Twirly Mermaid Dress

Get ready, y'all! This tutorial is going to rock your socks off!

I have made MANY tutus and tutu dresses during my time here at The Hair Bow Company. I love to come up with new designs and color combinations that your daughter would love. Today I have a new style for you.

We recently had a little mermaid themed party and I needed three different mermaid style dresses for my guests. I created this one quite a while ago and loved it, so we reused that one on one of the girls.

For the second mermaid dress, I wanted something with a twirly skirt. It seemed very seaweed-gills-organic-etc. So I started playing with ways to create those fun twirls.

What it all comes down to is very loose braids. Create your tutu dress as you normally would, and then loosely braid the strands. The result is a dress that looks twirly, not braided.

diy mermaid tutu dress

As far as materials, it's pretty basic. A crochet headband, tulle, scissors, a tape measure, and a crochet hook. I decided to go with teal, mint, fuchsia, Kelly green, and lime tulle for my twirly skirt but you can pick your favorite combo! 

You'll need to determine the length you'd like your dress. I knew the twirls would make this a tad shorter than I had planned, so I cut the tulle to be ankle length. It's up to you! The best thing to do is measure a pair of her pants to get the best length. Take that number and double it. I wanted my dress to be about 24" long, so my tulle needed to be 48" long.

Use your crochet hook to help. It's possible to create a dress without one, but it takes much longer. Just buy a hook!

Begin on the second row of holes. Your tulle will be looped around the cloth square on the lowest row. Make sense? Push the crochet hook from the inside of the headband through to the outside. (Since I was dealing with a lined headband, I needed to thread it from the very base of the headband up through the hole.) Fold a strand of tulle in half and grab the loop with the hook. Pull it through. Then grab the two ends of the tulle strand and thread them through the tulle loop. (Check out the photos below if that sounds confusing. It's really easy!)

Just keep going until your crochet headband is full. I went in a completely random order on this. I used five colors and just put them wherever I felt like putting them! I also chose to do only one layer of tulle. In hindsight, I wish I would have done two. For girls over 4 years old, I think two layers is best. It'll ensure that the dress isn't see-through.

Once you have all of the tulle attached, hang your dress up somewhere. Grab three different colored strands of tulle (not right next to each other!) and very loosely braid them. Knot them at the bottom. I didn't take close-up pics of the knots... they aren't anything fancy. Then take three other colors and loosely braid them. Just keep going until the entire dress is braided. It'll look pretty weird while you're doing it, and you'll wonder (often) if you're screwing it all up. You're not! Keep going! I found it helpful to walk out of the room for a few minutes and then walk back to see it with fresh eyes.

When it was complete, I took three long strands of tulle and made a braided belt to add a little something extra to the dress. You can always add should straps, a halter, or other embellishments.

Give this style a shot. You will not be disappointed!

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