By Lisa Fazzani published
Decking the tree with lights and baubles is the fun part. But thinking of stylish Christmas tree skirt ideas can be tricky. Whether you have a real Christmas tree or faux, the base is the bit that no one wants to look at, so finding a stylish cover-up for an unsightly pot or tree stand with creative Christmas decor ideas is a must.
‘It’s easy to focus on the main part of the Christmas tree and think less about how the bottom looks,’ says Ailie Williams, stylist at Neptune. ‘But in a way, this is the bit that needs most thought, as it tends to look the most neglected.’
It’s thought that Christmas tree skirts originated in Germany, way back when trees were decorated with candles. A basic fabric mat would be placed under the base of the tree to collect melted wax and fallen needles, and was purely functional rather than decorative.
It’s only in recent years that tree mats or skirts have become something of a decorative feature and another of those Christmas tree ideas that make yours look special. More colorful and ornate, Christmas tree skirts placed under trees to hide an ugly base or spread out as a mat so that presents can be piled high upon them.
Christmas tree skirt ideas
Find your festive favorite to finish off your tree from these Christmas tree skirt ideas.
1. Create a color splash with fabric
‘Covering the base of your tree with fabric is a simple way to make it look more festive,’ says Ailie Williams. 'Try wrapping the base in fabric for an easy no-sew idea or run-up a circular-shaped skirt if you’re deft with a needle and thread.
‘Use simple linen, colored fabric or for something more dramatic, try a sumptuous velvet or satin that matches the rest of your trimmings,’ adds Ailie. ‘Finish off with a stack of wrapped presents, co-ordinating your gift wrap and ribbons so that the colors work with your decor. And if you’ve got lots of small boxes, fill in the gaps with some bigger ones to even things out.’
Doing so will help make a Christmas tree look fuller, too.
2. Start a new tradition
Unwrapping favorite baubles and treasured ornaments made by little ones or gifted by family members is one of the joys when it comes to Christmas tree decorating.
Make the tree skirt part of your family Christmas traditions by adding a more personalized touch. A simple cotton or plain linen skirt is easy to customize with a festive motto or family monogram embroidered in bright thread around the edge.
Alternatively, why not order a bespoke piece if your sewing skills are not up to scratch. Hand-embroidered with a seasonal greeting, a tree skirt like this one will be sure to become a future family heirloom that you’ll all enjoy bringing out year after year.
3. Add a rustic element
‘Whether your tree’s decked in traditional reds and greens or more modern white and mercurized silver, basket tree skirts look lovely as the natural material will complement the foliage,’ says Ailie. ‘Alternatively, round willow log baskets are an ideal way of disguising a plastic pot or tub.
‘For something a bit unexpected, you could use a found object or vintage vessel to hold your tree. Old wooden barrels, crates, terracotta plant pots or metal pails and buckets work well. As with any holder, just make sure its proportions match the size of the tree.’
4. Go big on layering
Cozy sheepskins and faux furs look super-wintry alongside spruce and fir and make the perfect Christmas cover-up. If you’ve a faux Christmas tree with metal stand, try disguising it by draping a couple of sheepskins over the base. No sewing or fixings required, just layer on and the weight will hold them firmly in place.
For a truly sumptuous look, double-up on your Christmas tree skirt ideas. The White Company’s woven willow tree skirt comes in a snowy white finish and will slip easily over a tree stand or wooden base. Team with plush sheepskin rugs on the floor, piled high with Christmas packages so there's somewhere warm to sit when gifts are handed round.
5. Bring festive charm
‘Aside from concealing the tree stand and protecting gifts from dust and dirt, a decorative Christmas tree skirt can be the finishing touch that ties the tree in with your decorating scheme,’ says Jen Derry, interiors expert at Balsam Hill. ‘We recommend using a tree skirt with a diameter that is six inches more than the width of your tree to give full coverage and space for laying out presents.
‘Create a Christmassy vignette by adding decorations, lights and extra ornaments to surround your tree. It can make a lovely backdrop for gifts and decorative pieces like this can become heirlooms that get handed down from generation to generation.’
