I totally thought Grace was destined to be a tomboy.
As a baby/young toddler she was always on the move, more interested in climbing and exploring than baby dolls, and she rocked a pair of blue jeans almost daily.
On more Sunday mornings than I’d like to admit, I found myself fighting to get a dress and tights on her for church.
But lately she’s singing a different tune.
She loves books and TV shows about ballet. She asks to wear a dress every day. She’ll freak out if she can’t find her princess crown and wand.
She even got excited about a pair of brown, flowered mary jane shoes at Target today.
“Take it home, mom!”
Ok, twist my arm. I guess I’ll buy you this pair of totally adorable girly shoes.
This was a big deal for an all-Crocs-all-the-time child like Grace.
While I love putting dresses on her as often as possible, now that the weather is turning cold I find that we have fewer options than I realized. Most of her dresses are sleeveless summery numbers and the warmer ones are from last year and don’t really fit anymore.
If we’re just lazing around the house, I’ll totally throw a summer dress on over her pajamas, but I’m not really into taking her out of the house like that.
Adorable as it may be.
Enter the tutu.
It dawned on me (after Grace spent the morning in her tutu swimsuit from TeeTee) that a tutu could easily be worn over all of her fall outfits and that I might even be able to wrangle her into a pair of jeans if we topped them with a tutu.
I’ve seen lots of hand-made tutus at craft shows and mom-to-mom sales so I knew I could make one myself in a jiffy.
I did a quick search on my phone for some pointers about how much tulle I’d need and what the best technique would be for putting it all together. This video gave me the info that I needed, so we set out to Joann’s for some tulle.
What You’ll Need:
1 ribbon that is about 15-20 inches longer than your child’s waist
5 yards of colored tulle (we did 5 different colors, but you can do whatever floats your boat)
What To Do:
Measure your child’s waist with the ribbon and make a small mark where each end meets the other.
Next, tie a knot at each mark.
Now, completely unfold your first yard of tulle and lay it out in front of you.
Starting at the end nearest to you, begin folding the tulle over and over into approximately 4 inch folds. This is a regular fold, not an accordion fold.
Like so until you have a roll like this…
It doesn’t have to be perfect. You’ll end up with a jellyroll looking thing. See the end?
You could trim each end to be nice and even at this point, but I was too lazy for that and didn’t think it would matter.
Next, cut your long roll into six even segments. When I say even, just eyeball it. No tape measures were used in the making of this tutu.
Go ahead and unroll each of these segments.
Then you’ll fold each strip in half and cut at the top resulting in two equally long pieces.
Continue this process with each yard of tulle you have. It’s kind of tedious, but not too terrible.
You’ll end up with 60 strips of tulle that you’ll use to make your tutu.
Now comes the fun part. Assembling the tutu!
This part is kind of hard to explain and impossible to photograph without the help of an assistant. Andy was busy with this little thing called MEDICAL SCHOOL so I couldn’t rope him into the process.
I guess that is a pretty good excuse for him not to play camera man ;)
Starting just after the first knot in your ribbon, fold a strip of tulle in half and lay it under the ribbon with a loop formed at the top. Like so…
Now, you’ll take those two tail ends at the bottom and bring them up over the ribbon and through the loop. Then you pull to tighten.
Go ahead, watch the YouTube video. Seeing this part in action will probably help it make a lot more sense.
Trust me, I tried to take an “action shot” of the knot-tying process but it was impossible.
THIS is a really good shot of what the finished tulle knot looks like! Check that out too.
Now that you understand the knot-tying thing, just keep going.
All the way around.
With all 60 strips of tulle.
It’s really not so bad. Grace was with me during the whole thing and didn’t even cry. So don’t you let her upstage you :)
I did 4 consecutive knots of each color to give a good stripe effect.
And the very happy little princess trying it on for the first time.
And then modeling it over her tutu swimsuit.
Because you can never have enough tutu!
I love her so much it hurts.
If you have any questions about how to make your own DIY Tutu, leave them in the comments and I’ll get back to you!
My daughter is 1 year and I am making it for her birthday. Didn’t know how long to make tulle bc she isn’t very tall yet. Didn’t know if I should cut it again after folding the cut piece in half. Also wasn’t sure how much tulle I may need if I make one for myself. Would 5 yards still be enough?
Brandi, I’d say you could definitely cut the pieces again after folding them in half. It was kind of long for a tutu on my 18 month old. I think you can get away with 2.5 yards since you’ll be cutting them in half again!
Aunt Becky says
So creative and so perfect for your little princess. Great job Rebecca!
I totally dig the font on all these pictures. Boo in a tutu affirms my desire to steal her and head for the boarder.
Laurie Kroll says
Oh one more thing… she is soooo cute and so grown up looking!!!
Laurie Kroll says
I absolutely love it!!! What fun too… Watching your process is just what I needed at the end of my long day!!!
Bonnie Bevilacqua says
Super cute!! Can’t wait to see it!!