I’m slowly redoing my home with mid-century modern furniture and accessories. So far, the living room and dining room are looking pretty good. I still need more accessories but I can do that slowly so I can get the pieces I really want.
As part of the make-over, I decided I needed to think about changing up my Christmas decorations too. The first thing I thought about was my Christmas tree. After all, the tree is the show piece of everyone’s Christmas decorations.
My first purchase? A silver tinsel tree. That was the iconic tree of the time period. There was no way I could afford a real antique one — mid-century modern is so freaking expensive. I started looking online for a reproduction. Ugh! The ones that look most like the originals are still too way expensive too, even a smaller one that would fit nicely in my apartment. I’m going to have to save up for one of those.
What I did find was an inexpensive one on Amazon, it is no longer available so I can’t provide a link. I also started looking for a tree topper. I knew I wanted one of the atomic looking ones. Again, the real thing was out of my price range. However, I was luckier finding a really great reproduction. I found a great 11 ½ inch starburst on Amazon. I was worried that it wouldn’t look as good as I hoped. However, it is perfect.
Then I got out the ornaments I used last year. While not being particularly MCM, I found they looked just fine. I’ll eventually get new ones but these will work this year.
Finally, the only thing missing was a great tree shirt. I couldn’t find any originals, within or outside my price range. I looked for reproductions but the few I could find still were not within my price range. So I decided to make my own. I started looking for mid-century modern fabric to use. While there is quite a bit of MCM fabric out there, the amount of Christmas fabric is limited. I couldn’t find anything I liked. The piece that kept coming up in all my searches was this piece with birds sitting on a limb with an orange background. I mean, really, orange? For Christmas? I love orange. I love mid-century modern. But I do not love mid-century modern orange Christmas fabric!
So, after doing more research, I decided I would make one out of felt. I knew I was going to be really busy at work, so I went to my old standby (and favorite) retailer, Amazon. I purchased the following materials:
My idea was to make the skirt itself from the red felt and then use the multi-colored swatches to make cutouts of mid-century modern ornaments to place around the skirt. I figured it would take me “no time at all” to have the tree skirt finished and under the tree. Oh boy, was I wrong. Cutting out the skirt turned out to the easiest part of this little endeavor.
First, I measured how far far I wanted the tree skirt to hang. I decided on 12 inches. Then I cut a piece of the red felt that would be large enough for the size I wanted. I folded it in half, half again, and then again until I had a nice little triangle that would make it easy to cut a circle. Using the tape measure, I measured out 12 inches along the edge. I cut along that edge to make the circle. I then cut off the tip of the triangle to make the hole for the tree trunk. I unfolded the circle and trimmed any unevenness in the outer circle so it was nice and round. Finally, I cut from the outer edge to the middle to make the opening so I could put it around the tree. That took all of about 30 minutes.
Then I started working on the ornaments. I did a lot of researched, looking for what ornaments looked like during that time period. Then I tried to cut them out and decorating them freehand…with mixed results. A few turned out okay, the rest looked like total crap. I was really disappointed. So much for thinking it was going to be easy.
So, I started looking for printable ornament patterns. I found a number I really liked and went to print them out.
Aannnddd, my printer decided it wasn’t going to recognize the color ink cartridge. I couldn’t print them out even though I had it set for black only. UGH!!!!!! With Christmas being so close, I really wanted to finish the tree skirt.
So I resigned myself to going to Just using it plain and working on it again after Christmas.
In the meantime, I was also collecting a few other MCM Christmas decorations. I found a couple of felt stockings on Amazon that were kind of cute. When I got them, I thought they were cute, not great, but would be good enough for now. But then I went to Lowe’s, I found some I really wanted. So, I snapped up two at 50% off along with a matching door mat.
I was going to just throw the two felt ones away (I’d only bad $2-3 for them) since the loop was already looking like crap because I used tape to hold them to the front of my TV credenza. But the more I looked at them, the more I thought that I could use the figurines (Santa and a reindeer) on the front for my tree skirt.
I cut out the reindeer, Santa, the candy cane, and the Ho! Ho! Ho!.
I placed those around the tree skirt, as well as the few ornaments I thought were decent.
After gluing everything down. I placed it back under the tree. It looks fairly nice and, overall, I like it.
Is it want I want forever? Definitely not. But it’s cute enough that I now have the time to find the PERFECT tree skirt.