attach the hinges to the gate and hinges to the first trim piece (prior to installing them on the wall). Remove the pins from the hinges so that the trim piece can be attached to the wall without the weight of the gate. Once the trim piece was secured to the wall (we were sure to find a stud and used 2 1/4″ screws), we lined up the hinges on the gate and reinserted the pins.
Barn Door Baby gate hardware
Note: The screws pictured here were used to attach the doorknob.

3. Next, we attached the second trim piece to the other side of the wall (again 2 1/4″ screws into a stud).

4. Attach the barrel bolt approximately 1″ from the top of the door (on the back), then extend the barrel and mark the spot to drill into the trim. Drill and done.

5. Attach the glass door knob (I spray painted the plate of the antique doorknob black).

And…done! Phew!

Barn Door Baby Gate DIY

–h & r

Outlander Inspired Knitted Cowl

You know that feeling when you find out you have been doing something completely wrong, for like years? Yup, that’s me.

A few of the women I work with started meeting during lunch to knit and crochet together. I was in the midst of a big knitting project and decided to join. Sat down, started confidently knitting, and one of the women told me she wanted to watch what I was doing. After observing me for a few minutes, she told me that, as it turns out, I knit backwards.

Earth shattering realization…I thought I knitted correctly. How could I have gone years and years doing it backwards. So I called my sister who knits a ton and I told her this harsh reality. She started laughing and said, “Yup, I know, when we learned to knit, we learned to knit the mirror image of how Mom knits.”

Ummm, someone could have told ME!!

Turns out, it really isn’t a big deal. I’m working on retraining myself the “proper” way to knit. Anyway, just goes to show, you don’t have to do it the “right” way to get things done!

Fast-forward to my most current knitting project. If you haven’t read through The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, I would recommend it!! I have several friends who have read the books and have really been enjoying the Starz TV show. As you can expect the costumes on the show are AMAZING!!! I would love love LOVE to wear some of the things the main character Claire wears.

Although we can’t all wear giant skirts and corsets in our daily lives, some of the knit wear she sports is totally in the realm of possibility. In particular the large cowl she wears just looks so cozy. Here’s what she looks like on the show…

Claire

A little googling, and guess what, people have made patterns. I used the free one here. I’ve gone a little crazy and have now made three…

Supplies:

  • 2 Skeins Wool-Ease Thick and Quick Yarn – the colors I used were Claret, Denim, and Fig.
  • Size 50 needles (you feel like a cartoon character using these puppies, I found them on Amazon)

How to:
I truly followed the instructions in the pattern, the creator of the pattern did an awesome job.

I used the Long Tail Method to cast on, which I had never done before but found a few YouTube videos to help. Here is one I liked… I tried to make a video, but this is a much better explanation.

Again, she recommended a bind-off method I had never done, so here’s another great video. 🙂

And for the final product…
Claret Outlander CowlDenim Outlander Cowl Fig Outlander Cowl

There are a couple fun ways to wear it (of course).
Around the neck..
Claret Outlander Cowl on

Over the shoulders…
Claret Outlander Cowl over arms
Like a hood…
Claret Outlander Cowl hood
You can see why this would have been perfect for a Scottish winter in the 1700s, right?! Anyway, here’s the perfect winter knitting project, and hey, after you make it, curl up with the books (I just finished Book #3).

–h

Outlander Cowl Pinterest Ready

Marvel/Captain America Inspired Applique Quilt – Part II

Pinterest Captain America Inspired Applique QuiltOver the years I have really enjoyed making different quilts for people. When Ryan and I were first dating, I made him a quilt out of black and leopard print polar fleece. Wow, lucky Ryan right? Believe it or not, we use that quilt to this day (some 12-13 years later). He actually did like it, seriously, you can ask him. Seriously!

When I make a quilt for someone it is my way of expressing love. To me, nothing says “I love you” like putting that much time and energy into something for someone else. Even further, I like to think about the recipient as I am working and pray for them. It just feels good!

Anyway, back to work… If you missed Part I, you can read it here.

