Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tutu Valance Tutorial

Soooo, one night I was on Pinterest and came across a cute little valance, but I didn't really like the way it was made.  They claimed it was a "tutu" valance, but it looked more like an old lady's slip.  The person that I am, I brainstormed for a simple way to make a true tutu valance.  What I came up with is ridiculously simple, although a little time consuming, but trust me anyone can make this for their little girl!  And for my ladies who always tell me, ".....but Dani, I can't sew!".  Eat your words girls, because this NO SEW!!! WOOHOO!  SOOOO anyways, moving on....
I'm also going to include the extra tweeks for making an actual tutu as well. 

Project Skill:  Beginner
My cost:  Less than $5.  (May be up to $10 for some)
Time: A couple hours on your own, less with a helper!

Here's what you'll need:

1) A Curtain Rod
    I used one of the $1.50 cheapo metal ones.  There's a reason why, so stay tuned. (Besides that it was cheap!)  You'll also need a measuring tape to see how long of a rod you'll need.
2) Strong Tape
     Skip the scotch tape for this project, you'll need the good stuff.  Electrical tape, packing tape, painters masking get the idea.
3) Tulle
     I used 2 rolls of lavender and 2 rolls of royal purple in 6 inches wide by 25 yards long.  My baby's window is 37 inches, and I used all four rolls loosely but you could easily use 6 rolls on a 37 inch'll wanna make sure to get enough tulle.  Wouldn't hurt to buy a couple extra rolls.  Need a link for cheap stuff?  Gotcha covered.  Visit Gifts International where tulle is usually under a buck a roll.  If you're making a tutu, you will most likely have some tulle left over.
4) Scissors (DUH!)
5) A book.
    A book?  What, Dani?!  Yep, a book.  Grab one of your kids' books that's about 8 inches long ways. I'll tell ya why in a sec :) 

UPDATE:: If you want to make a regular tutu instead of this valance, you'll need 3/4in elastic.  

Step One: Prepping the Curtain Rod/Elastic
FOR VALANCE: Measure your child's window and then grab your curtain rod.  Extend it out to the length you need.  Honestly?  I eye balled it, held it up to the window, installed the lil brackets that came with it, then made sure not to slide the curtain rod at all when I took it down and grabbed my tape.  When the rod is as long as you need it to be, tape up where the slide is.  Trust me, you'll wanna do this.

Measure your child's waist and then subtract 3inches. That's the length of elastic you'll need.
Once that's cut, sew your two ends together with a needle and thread.  Once you're done with that, yank on it a few times to make sure it's not gonna snap. Then slip the elastic over your thigh like a garter and move on to the next step.

Step Two: Dealing with  Cutting Tulle
Grab your tulle and your book. Open a roll of tulle and find your end.  Open your book and place the end of your tulle inside the book:

Now, close your book. Hold it with your hands nice and tight.  Should look like this:

Make sure you hold that book closed tight.  Then wrap your tulle around the book and roll the WHOLE roll around it.  Once you've got the entire roll wrapped it'll look like this:

Do you remember which end of the book you inserted the tulle in?  Good.  I used the top, because it made more sense.  Now grab your scissors, and cut that end of your tulle.  JUST that end though, not both ends.

Carefully lay your tulle down in the stack.  You'll see that your tulle is approx double the length of your book.  (HINT:  You can use this trick for making tutus!  *gasp*)

Cut all your tulle and place in neat lil stacks.

Now, at this point, I am going to peep in an idea for ya.  If your little girl LOVES Tinkerbell or punk rock, funky style, take the ends of your tulle and cut them into a V shape.  Why?  It'll give your tutu valance an edgy pixie look with spikey edges. Way cool, right? :)

Moving on: 

Step Three: Making the Tutu Valance/Making the Tutu
I promised no sew, and I meant it.  Take two pieces of tulle and line em up...

And start tying the strips onto your rod in a normal knot.  When making a tutu, make sure that when you're tying, the elastic doesn't roll.  This will make for a very clean waist band.

If you have an older kid, say 5 or can have them start at one end of the rod and you start at the other.  You'll get done faster :)

And keep going.....

And going.....
And note in this next pic....if your kid ever changes her mind and wants a different color or style, simply run your scissors thru the slit in the back of your cheapo curtain rod.  All that tulle comes right off for you to start over.   See, told ya there was a reason to use those cheapo rods!

Eventually you'll fill the rod.  You can make this thing super fluffy tying your tulle tight and close together, or you can leave it a little loose.  I did.  Turned out great.  But like I said earlier in the post, I could have easily put down 6 rolls of tulle instead of just the 4.

Step 4: Hang it Up!/Try it on!

Done tying?  Hang that thing up or try it on!  You're DONE. Seeeee?  Told ya you could do it!

My finished product, hung up:

I could totally see a hot pink valance hanging over zebra curtains, or a lime green one for a Tinkerbell themed room, or for the whimsical, one done in rainbow colors....oh my ideas!  Too bad I can't put one of these in the bedroom, hubby would kill me ;)    But my wheels are already turning for something in there...hmmmm....more tulle....Oh, right.  Anyway:

Now, if you make one of these, you *must* let me know!  Send me an email or photo to!  I want to see your creations!

Enjoy :)