Friday, September 19, 2008

Tutu Tutorial

I have mentioned on my other blog that my daughter Sunny likes to dress fancy. Fancy always includes a Tutu. We make them often so we have plenty around when she has girlfriends over to play dress-up.  She has enough laying around that she can even send them home with her girlfriends. I think she sends them home with friends so that she has an excuse to make a new one. They are easy, but a little more time consuming.

Cost: $10 at the most
Time: About 90 minutes

The cost totally depends on where you buy your tulle, how many colors you want and if you have a coupon. JoAnn's usually has tulle for $1.99 a yard. So $10 might be high. You will need about 2-3 yards total, depending on how full you want it. I usually buy 2 yards of each color because then I can cut all at once and then I save the leftover strips for the next Tutu.

What you'll Need:

Tulle (it looks best with 2-3 colors),  Little girls stretchy headbands, Optional: ribbon and Buttons

Fold the tulle as evenly as you can lengthwise and cut into strips. When you buy the tulle, it is folded, for Sunny's shorty body I cut that in half (does that make any sense?) the fold it over and over and cut about 1.5-2 inch strips. You might have some uneven, but it won't be noticed, especially by your grateful 5 year old.

I put each color in a grocery sack. Especially because I like to cut lots of extra strips, keeps the mess down. When I am done, I can just store the sacks someplace.

Next, get comfy, it takes a little time to tie them on. You might also want a soda. 

Next, now this one is really important. You want a good chick flick. This is a requirement on most projects. This one was P.S. I Love You. Since Sunny was helping me we ended up changing the movie quickly to Never Been Kissed. She is so my daughter.

Get a chair and put the headband around the chair back. The cute little girl should be included. This is best done in two's. (Or more if your family was lucky enough to be graced by several little women)

Next, and these instructions are very technical, you want to fold the strip in half and do that thing where you loop it around the headband and loop the ends through the folded side of the strip. Ha! I know that made no sense, look up at that picture. Does that help? You can also just tie knots but I find that to make them EXTRA-out-of-control poofy.

I do about 3 of each color and make a pattern of whichever colors you want. Since the chair back is probably bigger than your daughter's waist (unless, are you making this for yourself? if you are, that's okay, I won't judge you. I have one that is perfect for when I wash windows and wipe bums.) I suggest spacing them a little. If you push them too close together then it doesn't "unstretch" and the waist will be big. 

While your tying them on, your 6 year old son may want to help, or just play. He will want a few strips. Go ahead and give them to him. It will keep him busy for a very long time

Look how busy (and creative!) he stayed. 

Now this step is totally optional.  We like to tie ribbon throughout the tutu. Makes it "fancier". I usually use 1 inch ribbon but this was on sale for 19 cents! Woot! Skinny ribbon it is.  Also if you bought some cute flower buttons, you can tie them on the bottom of the ribbon. Just adds to the fancy. We didn't do it. You can also tie little knots in the bottom of each piece of tulle for a more pixie looking tutu... think tinkerbell.

This next step is also totally optional. I wrap ribbon around the waistband because it makes it a little less itchy around the waist. Use 1 or 1.5 inch ribbon and wrap it around the waist. Tie a knot to start and wrap around the knot. Leave a tail when you begin and at the end. If you run out of ribbon, tie a knot and start a new ribbon to cover the knot. 
Tie a bow when you are done. I like my bow a little longer but I ran out of ribbon.

This one turned out SUPER POOFY. Sunny thinks poofy makes it fancier. If you don't want it so poofy, just tie less on.

Ugh, why won't this photo stay turned the right direction?? Oh well, sigh.

Voila! Get Fancy!

Make a black and yellow one to dress up an extra cute bee costume for halloween! Or black and orange for a very cute witch. These are great for Halloween costumes or birthday gifts!!!

Edited to Add: Another way you could do them is to fold a piece of Tulle in half and sew a casing and slide ribbon or elastic through, but before you sew the casing, put flower pedals in the bottom. Thanks for the tip, Katie!


Rocker Mama said...

I'm totally stealing that idea for Harley's Haloween costume! Thanks!
Love the new blog!!!

Katie said...

This one is so cute. I like how you have made it more fancy. The one Sunny gave to Liberty doesn't have all the cute ribbon on it and it is not as poofy. And Liberty would agree with Sunny the puffier, the fancier. This would be a cute party favor for your fancy nancy party. Liberty and Tommy got some tutu's as party favors- but it is one layer of tulle folded in half with a casing sewn at the top to slide a ribbon through it- but before she sewed it up at the top she filled it with flower petals. It is really cute.

The Parks Family said...

Oh my gosh this is so stink'n cute! I'm totally making some for my girls.

Bloggin It said...

That is super cute!!!!! I wonder if I could talk Chase into wearing it?? There were no little girls in 'the cards' for me! :(

Samantha said...


Heidi said...

I must be doing something wrong because I've made two of them and they aren't nearly as cute as yours. Thankfully I did that slipknot thingy and can take it apart and try again. lol

neally82 said...

I am totally going to steal this idea! Rory loves doing crafty things with me and she loves playing dress up too! Love it.

Misty said...

I'm totally going to make these for my girls for Christmas! This one looks so deliciously puffy. You seriously only used 2 yards? I may be calling you for help in the near future. :)

Lis said...


1. you get 2 yards of each color (3 colors)
2. cut it in half lengthwise (so you really have double the yardage)
3. fold & slice this in 1.5 - 2 inch widths
4. bag the strips by color
5. slip knot them on the headbands
6. save the rest for later

Do you get 2 tutus out of this?

I am teaching this in a Fabulous Friday craft THIS FRIDAY & my samples don't look poofy like yours... :(

Lis said...

Also, how much ribbon do you normally use to wrap around the waist?

Owen's Mommy said...

That is such a fabulous idea! I'm going to make one and I don't even have a girl! My niece will love it! (In a few months or so - she's 4 months old!)

Angela said...

Okay, you girls are seriously SO creative! I just sat down and read through each post on this blog, bookmarking the ones I love and am going to copy/try out... (This is very rare for me), but I ended up bookmarking EVERY single one of your posts! I have found so many great blogs with lots of fab ideas, and sometimes I find a few to several ones I will actually copy/make. Then I found yours (through "Craftin it Up")and "Viola!" I'm hooked. You gals are the bomb! Thanks for the wonderful ideas and inspiration! You are going on my Creative Homemaker blogroll for sure.