In addition, these make great birthday & holiday gifts for girls who love dressing up and just having fun.
These are only the 2nd & 3rd Tutu's I've made, and I just finished the Lady Bug one this morning. The first one I made was for my oldest daughter to wear to school on Spirit day. For that one, I took elastic, sewed it to the right size, then looped the tulle over it.
I found, though, that the stretchy, crochet style headbands work great as waistbands, and make it so that your tulle is evenly spaced.
Easy Tutu - You'll Need:
1 Pre-made Crochet Headband (You can find them online for as little as $.50 each, or at places like Hobby Lobby for $.99 each, or by the yard in the fabric department). This will stretch to fit anywhere from about 12 months to around a size 8 in girls.
1-3 rolls of 25 yard, 6" tulle- the more you use, the fluffier and more full the tutu is. It took me 25 yards to make a knee length tutu for a 3 year old. It's not as full as I would like, but it isn't bad.
A hard cover book to stretch the headband over. It should stretch it, without it being stretched to it's limits- it should be able to move easily.
Total Cost Estimate: The cost will depend on the length, amount of tulle used, and the cost of the supplies you purchase. I was able to make my niece's Lady Bug tutu for just over $2.00. If I had had more red on hand, I would have made it more full, though.
Time Spent: It took me maybe 45 minutes to cut and put together the lady bug tutu. The longer the tulle, the longer it takes, because you spend more time keeping the tulle already added out of the way.
- First, you want to decide on the length of the tutu. I find it's easiest to hold the tulle up to the child, from either the waist or the chest, and measure down from there. You'll need to fold it in half before cutting it, to double the length. Cut your tulle to that length until you have a good stash. For dresses, or anything longer than about 8-10" in length, you will require at least two rolls of tulle. The longer the tulle, the more you will need.
- Stretch your head band over the book and adjust it so it's stretched evenly.
- Fold a length of tulle in half, and pinch the folded side. From there, push it through one of the holes from behind so the loop is poking out the top, visible side of the headband. Using your fingers, spread the loop open so there is a hole. Take the ends of the tulle length, and push them through the loop. Once they are through, carefully tug the length until it 'ties' into a tight knot on the headband. Smooth it down, and move on to the next loop. Continue until you have filled that row of holes.
- Once it's filled out, lay it on a flat surface so that it forms a circle with all the tulle spread out nice and straight. You will want to give it a 'hair cut' to even the strands out, and this is the easiest way to do that.
- Add a bow to the front if you would like!
- When looping the tulle through the checkerboard style holes on the headband, I opted to use the second row of holes from the edge, not the first row. The tulle cinches tightly, and I thought this gave it a bit more material to grab onto.
- For a more full tutu, fill every hole on two rows. You can use the same hole for two different ties on different layers.
- Cut the top later just a bit shorter than the layer under it, so it stands outward more.
- Experiment with looping ribbon lengths through the holes as well, or strands of sequins.
- To make your tutu frugally, order your tulle, or buy it on sale. I have never worked with full width tulle bought by the yard from a bolt, but it typically is cheaper than the rolls. It goes on sale for $.77/yard from Hobby Lobby from time to time. You'll want to cut it into strips to use it.
- Use small dabs of hot glue to affix gems to the tulle for sparkle. Make sure it's pressed firmly to just the strand you want it on, and lift it away from the tutu while it dries. The glue will stick to everything if it's still warm.
- To keep your tutu fluffy, when storing it, hang it inside out. The tulle will settle as it hangs, and when you flip it back over, it will fluff right back up.
They also have shimmer tulle, which has just a bit of a glimmer to it- it is NOT glitter tulle. The Shimmer tulle is $1.50 for a 6" 25 yard roll. At hobby lobby, this type of tulle is $4.99 a roll. There are fewer color choices in Shimmer, but they do still have 14 colors available.
Costume ideas for Tutu's at Halloween-
Tinkerbell- Lime Green (or Citrus Green) and Kelly Green
Witch- Black, or Black with Purple, Citrus Green, Orange, and Shocking Pink
Lady Bug- Red with black puff ball spots
Rock Star- Any bright colors mixed with black, and worn with leggings, a cute shirt, and a jean jacket
Princess- Pink, Purple, White, or a Mix- you can make a dress out of it, or a skirt.
Bumble Bee- Yellow & Black- create vivid stripes by doing 2-3 of black, followed by 2-3 of yellow. Alternating every other one will create a less vivid striped pattern.
Zebra- White & Black striped the same as the Bumble Bee.
Tiger- Orange & Black striped the same as the bumble bee.
Pirate Princess - Red & Black striped the same as the bumble bee- add a striped shirt, striped tights, and a bandana.
Pumpkin- Orange & Green- make a dress, and use the green to create a short, spikey fringe of tulle for the top layer. Use felt to add a mouth, nose, and eyes to the middle of the dress.
Peacock- Aqua, Green, and Royal Blue Tulle- add a pair of wings, and embellish with peacock feathers.
Ballerina- Pink Tulle, paired with a leotard, decorated with gems. Add ballet flats for shoes.
Angel- White Tulle paired with a white leotard. You can add white marabou trim to the tutu and wings to make them more Angel like.
Flower Fairy- Bright Colors of Tulle with a green or brown leotard or shirt under. Add fake flowers for embellishment, and a wand & wings