A Simple Tree Skirt Alternative

It’s not yet Thanksgiving, but this Sunday, we put up our Christmas tree! Considering that we almost skipped the tradition entirely last year, this makes it the first time we’ve done so before slicing into turkey. (Also a first? Holiday music in November. I’ll take it!) Although it’s the earliest we’ve been on the Christmas ball, we wanted to share our tree’s newest addition before the long weekend – for those of you that are equally weird about tree skirts.

What, just us?

We’ve donated every tree skirt we’ve ever bought together. In a four pet household, skirts have always been overly fussy. Messy. Hair magnets and kitty toys. That’s not to say all skirts are bad (some are quite cute!); they’re just not for us. Most years, we’ve left the chintzy aluminum stand to our artificial tree to be free, which while not good, has always been less obtrusive than a kitschy skirt and less time consuming than re-fluffing and re-centering a so-so loop of fabric.

This year, I did a quick search for an alternative to the skirt. Something with clean lines, like a bucket? Or a basket? Yes, yes, a basket!

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You can most definitely purchase a tree basket online (and maybe in stores, although we’ve never seen them out in the wild), but there were two things holding us back: ONE) price and TWO) time. With a booked up guest room and friends in town for the upcoming weekend, we just wanted to get it done!

I found this super, super easy tutorial, and after showing Scott, we decided to give it a go. Since larger baskets can really add up, Scott suggested we stop at a local produce market (Stanley’s, for those in Chicago) to see if they had any round fruit crates we could purchase, but we were surprised to find a large collection of baskets lining the refrigerator section! Ours is not quite 2′ wide at the mouth and cost $15.

I used a pair of wire snippers to cut the handles loose, making sure to only snip the reeds that were holding them in place:

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My inspiration tutorial suggests removing the entire bottom of the basket, but because our tree is fake (and therefore, not as full as a real tree can be), I only removed the small section in the middle for our pole to fit through:

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For extra credit, Scott suggested I use our touch-up stain pen to coat the raw weave, although a tan marker or brown sharpie could work just as well!

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We had to modify our tree’s base just a bit for it to fit within the confines of the basket (the basket wasn’t quite wide enough by a few inches), but Scott quickly scrounged up scrap wood and used our hole saw to keep things nice and sturdy; this will be different for everyone.

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We love a simple DIY – especially one that clocks in well under $20! – and we loved the basket as-is. Of course it could always be painted, trimmed or pom-pom-ed, but this year, the no frills look feels good.

Aside from the basket, our tree is the same as it has been, year after year. Nothing new or inventive was done, and that’s okay! It makes the holidays that much easier, don’t you think? We kept up our own tradition of reminiscing on the stories behind each ornament, we sang along to our growing Christmas playlist, and we watched Elf. It was a slow-down-day that was so, so needed, and it felt good.

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For all of you celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday, we wish you a happy one! We’ll be in Chicago as always, baking desserts, dining with friends and taking in the displays downtown. We have a fun, affordable gift round-up to kick off next week, but for the early bird shoppers, we encourage you to support Small Business Saturday this coming weekend!

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  • Ilse - November 25, 2014 - 8:01 AM

    Simple but charming. Love it!ReplyCancel

  • Laura @ Rather Square - November 25, 2014 - 8:46 AM

    Nice! And the natural look evokes a tree stump, so it looks really outdoors (without all the watering/needles/upkeep). Happy Thanksgiving!ReplyCancel

  • Magdalena - November 25, 2014 - 9:01 AM

    I love this idea! So natural and beauty look. Thhanks for it :)ReplyCancel

  • Lorie Smith - November 25, 2014 - 9:04 AM

    WOW…this looks wonderful!ReplyCancel

  • AnnMarie - November 25, 2014 - 9:39 AM

    I like it. I’ve never heard of a tree basket before this, but what a great idea for families with pets and/or small children. I have none of those (and also no Christmas tree – ah, the days of singlehood renting a small house with roommates…), but I still like the look of it. Your tree may not be a “Pinterest-worthy” marvel of Christmas tree decorating (I’m Pinning it, though!), but I much prefer trees with meaning and memories. ^_^ReplyCancel

    • Kim - November 25, 2014 - 9:47 AM

      Thank you! My college roommate(s) and I always put up a tree – just go for it!

      And thank you about the tree comment. It’s so easy to get caught up in making a new inventive tree every year (especially when sharing it on the blog), but it’s just not something we’ve ever really done. A tree full of our childhood ornaments and those we’ve collected together as a couple are just right. Perhaps next year I’ll finally get a WHITE tree and put it in the studio (Scott loathes a white tree!).ReplyCancel

  • Jaime - November 25, 2014 - 11:04 AM

    I LOVE it! What a great idea! I was just looking at buying one of those tree rings in the Crate and Barrel catalog ($50-$60 a pop!!!) which we totally can’t afford but I just LOATHE the skirt! Now, I am going to swing by HomeGoods to pick up a basket and make it myself. Thanks for the inspiration. :)ReplyCancel

  • Emily R - November 25, 2014 - 1:05 PM

    Let me have Thanksgiving first! I can’t take this earlier and earlier Christmas.ReplyCancel

  • susan - November 25, 2014 - 1:43 PM

    I love your slim tree! Do you remember the brand/style or where you got it? The basket looks great; very natural looking like Laura mentioned.

    Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - November 25, 2014 - 1:46 PM

      Oh, man. We’ve had it for years, and as you can imagine, it was perfect for our smaller condo! We purchased it at Menard’s, but we no longer have the box for the brand or style. Sorry about that!ReplyCancel

  • Ellen - November 25, 2014 - 2:26 PM

    Yes! I will be basket shopping this weekend! Great idea…I’m done with tree skirts, too.ReplyCancel

  • Devon - November 26, 2014 - 1:26 PM

    Where did you move the grey chair too? Just wondering xxReplyCancel

    • Kim - November 26, 2014 - 1:36 PM

      Ah, yes! We moved it into the green nook room, since it’s currently chair-less.ReplyCancel

  • Marcia Stemwedel - December 2, 2014 - 2:46 PM

    I really like this! It is so simple & stylish. We have a cat that also always rearranges our tree skirt. But besides that I have always not really liked the look of a tree skirt, even the non-fussy ones. But I never thought to search out an alternative. Thanks!ReplyCancel

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