How to Make Fabric Christmas Trees: Free Sewing Tutorial

Decorate your home with fabric Christmas trees that you have made from fabric scraps and squares! This simple tutorial makes beautiful, chic and elegant pine trees for winter and Christmas decoration. You can even choose the shape of your tree: smaller at the top and taller at the bottom, or slender and one size across the entire height.

This free tutorial is for fabric lovers. You will need fabric squares that can measure anywhere from 3 to 12 inches, depending on the size of the tree you want to make. You'll also use an iron-on fleece stabilizer to help your trees stand upright and give them that classic tree shape.

These beautiful trees also make thoughtful gifts, especially if your friends don't sew. Unlike other fabric Christmas tree tutorials, you do not need a drill, wood slices, wooden dowels, tape, stuffing or a hot glue gun, lol.

This blog post has been converted to optional PDF optimized for printing. Find it here. The free folded fabric Christmas tree pattern is included in the blog post below and is free to read, print, and sew! Simply press CTRL+P on your computer to print. The print-optimized PDF template for $3 is optional. Did you know that you can organize ALL print-optimized PDF files into one library and access them at any time? Check it out.

These folded fabric Christmas trees pair perfectly with the Scandinavian folded fabric stars!

The trees pictured above are all made with fabric squares in graduated 1 inch sizes. To give you ideas:

  • The largest tree was made from 12″, 11 and 10″ squares.
  • The light turquoise tree was made with 10″, 9″ and 8″ squares.
  • The smaller tree was made from 5″, 4″ and 3″ squares.

This small fabric Christmas tree is an example of what your tree will look like if you use squares of the same size. For this one I used 3 inch squares of fabric.

I suggest topstitching around the edges of the trees, before they are trees so it's easy! You can use classic straight stitch topstitching or play with your sewing machine's decorative stitches for a special touch.

Finished dimensions of the Christmas tree

The finished height of your tree will be approximately 1/2″ to 1″ taller than the size of the square you choose for the base of your tree. They are so easy to make that I know you will end up with an enchanted forest like mine.

Tips for Choosing Fabric and Thread

This project works best with cotton quilting fabric, but you can also use linen, a cotton-linen blend fabric, or a lightweight cotton canvas. All of these fabrics are easy to sew and available in many beautiful patterns.

This pattern is very user friendly because you can use fabric squares as small as 3″. Five inch charm squares work wonderfully, as do ten inch layered fabric squares. Of course, scraps of grease work also very good.

The lining fabric on your tree may peek out at the edges, but that's it, so you can use an unloved fabric that coordinates or is a similar color to the fabrics that are on the outside of the tree .

Any type of thread you can use on your sewing machine will work great. I used cotton thread on most of my trees, but polyester thread works too and embroidery floss will have a bit more shine.

What stabilizer do I need?

An iron-on fleece interfacing is recommended for this project to make the trees strong enough to stand on their own. I used HeatnBond iron-on fleece. Other brands of iron-on fleece like Pellon and Bosal will also work wonderfully.

I experimented with making these trees without canvas and with medium weight woven canvas (Pellon SF101) and they were a bit floppy. If you don't have iron-on fleece available and want to do without it, I suggest making only small trees using 3-5 inch squares of fabric.

So let's start making beautiful fabric Christmas trees!

Materials

You will need:
  • Fabric or fabric scraps for the outside of the tree
  • Fabric or fabric scraps for lining (any fabric color coordinated or similar to the fabric on the exterior)
  • Thread
  • Iron-on fleece interface (such as HeatnBond Fuse Fleece or Pellon 987F)
  • Cutting tools: scissors, rotary cutter, acrylic ruler and cutting mat
  • Sewing pins
  • A fabric marker pen (Frixion rollerball pens suggested)
  • A sewing machine and a sewing machine needle (90/14 size suggested)
  • Wand or turning tool

Cut:

1. From the cotton fabric for the outside of the tree, cut 3 squares. Your squares can be 1″ graduated sizes for a larger tree at the bottom, or all the same size.

