Friday, December 3, 2010

Reader Question: Tree Skirt

Vintage Ornaments Advent Calendar

Dear Mistress of Home Decor,

I need advice. We need to buy a "tree skirt" for our Christmas tree. I've looked at the ones at Canadian Tire, and they are functional, but nearly as ugly as sin. Can you think of a store that might sell Christmas tree stands and skirts that have some aesthetic appeal?

I received the missive above from a loyal reader recently and thought that I would share the advice that I gave to him here. 

To address the easy part of the question first, we bought our tree stand about two years ago from Canadian Tire and were extremely satisfied with it. As one person commented online, "it should be called the Marriagesaver." Easy to use, easy to store because the legs come off and the tree didn't fall over. Just a bit pricey at $30+ since it's really just plastic.

The Omega Tree Stand
My first instinct here would be to head to HomeSense. Their merchandise tends to be a hodge-podge of styles, but usually there is at least something luxurious and traditional looking if you happen to be there on the right day. As I clarified for my reader, it is not the same as Home Outfitters but possibly the same as Home Goods (in the US) - not confusing in the least!

The Bay in Toronto at Yonge and Bloor always has a lovely Christmas section and might be a good place to try. I also saw some awesome red velvet skirts and other pretty decorations last night at Loblaws.

I was surprised to find that Restoration Hardware didn't have any on their website and that the selection at Pottery Barn is limited and very pricey!

And then there is my favorite Christmas decor theme-park, IKEA! I would suggest just doing a one-stop shop right there for your decorations! Sadly, of all the interesting decorations that IKEA sells, they did not seem to have a tree skirt on their website. I would offer this up as an idea - purchase a throw blanket and drape it around the bottom of your tree.
Felicia Throw - at $14.99, a good option for a DIY tree skirt!

Finally, you might head for a fabric store and create your own tree skirt. I know, I know, is this going to involve sewing?? The answer is not necessarily. The first option would be to take the fabric and cut it into the correct shape and try to use fabric glue or iron-on tape to close up the ends. The second option is just to creatively drape the fabric so that the ends are folded under and concealed. Since it's not a garment, it doesn't really matter if the ends are unfinished. Some nice red satin or velvet or even a piece of coarsely woven linen?

Fabric samples from Designer Fabrics

I once had a full-length, red satin bridesmaid's dress shortened to calf length and then used the cut off part as a tree skirt by just folding the cut end under and draping the rest around the base of the tree. For a tree skirt on the cheap, you can always try to see if there is a curtain or sheet or blanket or fabric remnant at your local thrift shop in a desirable color and see if you can use that to cover up the bottom of the tree.

I keep thinking that it's a bit early to set up a Christmas tree, but the live ones seem to be for sale all over town, so I'm wondering whether perhaps it IS time to get going on this? When do you set yours up?

DIY Rating: 7
I hope I have given my shopping-phobic readers a few options here 
both in terms of where to look and how to "Macgyver" something 
themselves using a little creativity!

This is a hard decision and the shopping part can be painful, 
but luckily, whatever you choose should last a number of years!

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