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How To Make Dorable Tartan Trees From Fabric Scraps

I don’t know if it’s because of the Scottish blood in me, but I do like a bit of tweed and tartan. I’ve used my fabric scraps to make some tweed and tartan trees. This will add a bit of a Celtic theme to my mantle this festive season.

Tweed and tartan are traditional Scottish woven woollen fabrics. You can often pick up bags of offcuts and scraps of the fabric at fabric stores or online. Or even better, you can upcycle fabrics from old tartan and plaid shirts for this tabletop Christmas tree craft.

what you need for tweed and tartan trees

Making upcycled mini Christmas trees are on my Christmas crafting list every year. I made repurposed denim trees a couple of years ago, and last year I made Scandinavian Felt Trees. Now I have acknowledged my family’s Scottish heritage with these tweed and tartan trees.

I’ve exploited the woven nature of tartan cloth in the past to make some fringe cone trees and colourful fabric feathers. For these trees, I’ve chosen scraps in more muted and natural tones.

I’ve always had a thing about tartan and plaid. This time of year, I tend to live in plaid shirts. Worn with jeans, of course! The combination of plaid and denim looks so good together. So I decided to add some denim to these mini trees.

The seams and belt loops of old jeans were upcycled to decorate the base of the tartan trees. The combination of denim and tweed works so well. I made a mini tartan and tweed forest, as creating them was fun.

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What You Need To Make Tweed & Tartan Trees

Christmas tree template

How To Make The Tabletop Fabric Trees

Step 1: First, use the Christmas tree cookie cutter or my template to draw around it on your fabric scrap.

You will need two identical Christmas tree shapes. I fold over the fabric before drawing around the template. When I cut out the shapes, I will get two identical trees.

Drawing around the Christmas cookie cutter shape
Two cut out   shapes

Step 2: Next, pin the two Christmas tree shapes together. You will notice that with most tweed, tartan and plaid fabrics, the fabric looks the same on each side.

Sew the shapes together about 3mm from the edge. I used a sewing machine and a small stitch for this. However, you can sew your trees by hand. The edge of the fabric may fray, but I think this only adds to the look.

Remember to leave a small gap at the bottom for the fiberfill and trunk.

Pinning the  shapes together

Step 3: Next, stuff the trees. Just use a small amount of stuffing to give the trees a 3D shape but not too much. Use a chopstick to push the fiberfill into the points of the tree.

stuffing fabric Christmas tree

Step 4: Add a small twig (about 6cm long) into the hole. Sew the hole shut and tightly around the twig trunk. A small dab of glue between the fabric and the twig may also help keep it in place.

Making tartan trees

Making the Fabric Christmas Tree Base

Step 5: Next, use a wooden thread reel to make the tartan tree’s denim base. Wrap denim seams or belt loops around the centre of the wooden spool. Use a small dab of hot glue to keep the denim in place.

covering thread spool in denim

Step 6: Finally, stick the twig trunk into the hole at the top of the thread spool. Hopefully, it should be a nice, snug fit. If not, use some hot glue to keep the trunk in place.

Upcycled tweed and tartan Christmas tree

I made a few of these tweed and tartan trees in a different upcycled fabric. I will be making some more with an old plaid shirt of mine to add to the collection.

Green tartan Christmas tree
upcycled tweed and tartan trees
upcycled fabric forest

This isn’t the only Scottish-themed decoration I’ve made for my home. I’ve also made a rainbow of painted thistle decorations and tartan Scottie dogs.

I also have used old thread spools to make upcycled Christmas ornaments before. One with a scroll and another one personalized with maps.

I still have some wooden cotton reels left, so I think I might make more personalized map ornaments, but this time with Scottish maps to keep with that Celtic theme.

Christmas cookie cutters are handy as templates for lots of crafts and upcycling; I used this Christmas tree one and some others to make a cute upcycled sweater felt hanging for Christmas.

These trees are featured in the round-up of cool Christmas crafts and DIYs.

Yield: Upcycled fabric tweed and tartan tabletop tree decorations

Tweed and Tartan Trees

Tweed and Tartan Trees

Add a Scottish feel to your fall and Christmas decorations with this upcycled fabric tweed, tartan and plaid tabletop trees.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $5


  • Tweed, tartan fabric scraps or an old plaid shirt.
  • Denim seams or belt loops from old jeans
  • Twigs about 6-7cm long
  • Old wooden thread reel spools
  • Large Christmas tree cookie cutter
  • Fiberfill


  • Hot glue gun
  • Needle and thread
  • Sewing machine (optional)


  1. Using the Christmas tree cookie cutter as a template, draw around it on the fabric scrap.
  2. Cut out 2 identical Christmas tree shape for each tartan tree. Two cut out tree shapes
  3. Pin the Christmas tree fabric shapes together and sew very close to the edge. Leave a whole for the fiberfill
  4. Loosely fill the tree with fiber, poking the stuffing into the corners of the tree.
  5. Stick a twig in the hole in the base of the fabric tree. Sew the hole shut and the stick trunk in place. Making tartan trees
  6. Next, cover the thread spool in denim seams. Use hot-glue to keep them in place. covering thread spool in denim
  7. Finally, stick the trunk of the tartan tree into the hole in the middle of the cotton reel spool.

Visit favecrafts for more recycled craft ideas.

Rachel Harper

Saturday 21st of November 2020

Claire, Thanks for allowing me to share your cute DIY project. My post is live on 11/21 and the link is...

Claire Armstrong

Saturday 21st of November 2020

Thank you, you're welcome. Your post is great.


Friday 13th of November 2020

I think I'll sit by the fire and make a handful of these by hand. They're so cute and I think they'll really make a statement. Thank you for the idea. I love the use of the spools for the trunks.

Claire Armstrong

Saturday 14th of November 2020

Thank you, they are fun to make.

Rachel Harper

Thursday 12th of November 2020

This is such a cute idea. I'm pinning and hope to give it a try. Would you allow me to share on my blog post next Saturday? I'm starting a weekly review and would love to share this cute idea.

Also, be sure to share your posts with us at Charming Homes & Gardens Link Party that begins every Wednesday and runs through Sunday.

Claire Armstrong

Thursday 12th of November 2020

Thank you, yes you are welcome to share it. Send me a link to your post and I'll share it on social media.

Michelle | Thistle Key Lane

Wednesday 11th of November 2020

Hi Claire, I'm so excited to be featuring your darling post this week on the Tuesday Turn About Link Party. Hope to see you there!

Claire Armstrong

Thursday 12th of November 2020

Thank you, that's awesome I look forward to seeing it.

Donna @ Modern on Monticello

Wednesday 11th of November 2020

These are great! I love how simple these are to make in very little time. Thanks for sharing them this week. #HomeMattersParty

Claire Armstrong

Thursday 12th of November 2020

Thank you, yes they are very easy to make.

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