Being the middle of five children, with two older sisters, I am no stranger to the fashion world of hand-me-downs. Fortunately, my sisters generally had good taste in clothing so I wasn't too sad about getting most of the items. However, there were plenty of times when the clothing item that was getting passed down to me were a little worn looking. If only the idea of restyling clothing with little embellishments or additions was more wide-spread when I was growing up!
Whether you're looking to give new life to overalls, shorts, skirts, or pants, or just like the looks of the structure of this tutu and are here to learn how to create a similar tutu, keep reading for step-by-step instructions on how to create your very own pointy-ended layered tutu.
The following materials are used to make this outfit:
- 1 Roll 6" x 25 yds 100% Nylon Premium Tulle - Beige
- 1 Roll 6" x 25 yds Glitter Tulle - Orange
- 1 Roll 6" x 25 yds Glitter Tulle - Red
- 1 Roll 6" x 25 yds Gold Polka Dot Tulle - Chocolate
- 1 Spool 3/8" Grosgrain Ribbon - Chocolate Chip
- 1 Spool 3/8" Grosgrain Ribbon - Tan
- 1 Spool 3/8" Grosgrain Ribbon - Green Flash
- 1 Pair of Overalls, Shorts, Pants, or a Skirt with Belt Loops
*Note: Use the color scheme you like best, and as an alternate
to the grosgrain ribbon, try using two 1.5" crochet headbands
sewn on to the waistband and add the tulle as done with our
The following tools were used to make this outfit:
- Ruler / Tape Measure
- Scissors / Cutting Wheel / Cutting Board
- Flat objects of 3 different lengths for tulle strips
The overalls used for this project are an XS pair picked up from a thrift store, and so the lengths here are for a girl aged about 4-5 years old. Adjust the of the length of the tulle and measuring tools according to the age and height of the child, and also to meet your preference for overall skirt length.
Now to get started! Each of the layers of the tutu is longer than the one above it. The following measurements were used for this project:
- Chocolate/Gold Dot: 12" strips = ~5" tied on tutu
- Orange/Beige: 18" strips = ~8" tied on tutu (double layer shortens the tied strips a little bit)
- Red: 24" strips = ~11.5" tied on tutu
1. The middle layer is actually orange and beige tulle layered together, then separated after they're tied to give more fluff, and also to add a slight visual variation with the lighter color mixed in. When wrapping the double layer, wrap them together at the same time, then just be sure to grab both for each strip tied.
2. Using the wrapping method described here, roll the tulle for each layer around your board/object that is the correct length for each layer. The board should be same length as you wan the finished strips on the tutu to be so you only have to cut on one side.
I didn't have any boxes handy to cut to the desired lengths, so I found random flat, sturdy objects I had around that fit my length requirements - improvise! For the orange and the red layers, I used an old recorder instruction manual. The chocolate/gold dot tulle was wrapped around a costume pattern package.
3. Wrap the tulle around the board as many times as the number of strips you will use. For this project, I used 40 strips of Chocolate/Gold Dot, 26 strips of Orange/Beige (larger knots, but 2x as fluffy!), and 30 strips of Red (thicker tulle than the gold dot).
4. To make the angled tutu strip edges, find the middle of the cut ends (short ends), which should be at about 3" from the side. Don't worry if your tulle stacks aren't perfectly aligned. Having slight variations will not diminish the look of this tutu.
5. Cut the corners of the tulle rectangles off from the middle point marked in Step 4 up to a point on the side. The steeper/longer the angle, the more narrow the point will be. The length of the corners cut off for this project measure about 5".
6. To ensure both sides are cut at the same angle, I cut one side, then folded the rectangle in half and used the cut side as a template for the other side. You can then use the same method for cutting the angles on your remaining color stacks of tulle.
7. Your finished small strips should look like this.
8. All three layers.
Once you have your strips cut and ready to go, it's time to move on to creating the tutu on the overalls.
1. Cut lengths of each of your three colors of ribbon on to which you will tie the tulle. You can use all one color, but I found it helpful to keeping each layer on the same ribbon by having a different color for each layer. Measure the waist, then add about 1/3 more inches to account for the addition of the tulle, and tying at the end. I used about 40" and had a little bit to trim off at the end.
Thread the ribbon through the belt loops as you would a belt, but start in the back instead of the front. I knotted all three strips of ribbon together on one end so I could thread them easily through all at once. Pull it through until you meet again in the back then even out your ends.
2. Begin tying your longest strips to the ribbon strip on the bottom. Because the three layers of this skirt will make for a fluffy tutu, I used the loop method to tie on the tulle to help tame the fluff. If you need instructions on how this is done, check out this tutorial (Steps 2-5) for my favorite set of instructions on how to tie the tulle to the tutu top. Since we're not using a crochet top, I didn't use the crochet hook.
3. No need to crowd the strips on the ribbon - there's plenty of tulle for this skirt to be super fluffy! When you're done with the bottom layer, move on to the middle layer (remember to use both the orange and beige strips together for each tie), and finally the top layer.
4. To keep the layers connected, every so often tie one folded tie strip to both it's own ribbon and down between strips on the row below.
5. To keep the ring around the top layer from having a slight gap where the belt loops attach to the pants, and also to anchor the tutu to the pants, I also tied a strip around the ribbon and the belt loop together.
6. After completing all layers, double knot the ends of each ribbon strip to itself on the back end. Trim the edges and tuck the knots in beneath the tulle strips. Fluff each layer, and separate the orange and beige strips to add more volume and dimension to the middle layer.
You may choose to make this a stand-alone tutu by eliminating the overalls and just tie the tulle to the ribbon only or a crochet headband or tutu top. Or you may have a shirt with a cute graphic on the front and so don't want an overalls bib covering it up. In that case, a pair of shorts, a skirt, or pants with belt loops work great. If you want to keep the feel of the overalls, try adding matching suspenders!
I liked the look of the overalls for an autumn tutu because it gives the outfit a kind of scarecrow feel. Add a straw hat, and maybe embellish the waist with some colorful silk fall flowers and leaves, and attach a large flower on the front bib pocket, and you've got a beautiful Autumn outfit - perfect for Thanksgiving parties!
This style of skirt also is adorable with lighter colors for a spring flower or fairy look.
Not ready to make your own? That's ok! We have 100's of fall outfits and adorable overalls for girls that are ready to wear too!
We'd LOVE to see your creations inspired by this tutorial. Post a picture of your projects on our Facebook or Instagram pages to share with us and others looking for inspiration. Love the idea but not quite ready to make your tutu? Pin this tutorial on Pinterest to easily return to it later.
Should you have questions about this tutorial, please post your questions below and we'll do our best to answer them - or perhaps others in our fabulous community will be able to provide a comment to help you along too!
Thank you for spending time with us! We look forward to your next visit!