As I stated in my last post, "Last year our tree was a little sparsely decorated due to our college-kid budget, but the day after Christmas I did some stocking up and found a nice assortment of red and gold ornaments for pretty reasonable prices. Before MMM had even gotten out of bed on November 23rd, I had our tree up and decorated to the nines."

Part of these decorations included a simple but awesome tree skirt. I know that burlap was totally in last year, and many of you may be a little "over it" by now, but my minimalism combined with my bargain-hunting determined this was just the perfect choice for a fabric. I spent less than $10 on the skirt and only one or two hours of sewing (while taking many small breaks to pay attention to the shows I was watching on my computer).

     - 2 yards of 48" (or wider) burlap
     - 16" of 48" wide medium weight red fabric
     - Sewing machine (and typical sewing tools)

1) Cut your burlap down the middle. If your burlap already has finished edges along two sides (like mine did), make your cut parallel to those edges.
2) Connect your two burlap pieces to form a long, skinny rectangle. To keep my connection clean, I folded the edge of each piece under 3/4", then layered the two raw edges inside of each other (making a type of "z" looking from the top) and stitched along both sides of the fold.
3) Finish the short sides of burlap by folding each edge over about 3/4" two times and stitching down along both sides of the fold.

4) Pleat one long edge of your burlap. For me, it was easier to create a series of large pleats (about 8 inches each), sew those down, then return and do another series of smaller pleats to that same edge. Pleat this edge however you want with the goal of making that edge about 12" long in the end.
5) Create a long tie from your red fabric. Cut the fabric into two 8" strips.
6) Cut a miter edge into each red strip (what is this called in sewing terms?): lay the two strips on top of each  other, and cut the edges along a diagonal. flip one piece up-side-down, re-align the diagonal edges, and sew the pieces together. Open up the connected piece and press to make a flat seam. If your short ends are unfinished, fold under once and stitch.

7) Fold the two long edges of your red strip over 1/2" and press. Align the center of one pressed edge with the inside of your tree skirt. Stitch along the entire red strip, connecting to the tree skirt.
8) Fold the entire strip in half and pin the pressed edges together on both ends. Pin the pressed edge to the tree skirt in the middle portion and stitch along the entire length of the red strip.

9) Wrap the skirt along your tree trunk and tie a fat, happy bow with the red tie.

I love this simple skirt because it lets our tree get most of the "glory" and it reminds me of real trees at nurseries whose roots are tied up in a burlap sack. This may be stretching it a bit, but the rustic feel also makes me think of Christ swaddled in a rustic little manger.

"And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn."
Luke 2: 7 

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