Retro Christmas Tree Skirt

So, as a rule, I gather things rather than collecting them. I only have a couple of true collections; things I am really passionate about. The first is vintage and antique needlework patterns, tools, and yarn. The second is Christmas ornaments. I sometimes feel bad because I have a lot of beautiful handmade ornaments, and nostalgic ornaments from both my and my (just turned 18) child’s younger years, but while I love and treasure these, they don’t go on my Christmas tree. Everything except the lights on my tree is from the 60s or earlier. (I actually own three strands of beautiful 1950s pink lights, but don’t use them for safety reasons.) All the ornaments are glass. Some of them were from my Oma’s tree. Most I have simply gathered over the years. I even use vintage tinsel. (One box of shredded mylar tinsel that I gather and reuse every year.) I. L.O.V.E. M.Y. T.R.E.E.

But one thing I have always been missing is a proper tree skirt. I have used cotton batting, an old tablecloth, even a couple of very old packages of flame-retardant “snow” that I had down for a couple of days before realizing it was definitely offgassing some serious toxicity. I have held out hope of finding the perfect vintage tree skirt someday, but it has never happened. So this year I took it upon myself to just make one. It isn’t vintage, but it is almost 100% thrifted, and it is perfect.

I drew all the elements and will have a file of them available for whatever use, because the deer especially turned out very nice, I think. It is all fulled wool, hand-stitched in blanket stitch.

I did start cutting out “snow” felt pieces for the trees, but then opted to use sequins instead. The deer have some snow-sequins on their antlers too, and each deer has a little collar and jingle bell.

I did use a machine to bind the open edge and center, and to hem it toward the right side. I then hand-sewed the fringe so it covered the raw edge.

Also, I am especially pleased with the toppers on the ornaments, which I made using some actual-metallic cord from the 40s, and a knotwork technique.

It took me about 10 days from start to finish and was 100% NOT something I should be doing right before Christmas, in lieu of making gifts. But there it is. I’m sorta in love.

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It’s so wonderful. I too am planning a tree skirt, the one we had has mysteriously vanished this year. I am thinking a patchwork of holiday fabric scraps from bag and stocking making but yours is really just the greatest, sweetest, most nostalgic thing. Very inspiring!

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Thank you! I’m not sure I am quite done besequining it, but I am going to wait until the off season to spangle it with sequin snow. I just wanted to get it under the tree, and my brain, and body, were definitely finished for the time being. I don’t really do a lot of embroidery or other hand sewing and basically doing it non-stop for hours every day for over a week reminds me what a strenuous activity it really is. My hands have been going numb on and off all day while finishing up the fringe. Man oh man.

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This skirt is just breathtaking. I love the simplicity, beauty, and vintage quality of it. I think the gold tassel trim is the perfect edging. It gives the whole skirt an extra wow factor. Well done!

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It’s stunning. Well worth the time.

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Thank you so much! The trim is vintage cotton. I thrifted about 6 yards of it, so I still have oodles more to use. I have considered making myself a seasonal skirt using the same deer applique and finishing it with the same trim. :smiley: for extra ridiculousness. Lol

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Oh, that skirt would be amazing!

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OMG yes, please. Now my eyes need to see such a thing to be satisfied with life! LOL, seriously though, that sounds amazing.

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That reminds me of a vintage poodle skirt, so your idea of making a skirt sound great.

I’ve done a few poodle-style skirts; I like to add strung sequins around the hem spelling out the owner’s name. Merry Christmas or similar would work, too.

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I love this! I have been scheming a new tree skirt for my vintage tree as well. I was hoping to find one but it just hasn’t materialized. Great job! :heart::christmas_tree:

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It is so tricky! I think a lot of the really old vintage tree skirts probably haven’t survived well, since they mostly used adhesive. So most of what I see these days are from the 80s and it just doesn’t suit.

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Just love how it turned out…you put a lot of thought and work into all of the little details…the cap on the striped ornament is fabulous as is the trim…now you have something that fits your style!

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I love everything about this project! You’ve done a wonderful job realizing your commitment your style!

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I just had to update this now that I got (most of) the ornaments on the tree. It is really just so exactly what I wanted.

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This is so fabulous! The little deer are adorable.

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This is awesome! I love a lot of retro-styled Christmas decor, and you’ve recreated the look perfectly. The little sequins are such a lovely touch. The fact that you were able to use so many vintage items is awesome! Definitely something to enjoy for many years to come! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :cherry_blossom:

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Looks great with your tree!

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This is the perfect accessory for your tree. Classy and classic.

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Awesome job! It absolutely looks vintage.

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Omg!!! I am also in love with vintage xmas stuff! This is so inspiring! I love this. I think I’ll have to use this as inspo in making my own. I really like 60s/70s so I think I’m going for bright pink, white, gold, and turquoise. You did such an amazing job and all the hand-stitching; gorgeous!

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