When celebrating a little girl’s FIRST birthday, a big and fluffy tutu is a must have! In the months that Grace was a teenie tiny baby and even when Georgia was pregnant, I always envisioned our little gal rockin a tutu at her first birthday party. I wanted her outfit to be colorful and fun but mostly comfortable. In my quest for the perfect tutu, I quickly discovered that they may just be the most overpriced items on the market! Seriously… how anyone rationalizes paying 40+ bucks for some tulle is beyond me, especially when you can buy an entire roll of it for less than 5 dollars (or cheaper with a coupon). This is where my decision to take the DIY route was born.
At first, my plan was to craft a bright yellow and red tulle skirt, however once the supplies were purchased and held side by side, plans changed. The colors together seemed to be just a little too busy for a 12 month old and anything that is so crazy colorful that it takes away from your little ones adorable face, must be reconsidered. ;) The tutu itself took a few hours to construct but that’s really only because I wanted it to be as close to perfect as possible, so I took my time. As mentioned earlier, there are a ton of coupons out there for craft stores and with the coupon I found, my tulle came out to less than 3 bucks! Woot!
I didn’t follow any specific instructions when making Gracie’s skirt. What I did rather, was watch several DIY tutu tutorials (say that 3 times fast)… on YouTube and took what I felt was the most crafter-friendly approach to making the skirt. If you’re making a tutu for your little girl (or boy) for the first time, I hope you find my instructions easy to follow!
What you’ll need ~
* 2 safety pins
* measuring tape
* a piece of cardboard
* 2 spools of 6in x 10yd colored tulle
* paper towel roll (you will use this to hold the shape of the waistband)
* a piece of ribbon that is about 20 inches longer than your child’s waist
Step one ~ Measure your little gals waistline. Before cutting your piece of ribbon, add an additional 20 inches to your measurement. This extra length will allow you to tie a bow once you’ve tied the tutu on your birthday girl.
Step two ~ Gracie’s waist measured 18 inches, so the ribbon I cut for the waistline was 38 inches. Once you’ve cut your piece of ribbon, tie a knot on each side, 10 inches from each end. These knots will allow you to tie your tulle pieces on without any falling off the end of your piece of ribbon, thus securing the tutu.
Step three ~ Once you have your piece of ribbon knotted on each end, safety pin the two sides together. This will allow you to create the shape of the waistline so that you can begin building your tutu. This made it much easier for me to drape my ribbon around a roll of paper towels while I built Gracie’s tutu.
Step four ~ Determine how long you want your tutu to be. Grace is average height for her age (12 months) so 7-8 inches was a good length. This will bring the tutu to right above the knee. The tulle pieces that you’re going to cut will need to be twice the length you want your tutu. I used a 15 inch piece of cardboard as a measuring guide when I cut my tulle pieces.
Step five ~ Once you have your cardboard piece measured and cut out, use the cardboard as a ruler to measure and cut your tulle pieces. In total I cut about 100 pieces of tulle. This was by far the most time consuming step.
Step six ~ Taking one strip of tulle at a time, you will: 1. loop it 2. swoop it underneath the ribbon piece 3. fold the bottom ends up through the top of your loop 4. and pull tightly securing the slipknot in place. These steps can be difficult to describe, hence I’ve included a picture of the steps above. :)
Step seven ~ As you tie each piece of tulle to your skirt, you will slide each piece to the end of your ribbon. You will repeat step six until your skirt is full. Feel free to adjust your tulle pieces once they are attached and make it as full and fluffy as you’d like!
Step eight ~ This should be your end result. Cute right?!
Gracie’s tutu was totally worth the time it took to make! The skirt also photographed beautifully in her one year professional pictures! My little birthday cutie. ;)
Well, that about wraps up this mama’s posts on our little gals first birthday party! And because I can’t get enough of the pictures our photographer took on Gracie’s big day, here’s a few last little memories of that special afternoon. :)
:: For Gracie’s birthday crafts, part I – click here ::