6. Keep it simple
Wrapping the base of a tree with fabric or paper makes an inexpensive and super-easy cover-up. A swathe of natural jute, unbleached linen or brown paper will look rustic against fir and foliage. And there’s no need for any sewing, simply stapling at the back will hold everything in place.
A shop-bought hessian skirt is another inexpensive and stylish alternative that can be used year after year. It will hide an ugly tree stand and has space inside to tuck any trailing wires so that tree lights aren’t a trip hazard.
7. Work in some sparkle
Add another element to your Christmas tree decor by wiring a set of twinkly Christmas lights into the tree skirt or collar so that everything under the tree is illuminated too. A woven design is ideal as you can pop the lights through the weave, or alternatively, try coiling a set of lights around the base.
‘Stacking gifts under the tree covers the skirt but there’s also an opportunity to add another level of decoration by adding oversized baubles and novelty room decorations,’ says Jason Billings-Cray, Christmas buyer at John Lewis.
‘Place your tree skirt over the stand before you start to assemble your tree,’ adds Jason. ‘A great tip is to slip a piece of cardboard under the stand to prevent indents on carpets or scratches on wooden floorboards.’
8. Make your own mini cover up with a DIY tree skirt
Fashion a pleated skirt for a small potted fir tree using stiffened fabric or card. A lovely idea for a hallway console table or small bureau, trim the tree with tiny glass baubles and red satin ribbon bows.
You’ll need to cut a rectangle of fabric or card approximately 13in by 18in long. Glue thin strips of ribbon along the rectangle to decorate, leaving 10 inches of overhang on each side (these loose ends will form ties).
Using a ruler as a guide, make accordion-style folds along the fabric, press and then unfold. At the top edge, make holes with a punch at each fold, working all the way along and then threading with a length of cord. Wrap the skirt around your tree, pull the cord tight and tie both cord and ribbons at the back.
9. Add Christmas color and cheer
Match your tree skirt to your Christmas decor for a co-ordinated look. Jolly brights add a fun flavor that will appeal to little ones, or opt for a metallic finish if luxe silvers and golds are more your style.
A pleated-style paper collar is a good option if storage space is tight. It will pack flat and take up minimal space in a cupboard or attic. Similarly, tree collars made from panelled sections will lay flat for storage when disassembled. Round collars tend to be quite bulky so will require a little extra stowing space, so take this into consideration before you buy.
10. Do a double take
Add rustic charm to a country abode with a seagrass skirt to set your tree upon. Cozy matting will take the chill off cold flagstones or timber boards and create a resting spot for stacks of presents. Hide the base of the tree with a metal collar in an enamelled paint finish to add some festive color.
Tree collars can be a solid ring style, which are non-adjustable, or a hinged collar, which opens up so you can wrap it around a tree more easily. A hinged opening also allows easy access to the tree for watering. Adding a little water to the holder each day will keep the tree hydrated so it doesn’t droop so quickly.
What is a Christmas tree collar?
Both a Christmas tree skirt and a collar serve the same purpose of covering the bottom of the tree. A tree skirt tends to be made of fabric and is draped over the base of the tree, secured with ties or velcro. A tree collar is made of rigid material, such as metal or wicker, and slips over the tree base much like a cuff.
Should a Christmas tree skirt be wider than the tree?
It depends on the effect you are aiming for. Ideally, a Christmas tree skirt should be wider than the diameter of your tree stand and then just a couple of inches or two wider than the diameter of the outer branches of the tree.
That being said, some people do prefer a more generously-sized tree skirt that can be fanned out so that presents can be stacked upon it. It’s really down to personal preference, but avoid a ‘too-small’ tree skirt as the proportions will look wrong.
When it comes to a tree collar, make sure that it will fit the size of your stand before you buy. Measure the diameter of the stand and check that the widest part of the collar (at the bottom) is large enough for the stand to sit inside. Some collars are one size fits all, while others are sold by the size.
Best bathroom scales: 7 brilliant scales to invest in this year
Invest in the best bathroom scales for a renewed outlook on your health
By Molly Cleary • Published
How to paint a house exterior
Discover how to paint a house exterior for a professional, authentic finish with long-lasting results
By Douglas Kent • Published