In the example in these step-by-step photos, my fabric squares are 10″, 9″ and 8″.

2. Cut 3 squares of lining fabric with the same dimensions as the outer fabric squares.

3. From the iron-on fleece interfacing, cut three squares each 1/2″ smaller than your fabric squares.

In the example shown, my iron-on fleece squares measure 9 1/2″, 8 1/2″, and 7 1/2″.

Fuse interface with outer fabric parts

1. Merge the interfacing squares to the center of the outer fabric squares on the wrong side.

Iron-on fleece interfacing tips: Sometimes iron-on fleece interfacing can shrink as you apply it, creating wrinkles on the right side of your fabric that are difficult to remove. To avoid this, press your fabric pieces with steam first. Next, pre-shrink the interface pieces by pressing them with steam, glue side down, against a piece of pressed paper, wax paper or a silicone pressing mat (something they won't adhere to). Now both of your pieces are pre-shrunk and unlikely to get those wrinkles!

Sew the exterior and lining of the trees together

Use a 1/4″ seam allowance.

1. Place the tree exterior and lining pieces right sides together and pin the corners.

2. Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew all the way around each square. You do not need to leave an opening for turning. Pivot with your needle down in all corners.

3. Cut off the extra fabric at the corners.

4. Cut an opening in the lining fabric of the squares that is long enough to turn the tree right side out, but no longer.

5. Turn each square right side out through the opening. Use a chopstick or turning tool to gently push back the corners.

5. Press each square flat. You don't need to close the opening. Just make sure the cut edges are pressed well.

6. Topstitch around each square close to the edge for a neat finish. In this example, I'm using straight stitch topstitching, but this is the perfect opportunity to play around with your decorative stitches or use hand stitching for a pretty finish.

Press and sew the squares

1. Fold a square in half diagonally and press the fold firmly. Then fold it in half diagonally in the other direction and press. Try not to remove press marks in the first direction.

2. Now fold the square in half to form a rectangle. Using a fabric marker (preferably heat eraseable), draw a vertical line down the center of the rectangle.

Repeat steps 1 and 2 to fold, press and mark the 3 fabric squares.

3. Start sewing on the folded edge of each rectangle. On the larger square, sew along the entire line drawn from top to bottom then backstitch.

On medium and small squares, start sewing at the folded edge, then sew only about 2/3 of the length. If you are unsure of the height to sew, do not backstitch. This way you can remove a few points if necessary.

4. Now it's time to fold the tree pieces back along the diagonal lines and press again.

Fold each tree along the previously pressed diagonal lines so that the seams are not visible. Press again.

Fold the flaps the other way, this time with the seams visible on both sides. Press well. Repeat for the three tree pieces.

Assemble your fabric Christmas trees

1. Lay the pieces on your workspace with the seam side up. Insert the medium or intermediate sized shaft piece inside the unsewn opening at the bottom of the top shaft piece.

Snap the flaps together so they are underneath each other when you stand the tree up.

2. Sew a seam line that connects the seam of the top piece to that of the center piece. Backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitching line.

3. Insert the large or smaller shaft piece inside the unstitched opening at the bottom of the middle shaft piece. Snap the flaps together.

4. Sew a seam line that connects the seam of the center piece to that of the bottom piece. Backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitching line.

5. Open the flaps and press again if necessary to secure your tree. You do not like him ?

Now sew an entire forest to place on your party table, around your nursery or along your shelves.

As always, I love seeing what you make with my tutorials. Please post a photo on Instagram and tag me @sewcanshe or #sewcanshe so I can see!

Looking for quicker and easier Christmas sewing patterns? Check:

Or check out my collection of 24 DIY Christmas sewing patterns.

Happy sewing,

Caroline

Disclosure: Some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of these links, I may receive a small commission, so please support SewCanShe when you shop! All opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂




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