We are so excited to welcome back guest blogger Caitlin of An Enchanted Box on Etsy, where you can find her charming tutus & tutu dresses, including darling dog tutus! Caitlin will be guiding us through a whole series of Troll inspired DIY tutu projects, and this tutu dress is just the first! (You can now see the troll hair headband DIY here!) The tutu dress was created with The Hair Bow Company supplies below, but if you aren't a DIY'er yourself, you can find a selection of tutus available ready to go at An Enchanted Box!
DIY Cotton Candy Troll Tutu Gown
The “Trolls” movie is the newest fad and little girls everywhere are wanting to dress up as their favorite troll! Some supplies from The Hair Bow Company and these easy directions and you’re ready to make your little girl’s dream come true!
Turquoise 8” Lined Crochet Tutu Top*
Tulle (two 25 yard rolls of each following color*):
7/8” Purple Grosgrain Ribbon
1 Hot Pink Jewel Tone Decorative Rhinestone Flower Center
Hot Glue Gun and Glue
Fray Check or Lighter
* NOTE: This dress is designed to fit the average three or four-year-old. For children unusually sized for that age range or those who are younger or older, you may need to change the size of the lined tutu top. Consider using a lined 7” tutu top for children under three and a 10” tutu top for children five and up. Check out The Hair Bow Company’s website for details regarding dimensions and adjust your tulle material accordingly.
Step One: Cutting the Tulle
You will begin by cutting one 65” strip of tulle from each color. Set these aside to be used for the poofy sleeves later. Cut the remaining tulle into 30” strips. TIP: if you find a box, cookie sheet or cutting board that is 15” long, you can simply wrap the tulle around it and make a single cut, thus saving you considerable time!
Step Two: The Skirt Pattern
You will be making two rows of tulle around the bodice. I recommend completing the entire first row of the skirt before moving on to the second as this will help keep your rows even.
You will use two strips of tulle for each hole on the first row and each color will be three holes wide. Thus the pattern is as follows: Turquoise, Turquoise, Turquoise, Pink, Pink, Pink, Purple, Purple, Purple, Turquoise, Turquoise, Turquoise, Pink, Pink, Pink, Purple, Purple, Purple, etc.
On the second row, you will use one strip for each hole and continue the same pattern as the first row: Turquoise, Turquoise, Turquoise, Pink, Pink, Pink, Purple, Purple, Purple, Turquoise, Turquoise, Turquoise, Pink, Pink, Pink, Purple, Purple, Purple, etc.
Step Three: Attaching the Skirt
Always be sure that you are tying your knots in the right holes. There should be a solid square between the knot and the lining. Take the two strips of tulle that you will be threading into the hole, layer them on top of each other and then fold the double strip in half to find the center thus making the strip 15” in length. To attach the tulle of the skirt to the bodice you will implement a basic Larks Head knot. Don’t worry, it’s not a complicated knot! All you do is take the crochet hook and go up under the hole and out the other side. Then, grab your double strip of tulle where you folded it at the center with the crochet hook and pull a couple of inches through to create a loop. Take the tails of your tulle and pull them all the way through the loop you made, and, ta-da!, you have yourself a Larks Head knot. You’re just going to repeat that in the color pattern all the way around to attach your skirt. After you’ve completed the first row, move up to the second by going to the square immediately above the first row. TIP: to get a cleaner look to your Larks Head knot, roll the tulle between your fingers just before tightening it as this will keep all the fibers close together.
Step Four: Ribbon Straps
Once you have finished the skirt, it is time to move on to the bodice. First, count how many holes are around the top of bodice in order to locate the middle of the front. I recommend that you very gently slip a safety pin in the hole one or two spaces below that middle square so that you don’t lose track of it but it is not in the way. Just as with the bottom of the skirt, be sure you are working on the row that has a solid square between it and the edge. Count out six holes to the left, then six to the right of middle, for a total of thirteen holes in the row. Take your crochet hook and go under those thirteen holes between the bodice and the liner. Cut 50” of your purple ribbon. TIP: seal the cut ribbon ends with either Fray Check or sear the edges quickly with the flame from a lighter. Do NOT use a candle as that will leave a soot mark on the ribbon. Hook the ribbon and gently pull it through and, viola!, you have the front part of the straps!
At this point, you can skip the poofy sleeves and be done by creating a halter top with the ribbon. To do so, just tie a Larks Head knot with the ribbon in the middle center of the top of the bodice, and tie the ends around your little one’s neck. She’ll feel like a princess! However, if you want to take it up a step with poofy sleeves and gem, continue onwith the directions.
Step Five: The Back of the Ribbon Straps
On the back of the dress, count three rows down along the seam (which should be in the center back), then, count three holes to the left. Now, take your crochet hook and go under the two furthest holes and pull the ribbon through so that it comes out toward the seam but there is still a hole between where the ribbon comes out and the seam. Do the same on the other side then tie a bow and your straps are done!
Step Six: The Poofy Sleeves
Take the three 65” strips you cut earlier. Gently fold into thirds or roll (like a scroll) the edges toward the middle lengthwise. This will do two things for you: 1) it will keep the raw edges of the tulle on the inside to give the sleeves a more polished look and 2) the colors will be brighter due to the layering of the tulle on top of itself and the folding. Once you have folded / rolled each of the three pieces, lay all three on top of each other and pinch the middle of this triple strip. Pull half of the tulle striping through the middle front hole, making sure that you have a solid square between the square you a pulling the sleeves through and the edge of the bodice. The center the triple strip will now be in the center of the bodice, with half to the left and half to the right.
Step Seven: Finishing the Poofy Sleeves
You’re almost there! To finish off the poofy sleeves, go one hole diagonally above where the ribbon straps went through the back and then two across moving away from the seam. Go under two holes, and grab one side of the ribbon sleeves and pull them gently through to whatever poofiness you desire. Do NOT pull the poofy sleeves tight or your princess will not be able to get her arms through. You will probably need to slightly adjust the tulle so that the stripes are clear and not jumbled. Now, this is the tricky part. Take your crochet hook and, between those two holes, pull the tulle up a few inches to create a loop. Then take the tales of the sleeves and pull them through the loop to tighten the look and knot them into place. Repeat on the other side then trim the ends to desired length.
Step Eight: Finishing Touches
The end is in sight! All that’s left is to glue the gem onto the front of the bodice and you are finished! A low temperature hot glue gun is your best friend.
Step Nine: You Did It!
Way to go! You are a fairy godmother in the making, having created this dress for your little princess.
You’ll find this completed Cotton Candy Troll dress and more available on my store at www.etsy.com/shop/AnEnchantedBox
Process photos, DIY & Crafting Expertise courtesy Caitlin of An Enchanted Box
Model Photography by Ava K Photography
You can find tulle here at The Hair Bow Company.
You can find crochet headbands here at The Hair Bow Company.
Shop Caitlin's ready made tutu dresses here at An Enchanted Box.