Christmas Tree Stand Cover Using Photo Frames

How to make a photo tree stand Christmas tree collar using picture frames. It is a very easy DIY holiday decorating project that will enhance the rest of your Christmas decorations. It covers the tree stand with favorite family photos that once made will surely be passed on through generations as a cherished family Christmas tradition.

Living room with Christmas tree that has a plaid fabric wrapped frame tree collar around the stand.

When it is time to put up your Christmas tree, do you use a traditional Christmas tree skirt to cover the tree stand?

Simply draping fabric around a tree stand or buying a pre-made tree collar are the most common ways to cover a tree stand.

If you are looking for something a bit more unique, consider making your own one-of-a-kind fabric-wrapped photo frame Christmas tree collar. It is similar to a photo tree stand, but Christmas tree collars wrap around a basic or existing tree stand.

There are many different materials that can be used to make a DIY tree collar from wood, to a Minimal & Modern Metal Tree Collar to a Tree Collar Made from a Wicker Basket.

When you make your own wrap-around-the-stand Christmas photo frame tree collar, you can customize it in many ways that include using holiday themed fabric or fabric that coordinates with your decor.

A nostalgic option would be to place your family’s favorite Christmas photos over the years into each frame.

DIY Christmas tree collar made using plaid fabric wrapped frames.

Making the photo frame tree collar is quite easy. If you can put a photo in a frame and use a heavy duty stapler – you can have this Christmas tree collar or stand cover completed in an hour or two. 

How to Make Your Own DIY Christmas Tree Collar Using Photo Frames

The best frames to use to make your tree’s collar are inexpensive 8″ x 10″ size frames from a dollar store. I used all the same size to make my plaid tree collar, but you can mix and match frame sizes. See this option at the end of the post.

Arrow T50AC on work table along with a box of Arrow staples.

You will also need a stapler like this heavy duty one.

Arrow Fastener offers a full line of manual, electric and cordless versions of staplers rivet tools, hot glue, nailers, grommets, hammer tackers, and its flagship product, the heavy duty T50® stapler which I have used forever.

The stapler has it’s very own easy to reach spot in my studioffice.

To make the tree stand collar, my classic Arrow T-50 would have worked just fine, but since we are entering the holiday gifting season, it was nice to get a new tool that will make my decorating projects easier.

I got a T50AC Professional Electric Stapler and Nailer. I had never used an electric one before, have you?

Using it makes stapling fabric to a wood frame a breeze and much easier on my hand since you don’t have to have a strong hand to set staple after staple. I wish I had this when I worked in retail display and was using a stapler for hours a day.

supplies needed to make a DIY fabric wrapped photo frame Christmas tree collar.

supplies needed:

  • Assortment of frames – I needed 7 – 8″ x 10″ size.
  • Fabric – yardage needed is determined by size of frame and pattern on the fabric. Figure about 1/4 – 3/4 of a yard to cover 2 frames.
  • Corrugated cardboard – craft store or from inside packaging
  • Arrow T50AC Stapler & 5/16″ staples
  • Paper cutter or scissors

Time needed: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Step-By-Step Instructions: How to Make a DIY Christmas Tree Collar Using Frames

  1. Cut Fabric

    Wrapping fabric around frames and pressing with an iron

    If the fabric you are using has a pattern, before cutting it to wrap around a frame, lay the fabric over the frame so the pattern is placed where you want it, I centered the plaid on some of the frames and the plaid pattern off-centered on two.

    Cut fabric larger than frame so that you have enough to wrap around the back to secure.

    Press fabric to remove any wrinkles.

  2. Wrap Fabric Around Frame

    Wrapping fabric around frames

    Place fabric right side down and center frame on top.

  3. Staple Fabric To Frame

    How to staple fabric on a frame to make a tree stand cover

    Starting on one side of the frame, pull fabric up and over edge. Turn raw edge under, and staple.

    Repeat on all sides, pulling the fabric taut and making sure if there is a pattern that you don’t pull it too tight where the pattern may get skewed when viewed from the front.

  4. Finish Each Corner

    Close up photos showing how to staple fabric around the corners of a photo frame.

    To finish the corners on the frame, pull the fabric as shown below and staple. Then bring the fabric over and staple. Repeat the process on each corner of the frame.

  5. Repeat These Steps for Each Frame

    Plaid fabric wrapped around a photo frame that will be made into a wrap around Christmas tree stand.

    Cover each frame and then set aside.

    Depending on the fullness of your tree – you may see the back of the frames that wrap around to the back of the tree. The back of the frames I used are black – this color makes them disappear.

    Option: You can cut a piece of fabric or use card stock in a color that coordinates with your fabric. Cut one of these to the same size as your frame and staple to the back of the frame to secure.

