Lily & Frog

LEOW & Mom creating clothing & keepsake blankets


How to: DIY Toddler Ballet Tutu

Have you stopped into our Tutu Shop? ¬†The tutus I design for toddlers are quite adorable if I do say so myself ūüėČ ¬†And I though I would share with you exactly how I create each of my designs…

Hello Kitty Tutu (11)   Pretty Pink Princess Tutu (8) (400x269)   Doc McStuffins Tutu (3)

Lily & Frog Supplies:

  • 2 yards of tulle (color of your choice)
  • 2 yards of tulle (if you would like more than 4 layers or¬†more than one color)
  • Thread¬†(color of your choice)
  • At least 2 yards of Ribbon¬†(used to decorate tutu hem. Color/type of your choice)
  • Elastic (long enough for waist of child)
  • Pins
  • Ruler

DIY Ballerina Toddler Tutu (3)Lily & Frog Instructions:

Grab your tulle (ONE of the colors). ¬†Open the tulle, laying it flat. ¬†Fold the tulle in half as pictured (if you have a ‘Nice Side’ to the tulle, the ‘Nice Sides’ will¬†be touching), the 2 Cut Edges (the Cut Edge is where the fabric store cut the tulle) will be touching. ¬†The Manufacturer’s Edge will be 1 yard in length because you have folded the 2 yards in half.

Sew along the Cut Edge. ¬†This is¬†creating the side seam of the tutu… ¬†yes, you can pin this edge together if you would like, it will help stabilize the tulle. ¬†I prefer not to because pinning tulle can be a tedious and timely process, I just pay close attention to my lines.

Lay the sewn tulle flat again, fold it in half again along the short side.

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Once folded the second time, flip the tulle right side¬†out (once the tutu is flipped,¬†the ‘Nice Side of the tulle will be on the outside). ¬†Place your hands into the top opening of the tulle, pinch the fold in the corners and flip the tulle right side out.

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The tulle will now lay as pictured:

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For a fuller Tutu, repeat the fold and flip one more time (I always fold and flip two times for a full and fluffy tutu):

DIY Ballerina Toddler Tutu (11)

DIY Ballerina Toddler Tutu (15)After flipping the tulle 2 times, the Flipped Edge is the waist of the tutu and the manufactured Edge is the bottom¬†seam of the tutu. ¬†Along the waist you will need to create an opening to pass the elastic through for the waist. ¬†In the current state, you can not sew the opening for the elastic because the top¬†layer of the Flipped Tulle does not fold nicely with the interior¬†layer of flipped tulle… ¬†If you look closely at the image to the¬†right, the interior fold is along the edge of the ruler. ¬†Sewing now, would create an uneven¬†opening to pass the elastic through, this needs to be line up straight and lay flat.

Gently press the ruler against the interior layer of tulle, creating an even waist with the two folded layers of tulle.  Pin together the layers of tulle all the way around the waist.

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If you only have one color of tulle, skip this step. ¬†Move onto the sewing part…

If you have a second color of tulle, repeat the above steps with the second color

You should now have 2 identical colors of tulle which will be 2 layers of color in your tutu.  Layer each tutu on top of each other, pinning together along the fold of the waist.

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DIY Ballerina Toddler Tutu (25)

All colors of tulle are pinned together along the waist and you can sew the opening to pass the elastic through.

Following the picture from the left…

Stitch #1 is about 1/8 inch in from the fold of the entire waist, following the fold
in the waist band and beginning and ending with a back stitch (If you move the tulle in to 1/4 inch you will create a slight ruffle along the waist when the elastic is passed through).

Stitch #2 starting location varies based on the width of your elastic.  I have a 1 inch wide elastic and I will start the straight stitch 1 1/8 inch in from Stitch #1, beginning and ending with a back stitch, leaving a 2 inch opening for the elastic to pass through.

Stitch #1 and Stitch #2 should appear as below…

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Currently, the bottom edge of your tutu will look a little ragged and uneven, now is when you will cut the length of your tutu. ¬†I grabbed one of Lily’s skirts to estimate a length… ¬†the longer the length of the skirt the more it will droop down, the shorter the skirt the more it will fluff and stick out. ¬†For a fluffy fit I cut about 12 inches from Stitch #2.

