Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Very Burlap Christmas or How to Make Stockings and Tree Skirts

***Hello to everyone stopping by from Pinterest! Hopefully my crappy tutorial isn't too confusing, and if you end up making any of this stuff, I would love to see pictures and feature you! Just email me at laurabutler10(at)gmail(dot)com.***

This is a story about burlap. This is also a story about Pinterest. This is also a story about a girl who bought way too many burlap sacks for a wreath making night with friends and ended up with a giant pile of it left, and wants to hate burlap because it's everywhere, but likes it anyway.

This is also a story about how Mike and I wanted a fake Christmas tree (don't hate, real ones are messy and they make me allergic) but waited until the after Christmas sales last year to buy one, so even though this is our second Christmas married, it is our first with a tree. And let's face it, if you don't have a tree, you aren't super motivated to decorate for Christmas, so we are kind of starting from scratch.

The main items we were in need of were a Christmas stockings and a tree skirt. At my parent's house, we have these amazing Christmas stockings that my grandma and mom have knitted over the years. Look how hilarious and amazing!

I considered knitting some for Mike and I for our house, but it's a special thing at my parents house, so on to plan B.

I saw this on Pinterest.

Love the burlap. Hate the green stuff. Also, I knew I wanted it lined. I had a bunch of white fabric from when I shortened some Ikea curtains, so I went for it.

What you'll need:
1/2 yard of burlap
1/2 yard white fabric (for lining/cuff)
sewing machine
ribbon for hanging

First, I made a template. I just taped two pieces of paper together and drew the size and shape stocking I wanted. Then I cut out two pieces of burlap and two pieces of white fabric for each stocking. I cut the fabric about 3/4 inch wider than the paper template to give me a nice generous seam allowance.

Also, when you cut the white fabric, or whatever you want to be the lining, cut the top end about 6 inches longer than the burlap like this.

That gave me a good amount to work with so I could have a nice folded edge on top. Now put your fabric in the following order: white, burlap, burlap, white. If your lining fabric has a right and a wrong side, put the bottom layer right side down, and the top layer right side up. The two burlap layers should be right sides together in between the lining layers.

Now onto sewing! I got a new machine from my parents for Christmas because my 12 year old machine wasn't working so well. They gave it to me in October so that I could do some Christmas sewing. Love them.

Anyway, next, I started sewing around the edge through all four layers of fabric. However, I started the stitching about 7 inches from the top of the lining layers. You want to leave at least one inch of burlap at the top that is not sewn. The picture below is a little hard to see, but you can see the white lining at the top, and the top edge of the burlap is right in line with the top edge of my sewing machine. This position is where I began sewing.

Sew all the way down that edge, around the toe, then back up the other side, making sure to stop sewing about an inch before the burlap ends. Turn your stocking right side out, and you have this! Everything is nice and stitched up except the top 7-8 inches.

I sewed up the unfinished sides, this time with the stocking right side out. The toe was facing away from me, and I sewed the sides, making sure to slightly overlap the finished seam so nothing came unraveled. Starting about an inch from where the burlap ends, I sewed towards the top of the stocking. (Please pardon my chippy nail polish. Egads. I wish I could say I removed it right after that, but it was probably on for another week... or two.)

Then I repeated on the other side, and I had this with the top still a raw edge. Hopefully that sort of makes sense. A little?

Now just hem the top edge...

Fold the lining over...

And it's done! You should iron your fabric before you sew. Don't be like me. I hot glued a loop of ribbon inside for hanging, and I also took some glittery letters that I had and glued those on so we would know which one belongs to which person.
The finished stockings are at the end of this marathon post, but first...

Ruffly burlap tree skirt!!!!!!!! No sewing involved!!!!
I saw this on Pinterest, and I thought, "Hey, I have approximately one ton of burlap, why don't I use that to make this?"

Then, a few days before I was going to make it, I saw this on The Johnston's Blog.