Sewing the Quilt:

  1. I started by lining up the large gray star on the inner circle of the shield, pin. Then I zig-zag stitched it into place.
    Captain America Star stitching
  2. Take the inner-circle/star piece and line it up on the next circle layer. I measured around the circle to make sure I had it just right. Pin, and stitch the same way. Repeat until you have your Captain America shield sewed together.
    Note: I decided to match thread color depending on which ring of the fabric I was sewing.
    Captain America Shield3Captain Ameria Shield2
    Captain America Shield Finished
  3. Now that the shield is complete, I pinned it to the center of the navy blue background fabric. I didn’t sew it on yet, instead I used to help me decide on the placement of the additional stars. I decided to do three stars in each corner (one Marvel print, one red, one gray). I played around until I liked the look of everything and pinned the stars on.
    Marvel Stars placement
  4. Next I removed the shield from the backing. I left a safety pin to mark the spot (just to keep the shield from getting too beat up). Then I sewed on each star  with a zig-zag stitch all around. I used red thread for all the stars, totally up to your taste how to use the colored thread.
    Marvel Stars sewed
  5. Once all the stars were on, I went back and repinned the shield, zig-zig stitch to attach. Now the face of the quilt is ready. At this point, I pressed the entire front.
  6. Next up is creating a quilt “sandwich.” Lay out your back (pay attention to the orientation of the print). Then layer on the quilt batting. Then top with your quilt front. Voila, you have a quilt sandwich. I do this on the floor of my dining room (after I have swept, I promise).
  7. Once you feel good about the line-up of the three layers. I grab a ton of safety pins and pin all three layers every so often. This makes sure you get the all lined up nicely and that it lays flat without wrinkles.
    Captain America Quilt Ties
  8. I’m not sure if this is the right order of things, but I don’t actually quilt my quilts…I use ties instead. Babies like playing with the ties, and it seems a little easier to me. Anyway, I do the ties last, so normally you would quilt at this stage, but I didn’t I moved onto binding. (See my disclaimer :-))
  9. Once all the safety pins are in place, and you feel good about everything. Take a rotary cutter and mat and trim up the edges. You can pin around the edges or even baste all the way around…
    Captain America Quilt Trimming
  10. Binding:
    • Next I made my own binding out of red flannel. They were 3” wide and you need enough length for the entire perimeter of the quilt. I over-estimate on the length a little bit to make sure I have plenty of binding so that it isn’t too stressful. I attached the lengths of fabric by sewing pieces together at a 45 degree angle. Now you have one LONG piece of binding. Fold in half lengthwise.
      Captain America Quilt Binding
    • Next I worked on attaching the binding. This is a little complicated… On the back of the quilt, pin raw edges of the binding to the right side of the fabric starting in the middle of one side, leaving yourself a few inches to play with at the beginning. Pin all the way to ¼” from the corner. Sew that section.
      Captain America Binding start
    • Once you get to the pin ¼” from the corner, stop sewing. Take the binding and fold it up at a 90 degree angle from the quilt. Then fold back down, pin. These pics should really help…
      Captain America Quilt Binding1Captain America Quilt Binding2
      Captain America Quilt Binding4
    • Pin all the way across the next edge, stopping ¼” from the next corner. Repeat until you make it all the way around to the end. Leave a few inches to play with when you get back to where you started.Captain America Quilt Binding 6
    • Flip the quilt over to the front, and fold the binding over and pin. Some people hand sew at this point, I just machine sew all around. Here’s how you do the corners…
      Captain America Quilt Binding7Captain American Quilt Binding8
    • To finish, I fold the raw edge over about ¼” and tuck the other side under. Sew shut.
  11. I finished by putting ties every so often, usually about where I put all my safety pins. I used red embroidery floss and finished with a square knot (right over left, and left over right).Captain America Quilt Binding Finished

And…

drumroll please…

Here is the finished Marvel/Captain America Inspired Quilt!! And BTW, my nephew loved it!!

Captain America Quilt Done2Captain America Quilt DONE with back

–h

Marvel’s Captain America Inspired Applique Quilt – Part I

DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional quilter, any and all advice given is from me, a novice/self-taught quilter that’s still figuring things out. So if you know a better way, do it!! And, to all the accomplished quilters out there, I’m sorry if I’m doing everything wrong.

So novice or not, I do love quilts and blankets. There is something so comforting and so full of love about them. I slept with the quilt my grandmother made me until I was…well…I don’t think we are close enough for me to admit that yet. 🙂

Anyway I just finished a quilt for my newest nephew. Of course, it needed a theme and my nephew’s dad (my brother-in-law), LOVES comic books and such. They go to ComiCon, dress up, the whole thing, they are R-E-A-L-L-Y into it. Because of my brother-in-law, I’ve even enjoyed all the Marvel movies, and Superman and Batman…and I have to admit I’m a fan too.

