Make an Heirloom Christmas Tree Skirt

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Make an Heirloom Christmas Tree Skirt

In December 2004 I was waiting in line to get fabric cut to make a round tree skirt.  I was trying to figure out how much I needed to make it large enough and of course I would have to get enough to make it round and it would need to be hemmed.  Like I said I was waiting in line, it was a long line.  It hit me like a ton of bricks, get out of this line and go get a red, round table cloth.  So that’s exactly what I did.

I picked up some gold paint, gold glitter, and gold paint pen.  Do you see the theme I had in mind?
I was planning on getting the kids to go all along the hem line with their handprints in gold paint, then write their names with the gold paint pen, and put some gold glitter here and there out lining their names. 

By the time I had all of the supplies gathered and the kids happily gathered around the table, the plan changed.  That happens a lot around here.

We slit the table cloth from hem to center, then divided it into 8 “slices” using a yard stick and a red permanent marker so it can barely be seen.  We first planned on 10 years but hubby being the brilliant one that he is, reminded me to keep in mind room for the hands to grow.  So it quickly became 8 sections.  Then we used one area per year to put the handprints on it.

Back in 2004 it may have looked a little bit strange to have just a small section of the skirt decorated.   As the years came and went, and the kids got older the excitement over getting the handprints on the tree skirt grew.  2011 completed our tree skirt.

Wow, eight years of golden handprints and memories in that one table cloth tree skirt.  The kids have decided now that when they are all grown they each get to choose a section of the skirt to sew onto a new one that they will continue with their own kids.

It took us eight years to complete the project and it will someday be a wonderful family heirloom for our kids to share with their kids and grandkids.

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About Debra

Hey Y'all, I'm Debra, Southern but not a Charmer - A little bit opinionated, a little bit stubborn, a little bit strong willed, and a little bit witty. Homemaker & Homeschooler - Enjoys Cooking and Crafting but not Cleaning - Never enough time to do it all - Gotta have Coffee, Chocolate, Good Books, Flipflops, and the occasional Sweet Tea- Runner Wannabe - Finding and claiming balance between healthier options for home and body, but not being a slave to those choices. Lover and Follower of Jesus, it's a relationship not a religion.
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87 Responses to Make an Heirloom Christmas Tree Skirt

  1. First off, the idea of using a round table cloth was brilliant! This is such a fun idea and I love that your kids are planning to incorporate it into their own families later on.

  2. That’s a wonderful idea!! I really like it! I could definitely see doing something like this.

  3. Caroline says:

    What a beautiful idea. We have a collection of all the different decorations our boys have made over the years. It always sparks great laughs and reminiscing when they come out of storage. Christmas is such a magical time but adding a little family nostalgia always helps.

  4. Calvalyn says:

    What an adorable idea! I wish I had this when my kids were younger, but I may start one now just for fun!

  5. Nikki Renee says:

    What a great idea for an heirloom. I have to share this idea with other family members, as they love doing crafty stuff like this.

  6. Katie says:

    What a beautiful and special idea! I know your kids will love having that and then passing it down to generations to come! I sure like the look of your blog! Thanks for posting!

  7. Marissa says:

    What a great idea! It’d be a great gift for parents or grandparents.

  8. Debbie says:

    Wow! What a great idea. I may have to steal this for my son. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Hi Javamama!

    I love things like this – family traditions that get started, are stuck to for years, and then get passed on to the newer generations. It makes it something totally unique to one’s family. It is a special bond, and something that provides a strong sense of security and belonging to something (even if the younger kids don’t know it yet).

    Thank you for the awesome idea, and congrats on having an awesome family 🙂


    • Debra Debra says:

      Oh Alexander, Thank you so much for the sweet comments. You are right the younger ones don’t know yet just how much these traditions will mean to them some day.

  10. Andrea Kruse says:

    I love how that turned out! What a creative and beautiful idea.

