A DIY tutu is one of the easiest ways to make an outfit look fancy. You can glam up everything from a superhero costume to your wedding dress, all with just a couple of seams and a billion yards of tulle!
Tulle, unfortunately, is not an eco-friendly fabric, but there are eco-friendly ways to source it. Instead of buying tulle new, ask around to see if someone in your community has a stash that you can bust, or thrift your way into your own stash–check out the housewares and the formals sections of thrift stores, because curtains and prom/bridesmaid dresses often have lots of tulle that you can repurpose.
And don’t forget all of the trash that you can upcycle. Gardeners can hook you up with their unused bird netting, or you can save up mesh produce bags and piece them together.
Another option is to skip the tulle altogether. Below, you’ll find tutorials that specifically use natural fabrics, or you can creatively substitute silk, cheesecloth, or other fun, natural fabrics for the tulle called for in other tutorials.
1. No-sew tied tutu. This is the easiest tutu to make, requiring just cutting and knot-tying. Take care not to tie the knots too tightly around the elastic, however, or you’ll pre-stretch it so that it no longer fits your desired waist measurement.
2. Tied tutu with a ribbon waistband. I like this alternate version of a tied tutu, which uses a ribbon waistband instead of the usual elastic. It’s simple to get a snug fit without measuring, and the bow adds a pretty embellishment.
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3. Cotton tied tutu. Here’s that natural fabric tutu that I was telling you about! Don’t be afraid to leave the edges raw; that little bit of raveling adds to the shabby chic look.
4. Ribbon tutu. You can use that same tied tutu technique with a variety of materials. Here, it’s a ribbon tutu, but there are so many other creative materials that it’s possible to use!
5. Lined tulle skirt. Consider this lined tulle skirt the grown-up version of a tutu. It’s just as flowy, but not fluffy.
6. Tutu skirt. Here’s another version of the lined tulle skirt. I love how sophisticated it looks!
7. Unlined tulle skirt. This skirt is similar to the previous two but is deliberately single-layered and unlined. It’s meant to be worn over a pencil skirt that you already own, but I think it could look really interesting over leggings, as well.
8. Cotton and tulle skirt. If you don’t already own something to wear an unlined tulle skirt over, you can sew a skirt and tulle overskirt all together as one piece.
9. How to cut and hem a tulle skirt. If you want to make any of those lined tulle skirts, you’ll likely want a finish that’s a little more sophisticated than just chopping off the bottom. Here’s how to neatly cut and hem a tulle skirt.
10. Filled tutu. These tutus are super fun, and look like they were a lot harder to make than they really are. The secret is folding the tulle in half and sewing the raw ends to the waistband; leave an opening, fill it with pompoms, faux flower petals, or felt confetti for a magical look!
11. Tulle circle skirt. Going to the extra effort to cut your tulle to make a circle skirt, rather than just gathering it, means that the waist will be more trim and therefore the fluff will look even fluffier!
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12. Tutu with a covered waistband. Covering the waistband makes the tutu look more professional, but otherwise, the construction remains simple.
13. Boa tutu. This more adult version of the tutu can still be made from upcycled materials–only this time, you’re thrifting for boas, not prom dresses.
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14. Bustle. Here’s another adult version of a tutu, this one using all tulle instead of boas.
15. tulle bow. If you’ve got a little extra tulle leftover, here’s a nice embellishment that you can make. Add it to the tutu, or glue it to a hair clip.
16. Tulle headband. Here’s another accessory that would look super cute with a tutu–a tulle headband!
17. Tutu chandelier. If it holds still long enough, put a tutu on it!
18. Tutu Easter basket. Wicker baskets are a dime a dozen (literally!) at many thrift stores; add a tutu, and you can turn a boring, thrifted wicker basket into an adorable fancy Easter basket.
Do you know of a terrific tutu tutorial that I haven’t mentioned? Tell me about it in the comments below!