Make your little princess an Elsa tutu dress using this simple tutorial, and be sure to see these darling family FROZEN costumes!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! I am SO SO SO SO SOOOOOO excited about today’s post! Last month we decided to go to Disneyland this October, and I knew that I needed to step up to the plate and create some truly great family costumes. (Did you see the Peter Pan family costumes that my mother-in-law and I created two years ago when we went to Disneyland? Check them out!) I landed on Frozen very quickly when I mentioned costumes and my little diva kept saying, “ELSA. ONLY ELSA!” Luckily, her brother loves Kristoff, and Frozen is a movie that lends itself well to group costuming. However, I just couldn’t fall in love with the idea of a slick Elsa dress for my girl. She needed a tutu dress. A big, BIG tutu dress. Quite a few people that I mentioned this to acted like I was a total weirdo, which made me rethinking my original tutu dress dreams, but after agonizing over it for an embarrassing amount of time I decided to just stick with my vision and trust my gut and GO FOR IT. I am SO glad that I did! All over the park there were little Elsas running around in costume . . . but not a single one in a tutu dress. My little gal made quite a splash! I mean, COME ON! She is the CUTEST, right?!
I bugged an online friend, Amanda from the awesome Etsy shop Shopaholic & Babies, about how to make a tutu dress. There were lots of YouTube videos, but none were great quality, and I really wanted a step-by-step PICTURE tutorial. That is what I have decided to share with you today. I will show you what I did to create Elsa, but the same technique could be used – minus the white “train” in the back – to create any Princess tutu dress! Thanks for all of the help, Amanda! You are a saint to put up with THAT many questions from someone you hardly know! 🙂
Tutu Dress Supplies
To create this dress all I needed was a teal 6″ crocheted headband (You will want to use an 8-10″ one if your little lady isn’t a tiny little peanut like my girl). I also used many rolls of tulle. Get it in rolls, not from the bolt. (It will save you SOOOO much time not to have to cut strips.) I got mine on sale at Hobby Lobby. It is 40% off every other week. I *think* I used 4 rolls of the non glittery teal tulle, 3 1/2 rolls of the glittery teal tulle (the lighter color), and 2 1/2 rolls of the glittery white tulle. I sort of lost track, to tell you the truth. Just do what I do and buy a few extra rolls. You can always return the unopened rolls if you save your receipt, but if you run out of tulle at the end of the project….oh MAN that is annoying!!!
Tutu Dress Tutorial
Fold your crocheted headband in half. The double layers help give it a more “lined” feel. I thought it would be harder to go through the two layers, but it was no big deal. The holes line up nicely.
Put the headband on your little model if she’s around. Measure the distance from the bottom of the headband to where you want it to hit, probably at least a few inches off of the floor. After all, you don’t want your little gal to trip! Now double that measurement and cut strips of that length. (I did two rows of the PLAIN tulle, and then a layer of glitter on top. More on that later.) For me the doubled measurement was close to the length of my arm, so I just used that and cut. None of my cuts were exact, and that’s ok!
Fold your long strip of tulle in half and pinch the middle, as shown below.
Roll it to tighten it up and make it smaller, and then stick it through an opening at the bottom of the headband, as shown below.
Now pull the ends through that loop, making a big slipknot.
That is essentially IT. Seriously. Just repeat this over and over and over! If you don’t need it to be very full just do a layer or two. I wanted it to be massively majestic, so I did three layers. As you can hopefully see below, I did a bottom layer of plain tulle, then I went up a row of hole and did another layer of plain tulle, and I finished off on the next row up of holes with a layer of the glitter tulle. The glitter tulle is MESSSSSSSSY, but it really takes the dress to a new level. The pictures really don’t do the glittery dress justice. When she was dancing around in line and in front of the castle and the sunlight was catching the glitter?! Perfection!
If you are making any sort of tutu dress other than Elsa then you are finished! You may want to add strips of tulle like a tank top sleeve, but I skipped that because I just threw it over a long-sleeved onesie for the Elsa look, and it was nice and tight. It did slide down when she was running a lot, but she just yanked it back up.
If you are doing an Elsa tutu dress then at this point you need to add a layer of the white glittery tulle to the TOP row of holes, directly under the fold.
I was afraid the back would look flimsy and lame, but I put them really close together and it looked great. You could make it even fuller by adding a second row of white glittery tulle underneath that, but it was 2 am the night before Mickey’s Halloween Party and I was frantically finishing it in the hotel while my family slept. This is how I roll, people. Procrastination, feverish middle-of-the-night work, and very little sleep. As one of my very best friends says, I have problems. Serious personal problems. 😉
The finished project. Isn’t she PRECIOUS?!?!?! I know I’m biased, but I adore her. Everywhere she went she told people, “I A PRINCESS!” Indeed you are, little gal! Live it up!
Of course, Little Elsa needed an entourage! Here’s the whole gang (minus our Olaf stuffed animal, who did sneak into some of the other pictures).
