How to Make Fabric Christmas Trees: Free Sewing Tutorial

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Decorate your home with fabric Christmas trees that you made using scraps and squares of fabric! This easy tutorial makes beautiful pine trees that are chic and elegant for winter and Christmas decor. You can even choose the shape of your tree – smaller at the top and larger at the bottom, or slender and one size all the way up.

This free tutorial is for fabric lovers. You will need squares of fabric that can be from 3” up to 12,” depending on the size of tree you want to make. You’ll also use fusible fleece stabilizer to help your trees stand up 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, ribbon, stuffing, or a hot glue gun, lol.

This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s 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! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The Optimized for Printing PDF pattern for $3 is optional. Did you know you can get ALL the Optimized for Printing PDF files organized in a library to access anytime you want? Check it out.

These folded-fabric Christmas trees go perfectly with folded-fabric Scandinavian Stars!

The trees in the photo above are all made with squares of fabric in 1-inch graduating sizes. To give you ideas:

  • The largest tree was made with squares that were 12”, 11, and 10”.
  • The light turquoise tree was made with squares that were 10”, 9”, and 8”.
  • The smallest tree was made with squares that were 5”, 4”, and 3”.

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

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

For more fun projects like this, check out all my free sewing patterns.

Christmas Tree Finished Dimensions

The finished height of your tree will be approximately 1/2” – 1” taller than the size of the square that 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, cotton-linen blend fabric, or lightweight cotton canvas. All of these fabrics are easy to sew with and available in so many beautiful patterns.

This pattern is very scrap friendly because you can use fabric squares as small as 3”. Five inch charm squares work beautifully, as do ten inch layer cake squares of fabric. Of course, left over fat quarters work great too.

The lining fabric of your tree might peek out at the edges but that’s all, so you can use some unloved fabric that coordinates or is a similar color to the fabrics that is the on the outside of the tree.

Any kind of thread that you can use on your sewing machine will work great. I used cotton thread on most of my trees, but polyester thread is fine too, and embroidery thread will had some extra shine.

What stabilizer will I need?

Fusible fleece interfacing is recommended for this project to give make the trees sturdy enough to stand up on their own. I used HeatnBond fusible fleece. Other brands of fusible fleece like Pellon and Bosal will work wonderfully as well.

I experimented with making these trees without interfacing and with medium weight woven interfacing (Pellon SF101) and they were a bit floppy. If you don’t have fusible fleece available and you want to go without it, I suggest only making small trees using 3-5” squares of fabric.

So let’s get started making beautiful fabric Christmas trees!

Materials

You will need:
  • Fabric or fabric scraps for the tree exterior
  • Fabric or fabric scraps for the lining (any fabric that coordinates or is similar in color to the fabric for the exterior)
  • Thread
  • Fusible fleece interfacing (such as HeatnBond Fusible Fleece or Pellon 987F)
  • Cutting tools: scissors, rotary cutter, acrylic ruler, and cutting mat
  • Sewing pins
  • A fabric marking pen (Frixion roller ball pens suggested)
  • A sewing machine and sewing machine needle (size 90/14 suggested)
  • Chopstick or turning tool

Cutting:

1. From cotton fabric for the tree exterior, cut 3 squares. Your squares may be in 1” graduating sizes for a tree that is larger at the bottom, or all the same size.

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

2. Cut 3 squares of lining fabric that are the same dimensions as the exterior fabric squares.

3. From fusible fleece interfacing, cut three squares that are each 1/2” smaller than your fabric squares.

In the example shown, my fusible fleece squares are 9 1/2”, 8 1/2”, and 7 1/2

Fuse Interfacing to the Exterior Fabric Pieces

1. Fuse the interfacing squares to the center of the exterior fabric squares on the wrong side.

Tips for fusible fleece interfacing: Sometimes, fusible fleece interfacing can shrink when you apply it, making wrinkles on the right side of your fabric that are hard to press out. To prevent this, first press your fabric pieces with steam. Then pre-shrink the interfacing pieces by pressing them glue-side down with steam against a piece of pressing paper, wax paper, or a silicone pressing mat (something they will not adhere to). Now, both of your pieces are pre-shrunk and unlikely to make 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 at 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 at all of the corners.

3. Trim away 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 out the corners.

5. Press each square flat. You do not need to close the opening. Just make sure that the cut edges are pressed neatly.

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

Press and Sew the Squares

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

2. Now fold the square in half to make a rectangle. Using a fabric marking pen (preferably one that is heat-erasable), draw a vertical line in the center of the rectangle.

Repeat Steps 1-2 to fold, press, and mark all 3 of your fabric squares.

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

On medium and small squares, begin sewing at the folded edge and then only sew about 2/3 of the way down. If you are unsure about how far down to sew, do not backstitch. That way, you can remove a few of the stitches if needed.

4. Now it’s time to re-fold the tree pieces along the diagonal lines and press again.

Fold each tree along the previously pressed diagonal lines so that the stitching does not show. Press again.

Fold the flaps back the other way, this time with the stitching showing on both sides. Press well. Repeat for all three tree pieces.

Assemble Your Fabric Christmas Trees

1. Lay the pieces on your workspace with the stitching side up. Insert the medium-sized or middle tree piece inside the un-stitched opening at the bottom of the top tree piece.

Nest the flaps together so that they will be underneath one another when you stand the tree up.

2. Sew a line of stitching that connects the sewing on the top piece with the sewing on the middle piece. Backstitch at the start and end of your line of stitching.

3. Insert the large-sized or bottom tree piece inside the un-stitched opening at the bottom of the middle tree piece. Nest the flaps together.

4. Sew a line of stitching that connects the sewing on the middle piece with the sewing on the bottom piece. Backstitch at the start and end of your line of stitching.

5. Open out the flaps and press again if necessary to make your tree stand up. Don’t you love it?

Now sew an entire forest to go on your holiday table, around your nativity, or along your bookshelves.

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

Are you looking for more fast and easy Christmas sewing patterns? Check out:

Or see 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 those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