Taming Tulle

How to make a no-sew tulle skirt.

In an effort to incorporate more craft time and costume changes into our lives, Joss and I took a trip to Joann’s Fabrics a couple Saturdays ago. On our shopping list? Tulle and elastic. I’m sure you know where this is going.

There is no shortage of tulle tutu tutorials online–I used this one as a guide–but here is one more, Spaghetti on the Wall style. Tulle skirts are 1) cheap (tulle can be purchased for less than $2.50 per yard), 2) Easy (no sewing machine required!) and 3) Useful (think: cheap and easy but cute gift idea!). Plus, if you have older children, tulle skirts are something they could easily learn to make on their own. Younger kids will enjoy getting to pick out fabric colors!

First, I should point out that you can purchase tulle in ribbon-like spools. This would make the project even easier, as you wouldn’t have to do so much folding/cutting; also, it would be easier to make sure all your tulle pieces are the same length. But I had already put four bolts of tulle in my cart when I discovered this, so…next time.

How To Make a Tulle Skirt


  • 4 yards of tulle, in any color(s) desired. (It might be a good idea to get even more than this, just so you have extra to fill in gaps if needed.)
  • Elastic (enough so that it is just slightly smaller than the child’s waist when sewn into a circle)
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Thread


1. Cut tulle into strips of equal length. (Many tutorials I’ve seen say six inch strips; really, it’s up to you. Just don’t get it too narrow because it can tear.) The way I did this was to fold the tulle in half, fold in half again, and keep folding until your length of tulle is about four inches wide. Then start cutting into strips that are approximately the same width.

Folded tulle, with beginning cuts.

Finished strips.

2. Sew elastic into circle.

Like so.

3. Stretch elastic over large book (the tutorial I used suggested this, and it was very helpful!). Begin knotting tulle in place. The best way (errr, at least the way I did it) to knot the tulle is to grab two strips, making sure the ends are lined up, and to fold them in half lengthwise. Place the curve of the fold under the elastic and grab the ends to pull through. You may want to adjust your knot to make sure all the knots are facing the same way. Continue doing this until you have a full skirt!

Obviously, it would be preferable to matching elastic so it doesn’t show through.

4. Finishing touches. If you are like me and didn’t measure your tulle, you may notice that some pieces hang down longer than others. If this bothers you, give them a trim! Also, check to make sure the tulle is covering as much of the elastic as possible. Add in more pieces if needed. Many tutorials have you add a ribbon so your skirt can have an attractive bow, but my bow-tying skills are nonexistent, so I figured mine would look better without!

Categories: Spaghetti on the Wall