I have a very creative daughter, who loves to draw. Her favorite subject these days is rainbows, so it came as no surprise when she told me she wanted to be a rainbow for Halloween. A few catalogs came in the mail, and she fell in love with a rainbow costume from Chasing Fireflies. I thought about buying it, but come on! $68 not including shipping. So I did what every frugal mom does…searched Etsy. Tons of rainbow tutu skirts for around $25. After doing the math I thought…hmmm…Pinterest might have a way to make a DIY no sew tutu. Then I found several and thought “Low and behold, I can do this!”
So here’s my completely novice, impatient, and frugal (nice way of saying cheap) tutorial of making a DIY super simple no sew tutu. If I can do this, so can you.
materials for diy no sew tutu
1/2 thick elastic — or ribbon to tie
4-6 yards tulle for size 4-5 girls (Walmart is cheapest, .97/yard)
First things first, how long do you want the skirt? Measure the length, then double it, and add an inch. My daughter wanted it longer…14 inches. So I doubled, added an inch and cut at 29 inches. So that’s the length I cut the first color of fabric. Later I made it 30 inches to make sure it was long enough for my budding diva.
Next cut the tulle into 4 inch strips.
Be sure to fold to the fabric over a couple times so you don’t have to cut the tulle the entire length. It’s so flimsy and hard to cut, especially with kitchen shears! (told ya, I’m not a seamstress.)
Here’s what it looked like after I finished cutting. Elapsed time, only about 30 minutes. And that’s with the kids playing with it.
So now it’s time to assemble. Remember that 1/2″ thick elastic? Yep, now you need to measure the waist and cut it. I would leave it a few inches longer and tie it loosely while assembling the skirt. Then sew it later. Yes, you have to sew like 3 stitches, it’s really easy. And yes, technically it’s not “no sew” if you use elastic. It is “no sew” however if you use ribbon as the base, and tie it in a bow afterwards. I made the mistake of sewing it together prior to making the skirt, and it stretched. I can fix that later though! Here’s what you do…put the elastic on a chair, and start tying knots.
|Already so cute huh? I totally want one of these for me too!|
Here’s how you do the knots. Fold the fabric in half, and take it and loop it around the elastic.
|Disregard my daughters messy chair….please.|
Then open the loop…
And pull it through.
Here’s what the knotted tulle looks like. You can leave them looser if you’d like, it uses less fabric and the knots will be further apart. I personally like them tighter, it keeps the fabric from sliding and makes a fuller skirt too! But whatever floats your boat…
|ROYGBIV baby! I paid attention in one of those subjects in school. Science was it?|
Keeping tying in your pattern until finished. I told you it was simple! Once you get going, this portion only took 30-40 minutes. And here’s what it looks like completed.
And Lila modeling it for me when she woke up the next morning. Complete with rainbow fairy wings and hand-drawn rainbow shirt designed by Lila herself! My friend is actually making a rainbow veil headband to complete the Halloween look.
So so so glad I actually did this myself. Seriously, this was super easy and this DIY no sew tutu turned out too cute! Bonus, I saved a bunch of money. With the wings, makeup, and fabric markers, we spent around $30 to make this. But the skirt portion was literally $6.00 of fabric and elastic. Can’t beat that!
The hardest part of the project was navigating Walmart, and explaining to the dude in the fabric department that tulle is actually fabric, not part of the tool department. What a tool. (pun intended)
Bottom line, if you need a tutu, and don’t want to pay big bucks, give this DIY no sew tutu a try. Totally worth it…and you can unleash your inner twirl!
For more great ideas follow me over on Facebook, or let’s get lost in Pinterest forever! And if you liked this post, check out my DIY Baby Food Jar Candles!
Or our DIY Sharpie Coffee Mugs with Kids!
Follow Mommy in Sports’s board DIY on Pinterest.
That is so cute!! And I could totally do it! Woohoo!! Also, why does Walmart have a guy working in the fabric section who doesn’t even know what tulle is? Or is “Because it’s Walmart” the easy answer?
Right? And honestly Lauren, I haven’t been back there since! Let me know if you need help making it…it’s the one fabric project I can handle!
Alicia @ Felt With Love Designs says
This is SO CUTE! My daughter would totally love it. She wants to be Unikitty (from the Lego Movie) for Halloween but I am totally going to find a way to incorporate this into her costume! I’ve never made one before and she keeps begging for one. PS…Love the kitchen scissors 🙂
Ha! Are there scissors for cutting fabric? Because these totally didn’t work! lol….that would be a GREAT Halloween costume…send me a pic!
Alicia @ Felt With Love Designs says
I just saw this! They do make scissors specifically for cutting fabric. Joann’s and Michael’s (and some other craft stores) have 50% off coupons all the time that you can use to get them super reasonable!
I’m bummed, she just changed her mind and now wants to be Sheriff Callie. Will still make a cute costume but I was REALLY looking forward to making Unikitty. I need to get started!
Casey G says
It’s so funny I found your post! I was actually searching rainbow tutus because my daughter found the exact same costume in Chasing Fireflies. If you add up all the extras, it comes to $100. Lol! Needless to say, I’m taking your route and recreating it. What I’m trying to figure out, though, is how much tulle I need of each color to have enough strips to go around her and still have a full skirt. I found cute rainbow headband and matching leggings on Etsy to finish the look. Thanks for the tutorial…and the chuckle! 🙂
I would do 1 yard of each color to be safe! It really is easy! good luck!
How many strips did you cut from each color?
Live from the playroom says
Yay! I just figured out how I’m going to pull of the Incredibles mom outfit my son wants me to wear without just wearing leggings (eh hem I’ve aged out of the sexy Halloween thing!). Yes, cannot wait! Add a tutu (I’m pretending I haven’t aged out of tutus). Thanks!
And Bahaha – tool pun, that’s punny.
Super cute… Love this crafty idea.
Aubrey @ 53 Weeks says
Well this looks cool and super cute!
great idea and very cute!
I really can’t stand sewing, but I love doing crafts. So, this is right up my aisle! I’m excited I have a little girl coming so I can make her a cute little tutu! Pinning.
Melissa (Wading Through Motherhood) says
I’ve always wanted to try making one of these!
Nicole Johnson says
Cutest thing ever! I bet my 4 YO would love it. I totally have to pin this!
tutus for girls says
this is a very nice diy that’s a really cute idea. So cute!! What a fun idea, thanks for sharing it.
Jill Robbins says
Adorable! I want one!
Dance tutus says
Not real crafty, but I’m giving it a shot. Looks super pro.