For YEARS I’ve been wanting to make this tree skirt. I spotted the original for $328, which is too much money for me. So I decided this is the year to make my own DIY rainbow tree skirt! It easy to do, just time consuming. I did a no sew version, but will share some different methods to make this too if you want the same look.
How to make a diy rainbow tree skirt
Let’s start with the video tutorial so you get an overview on what I did. Then, I’ll dive in with more details below:
If the video doesn’t work here, you can watch it YouTube here I’d be over the moon happy if you subscribed to my YouTube channel! Videos are actually released on YouTube first (usually the night before they’re published on the blog). Thank you!
- 1-1/2″ wide Ribbon– I used 15 colors- pink, quartz pink, pale pink, light coral, soft peach, dandelion, lemon, baby maize, key lime, sea green, light aqua, aqua, sky blue, light blue, wisteria, and lavender
- Measuring Tape
- Acrylic Ruler
- Felt– 1.5 yards for a 54″ round tree skirt
- Hot Glue Gun
- Hot Glue Sticks (I used 48 of the long ones)
P.s. I used pastel colors to make my rainbow skirt, but any colors can be used. It could be a gradient from light blue to dark blue or red and green or white and ivory. The color combination possibilities are endless! Which makes this a super easy project to customize.
step 1- cut out the tree skirt
Start by cutting the felt to the width needed. My felt came in 72″ wide, but I needed it to be 54″ wide since I only have space for a 54″ wide skirt. So I measured the length, marked it with a pen every few feet, drew line with my ruler and then cut it with scissors.
Next, fold the felt in 1/4ths. So fold it in half and then in half again.
Then, tie a string to a marker. Cut the string long enough to go from one edge of the felt to the corner. In the corner where the fold is, use a safety pin to connect the string to the felt. Then tie the string to the marker. Use the marker to draw an arc from one corner to the other. Use scissors to cut that out. This gives you a round piece of felt!
Once the edge is cut out, cut out another arc on the corner. I just eye-balled this edge. It’s much less important to get this one right (which I’ll show on the last step).
To finish creating the tree skirt base, cut up one section of the felt. This will make it so the tree skirt has an opening to go around the tree.
Note, another alternative is to buy a plain tree skirt. That’d save some time and would be easier to start this project. A simple tree skirt like this would work nicely.
step 2- glue on the ribbon
Next, use a hot glue gun to attach the ribbon to the skirt. I created a pleated look with the ribbon. First I started with smaller pleats.
But the first row took me probably 2 hours to do, so I moved to bigger pleats and really like how that looks. I started timing myself on the forth row- that took 1 hour and 10 minutes. The fifth row took 1 hour and 5 minutes. It makes sense that each row would keep getting faster as I got better at it and the rows get smaller as you go.
I kept timing myself and on the 6th row sped up to 45 minutes! I stood up at the table and evidently that helped. Then the 7th row took 36 minutes. At this point I was wondering if I’d need all the ribbon I bought. So I laid it out and yes, I need all 15 colors.
To figure out the ribbon, I figured that a 54″ skirt split in half is 22.5″. My ribbon is 1.5″ so 22.5 divided by 1.5 is 15 ribbon colors. That math ended up working out perfectly. Since I cut out some of the middle of the skirt out, I needed to cover up less than 22.5″, but since each row of ribbon slightly overlaps the last row, it works out just fine.
Overall, I think I spent about 12 hours putting this tree skirt together. Yes, that is a very long time. But I just watched a show and it wasn’t a huge deal. Sewing would probably be faster. But I’m stubborn and once I started with this method I wanted to finish with it. Plus way more people can use a hot glue gun than a sewing machine, so I figured this would be helpful.
step 3- ribbon gluing method and alternative choices
And now, I want to show how I glued the ribbon onto the felt base. First, on the edge I folded the ribbon over the edge of the felt and glued it on the back. I started that mid way up the skirt and it looks much more polished. Yes, the slit is on the back so you don’t really see, but it’s a nice easy touch.
Once the ribbon is glued on the back, glue a one inch section onto the front.
