Christmas Countdown: 12

Here’s a great craft for the whole family! It’s from and you can visit the link above for helpful illustrations and extra tips.

Family Tree Skirt

  • 60-inch square of red stretch velvet (1 2/3 yards of 60-inch-wide fabric)
  • Black fabric marker
  • Yardstick
  • Scissors
  • Mug
  • Tacky glue or thick fabric glue
  • 5 ½ yards of fancy gold trim
  • Gold acrylic craft paint
  • Paper plate
  • Paintbrush
  • Gold glitter paint in a squeeze bottle
  • White felt


  1. Find the center of the fabric square: Fold the fabric in half horizontally, right side in, and then in half vertically (thereby folding it into quarters). Mark the center of the square — the corner of the fold — with the marker.
  2. Cut a circle from the fabric: Place one end of the yardstick on the center dot, measure out 30 inches, and mark another dot. Do this every 3 to 4 inches to create an arc. Cut the fabric along this dotted line (you may not be able to cut through all four layers at once). Unfold the fabric; you should now have a 60-inch circle.
  3. Make an opening for the tree stand: Open up the fabric, place a mug (ours was 5 inches in diameter) over the center dot, and trace around it. Cut in a straight line from the edge of the tree skirt to the center dot, then cut out the mug-size circle.
  4. Hem the edges: Lay the fabric right-side down. Squeeze a 12-inch line of glue along the outer edge of the tree skirt. Fold over a ½-inch hem and press it down to secure. Continue gluing 12-inch segments until you’ve hemmed the entire skirt, then use the same technique to hem the center circle and the straight-cut line. Let the glue dry.
  5. Trim the skirt: 12 inches at a time, glue the fancy gold trim around the edge of the tree skirt, about 2½ inches in. Let the glue dry.
  6. Make the handprints: Pour a shallow pool of gold acrylic craft paint on the paper plate. One at a time, have each child press her palm into the paint so it’s coated, then have her press it down firmly and evenly on the skirt. Advise her not to wiggle her hand on the skirt and to lift it straight up when she is done (it can be helpful to practice on paper first).
  7. Do any touch-up: If the prints are uneven, you can fill in thin spots with a paintbrush and some gold paint. Or you can completely paint over the handprint with gold glitter paint, as shown here.
  8. Add the names: Have each child use the squeeze bottle of paint to write her name next to her handprint (you’ll have to write for the little ones). Again, practicing on paper can be helpful.
  9. Add the date: Cut an ornament shape from the felt, use the squeeze bottle of paint to add decorations and the date, and let it dry. Glue the ornament onto the skirt, near the most recent handprints.
  10. Dress up your tree: Place the center hole around the tree stand and arrange the skirt around the base

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