The last time I went to the fabric store I noticed that tulle was on sale for 1.49 a yard. And you know what that means? TUTU PARTY!
A lot of our story time girls love princesses and fancy dresses and when one mom in particular asked me if I knew where to get a cheap tutu for her little girl, I knew that a program of this type could go over really well. We try not to do distinctly gendered programs, so I was a little bit worried about this one. It's true, no boys showed up, but I was prepared to show any boy who seemed interested how to use the same techniques to make a lion's mane or warrior head dress if tutu's seemed just a bit too girly.
-thick ribbon for the waistband (we used a spool of Christmas decorating ribbon that was languishing in our craft closet and it worked perfectly)
I learned how to make tutu's using an internet tutorial ages ago- for the past 3 years my Halloween costumes have included a tutu element because, why not? I no longer remember where the original one is (bad librarian) but it's the same basic knot technique as this one. So refer to that in case my description gets confusing.
1) Cut the tulle
Cute the tulle into long strips, approximately twice as long as you want the tutu to be. Tulle can be tricky to work, especially cut, since it's so thin, but folding it makes it more manageable and fewer cuts are required.
2) Measure the waistband
We took the ribbon and wrapped it around each girl's midsection (or where ever she wanted the tutu to sit) then we added about 10 inches to each side. Tie knots where the ribbon meets. The ribbon on the outside will be the ties, while the ribbon on the inside is what we'll be working with.
3) Tie the tulle
Pick up a piece of tulle and fold it in half. Pull the ends of the tulle through the opening at the end, catching the ribbon in between so it creates a knot. At this point, please refer here where there are great pictures to help.
4) Take a quick break and tie some around your ponytail too, creating a fabulous head piece.
5) Repeat step three until the ribbon inside the knots is completely covered.
You can pull the tulle tighter or looser depending on your preference and amount of tulle. The pulling the tulle closer together will make the tutu poufier, but also requires more material.
6) Tie the tutu around your waist and strike a pose!
Note: This is where I really wish it was okay for me to put pictures of children on the internet without their knowledge/permission. Because while you can see exactly how cute their tutus turned out, you cannot see the looks of absolute JOY on their faces. And let me tell you, they were ecstatic. As one girl said "Girl, we look creative, you better know it!"
I greatly underestimated the interest in this program and therefore we ran out of tulle pretty quickly, leaving a few girls with unfinished tutus. I went back to the fabric store, restocked, and the next week we had materials available for kids to finish their tutus. A few little girls who had missed the first program were even able to make one with some help from the older girls!