How to Make a Dress-Up Tutu

How to Make a Dress-Up TutuThese tutus are so simple to make and can be done without any sewing needed and are loved by little girls.

The instructions provided will make a tutu that will fit a young girl about a size 6. You can easily make adjustments to the length of the tulle and length of elastic waist (if you are sewing elastic.)

The supplies needed to make a tutu include: 1″ elastic (or a thin elastic headband), 25+ yards of tulle & thread.

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To embellish the tutu I used ribbon, felt, an alligator clip, artificial flowers, and a gem.

How to Make a Dress-Up TutuIf you can sew, you can fit a tutu more comfortably by taking the waist measurements. Add 2-3″ to that waist measurement too allow for space that the tulle will take up and to create a seam. You could also hand sew this if you do not have a machine.

If you cannot sew or do not have access to a machine, you could use an elastic headband. An elastic headband would work well for a younger child or baby, maybe  up to age three.

To determine the length of tulle strips that need to be cut, take the measurement from the waist to the knee and add 2″. For my daughter, that meant cutting the strips 24″ in length.

I choose to use tulle on a 6″ roll rather than cutting 6″ strips from a 45-60″ bolt. I could have saved another dollar by cutting my own strips, but by using tulle on a roll I am assured of straight edges and do not need to spend more time cutting. For this tutu, I used 25 yards of 6″ pink tulle and 5 yards of glittery fuchsia.

After sewing the elastic together in a circle, place the elastic around a chair back. This might not work as well for smaller sizes. Next fold each piece of tulle in half . Place the folded tulle behind the elastic and pull the separate ends through the looped end and around the elastic (see finished piece above.) Continue this for each piece of tulle until you have filled the entire waist.

How to Make a Dress-Up TutuYou can leave the tutu as is with just elastic and tulle, but why not make it truly a custom piece and embellish it with some ribbon and flowers.

To make the ribbon on the front you just loosen your center tulle piece and slide your ribbon through and then tie in a bow, just as it is pictured here.

If you want to take it one step further, you can add a flower by either hand stitching it on or making a clip (that could also be worn in the hair.)

Flower embellishmentTo make the flower clip, I took 2 flowers from a bunch I bought at the dollar store and removed all the plastic pieces, leaving only the petals. I then stitched the layers together. Next I placed a drop of hot glue in the center over the stitching and placed a gem on top to cover the stitching.

I used this same bunch of flower to create the matching headwrap in the top photo. After I stitched the layers together I sewed over those same stitches, but this time placed an elastic headband underneath it. Then hot glued the gem on.

You could do all the stitching by hand if you do not have a sewing machine.

To finish making the clip, simply hot glue a piece of felt to an alligator clip. And finally hot glue the flower to the felt on the top of the clip.Decorating the Finished Product

I just clipped the flower to the center of the bow, which makes it easy to remove if my daughter decides she would rather wear in her hair or not at all.

These tutus have a starting selling price on Etsy of $15, but some sell for much more. The cost to make this one with ribbon, flower clip & matching headwrap was approximately $8. To make a tutu without embellishments or headwrap or the more expensive glittery tulle would only cost $4. The tulle and elastic can easily be purchased at a fabric store or Wal-Mart.

I bought my tulle from B.B. Crafts, as I thought they had a very good selection of colors and I was buying several rolls. They even sells rolls that are 100 yards (which is cheaper per yard), if you will be making several of these. They do make great gifts! I made a matching glittery embellished one for my daughter’s best friend and plan to make a couple more to give as gifts.

About Jessica Shallow-Miller

Jessica is a crafty stay-at-home mom of two, who tries to find ways to save money while being green. She is also the author of the blog Save Green Being Green.


  1. says

    This is great! If I get a little larger elastic, I can make this fit myself. I wore a tutu that I bought at Wet Seal as a Halloween costume to Zumba. This would be a lot cheaper and then I can do them for themes! I love your posts.

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