Then on the top of the ribbon, put a one inch line of hot glue at the top of the ribbon. Fold the ribbon back onto its self.
Note, for this project I used the Ryobi hot glue gun. It’s cordless because it has a battery on the base. I love this hot glue gun! I really appreciate how easy it is to pull out and quickly use. It’s one of my favorite DIY tools. If you don’t have one, this would be a great Christmas gift.
Next, put hot glue over the same section again (yes, a third time) and one inch over on the felt.
Push the ribbon down over where the hot glue was placed.
Note, it’s a good idea to use a finger protector when doing this project to help prevent burns. I got one really bad hot glue burn and wish I’d had one. Another tip is to have a bowl of ice next to where you’re working to use in case of a burn.
Then you start all over again with a one inch section of hot glue over the ribbon. So each pleat has three sections of ribbon for a really full look. This is different from the inspiration photo, but I love how it looks!
While gluing, I made sure to pull any hot glue strings off the DIY rainbow tree skirt. This project looks much more polished when you don’t see a bunch of hot glue strings. Also, as you go, make sure to not get hot glue on the bottom of the ribbon. When it’s just on the top, it gets covered by the next row of ribbon and looks very nice.
I also wanted to talk about alternative methods to how to make this project besides using a hot glue gun. I’ve been sharing the progress on this project on social media and I’ve received lots of tips for how to do this in different ways.
1- Use a gathering stitch on a sewing machine on the ribbon. Gather the ribbon and then glue or sew in onto the skirt.
2- Use a ruffler foot on a sewing machine on the ribbon. Gather the ribbon that way and then glue or sew it onto the skirt.
3- Buy pleated ribbon or have the ribbon pleated by a seamstress. Once the ribbon is pleated, glue or sew it onto the skirt.
4- Use a fork to keep the pleats the same width. Here’s a video on how to use a fork to sew pleats on a sewing machine.
5- Use heat and bond tape and create the pleats then press them in place with an iron.
6- Create the pleats and use fabric glue and pins to DIY rainbow tree skirt in another way then how I did it. I can see all of these working nicely.
step 4- trim the center. circle
Finally, now that all the ribbon is glued on, use scissors to trim any extra felt in the middle. Remember in the beginning when I wasn’t careful about cutting the middle section? It’s because it’s easy to perfect here.
And now, I present you this tree skirt that I am very proud of! The colors really do it for me!!!
I love how the color plays with the Christmas tree. It’s so cheery and bright. I am obsessed! This is now officially a family heirloom.
Warning, the way I did this project is not cheap. I spent $183 on ribbon. I’m really picky with my colors and found what I wanted in these 50 yard rolls. I probably needed 20 yards or less of ribbon for the colors on the edge of the skirt (where it’s the most full). I also spent $7 on the felt for the tree skirt and $5 on hot glue sticks. So I spent $195- somewhat expensive.
But I’ve been wanting this tree skirt for years and it’s absolutely perfect, so I’m fine with it. My thought with my Christmas decor is to slowly get each area exactly how I want it and improve my decor a little each year. I choose to focus on this and one other project so it’s fine with me.
Note, to save costs, using a satin ribbon (like the tree skirt from my inspiration) would save a bunch of money. Each 25 foot roll of satin ribbon is around $6 instead of the $11.30 I used on my tree skirt. I scoured the internet looking for grosgrain ribbon in 1.5″ widths that’s cheaper than what I spent and I couldn’t find it.
Also, I will use the extra rainbow ribbon from my rolls all the time. I’m a creator so having the perfect colored ribbon in my color scheme makes me super happy and is very handy to have around..
So if you want to do this and spend less, find cheaper ribbon at the craft store where you can use a coupon.
With the time I spent and how much money it cost, yes, the $328 original tree skirt price makes total sense. However, I love mine more because the custom colors are perfect for my house.
Oh, and if you’re wondering if the DIY rainbow tree skirt makes a cute normal skirt- it absolutely does! Lol! Now I just need to make a second one. But it is rather heavy- haha. Anyway! Merry Christmas! May all of your tree skirt dreams come true.
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