It's so cute, and I like how interesting the stripes look. Ashley's tutorial is amazing, so go check it out over there. The one thing I did differently it that I didn't have a tree skirt, so I made a circle out of some scrap fabric, snipped out the middle, and cut up one side to make my own tree skirt base. You can sort of see the ugly fabric getting covered up by beautiful ruffles.

And here she is! She's folded in half. For dramatic effect.

And here are the stockings, temporarily hung by the chimney with very little care.

So glittery. Sorry, Mike.

And here they are, in all their burlap glory. Total cost: $3 worth of burlap. So happy.

Are you ready for Christmas? Have you been crafting your little heart out because Pinterest is an evil temptress? Join the Pinterest Challenge.

PS: It's already Christmas over at Butler Paper + Print! Go check out our Christmas cards!


  1. I LOVE your projects! I did a burlap one as well. :)
    I have to make that tree skirt next!

  2. PS- I just pinned you!
    (Sounds kinda dirty. Sorry!)

  3. The stockings and tree skirt are adorable! I need to make some stockings myself. Pinning! :P

  4. We recently adopt 5 children from Ethiopia so I've been looking for ways to do Christmas on a budget. These stockings will be perfect. I'll make some and send you the picture.

  5. I saw your link on YHL and had to stop by!

    It's so funny - yesterday I saw that same tutorial for the ruffled tree skirt since I want to something similar for our tree, although I won't use burlap because it doesn't fit our Christmas theme this year (think super bright colors, ultra retro), but I have a special place in my heart for burlap. You did a great job!

    I'm even more obsessed with those stockings, though! I love the texture mixed with the red and white. I may have to make my own stockings this year - so many things to do for one's first married Christmas!

    I joined the challenge as well. You can check out my post if you would like here:

  6. I love your ideas and am so happy to see some Christmas inspiration! We have a fake tree too-it's summer over here in Australia so a real tree wouldn't survive at all!

    I have posted some Christmas wreath ideas on my Christmas blog so please pop by if you have a moment. I have also posted about a yummy salad recipe on my main blog (5 Minutes Just for Me) for this pinterest challenge.

    I would be honoured if you could link up your post to my weekly Pinning and Singing Pinterest Linky Party as this post is pinspirational! I have also created a Pinning Bloggers Master List at my blog that you might be interested in joining.

    Best wishes and happy pinning!

  7. This looks amazing! i LOVE that tree skirt, great job!

  8. This is one of my favorite pins on Pinterest. I love how you put your spin on it. Very cute!

  9. Hi I'm totally dying here! I just found your blog and I have been planning on making burlap stockings and a skirt this year so your tutorials are fantastic!

    Can't wait to see your skirt under your tree! Newest follower!


  10. were cracking me up. :) You put your "one ton of burlap" to very good use, I'd say. I love the striped tree skirt! And I used to swear that I'd never, ever stoop to a fake tree, but I agree that they are messy and sort of a pain. That said, my husband will never allow such an impostor in our house...but I think there are a lot of artificial trees that looks absolutely amazing.

    Actually, here's another thought: why not make a tree out of burlap? ;)

  11. Love these the stockings & tree skirt! Thanks for the great tutorial!! = )

  12. I made my stockings using your tutorial. Thank you, thank you. They turned out so cute!
    How do I send you a picture?

    1. Aw, yay! I'm so glad! You an email them to me at! Thanks!

  13. I have a question. I just bought some burlap to make a burlap wreath and I wanted to try the stockings as well, however, when they were cutting the burlap there was burlap everywhere!! Is there a different type you can buy or something you can do to the burlap to prevent the shedding?? Thanks!!

    1. Yeah, it sheds quite a bit when you're working with it, but it seems to be fine once it's sewn or glued down. Good luck!

  14. Your tutorial was so helpful to me! I made a burlap stocking plus more this week, thanks to you. Stop by if you'd like to see pictures.