Fabric Life Size Christmas Tree Tutorial

Okay so I am one of those who likes to plan Christmas well in advance. Well this was planned 6 months ago. I don’t like plastic trees and the last 4 years my real trees seem to be practically dead by Christmas. The ones with roots are never big enough and being half Dutch I like to put my tree up in the first week of December, and they just don’t last well enough. So last year whilst making lots of little trees to give as gifts my daughter suggested we make a massive one. What a brilliant idea. I am totally see it made from patchwork too, just not in my house, as I have too many decorations!

Then back at the beginning of the year I stumbled across some green wool fabric for £1 per m, but they only had 4.5m. Luckily I had also been given the other fabric, which when washed turned green, so the tree was born!  This one used about 7 metres of fabric.

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The width of your tree needs to be determined by the width of your fabric. I used a ruler to mark down the centre of the fabric and then drew half a tree on one side. Don’t try to curve the branches as it makes it really tricky to turn inside out. These branches are 10 inches long and 4 inches high. When you are happy with your half a tree, cut it out and fold it in half, so that the other side can be a mirror image. Cut this side and then use this as a template to cut a further 5 trees.

For this project I saved time by using the overcasting stitch. This is not necessary, you could zig zag your fabric first, then stitch, but if you look closely at my stitching you can see it does both at the same time. On my machine this was stitch no 10. Your machine has probably got a similar stitch.

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Place your trees, good side to good side, so that you have three trees made of two pieces of fabric each. Then using the overcasting stitch , sew around the whole tree leaving a large hole at the centre bottom. This is important that it is in the centre as this is where you need to stuff it from.

Then importantly trim the pointed corners flat, without cutting your stitching, and nick the fabric at the inner corners with some scizzors to allow you to turn it inside out, again don’t cut your stitching.

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Once all three trees have been sewn, turn them inside out and press them.  Draw a chalk line down the centre and stack all three trees on top of eachother, before sewing down the centre with a nice strong stitch. Remember when you stitch thick fabrics to lengthen the stitch a bit. Dont worry if your machine cant manage the extra seams at the top and the bottom, you can hand stitch those.

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Stuff the tree evenly, using polyester wadding. I used two double duvets and about 4 cushions in this one! If you ask around you will be surprised how many people have an old duvet lying around.

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Once it is stuffed satisfactorily, stitch up the bottom seams by hand. I used an invisible upholstery stitch for this. You may find that the tree is a bit lumpy, then you need a really long upholstery needle, one like in the picture is fine. You can prod around and redistribute the filling  to make it look really nice.

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Finally you may be wondering how you can hang decorations on your tree. Well if you wanted to, you could sew decorations on, like sequins and buttons, or you could use tiny gold safety pins to attach your decorations. I have used upholstery spiral pins which are mostly used for securing loose covers onto furniture. You would have to order these online. But I can hang anything from these.

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A word of warning, use LED lights only, so you don’t create a fire hazzard with your tree, and make sure the stuffing you use is not too old, so that is is covered by the EU Health and Safety Regulations.


Have fun, let me know if you make one of these, it really does look lovely, even in July!



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