How to make a patriotic tutu

Jun 25, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. ET

Whether your daughter loves to play dress up or you're looking for a cute patriotic holiday ensemble, making your own DIY red, white and blue tutu is easy — and a lot cheaper than buying a pettiskirt in a boutique!

Check out these step-by-step instructions on how to make a patriotic tutu just in time for Fourth of July.

What you'll need:

Tutu supplies

  • 4 yards 56" wide red shimmer tulle
  • 4 yards 56" wide white shimmer tulle
  • 2 yards 56" wide blue shimmer tulle
  • Red, white or blue ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Water jug (optional)

What you'll do:

  1. Smooth your tulle out and fold in half lengthwise so the tulle measures 28 inches wide.
  2. Fold in half so that the short ends meet, making your tulle two yards long. Fold again in the same direction.
  3. Taking the side closest to you, roll your tulle carefully and evenly to form a "tube" that is two yards wide.

Making a tutu

  1. Using sharp scissors, cut your "tube" in 4-inch increments.
  2. Repeat for all three colors.
  3. Once your strips are all cut, you're ready to start tying! Measure a length of ribbon long enough to wrap all the way around your daughter's waist plus enough extra to tie a cute bow when you're done.
  4. Unroll your long pieces of tulle and cut them into 24-inch strips — you can double them up to cut more at one time once you get the hang of it.

Milk jug for tutu

  1. Tie the ribbon around a full water jug, bannister or anything else that is heavy or stationary enough to help hold your ribbon while you tie.
  2. Match up four lengths of red tulle, pinch in the middle and have the loose ends meet, forming a loop around your finger.
  3. Push the loop through the back of your ribbon. Then bring your loose ends through that loop at the front of the ribbon and pull until a neat "knot" is formed. How tight you pull it is up to you based on your preference for the finished look.

Making a tutu

  1. Repeat with four lengths of white tulle to create another tied knot next to the red, pushing the finished knots together as you go.
  2. Alternate red and white knots until you reached three-quarters of the way around the length of your daughter's waist. It's helpful to check your progress by having your daughter try on the partially-finished tutu when you think you're close.
  3. For the last quarter of your patriotic tutu, use four lengths of blue tulle to tie knots until you've filled in the rest of your space. Don't forget to leave enough room to tie it to your little girl's waist!
  4. Optional: You can trim final strips evenly if preferred.

Finished tutu

Once you're done, fluff and tie your red, white and blue tutu for a twirl-worthy pettiskirt that your daughter will love any day of the year!

Girl in tutu

Keep in mind that you may have a little tulle left over — or need a little extra — depending on the size of your daughter's waist or the length and fullness of your red, white and blue tutu. You can increase or reduce the number of strips of tulle you tie together at one time, depending on how full you want to make your patriotic tutu, but the key is to take the time to try it on your little one as you go so you can get the look you want when she's twirling in her summer pettiskirt!

Image credit: Michelle Maffei

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