How to Make a Tutu
Have you ever wondered how to make a tutu? They are really, really easy! I’ve made many over the years for various costumes. It’s one of the easiest ways to create a big impact for a picture or a costume. We’ve used tutus with a monster costume, a hulk costume, a mushroom costume, a queen costume, and a superhero costume. You name it – you can add it to the costume. You don’t even have to sew to make a tutu!
Plus, they come together very quickly and are very inexpensive to make yourself. If you can cut strips and form loops – you’re ready to make one. Another advantage to making your own is you can customize for the costume or outfit. For the hulk one we made – we went for very messy with strips of ribbon mixed in. For the monster costume – we used several bright colors and made it very full. For the mushroom costume – we made it wispy.
Are you ready to try making one yourself?
What You’ll Need
- Tulle (2-4 yards for wispier tutus, 4-6 yards for fuller tutus)
- Elastic (length big enough to fit around the waist of the person wearing it)
- Needle and thread (if you want to sew the elastic together instead of knotting it)
- Ribbon/Fabric strips (optional – use this to customize the look of the tutu)
The elastic will serve as the base for your tutu so the first order of business is to cut it to the correct length and secure the two ends together. Wrap the elastic around the waist of the costume-wearer – then cut that length about 1-2 inches smaller. As you add the strips of tulle to the elastic – it will stretch out a bit. You want the tutu to fit nicely around the waist so you’ll need to allow for that stretching. To secure the ends you can either tie a knot or sew them together by machine or hand. It makes no real difference. I tend to sew them since my sewing machine is nearly always out during the Halloween season.
Next you’ll need to cut the strips that you’ll loop around the elastic. My family seems to favor wispier tutus so we just roughly gauge the width of strips and cut them out with scissors. If you were looking for a very precise tutu length – you’d want to measure them to get them as identical as possible (both width and length.) Make sure your scissors are nice and sharp and this will be quick work.
Next you’ll begin looping the tulle around the elastic waist band. Start by folding the tulle in half. Then take the fold and pass it under the elastic.
Next, you reach your fingers through the loop and pull the long pieces through carefully. Tulle likes to stretch out so be a little gentle when doing this. The more times you do it – the more of a feel you’ll get for it and then faster you’ll be able to go.
Once the loop is pulled completely through – cinch it up (not tightly!) to the elastic.
Then just push it over so it sits right up next to your last loop. Then do it again…and again and again and again until your tutu is the desired “fluffiness”. You can intermix strips of ribbon or fabric depending on the desired look. Get as creative as you want!
We like to alternate colors and lengths, but if you want it to all be consistent – that looks awesome too! You can start out with your strips the same length or trim them all up at the end. The tighter together you push your loops, the fuller your tutu will be.
]The finished product – this one was supposed to be wispy and ethereal and I think it does the job well!