To help cut time in half, I use a rotary cutter, cutting mat, and a 12 1/2 inch cutting square.  Fold the tutu in half at the waist multiple times, laying the tutu flat.  Line the fold of the waist straight along a line on the cutting mat.  Using either Stitch #1 or #2 as your straight line, measure the desired length for your tutu with the cutting square, cutting any excess tulle from the bottom edge.  You may end up with a few ragged spots, just snip them with some scissors.

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DIY Ballerina Toddler Tutu (35)Once cut, unfold the tutu. ¬†At this point, if you would like to add ribbon to the bottom edge, go for it… ¬†Normally I buy a 3 yard packet of Offray Brand Ribbon, using remaining ribbon for bows. ¬†A few tricks I use when sewing ribbon…

  • Line up the¬†ribbon with¬†the bottom edge of the tutu overlapping, this will make sewing place easier.
  • Make sure the ribbon laying in the¬†right direction. ¬†If there are words or pictures on the ribbon, be sure¬†you can read it.
  • To prevent the edges of the ribbon from fraying, heat seal the two ends together. Begin sewing¬†about 2 inches in from the end of the ribbon (leave it hanging for now), stitch all the way around the edge, stop sewing about 3-4 inches from the start (DO NOT take the tutu out of the sewing machine). ¬†Line the ribbon up with the 2 inches from¬†the start, snip off the excess, heat seal the ends together, and continue sewing the ribbon into place.

In my case, I have found it is much easier to cut the length and sew the ribbon onto the bottom edge before¬†creating the waist with the elastic… ¬†there is far less measuring, folding, and ruffling of tulle and ribbon.

Almost finished…

You will need the elastic, safety pin and cloths pin to finish the waist band… ¬†cut the elastic length based on your child’s size. ¬†Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and a cloths pin to the other (the cloths pin helps stop¬†the elastic from pulling through the waist band).

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String the elastic with the safety pin through the opening of the waist band.  Push the elastic all the way through the waist band until it comes out the other end.

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Pull the safety pin end through the opening, overlap the ends, stitching the ends, I normally do a forward and back stitch several times in 2 spots where they overlap.  Sew the opening closed in the tutu closed.


Hello Kitty Tutu (11)   Pretty Pink Princess Tutu (8) (400x269)

Visit our delightful and darling shop to browse all of our Keepsake Blankets, Birthday T-Shirts, Tutus, Custom Made T-Shirts and MORE at  Click on the images below to browse every design we have created over the years.  You may also e-mail Lily & Frog directly at and follow our blog. xo, B


Lily’s Ballerina Birthday

Lily's Prima Ballerina TutuAfter celebrating Lily’s first birthday this last weekend with friends and family, I couldn’t help but share her special day!

Weather‚Ķ¬† Holy Cow!¬† Was it hot, or what??¬† I never claimed to be a meteorologist, but on the Thursday night before the party,¬†while watching the weather, as I heard ‚ÄúSaturday will be the hottest day of the summer‚Ķ‚Ä̬† I nearly froze.¬† Lily‚Äôs party was going to be at noon, at the height of the heat.¬† I pulled some positive thinking out of my Mary Poppins bag: decided to fill the kiddie pool, grab some water squirters, crank up the AC, batten down the hatches and prepare for a scorcher!¬† We were going to need EXTRA cold water and ice, lots of ICE!

Now, down to the fun part…  The party planning!Lily's Prima Ballerina Tutu (3)

After I explored Pinterest, I found a ton of great ideas for a ballerina party, which I pinned on Lily’s Party Board (and future birthday parties as well, I‚Äôm picturing an Itsy Bitsy Spider party or¬†The Very Hungry Caterpillar birthday in someone‚Äôs future).

The ideas listed below were completed by me, three of my girlfriends, with our kids running around, an ordered pizza for dinner and wine…¬† LOTS of wine!