  11. A says:

    This is beautiful! Would make an excellent Christmas gift for my grandma from all of her grandkids:)

  12. Great idea. So creative. The question is, couldI remember to do something for 8 years? Ha. Anyway, I will have to try this!

  13. Bonnie says:

    Oh my goodness what a fantastic idea!!! I love this! I am definitely Pinning this for next Christmas!

  14. Marie says:

    This is a wonderful idea! I wish I had read about it when my kids were young. You’ll have a beautiful heirloom to pass on for sure. Thanks for sharing!

  15. June says:

    Love this idea!!! I just might still this. I’m a sucker for handprint art of any kid. PS I have been known to be in that long line at the fabric store and to get my best ideas. Glad I’m not alone.

  16. Lori Hart says:

    This is such a cute idea I think even I can do it, lol. Thanks!

  17. Karen W. says:

    What a great idea! Creative and something you will love for years to come!

    • javamama javamama says:

      Thanks Karen,
      Yes we have done a lot of ornaments and other crafts through the years, but this is the one that will live on. Who knew, I just needed a new tree skirt and this happened. 🙂 Love how things like that happen.

  18. Laine says:

    Wow, great idea. I love it! I started doing Christmas tree frame ornaments with my children’s picture each year, some purchased, some made. They will each then take their ornaments with when as they leave home and move on.

    • javamama javamama says:

      Thanks Laine,
      We also did homemade ornaments every year for the kids to put on the tree. The idea was that they would take them for their first tree. I have two that have moved out, but they didn’t take their ornaments even at my urging them to do so. haha. guess they can’t see them anywhere but on the tree at “home”

  19. What a beautiful idea to do together as a family!

  20. Tanya says:

    What beautiful colors! I love it!!

  21. Lerie says:

    Wow! Beautiful idea and a wonderful tradition. I have a 1 year old and have been trying to get ideas on what kind of family traditions I can start with him and his future siblings.

  22. Pam says:

    I love this idea! What a neat memory and really pretty easy!

  23. Dawn says:

    What a great idea! Both use a round tablecloth as a tree skirt and also with the handprints, that is so cool!

  24. Pam Russo says:

    I love this idea. Not only did you create a family heirloom, you created a Christmas tradition that your family will always cherish.

  25. Julie says:

    Well, glad to hear you didn’t give up on the project and eventually finished it. You’re right, instant family heirloom.

    • javamama javamama says:

      Thanks Julie, we had a lot of fun through the years especially as the kids got a little older and I wasn’t about to panic that they were going to mess it up with the paint each time 🙂

  26. Grady says:

    This is an AWESOME idea — and I love that it’s not super tricky or complicated, since I’m not always great with things like that! I’m seriously considering starting this next year with my stepdaughter! 🙂

    • javamama javamama says:

      You are right, it is not complicated at all. Just takes years to do, but you still enjoy it under the tree each year as you go. It would also be great to do it all in one day instead of years by having a lot of grand children get together and make it for their grand parents.

  27. Katrina says:

    Wow! I never would have thought of that. Too late to do it with my kids but will pass this on so maybe my grandkids could do this. Thanks!

    • javamama javamama says:

      Yes it would be great to do it even with your grandchildren and instead of stretching it out for years you could do it all in one day when the grands are all over.
      We have had several people come to our home through the years and say they are going to do this same thing with their kids or grand kids.

  28. This is such a precious heirloom you’ve created. I love this idea. I wish I had started one of these when my boys were little, but I’m definitely going to start now. 🙂

    • javamama javamama says:

      I’m sure anytime to start would be great.
      I have been thinking of starting over now with a new one including “us” the parents.
      So any age, any time will work.

  29. Betty Bite says:

    This is such a great idea. I have a niece and nephew I would love to have do this. Would make a great Christmas gift for my sister. THank you so much for sharing.

