The Making of a Tutu

How to make a tutu.

The Tutu is so full of fantasy for little girls. The images and music of wonderful ballets come to mind.

You would think, by looking at this divine invention, it would take an expert to create, right?  Just those working behind the scenes of Broadway theaters would have the inside knowledge, surely.

But in fact, you would be wrong! You don’t need an ounce of sewing skills for this.

A needle doesn’t even come into play.

Here’s how:

  1. You start with a piece of cardboard.  A box you have around the house will do just fine. Cut it down to 15″ x 7″ for a toddler.

The length of the cardboard is twice the length of the finished tutu skirt as it goes from the waist, out.

For an adult, you would want it longer, based on taste. One rule of thumb is to measure from your waist to 4″ above the knee.

  1. Next, get your tulle. Fabric or craft stores such as Joann Fabrics have this. The spools I used were 6″ wide. Be sure you think about the color you want the final result to be.

To get the ethereal look created in these pictures, I used a combination of cream, silver, and pink. If you do not mix in lighter colors, the end result will be of the more pronounced color of your choice. Whether it be red, pink or all black!

This is where you can tailor the tutu to your vision.

You could even make a tulle collar around the neck, in the same fashion as the tutu, as part of a Halloween costume.


 3. While at the store, also buy 7/8″ wide Grosgrain ribbon. (Grosgrain means it has the ribs).

Again, buy the color of your choice.

  1. When you get home,  wrap the tulle around your cut cardboard. Wrap it the long way around.  Don’t wrap it so tight that it bends the cardboard.

You can go ahead and wrap the whole roll, or as much as you feel fit if you’re using multiple colors.

It is easily stored and easily cut again if you need more.

 5. Wrap a rubber band around each end to hold it in place, and cut it along the 2 short edges.


When you’re done cutting along each short edge, you’ll have a pile of pieces all the same length!

  1. Next, take a long piece of your ribbon. (Long enough so you’ll have plenty to tie around the waist and a bow in the back), and tie one end to a chair arm, or something stable.

Leave a good amount for tying a bow at both ends.

Take one piece of tulle at a time and tie a tight double knot around the ribbon.

The tighter you make the knot, the more fluffy the tulle will be.

If you are using multiple colors, alternate them.

If you want more of one color to show, use it twice as often as the other color(s).

 Keep tying knots until it goes all the way around the waist, with room to tie the ribbon.

Cut the ribbon shorter, if need be at the end.

You’ve done it!

You’ve made a tutu in the time it took to watch a daytime TV show!

To store the extra tulle, just wrap it on the cardboard with a rubber band, until the next time.

Update: This year it’s little sisters turn. The tutu never gets old. They just love it!  A classic Halloween costume for the ages.

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