How to make a tutu skirt

Updated March 23, 2017

You can make a tutu skirt for a budding ballerina, a child's fairy Halloween costume or just to show off your own unique fashion personality. Tutus are easy to make and require so little sewing experience that it is a perfect project for a beginner. You can customise the fullness of the skirt with the amount of tulle you use and then embellish the skirt with a decorative bow at the back of the skirt, a miniature silk flower waistband or glittering gemstones throughout.

Measure the circumference of the natural waistline, right around the belly button. Cut a piece of 1/2-inch wide elastic to this length minus 2 inches for the waistband of the tutu skirt.

Bring the two ends of the elastic together and overlap by about 1/4 inch. Sew a straight stitch through the overlapping sections of elastic and then backstitch over the same stitch line to strengthen the seam.

Cut the lengths of tulle for the skirt. Measure the distance from your waistline to the length you would like the tutu. Multiply the length by two and add 1 inch. Cut the 4-inch wide tulle ribbon into strips of this length.

Fold one strip in half and tie it in a knot around the elastic waistband.

Fold another tulle strip in half and knot it around the elastic, next to the first tulle knot. Continue knotting the tulle strips all the way around the waistband. For a full tutu skirt, squeeze the tulle knots tightly together to fit as many strips onto the waistband as possible.


You can add a decorative embellishment to the waistband of the tutu skirt. Pin a large silk flower or satin ribbon bow over top of the tulle knots and sew the embellishment to the skirt. For a costume tutu, add some sparkle to the skirt with glue-on imitation gemstones at random places along the length of the tulle.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft tape measure
  • 1/2-inch wide elastic
  • Sewing needle
  • Thread
  • 4-inch wide tulle ribbon, 2 yards for a child or up to 8 yards for an adult
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About the Author

Rosenya Faith has been working with children since the age of 16 as a swimming instructor and dance instructor. For more than 14 years she has worked as a recreation and skill development leader, an early childhood educator and a teaching assistant, working in elementary schools and with special needs children between 4 and 11 years of age.