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Try on something new this holiday season with an elegant evergreen Christmas tree dress in your home. This stunning project uses tree trimmings from the Christmas tree to create the skirt over a foundation of chicken wire and a burlap bodice.
Following are two versions of the dress form Christmas tree, both long and short. The full-length version is stunning and will take about four to six hours to complete. The mini version will take between two and four hours to create.
Make the Bodice
Cut a 24 x 43-inch piece of burlap and drape it around the dress form. Fold fabric under one inch from the top and secure with T-pins. Cinch the burlap at the waist. Tools and materials for this dress are in the section above.
Make the Skirt
With the tape, measure around the dress form hips. Using tin snips, cut a piece of chicken wire to this length. (You may want to have a helper to hold the wire while you unroll it.) Fold in the sharp edges of the chicken wire. Shape the chicken wire around the dress form, tying the edges together with pieces of floral wire or zip ties.
Tip: Wear long sleeves, work gloves and protective eyewear when working with chicken wire.
Attach the Greenery
Trim the branches with pruners. You will need longer pieces at the bottom and smaller pieces at the top. Working around the bottom, attach the branches to the chicken wire with zip ties.
Keep working up the dress, selecting branches that will give the desired look. Incorporate different kinds of greenery for a unique design. Every other round, step back from the dress to check the progress and make adjustments.
Tip: Wrap green floral wire around the dress to control the volume for a slender shape.
Trim excess greenery with pruning snips. Finish with embellishments such as lights, ribbon, garland and ornaments.
Decorate and Display
The dress will last a few weeks indoors. When it’s time to break it down, use pruning snips or scissors to cut the zip ties and compost the greenery. The poultry netting frame can be used again, just remove it from the dress form and store it with your Christmas decorations.
Christmas Tree Dress with Short Skirt
Create a different kind of Christmas tree dress with a sassy shorter length. This stylish project will be the talk of your holiday parties and may become your new holiday tradition.
Although it looks complicated, the skills involved are basic. If you can cut poultry netting, burlap and tree branches, and secure them to the dress form, you can make this tree in an afternoon.
The key is having all the materials on hand before you begin. Use fresh greenery for the skirt, from your landscape or from a live Christmas tree. Wrap the bodice with landscaper’s burlap and finish with LED lights, ornaments, a wired ribbon sash and a bead garland necklace.
Gather Materials & Tools
- Dress form
- Poultry netting (chicken wire)
- Live greenery; cypress is shown here. Use evergreen trimmings from fir or cedar Christmas trees, pine, boxwood, magnolia or holly.
- Floral wire
- Cable ties (zip ties)
- Embellishments like bead garland and ribbon
- Christmas ornaments
- LED battery-operated Christmas lights
- Tape measure
- Tin snips
- Garden scissors or bypass pruner
- Gardening gloves
Use the tape measure to get the waist and hip size of the dress form. This will determine the width to trim the poultry netting skirt foundation.
Wear heavy gloves when working with poultry netting. Carefully roll out the netting. Use the tape measure to mark off the hip measurement and cut that length with the tin snips.
Wrap the poultry netting skirt around the dress form and secure with floral wire or cable ties.
Measure & Trim
Measure 19 inches from the waist for a mini skirt. (The dress can be longer, but you’ll need extra greenery, cable ties and embellishments. The project will also take longer to complete.)
Cut the Skirt
Cut around the poultry netting skirt with the tin snips. Discard the excess poultry netting.
Measure & Cut
On a level surface like a table, roll out the burlap. Use the tape measure to mark off 4 feet and trim the length with scissors. This will be the bodice of the dress.
Trim the Branches
Trim greenery into sizes ranging from 12 to 18 inches. Pruning snips like bypass pruners make the job easier.
Build the Skirt
Use cable ties (zip ties) to attach the branches to the poultry netting foundation.
Trim the Skirt Hem
Shear the hemline of the skirt using garden scissors. It’s a good idea to step back and view the dress every few cuts to make sure it’s even.
Wrap the Bodice
Fold the burlap in half lengthwise, for a 1 1/2 x 4-foot rectangle. Center over the back of the shoulders of the dress form and cross over in front. Cinch the waist with a ribbon and bow.
Add Finishing Touches
Weave strands of LED lights through the skirt, securing the battery packs underneath the chicken wire. Embellish with small ornaments and a bead garland necklace.
Have fun with your Christmas tree dress during the holidays. When the holidays are through, remove the accessories and store. Save the burlap, ribbon and poultry netting for next year to make this project again in a snap.
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