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Butterfly Tutu Dress Tutorial


So little H was having Yellow day in school where all the lil ones were supposed to dress up as something yellow. I choose her to be a yellow butterfly! Although on second thoughts her costume ended up being more appropriate for a bumble bee but there is something irresistible about a cute little butterfly so I stuck with the butterfly idea! I had been looking on tutu tutorials on pinterest for quite some time and was itching to make one. This presented the perfect opportunity. So here is my version of the no sew tutorial.

What you need:

  • Measuring tape.
  • 2.5 yards of Yellow net (I got mine from Gulf) cut into 6 inches by 22 inches strips.
  • Black ribbon.
  • Clothespins.
  • Sewing scissors.
  • Pen to mark.

Things needed

  • First you need to measure your toddler. Take the waist measurement as well as how long you want the tutu to be. You can have a very short tutu or a nice long flowy one. Mine was somewhere in between. Little H’s waist measurement was 19 inches and I choose the tutu length to be 11 inches.
  • Next measure out your ribbon. Add 40 inches to your waist measurement. That ensures you have a lot of ribbon left to tie a nice big bow. So for me it was 40 inches plus inches 19 inches i.e. 59 inches.
  • Now mark the center point of your ribbon. Add half of your waist measurement i.e 9.5 inches (19/2)  on either side.. Mark this length with clothespin or safety pin as you can see below. The 19 inches length between the clothespin is the area where i will make my tutu.


  • Then measure and cut your net strips. Whatever your tutu length is you need to double your strip length because we will be tying it. So my tutu length was 11 inches and my strip length was 22 inches. Each net strip needs to be 6 inches wide so we can get a nice poofy tutu. Hence each strip will be 6 inches by 22 inches. The best part is you do not have to be very neat in your cutting as you can see below. In fact a bit of jagged edges give a nice rustic look to the tutu. Of course if you prefer a neat tutu then by all means be meticulous in cutting it out.


  • Once you have all your strips the longest part is done and you can not start tying the tutu strips which is sucha breeze. Stretch your ribbon around your chair and secure it with another clothespin as seen below.


  • Now start tying the strips. Each knot goes on top. Do not tie the knots tightly. They should be loose enough that you can slide them across the ribbon. Continue tying until you fill all 19 inches between your clothespins. A note here, the puffier you want your tutu to be the more closely you need to tie your strips.


  • Once your are done tying all the strips tighten the knots and adjust them so no black ribbon is showing.


  • Take the tutu off the chair and tie a big black bow. You can now add any embellishment on the bow or on the tutu itself if you want. Tada your tutu is ready to be worn. Assuming your toddler is open to wearing it. Mine wasn’t and I had to bribe her with chocolate to put it on for 5 minutes! Please ignore my foot in the picture. I was too lazy to crop it 😛


  • Now that we are done with the tutu, we need a pair of wings. For that you can just draw wings on yellow cardboard and cut. If you are not sure what shape to draw there are many butterfly stencils available on google. Once you are done with the stencil, cut it and draw butterfly pattern on it with a black marker. Alternatively you can decorate it as you like with glitter and stuff. I only wanted it to be black and yellow so did not venture into any other colors. Here is my version.

haniya butterfly

  • To attach the butterfly to your toddler’s back use punch two holes in the cardboard and string yellow ribbon through it. This ribbon is then tied across the two shoulders as can be seen below. If your toddler is open to wearing something on the head then you can make a headband with antennas. I am lucky if H even lets me brush her hair so I did not bother with the headband but it looks very cute.

haniya butterfly back