Poppin' My Christmas Collar
Our first family tradition of the Christmas season is buying our tree.
We always go pick out our tree on Black Friday. It is our only Black Friday purchase. (Seriously!)
This year was no different. We went to our local Farm and Garden Center and picked out our favorite Fraser Fir to take home. Much like Clark Griswold, we thought we’d found the perfect tree.
While we were still on the lot, we noticed that there were some branches close to the bottom of the tree. We asked the lot attendant to remove them, which he did, and we took the tree home without a second thought. It wasn’t until we got home, however, that we noticed just how bare the trunk was. There were at least six inches of bare trunk between where the branches had been removed and the next row of branches. Oops!!!
Whoopsie Daisy! Looking a little bare on the bottom...
You may have noticed that our tree stand is different than the typical model found in stores. It’s a Stand Strait Christmas tree stand. Basically, this means that the trunk of our tree is pre-drilled with a hole in the middle, so that it can go in this stand. But that also means that the trunk cannot be shortened at all or it will not sit in the stand correctly. (D’oh!)
For this year’s tree, we were just going to need to figure out how to hide the trunk. Simple as that!
My first thought was a tree collar. They’re all the rage right now, so I knew I could find one. What I didn’t realize was how expensive they are! The cheapest (decent looking one) I could find was $50.
I’m sure there are several someones out there willing to drop $70 on the galvanized one that Crate & Barrel is selling. But I will decline that type of purchase – especially if I’m not sure I’m going to use it every year.
Pretty sure C&B stole Emmett Otter's instrument to make their collar. Tee hee!
So … what did I do instead? You guessed it! Went with Plan B and decided to craft one myself.
And the best part?!? It cost me $5.
5 BUCKS! (Plus some scrap fleece I had on-hand.)
For those not in the know just yet, let’s take a moment and back up – what, you may be asking, is a tree collar? And how does it differ than the tried and true tree skirt of days past?
The collar is a simple but elegant way to hide your tree stand while tidying up some of the lower portion of the tree. And since you don’t have a skirt spread out below the tree, it makes for a cleaner, sleeker look – whether for a small apartment or office space, you don’t want a place for animal hair to collect, or just because you don’t want to keep fighting your vacuum when trying to suck up the dried needles over the next few weeks.
And, as I said, the Christmas tree collar is on trend right now, with seemingly every news outlet telling you to “ditch the skirt” and upgrade your look.
Ladies! This was super easy to make and looks fantastic.
Like something out of a store showroom, right?
If you want to make a collar of your own this year, here’s what you’ll need:
A round (cheap!) laundry basket – I got mine from Dollar Tree
1 yard of fabric – mine is a precut panel that I got from Walmart for $3.87
A glue gun (be sure you have plenty of extra sticks of glue at the ready, so you can knock this all out in one sitting!)
Heavy duty scissors or wire cutters
2 yards of fabric for a bottom skirt (optional)
The "How To"
1. Cut up one side of the basket. Be careful!!! The plastic will chip off a bit at the thicker parts. (That’s OK.) Just watch out for small pieces and sharp edges – you may need to wear some gloves to protect your digits.
2. Cut out the bottom of the basket. You now have an open bottom basket with an opening at one side.
3. Put the basket at the bottom of your tree to decide what height you need and if you need to open the side slit up any more. (The basket will be placed upside down, with the open bottom pointing up.) Make adjustments as needed, keeping the original basket lip in tact.
*Note: Mine needed to be shortened about 3 inches and the side slit (opening width) increased by about 2 inches.
4. Lay out your fabric and cut it a few inches larger than the height of the basket.
5. Start by gluing the bottom of the fabric to the bottom edge (what used to be the top of the basket). Make sure to wrap the fabric underneath the lip so it completely covers those plastic edges sticking out!
*Pro tip: Because the basket is round and the fabric is not, you will need to add a small piece to the end to make the fabric long enough.
6. Once the bottom is completely attached, arrange the fabric neatly around the outside. You will probably have to add some pleats to the fabric to make it look neat. Then, fold over the extra fabric over the top edge and glue it in place.
Your tree collar is done. Whoo hoo!
7. Wrap it around the base of your tree and celebrate a job well done!
*Note: If your tree/stand is a bit like mine with a large space left below the collar, you can add a blanket or tree skirt to the floor around the collar. (I used some extra plaid fleece I had leftover from last year.)
It's like a soft, snuggly scarf around your neck on a cold winter night.
Be sure to post your tree collars on our Facebook page!