How to Make Cardboard Hinges to Attach the Photo Frames

Since the tree stand cover will be stationary – heavy duty hinges are not required.  I saved time and money with a hinge alternative, making hinges out of corrugated cardboard from packaging. If you have real hinges – go for it, but the cardboard ones work just fine.

Where to Find Corrugated Cardboard


You can buy corrugated cardboard at the craft store:

  • Free Option: To find bits and pieces of corrugated cardboard to make hinges, look at all the packaging that comes with items you buy. For instance, inside cosmetic boxes, china, and other boxes that fragile items come in.
  • Buy It: Corrugated cardboard is sold in two places at the craft store:
    • As scalloped trim in many colors that is used for teachers to decorate bulletin boards.
    • It is also sold in the scrapbook paper aisle where you can buy an 8″ x 11″ sheet.

How to Cut Corrugated Cardboard

1.  Cut the cardboard by placing the corrugated side down on a paper cutter.  If you don’t have a paper cutter, use scissors. Cut each piece to be at least 1″ x 3″ or larger.

How to Assemble Frames to Make The Christmas Tree Collar

DIY Hinges made to put a photo frame Christmas tree stand collar together.

Lay the frames face down on a work surface. Line up the bottoms of each frame. Staple the cardboard – corrugated side down or up (either way will work) to the frames as shown.

Try to get the staple as close to the edge so when the stand is around the tree, you don’t see the hinges where the frames are connected.

Plaid DIY tree collar with Arrow staple gun and staples on the floor nearby.
Living room with Christmas tree that has a plaid fabric wrapped frame tree collar around the stand.

How to Place Tree Collar Around Tree

DIY Christmas tree collar ready to wrap around Christmas tree stand.

To place the cover around the Christmas tree, find the center and place it on the floor in front of the tree. Wrap each end around the tree until the ends meet in the back. Arrange so the cover is symmetrically around the stand.

While it doesn’t matter whether you use a real or artificial Christmas trees, you will want to ensure there is sufficient room under the lowest hanging branches. The height and diameter of your tree may also influence the size and number of the frames you use.

Optional Decorating Ideas For Your Photo Frame Christmas Tree Collar

Picture Frame Christmas Tree Collar DIY

What makes the tree collar unique is that it can also be made without wrapping fabric around the frames.

More ideas showing other creative ways you can make your Christmas DIY tree stand cover:

  • Family Fun:  Put a photo of each family member in each frame with their name written on the frame.
  • For a total glam look: Spray paint the wood-framed mirrors gold.
  • For a vintage look: Use old black and white family photos of past Christmases.
  • Create Magic – Frame or buy frames mirrors at the dollar store to create a tree collar that will reflect and double the tree lights and the amount of presents under the tree. :-)
  • Chalkboard – Frame chalkboard and use chalk or a white paint pen to draw a design on each. Here are two designs to use.
Free-Christmas-Printables Merry and Bright and From Santa XO

Free printable .pdf chalkboard art:  Merry and Bright pdf  and  From Santa .pdf

How to Store the Photo Frame Christmas Tree Stand Cover

When the holidays are over, I loosely fold the frames on top of each other and place them in a box to store.

If you have thick frames, you may not be able to fold them over on each other for storing.

If this is the case, you may have to remove the hinges on one side of each frame so you can stack and store them. The next time you use it, you can simply re-staple them together.

Where to Buy Arrow Staplers

Arrow T50AC Staple gun box, staple gun and storing case.

You can find out more about the Arrow T50AC Professional Electric Stapler and Nailer I used and many other styles that Arrow sells over on their product page.

FAQ’s About DIY Christmas Tree Collars

Are Tree Collars Still in Style?

As you saw with the simple tutorial above, it is easy to create a DIY tree collar. And that makes it easy to ensure your tree collar remains stylish. The possibilities are endless.

How about a metal collar or galvanized tree collar for a workshop area? Or fancy up your new tree collar with Christmas garland. How about a delicious view gallery filled with images of your favorite Christmas cookies?

Or perhaps a gallery of festive drinks to fire your holiday spirit?

How Do You Water a Christmas Tree with a Tree Collar?

Depending on the type of tree collar around the Christmas tree stand will determine how to water the tree, but the easiest way no matter what type of tree collar is being used is to using a handy Christmas tree watering funnel.

To use it, simply put the funnel into the tree stand and water your tree with no mess. Eliminates the need to crawl under the tree to water. Neatly and discretely tucks into your tree, down into your tree stand.

If you liked this DIY Christmas tree collar project, then you may enjoy browsing my Christmas decorating project page.

