Looking for something rustic for a Christmas tree skirt

Going outside the box this year for various reasons and will be making an alternative Christmas tree (aka Festivus bush) from tree branches. I'll anchor three lengthy birch tree branches (obtained 4 free from local tree-trimmer) within a 12-inch-tall terra-cotta flue pipe, attach white LED lights to main stems with green twist-ties, and hang light-weight ornaments and other meaningful found objects from the branches. Suggestions needed for something totally rustic with which to skirt the "tree" and cover the upright flue-pipe holder -- e.g., burlap? brown paper? off-white fabric? or ?????

All suggestions welcomed -- thanks in advance!
  9 answers
  • Haysha S. Haysha S. on Dec 15, 2016
    I love the burlap Idea. Maybe a grain-sack?

    • AJ AJ on Dec 15, 2016
      Haysha, thank you for confirming my original idea re: the burlap wrap and your suggestion of grain sack(s) in lieu of store-bought burlap. Will explore possibilities at local grain and feed stores in next few days and see what turns up. If all else fails, will head to local craft stores (Michaels, JoAnne's, Craft Warehouse) for inexpensive light-weight burlap (that could be repurposed after the holiday for other DYI stuff I have in mind).

  • Mirrigan Dennis Mirrigan Dennis on Dec 15, 2016
    Can you get pine cones paint them in xmas colours and stick them to flu pipe with hot glue

    • See 1 previous
    • Mirrigan Dennis Mirrigan Dennis on Dec 16, 2016
      wrap burlap around pipe and stick pinecones to burlap maybe

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Dec 15, 2016
    An old laundry basket turned upside down or a old metal bucket turn upside down and the place the tree inside.

    • AJ AJ on Dec 15, 2016
      Thank you, Janet! Am using a terra-cotta flue pipe to contain the branches, once I get them joined together with packing tape. My question was what to use to cover the pipe.

  • Shawna Bailey Shawna Bailey on Dec 15, 2016
    Ha! wouldn't a single pole be more in the festivus spirit? lol.
    You can use a bucket and weigh it down with rocks, you'll need some weight to keep your bush upright.

    • AJ AJ on Dec 15, 2016
      Thanks, Shawna -- but the the terra-cotta flue pipe "anchor" I have in mind will totally work to keep the birch branches upright, once I emplace wind packing tape around all three to keep the "trunk" together and emplace them.

  • Rachel Metz Rachel Metz on Dec 16, 2016
    For a rustic skirt on a client's house I just did, I went to JoAnn's and got a bunch of burlap. I bunched it up and then added these rustic grapevine spheres! Or you can get a basket (wicker or whatever you want) cut out the bottom and slice it down the back to wrap it around for easy access to water. You don't have to cut it but it's an option if you can't lift up the tree. ❤️

  • Mirrigan Dennis Mirrigan Dennis on Dec 16, 2016
    well use the burlap with the pine cones around the bottom of the burlap to stop it getting trodden on or stick cones to the burlap

  • AJ AJ on Dec 17, 2016
    My thanks to all who responded to my original query. Think I've solved the issue with a couple of alternatives (neither one very rustic but definitely in keeping with the current snow-covered landscape here in the southeastern Washington shrub-steppe country):

    * a vintage white mohair stole, 2 ft x 6 ft, rediscovered yesterday in the wardrobe with winter sweaters
    * a package of Snow Drift Christmas Drape (aka "Original Buffalo Snow") measuring 32 in. x 40 in., snagged at a local Big Lots on sale for $1.87 -- :-).

    After the "tree" is assembled, will try out both and then decide which looks best with the background wall (unfinished cedar boards).

    If this insane idea turns out, I may even post a photo or two as a postscript to my query.

    Thanks to all again for your suggestions!!

  • Candy Walsh Candy Walsh on Dec 29, 2016
    I know Christmas is past, but I like a plaid blanket in Christmasy colors bunched up around the bottom.

    • AJ AJ on Dec 29, 2016
      Candy, thanks so much for posting your idea. I love plaids and likely will use your suggestion for Christmas 2017. Alas, family medical issues this season precluded even setting up my birch branches as planned, much less decorating the installation. Now that issues are resolved, will just emplace the branches as a "tree" in in my high-ceiling living room and be ready to go next holiday season. Best wishes to you for a positive new year!

  • Candy Walsh Candy Walsh on Dec 29, 2016
    Thank you and to you as well! I pray that 2017 starts off better and healthier than 2016 ended for you. But I can completely understand:)

    • AJ AJ on Dec 30, 2016
      Heartfelt thanks to you, Candy, for your upbeat message! Heading into 2017, hoping for the best for us all . . . .