It felt like I looked everywhere for flower girl outfits. Online, the mall, boutiques, thrift stores, everywhere. Everything was just too freaking frilly, too expensive, just too much. Nothing matched the idea in my head of what I wanted them to wear. This will be a running theme you will notice with me, the impetus for all my DIY- I can’t find items that match up with my brain’s desires. Enter the tutu tutorial…
Okay, I realize tutus are poofy and frilly and girly and all the things I just complained about above, but for some reason, they struck me as the funnest option for the girls. I didn’t want them to worry about getting dirty or messing anything up, didn’t want them pressed or primped into anything uncomfortable. Because they cost about $7 to make, they could make one pass down the aisle and then roll around in the mud if their little hearts desired.
The tutorials I found to make tutus were cumbersome and time consuming. They involved a whole lot of cutting, too much sewing, or just plain confusing directions. I hope that my trial and error will help you all achieve the ability to whip these bad boys out in no time. Plus, this tutorial manages to work in the use of my sister’s awesome lightsaber chopsticks.
1″ wide elastic
Tulle – preferably 6″ wide rolls – you can find tulle on rolls at Michael’s, but again www.papermart.com came through for me here. They have a huge selection of colors and sizes. A 100 yard roll (about $6) is more than enough to make one tutu, or three 25-yard rolls ($2-$3) if you are making one for a waist under 25″.
Electrical or duct tape
A coffee or dining table or a kitchen counter
Optional- 2 or 3″ wide ribbon, sequins, fabric flowers
Measure the waist of the person you are making the tutu for. Cut the elastic 2″ shorter than their waist-the elastic will stretch out as you add the tulle.
Staple the two ends of the elastic to make a circle. You can sew the ends if you prefer, but the tulle will cover the staples completely so there won’t be any scratching of little bellies.
Decide how long you would like your tutu to be (I like mine around 15″, so I measured out 30″ on the table) then use the electrical tape to secure a chopstick on each end with most of the chopstick hanging off the end. If you aren’t sure how long you would like it to be, always cut the tulle longer. It is easy to make it shorter at the end by simply cutting it to your desired length.
You’ll want to secure the chopstick so it doesn’t move around while you are winding the tulle. Sorry about the picture darkness, I was having flash issues. Basically, just anchor it down as sturdily as possible.
Place the tulle roll on your chopstick- I prefer to use the lightsaber ones (because they are awesome and I am a dork), but any chopstick will do. I find it easier to have the roll going over the top- just like the proper (no arguments!) way to have a roll of toilet paper.
Take a tiny piece of tape and tape the start of the roll of tulle to the chopstick on the left.
Start rolling the tulle around your chopsticks. Don’t make it too tight because the taped down sticks will start to pull. Roll until the roll is empty. There are many other ways to measure out your tulle, but I have made about 30 of these bad boys since the wedding and this is the fastest and easiest way I’ve found.
Put your finger through the center if the tulle on the right hand side, then use your scissors to cut the end. Repeat on the left side.
Take 2 pieces of the tulle and fold it in half. And yes, the tulle magically changed color. I had to get a roll to show you all the first part of the tutorial but realized I was supposed to make a purple one for my cousin for Christmas and totally flaked out. I suck.
Position the tulle as shown above.
Wrap the tulle over the elastic, pulling through the circular end in you other hand, making a slip knot.
You’ll want to pull the knot tight enough that it is snug but not so tight that the elastic bends. I find it helps to stick my thumb in the knot and pull it tight.
Repeat this step as many times as needed to completely cover the elastic. It takes a little bit of time to work out your system, so please be patient. Once you figure out what works is most comfortable and easiest for you, these can be made in about 20 minutes.
Should you want to add a ribbon belt, cut a length of 2 or 3″ ribbon 3′ longer than the waist size of the tutu.
Slide it through any loop to start. Make sure to leave about foot of length at the end to use to tie a bow at the end.
Continue weaving it through the loops. I typically skip two and loop under the third.
Thus completes the basic tutu tutorial. From here, you can do all sorts of things to make it fancier. I hot glued little fabric flowers to the flower girl tutus, which I found adorable once I recovered from the hot glue burned fingers. You can sew or glue sequins, use alternating colors of tulle for the tutu itself, really let your imagination run wild. These make great gifts, too.
Oh, P.S. I may have made one for the dog as well…
Thanks for reading, y’all! Stay tuned next week for some more DIY Bride fun!