Christmas Tree Skirt

Whilst your decorated artificial Christmas tree may look stunning, the stand usually doesn’t, by virtue of it having to be practical rather than aesthetic.  I used to just lay sheets of cotton wool ‘snow’ around mine but then heard of a tree skirt and set about making my own.  We have two trees so I made one with Christmas trees on and one with snowman.  Here’s the snowman skirt.

A friend was admiring the skirts and asked where I’d bought them and subsequently commissioned me to make one for his tree.  His daughter then admired that one and requested one of her own so I thought it’d make the perfect Christmas project for the blog.  So, if you fancy having a go at making your own, here’s how I did mine.

First, draw a circle that will cover the legs of your stand plus an extra inch or two for the seams.  Cut out a section so that the skirt will form a cone shape and then cut this out from your main fabric and backing fabric.  I divided my paper template into 3 pieces and sewed them together to save on fabric.  You may also need to divide the template into more pieces if the pattern on your fabric is directional.  Remember to add extra width for seam allowances!

Now is where you can go wild with your decorative elements!  My friend wanted Christmas trees so I drew out a tree shape, divided into three tiers, as I wanted to use different fabrics.  I traced around each shape and the trunks 5 times onto Bondaweb and roughly cut them out.

The beauty of Bondaweb is that you can then iron your shapes onto your chosen fabrics and cut the shapes out precisely.

I then peeled of the backing paper, revealing a layer of fusible adhesive web, and placed my trees onto the skirt base, ironing them in place to secure, ready for quilting.  The quilt sandwich was stuck together with Odif 505 temporary adhesive and formed using polyester wadding and another piece of fabric.  It doesn’t really matter what fabric it is as it won’t be seen.  I like to reuse old bed sheets (washed, of course!) for this purpose.

Using a satin stitch on my sewing machine, I quilted around the edge of each tier of the tree and around the trunk.  This makes the trees puff up and adds lovely texture.

Once the appliqué was complete, I sewed on 3 rouleau loops onto one side (for the buttons) and then sewed on the backing using the bagging out method, turned right side out and top stitched all around the edges.  Finally I hand stitched some rope trim around the edge, gold stars on the trees and some covered buttons to hold the tree skirt in place.

Festive Floating Window

I saw this card style on a YouTube video by Scrimpingmommy and thought it’d be fun to try.  As it transpired, I got completely carried away with it and made 4 bases ready for decorating!  I used Stampin’ Up! Perfectly Plaid, Stitched Stars and Brightly Gleaming for my decorative elements.  Although I’ve made Christmas cards, this style of card can be used for any occasion.

My card bases are 5¾” x 8¼”, a little less than half a sheet of cardstock, and scored at 4⅛”.  For this card, the front needs to be cut into three so I cut mine equally at 1⅜”.  For the window section, I cut a piece of acetate 1¾” wide by a smidge under 5¾”.  I discarded the centre portion and applied thin adhesive tape to the top and bottom edges of the acetate.

Next, I cut some layers from card and DSP to decorate the top and bottom panels of the card.

The easiest way to line up the acetate panel is to clip the bottom section to the card base, line up the acetate with the edges of the card and overlapping the bottom section.

Holding the acetate in position, I removed the backing paper from the adhesive and folded the top section of the card down into place.  I then removed the clips and stuck the bottom section into position.  That completed the floating window card base.  Once you’ve got your card ‘recipe’ sorted, you can knock these out in record time!

I decorated the liner with the same card and DSP.

Now for the decorative elements.  I only applied glue to the sections that would be on the card so that a gluey mess wouldn’t be visible through the acetate.  Firstly, Brightly Gleaming ornaments with copper embossing powder.

Mossy Meadow, Cherry Cobbler and Very Vanilla cardstock with Brightly Gleaming DSP and Christmas Gleaming stamps

Next was the Stitched Stars using Copper Foil paper.

Night of Navy, Whisper White cardstock, Copper Foil and Brightly Gleaming DSP.

Snowflake Splendour DSP with silver heat embossed trees from Perfectly Plaid.

Misty Moonlight and Night of Navy cardstock, Snowflake Splendour DSP and Perfectly Plaid trees. I used the (retired) mercury acetate on this for a snowy background.

Lastly, my favourite, Brightly Gleaming DSP with copper heat embossed trees.

Pretty Peacock and Very Vanilla cardstock with Brightly Gleaming DSP and Perfectly Plaid trees.

I hope you give these a try.  They’re really fun to make and look stunning!

 

Images © 2020 Stampin’ Up!

Merry Christmas!

Are you ready for Christmas then? I don’t really know how (since December always follows November!) but December has suddenly crept up on me this year.  It’s been hectic getting cards and presents made, wrapped and delivered, together with going to work and also, sadly, having to return to Derbyshire for a few days for a family funeral.  However, the end of this week saw me being able to just relax and do some Christmassy things for me. 

Firstly, my sister has come to stay for a few days so we started by visiting the local garden centre to see the reindeer that they have each year in December.  This year they were called Glacier and Cloudy and they were gorgeous, as always.

This one was particularly hungry and kept coming to the fence to see if there was any food available, which allowed me several strokes of his velvety nose! Love that nose!!

We then took advantage of the photo opportunity on the snowman seat – it was a bit of a squeeze!

I did have to do some last-minute crafting this week.  We’ve bought gift vouchers online for some gifts so I wanted to make a more interesting presentation wallet than just a plain envelope.  Mr L had requested some Christmas cards like Santa suits….

…so I made the gift envelopes in the same style but with a beard rather than fur trim on the coat.  For the beard, I die cut half a scalloped oval however it could be a shape cut out with scissors though.  I embossed it with a swirly patterned embossing folder to add some texture.  I have a buckle die but one can easily be made by cutting out a black rectangle the same width as the belt, cutting out a glitter/metallic rectangle ⅛” bigger and sticking the black rectangle on top.

Next, after foraging in the garden and the lane, I passed an enjoyable hour making my festive foliage table decoration.  The trouble is that it’s so large, we won’t be able to get our plates of Christmas dinner on the table! 

Lastly, I finally got around to making a tree to display my Twelve Days Ornaments (from April 2019 blog post).  I didn’t want to put them on the Christmas tree as I thought they’d get a bit lost and I wanted to be able to properly see them! I chopped a couple of branches, tied them together then glued them into holes I drilled in a log. I sprayed the branches with some glitter spray, wrapped a hessian strip around the trunk, fairy lights around the branches and covered the top of the log with some embossing paste mixed with glitter. I was very happy with how it turned out.

However you’re celebrating Christmas, I hope you have a wonderful time!