I intended to make tutorials for Kristoff and Anna as well, but time slipped away and I made both of them frantically in the middle of the night when the light was terrible for pictures. (See?! This is my life!) My friend (and contributor!) Angela actually bailed me out and sewed my cape and skirt, and I just added all of the embellishments to them. I died a white shirt blue, and I took a big black t-shirt and cut it down to make the vest. I lined it with gold glitter elastic and used glitter iron-on vinyl to create the flowers and vines. In fact, I am a little nuts and a total perfectionist when I get into a feverish state of excitement about a project like this, so I painstakingly drew the designs out on paper, cut them out, used that as a stencil to trace them onto the glitter vinyl, and then I cut them out WITH AN EXACTO KNIFE. WOW! Serious personal problems . . . 😉 But, you know what? I love the way it turned out. It was a ton of work, but I made many a little girl happy when I walked by them at the park. They were gawking and waving, so Angela and I must have done a pretty good job! I should have died my hair red too!
Can I show you some more pictures of our family? I was thrilled when I saw these Frozen photo opp backdrops at Disneyland. Seriously made my day!
Cutest Sven and Kristoff ever . . . ESPECIALLY Kristoff! I saw a similiar costume HERE if you are looking for a tutorial. Mine is sewn, but hers is a no-sew one that is very similar. I believe we even used the same belt trim from JoAnn Fabrics!
We were even able to meet the “REAL” Elsa and Anna! The entailed Mom SPRINTING through Disneyland in the morning to stand in the line for an hour to be able to get a ticket to come back and stand in line later. (That’s right….if you don’t get a ticket first thing in the morning you aren’t even allowed to stand in line later! Why don’t they have TWO Elsa and Annas in the park with demand like this?!?! Oh, and speaking of suggestions: GET A KRISTOFF!!!!!!!! Can you BELIEVE there is no Kristoff at Disneyland?!?!?!?! I was floored! My son was so crushed. I had to tell him that Sven was sick from eating bad carrots and so Kristoff had to stay home to take care of him that day. He looked sadly at the ground as he mulled that over and then said, “Yeah, that is very important. He definitely needs to take care of Sven!” I love that boy’s tender little heart.
Once we returned for our time to stand in line we thought we were good to go, but it took another hour. If we had known we definitely would have sent the kids to ride the Fantasyland rides over and over, but we didn’t know. Our wait in line looked something like this . . .
Elsa exhausted and rolling on the ground tangling up her tulle, and Kristoff bursting into tears because he was hot and hungry. My husband and I thought we were gonna lose it. UNTIL . . .
SWOON!!!! My husband looked over at me as we were walking out and said, “Dang Disney —- they make you CARE!” Hahaha. It was worth it. SO worth it! Both kids mention it as their favorite thing about the trip over and over. I’m so glad we did it, and I’m so glad I made the costumes. Big Elsa was SOO sweet and loving with my Little Elsa, but my favorite thing was seeing my son’s reaction. I thought before the trip that perhaps he was a bit too old to believe that the characters were real, but I was so wrong. He truly believed that Kristoff was at home taking care of Sven, and he truly believed that he fooled the REAL Anna. When he walked in she went nuts. GREAT actress — just like the movie character. “KRISTOFF!!!! I didn’t know you were here! I thought you were in Arandale!” she cried out with glee. He grinned slyly in reply and said, “I guess you just didn’t see me before.” Such an awesome moment for this mama.
Overall, the trip was fantastic. Yeah, the kids were tired and grumpy at times (see below), and yes, my daughter drove me crazy because all she wanted to do was buckle and unbuckle Olaf all day instead of ride the rides (see below again), but moments like this one totally trumped those times. And as time passes the frustration will only continue to fade until only the happy memories are left. Time and selective memories are awesome like that. I love Disneyland at Halloween. If you ever get the chance to go, you should definitely take it! (See the bottom of this post for a great travel agency with LAYAWAY PLANS!)
(Affiliate Links below – This means I get a small credit for referring you to the company, but it doesn’t cost you any extra.)
Mickey’s Halloween Party is one of my FAVORITE things ever!! The park transforms, the villains come out to meet you, the Dapper Dans wear ghoul makeup and float down a misty river singing songs from The Nightmare Before Christmas, the ride The Haunted Mansion is transformed to be The Nightmare Before Christmas themed, there are special Halloween-y treats available around the park, and you can go trick or treating as you walk from ride to ride!!! *SWOON* If you are thinking about taking your family to “The Happiest Place on Earth” this Halloween season then you should check out the travel agency Get Away Today. They have vacation LAYAWAY PLANS! Isn’t that brilliant?! Paying off your vacay a bit at a time makes it so much more realistic and affordable! Check out their amazing discounts and packages, and be sure to use the coupon code BLING to get an additional $10 off of your booking!
If You Liked My Elsa Tutu Dress, Try These Other Frozen Ideas
I will leave you with some Pinnable images and collages to help you remember the steps of the process. I hope that this tutorial will help you make one for your little lady as well!