  30. What a lovely idea! It could easily be applied to other aspects of Christmas, as well. Creating a table cloth or even for stockings. I’ve been thinking about it for several years but the time always goes so fast and I never get around to it, but I’ve been wanting to make a unique stocking for each member in our family. I am hoping if I buy the fabric early (maybe in October!), I’ll finally get around to it this year. Thank you for sharing this lovely heirloom craft. It’s only March, but now I’m already looking forward to Christmas again!

    • javamama javamama says:

      Thanks Lalia,
      I also love your idea of a unique stocking for each member of the family. I always seem to be full of ideas for Christmas then Thanksgiving shows up totally unexpected 🙂 and next thing I know it’s Christmas morning and most of my Christmas craft ideas are still stuck in my head. We have been able through the years to get several done, but the best ones are still hiding out between my ears.
      Well, maybe someday 🙂

  31. Debbie says:

    What a special idea! There’s something about handprints that are so endearing. And anything marking the passing of time just grabs the heart! How wonderful for you to look at each Christmas. Thank you!

    • javamama javamama says:

      Thank you and yes, I love the handprints and anything else that shows the kiddos growing up times.
      Bittersweet as it is when the babies are no longer babies but I love the memories and traditions.

  32. Morgan says:

    What a fantastic idea! I can only imagine how special it is to get that out each Christmas. And even more special, is that it will continue to be passed down again and again! I love it!

  33. Diane says:

    This is such a great idea. What wonderful memories wrapped up in that tree skirt! I love how the kids want to continue the tradition. Traditions are so important in families I think. They are part of what holds us together.

    • javamama javamama says:

      Thanks Diane for stopping by. Yes it was a very special time for us, and now even more so when we pull out the tree skirt to use it. I look forward to seeing how the kids use it through the years.

  34. Lana says:

    I wish I knew about this wonderful idea when my children were growing up! But I still have time, because I cannot wait to have grandchildren! Bookmarking this blog and sending the link to all my friends who have small children! Thank you!

  35. Jeryl M. says:

    What a great idea! Unfortunately, we don’t celebrate Christmas, however, so we will not be able to make a similar project.

    • javamama javamama says:

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m sure you have many other ways to make memories with your family. Of course every family is unique and does things differently.

  36. Morena says:

    What a great idea! Would be a super gift for grandparents, too.

    • javamama javamama says:

      Oh yes, Morena, it would be a great idea for grandparents. I hadn’t thought of that. It would be great for families that live miles apart to use one of the times that all the little cousins are together to do that for the grands.

  37. Jess says:

    I love this idea and have never seen anything like it. We may be doing this in the near future seeing as my kids are still very young. Thanks for sharing!

  38. Jebbica says:

    Pretty! Looks like a fun project…I’ll have to pin it and look at it again around October!

    Whereabouts in NC are you? I just moved there a couple of years ago from GA to the Greensboro/Winston/High Point area. It’s so nice!

    • javamama javamama says:

      Thanks for stopping by. Yes it was a fun project that we love to look at under the tree now that it’s all done. Also one that the kids loved doing through the years.
      Welcome to NC. I’m glad you like it. We live right outside of Raleigh.

  39. Glenda Cates says:

    WOW, I wish I had thought about this when my son was younger but even at 7 it will still give me time to create a wonderful memory and so this year once Christmas arrives we will have a new project to do. So thank you for sharing it with us.

  40. Jozi says:

    Brilliant idea.

    I would love to do this on a tablecloth with my kids.

  41. Benita says:

    What an interesting and creative idea! You’ve given me something to think on for my mom for Christmas this year. She’s been needing a new tree skirt!

  42. Heather M says:

    I love this. It is such a great idea and something to enjoy each year.

  43. Jamie says:

    What a great idea!! Something like that could hold memories forever, I love it!

    • javamama javamama says:

      Thanks Jamie
      Yes, it is all about the memories and traditions with us.
      I am excited to see how my kids use it with the next generation.
      It will be a keepsake for the kids, grandkids, and beyond.

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