So, I was at Joann’s looking for inspiration and I found this great Marvel print. Now, it is way TOO much for the entire quilt, but perfect for the backing. With some thought, I decided to make a Captain America inspired applique quilt for my nephew’s first birthday present. And, SPOILER ALERT: It. Is. Awesome.

Materials: (all purchased at Joann’s)
Flannel Marvel Print Fabric
Flannel Red, Gray, and Navy Blue Fabric
Interfacing
Coordinating Thread
Quilt Batting
Coordinating Embroidery Floss

Marvel Fabric

The Plan:
For big projects like this, I like to map out what I’m trying to do. It really helps me think through how much fabric I’m going to need and what dimensions are going to work best. I wanted my finished quilt to measure 54″x 44″ so every subsequent measurement was based on that. I know the circle measurements seem a little odd, but I wanted to make the largest circle in the shield as big as possible given the fabric width, so I started there. Then I decided how big the smallest circle should be and the other two ended up splitting the difference. Anyway here is my plan…

Captain America Quilt Plan

Cutting Out:

  1. I started by creating patterns for my stars. I decided I needed three sizes of stars. The big star for the center of Captain America’s shield (12″), and then two sizes of stars to applique on the rest of the quilt (7″ and 4.5″). Here’s my pattern if you want to use it, Star Template.
  2. To applique the stars, it is important to use interfacing to strengthen the fabric, it also helps give a really clean edge. So trace out your stars on interfacing – one 12″ star, four 7″ stars, and eight 4.5″ stars. I’ve done another applique quilt where I skipped this step, and it’s still on my to-do fix it.
  3. Once you trace out your stars on the interfacing, cut them out leaving at least a quarter-inch around them.
  4. Arrange the stars on your fabric and iron on. I did the 12″ star  on the gray fabric, the 7″ stars on the Marvel fabric (I lined these up carefully), and four each of the 4.5″ stars on the red and gray fabric.
    Marvel Stars
  5. Now you cut out your stars.
  6. Next I cut out the circles for the shield, following the sizing on my plan above. I also used interfacing on each of these pieces, following the same system as the stars. Trace pattern, iron onto fabric, cut out.
    Captain American Sheild
  7. Cut out the front and back pieces. Leave an extra inch or two on the front piece, and a couple extra inches for the backing.

Phew, all the pieces are cut out…we are ready to start sewing next time. You can now read Part II here!

–h

DIY Christmas Tree Skirt

I thought it would be a good idea to wash our tree skirt in preparation for Christmas.

It. Was. Not.

Instead of a clean red and white tree skirt, I ended up with a clean red and pink tree skirt. Now, anyone knows me knows I am a big fan of pink. But I was not happy.

Instead of going out and buying a new one, I thought I could make a customized tree skirt. I know you might be shocked to learn, but I have a black, white, and red themed tree complete with polka dot ornaments. Shocked, right?

Materials:
Coordinating fabric – So I used some fake black velvet fabric and a Christmas print I found at Joann’s.
Matching Piping and Bias Tape or Ribbon
Ribbon to make ties

How-to:

  1. Start by cutting a circle out of your main fabric. Determine the desired radius of your tree skirt (mine was 18”) plus the radius you want to allow for the tree itself (a few inches). Draw out ¼ of a circle on tissue paper or wrapping paper to create your pattern. Lay out your fabric so you have four layers of fabric (fold in half lengthwise, then in half the other way). Pin your pattern and cut out.
    Tree Skirt Pattern
    The fake velvet I used had some stiffness to it, so I didn’t need to do anything to it, but depending on your fabric you might want to stiffen it with some interfacing or a second layer of fabric.
  2. You will need a second pattern for the accent fabric. The easiest way to do this is to use the first pattern to draw a second pattern using by adding 6.5” to the radius measurement from step one. This illustration should help explain.
    Tree3
  3. Cut an opening in both pieces. Again, this illustration is what you are looking for.
    Tree2
  4. Sew the accent fabric onto the main fabric, right sides together.
  5. Next I attached the bias tape between the two fabrics. You could top stitch this in place, but I cheated and used some stitch-witchery to make it easier.
    Tree skirt
  6. Next, I sewed the piping along the bottom of the accent fabric. I love finishing things with piping, it just looks awesome and I like the way it looks better than just a hem.
  7. Then, I hemmed the opening edges.
  8. Finally, I added ribbon ties every 5 or so inches in the opening. You could do buttons too, that would be really cool!
    Tree skirt

And a complete disaster (no, I’m not being overly dramatic) turns into an opportunity for creativity!

Tree skirt

–h