Quenching your thirst…  Wet your whistle with some pink lemonade!  I was inspired by a Pink Lemonade Party plan I found on Pinterest (but I can’t find the link for the party, sorry).  Nothing over the top special about the actual pink lemonade, but all the little touches create awesomeness.  I, actually a friend, sliced lemons into thinly sliced triangles, small enough to fit each into their own personal little pocket of ice (ice tray).  Then, she sliced pretty ones to drop into the pink lemonade for a little added touch.  Soon the frozen lemons were floating in the pink lemonade and displayed (melting) in an ice bucket.  I displayed the masterpiece in different shaped canisters and pitchers…

Mmmm, the FOOD…  Since we are celebrating at high noon on the hottest day of the summer, I planned on cool, light, and serve yourself kind of a meal.  When people offered to bring food, I did not turn them down. Plus, let’s be honest, I can’t say no.  Deli platter, Bar salad, Chinese salad, fruit, cheese and crackers…  Keeping everything as simple as possible, but delicious and kid friendly at the same time.

Lily's Prima Ballerina Tutu

Lily's Prima Ballerina Tutu (15)Just Dessert…  I stumbled upon several adorable ballerina cupcake ideas.  I ended up relying on a dear friend (Danielle Peregrim, who knows the ins and outs of the pastry world.  After calling in the reinforcements, we got down to business!

I supplied the cupcakes.

By the way, my super secret to a great cupcake: Add vanilla pudding mix (dry) to your cake mix. The cupcakes will stay moister longer. It works every time!

She supplied everything else!

Lily's Prima Ballerina Tutu (16)Just Dessert PART II…  This could break a few hearts, I’m sorry in advance, but party favors drive me insane.  I can do without a collection of engraved frames from weddings, or votives with dates, or knick-knack toys, etc…  I have them and, unfortunately, they are all collecting dust in the attic because I can’t bear to throw them away or they are lost in the abyss of my car. Either way, they aren’t being used…  After this summer, I’m going to end up with a puddle of melted crayons in my car, huh?

Even though I have a strong dislike for favors, I still wanted people to walk from our home knowing we appreciated their company, they needed to leave with something…  but what?  Another Pinterest find; I found Erin Cooks and the blog post called Pretty Pretty Princess Pink Party Popcorn.  There were other tutorials on making tri-colored popcorn, but this was straightforward and to the point, and looked wicked EASY!

To create a cute display, I covered empty (diaper) boxes with wrapping paper, lined the inside with plastic table cloths, and tied it all together with extra yarn I had in the house.¬† Everything to picked to match Lily’s party colors and purchased on sale from Target…¬† CHEAP!

Want a detailed tutorial on how we did it…¬†¬†E-mail me at and¬†I‚Äôll post ASAP!

Dress-Code…  Ok, we didn’t have a dress-code by any means. Honestly there were kids running around in their knickers and diapers after jumping out of the pool, tracking water through the house; no harm, no foul, right?  And then there was Lily in her birthday tutu.  I have to say, I’m a little bias, but she was absolutely adorable…

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Photography by TMR Imagery

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Lily’s Ballet Tutu

Lily's Prima Ballerina Tutu (5)B

Each of the kid’s Birthdays I either design a Birthday Outfit for the kids, or I purchase one…

Frozen Birthday Party (27)   Hello Kitty Birthday Party (15)   Super Hero Birthday Party (41)   Alice In Wonderland Tutu (2)   Lightning McQueen Cars Birthday Party (104)   Lightning McQueen Cars Birthday Party (27)

Lily’s Prima Ballerina Birthday was the perfect opportunity to design her a tutu created entirely of tulle from my last ballet performance.  Using a seam ripper, patience, and delicate fingers, I removed all the tulle from the bodice of my ballet costume, removed the seams, and layed it flat.

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From this tulle, I designed a simple, sweet and delicate tutu in a pale pink, trimming the bottom edge with lime green rick rack ribbon, pink butterfly ribbon and, pale green and pink polka dot ribbon.  Adding just the right amount of delicate, child-like character.

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Each Lily & Frog tutu is custom-made, so no two tutus are ever the same. I will be happy to discuss with you a tutu which works best for your little prima ballerina while maintaining a classic pattern with a wholesome and delicate design, finished off with a sprinkle of Lily & Frog flair!

Tutus are available in a variety of sizes (size 6 months to toddler sizes), assortment of colors, coordinated hair accessories, and an array of accents.  Starting price for a custom designed tutu is $40.00 and may vary slightly from there.

How to place an order: Visit our Shop or contact Elizabeth directly at  If a product above is not shown in our shop, please contact Elizabeth directly for a custom order.

Visit our Shop for purchasing. You may also e-mail Lily & Frog directly at