I am all about celebrating your birthday for a whole week, hence the decorations still being up. I made her that tiny tutu, which she promptly wrinkled with her excited little grabby hands. She also refused to wear her princess crown (a trait that she OBVIOUSLY did not get from her mother) but whatevs. She’s still super cute.
This is a quick and easy way to make a no-sew tutu. They make excellent handmade Christmas gifts and I can tell you from experience that if you wrap one up with a pair of glittery dress up shoes, you’ll be the considered the coolest Aunt EVER. Click through the link to see the step by step photos and instructions!
Here is what you will need:
A spool of tulle – I used a 6 inch wide tulle like this one here. You can find tulle at any craft store, sometimes you can even find glimmer tulle which is super cute. I recommend getting the 25 yard spool.
Elastic – You can buy a package of elastic like this but I don’t because I am lazy. I buy elastic hairbands like this. They are the perfect size for toddler sized tutus and they are already in a perfect circle so no tying them off. Plus, they come in packs of 3-5 and they are wrapped with a soft but stretchy fabric that is comfortable for the kiddos. Note: I used black elastic in my photos so that it would provide contrast for you to see easily, but I recommend using light colors that won’t show through the tulle.
You’ll also need scissors and a piece of cardboard. Ribbon is optional.
Step One: Gather your supplies
Step Two: Decide how long you want your tutu to be. You’ll want to measure from the waist of your subject to just above their knees and then double that number. If you can’t measure your subject, just guesstimate! You are going to want to cut your tulle into lengths of that number. You can simply measure and cut each piece, or you can use this (easier) method:
A good general rule of thumb for a toddler will be about 12 inches. So we would want to cut a piece of cardboard to 24 inches. You cut your cardboard to whatever your doubled number was! Now, take your tulle and beginning at one end of the cardboard, wrap your tulle around it. My cardboard is really very fancy. I use between 5 and 10 yards of tulle. It will look like this:
Step Three: When all the tulle is wound around the cardboard, cut along the top edge and bottom edge like so:
This will give you the exact lengths of tulle that you need and it is much quicker than measuring and cutting and measuring and cutting…Trust me on this one
Step Four: Take a length of tulle and tie it around the elastic. It’s okay to have a little variation but for the most part, try and tie it so that there are even lengths of tulle on each side of the knot. Keep the knot towards the inside of the elastic, with one end of the tulle hanging over and one end hanging under.
Don’t pull too tightly! It will be tempting to make very tight knots, but you don’t need to. Just tight enough so that it doesn’t slide around on it’s own. The tighter you pull, the more tulle you need to fill the space with. Err on the side of being too loose, you can always tighten knots and fill in gaps later.
Step Five: Continue to tie knots next to one another, working your way around the loop.
See how my knots aren’t super tight? If your knots look tighter than mine, STOP (in the name of love, before you break my heart) and loosen up! Leave a little space at the back, about the space of a finger to tie a ribbon.
Step Six: Pick a pretty ribbon from your stash and tie a bow in that space you left.
That’s it! Now wrap up your tutu for your favorite little princess!
Here are a few other variations you can do on this project:
- You can hand sew on small appliques of flowers, sequins, etc. This would depend on the age of the child and their probability of tearing such things off the tutu and attempting to eat them. We don’t want to give choking hazards as Christmas gifts.
-You can use a piece of ribbon rather than elastic. Just leave tie a knot in the ribbon where the tulle ends and leave both ends free so that your little princess can tie her tutu on rather than slip it on.
-You can purchase a sequined strecthy headband, like the ones I wore around my waist over a t-shirt and leggings in the 80s. You COULD just wear it like that, but a better option would be to slide it over the top of the tutu so that it fits around the elastic and hand sew it to the elastic band. Now the waist of your tutu is sparkly! I did not do this because I am a terrible sew-er. That is why no-sew-tutus are the name of the game for me.