Plaid wrap around Christmas tree collar around tree. Text overlay says Mad for Plaid Tree Collar

More Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas

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  1. Do you leave the glass in the frames?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Vickie – Yes, I left the glass in the frames, but you don’t have to. If you have frames without glass, just make sure to pull the fabric taut.

  2. Pauline Adams says:

    That is the coolest idea I have seen👍

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Pauline- Thanks. It was fun to make. I always try to make something different for my Christmas tree. Happy Holidays

  3. I love this idea. I have a huge tree and have a fence around it to keep all my cats out of it. This idea is way better and I think it will cut down on them being about to climb up on the inside.

  4. I love this idea- it would be really cute with the chalkboard you put the year 2020 or 2021 so you can follow over the years — I wish I did that now !! Great idea ! I’m going to make for my kids when they get married !

  5. Leslie Smith says:

    Love this idea! I use an old lovely galvanized bucket for my smaller tree however the main family room tree is too large. I’m going to try this for it because our dog sheds so much and her hair gets all over the tree skirt. Where did you get your tree from. It’s darling.


    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Leslie – Thank you. My tree is a 7.5 ft Aspen. It is sold at a few places. Here is a link to it so you can get the details:

  6. I was looking for an alternative for my lovely, but many years old tree skirt. I love this idea, and I am in the market for something to use instead of my usual tree skirt. Great project. I recently purchased an old drawer with great patina and old handles. I am going to put my tree stand inside of the drawer. I always like to change it up every few years, too. I had been using a basket collar for the last 3 years.

  7. christine wilson says:

    Diane, as usual these ideas are inspiring. I was looking for an alternative for my lovely, but many years old tree skirt.
    I didn’t want to spend $50 plus dollars on a tree collar. These are much more personalized and unique.
    Enjoy the holidays with your beautiful family!

  8. Well, this is just so clever! I love this idea, and I am in the market for something to use instead of my usual tree skirt. Great project!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Tracey – I always like to change it up every few years, too. I had been using a basket collar for the last 5 years. Time for a change. Making the stand cover with frames gives you so many options for colors and patterns that you can truly make it perfect for your decorating style.

  9. Another great idea, Diane. I was thinking they’d be cute with bows on them, too, to look like additional gifts.

  10. Hi Diane, I recently purchased an old drawer with great patina and old handles. I am going to put my tree stand inside of the drawer.

  11. Wow! That is beautiful! Love the idea! Thank you so much for sharing it!
    You are amazing Diane! So talented!

  12. So cute!!!!!! I have a dining room tree and the tree skirt I used lays in the walkway a bit. I also have some vintage looking Christmas fabric that would be perfect for this. I think I am going to make one chalkboard one and then use the vintage fabric for the rest! Thanks for posting and what a great project!!

  13. Victoria C. Fawcett says:

    Love this idea! Do you sell them already made?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Victoria – I do not sell them. I just create DIY decorating projects and tutorials to inspire others so they can make them on their own. :-)

    2. Diane thank you so much! What a great idea but the best of all is your kindness! God bless you!

  14. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    I think this is the ….. well one of many……. fantastic ideas ever! And for those of us that live close to a Dollar Tree, you can get mirrors there and frames.

    Since I have a few kitty kats (my darling Sugar The Maine Coon Boy just died this past Sunday), this will sure be my cover this year. I have not been able to put up a tree the past few years without at least one of them tearing it apart. NO lights though…… last time I put them on, they were not only torn down, but the tiny bulbs were removed….. sigh.

    1. 8×10 paint canvases that are stretched over a wooden frame would also work instead of using picture frames.
      Dollar Tree sells those in their craft section.

  15. Megan @ Two Live Colorfully says:

    What a fantastic idea! I’m actually looking for a christmas tree skirt alternative and this is amazing! :D

  16. Leena Lanteigne says:

    This is such a neat idea! Functional and personal – I love it! Clever girlie! Hugs, Leena

  17. That is, without a doubt, one of the most clever ideas for a Christmas tree. I’m thinking that the benefit for me is that it may keep the dogs from getting to close to the tree and knocking off ornaments. Thank you for sharing this. It’s made my day!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Vickie – thanks. I have a cat who thinks the tree is his playground. This tree is fake, but in my living room, I will be putting up a real tree with water in the stand. I have to have a way to block him so he knows it is not his holiday water bowl :)

  18. Oh so clever! Love it!

  19. Too cool! What a great project!

  20. Wonderful idea! What a great look.

  21. Nana Diana says:

    OMGOSH! Isn’t that the cutest idea ever? I just love it! xo Diana

  22. Ashley @ My Craftily Ever After says:

    I love this idea! I can’t to start decorating for Christmas!

    1. You are just plain amazing! I love this!