Tutu Tutorial 2.0: Tips for Running in a Tutu

Greetings, Team Tutu! Hope you are having a great summer! We have been busy preparing our costumes for the fall runDisney races. This obviously means a few new tutus are happening in our future!  While we are knee deep in tulle, we thought we would take a minute to share a few things we have learned about running in a tutu.  It has been 2 years since we posted our first tutu tutorial, and we have definitely discovered a few tricks and tips since then! So, without further ado, here is our Tutu Tutorial version 2.0!

Tip 1: Don’t cut the tulle one piece at a time. If you have ever made a tutu (click here for our full tutorial), you know that you need to cut a lot of tulle. I used to cut the strips of tulle one at a time and it took FOREVER.  I am very thankful that a fabric cutter at my local Jo-Ann Fabrics saved me from this misery and told me how to cut a spool of tulle all at once! To use this tulle cutting hack,  grab a piece of cardboard that is the length you want your tutu to be. Next, grab a spool of tulle and clip the end of the tulle to one end of the cardboard.  Then, wrap the entire roll of tulle around the cardboard (as if rolling up a cord). Finally, grab a sharp pair of scissors, slide the scissors under the end of the cardboard where you clipped the tulle, and cut all the tulle at one time. This will give you even strips of tulle with clean edges so your tutu will look nice and neat.

Tip 2: Experiment with different waistband options.  We initially made all of our tutus using 1 inch elastic waistbands. Over the past year, we have fallen in love with crochet material. We love the crochet material because it is comfortable and you can make multiple layers of tulle for a fuller tutu.  The crochet elastic material is located in the ribbon section of Jo-Ann Fabrics and Hobby Lobby. If you are making a tutu for a child, you can use crochet headbands already sewn together.  Speaking of sewing, the crochet material can be difficult to run through a sewing machine. We wrap ribbon around the crochet material when we run it through our sewing machines to keep it from bunching up and getting stuck in the machine. Hand sewing is also an option for crochet material if you don’t have a sewing machine. Even though it is a little extra work to sew the crochet material, we think the end result is worth it!


If you aren’t a fan of sewing or gluing, a long piece of ribbon can also function as a tutu waistband. For this option, cut a piece of ribbon long enough to securely tie around your waist. Then, slipknot pieces of tulle around the ribbon leaving extra ribbon on each end so that you have enough ribbon to tie the tutu around your waist with a bow in the back (as you would with an apron). Ribbon tutus are not a poofy as tutus make with elastic waist bands, but they are definitely a great no sew, no fuss option if you want to make a tutu in a short period of time.

Tip 3: Length matters. Running in a tutu can be a disaster if you make your tutu too long. Trust us. We have made this mistake! If the tulle is too long, it will fly up under your arms, or worse, between your legs. To avoid this issue we make our tutus as short as possible (usually 7-9 inches long).  The perfect tutu length varies from person to person, so take some time to experiment and find the length that works best for you. For extra comfort, try yoga pants, tights, or compression shorts with your tutu so you can keep the tulle from sticking to your legs while running.

Amanda and I made extra long tutus for the 2011 Princess Half. These tutus were difficult to keep under control!

Tip 4: Reuse and re-purpose. If we spend the time to make a tutu, we like to try to use it as many times as we can. Solid color tutus (e.g., black, white, brown, pink) are easy to reuse.  You can gently hand wash a running tutu in the sink and hang it dry to use for another race. Here are a few ways we have recycled solid colored tutus.

  • I wore a white tutu with a couple pieces of blue and gold tulle when I dressed as the It’s a Small World attraction for the Disneyland 10K last year. Then, I removed the blue and gold tulle and wore the tutu under an overlay for my Mrs. Potts costume at the Wine and Dine Half. After that, I wore the white tutu again for a snowman costume at a local 5k.
  • Melanie has a black tutu that she wore at the Pro Bowl 5k, Star Wars Dark Side 10k, Hall of Fame Marathon Relay, and San Diego Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon.
  • Amanda has a brown tutu that she wore when she dressed as an Ewok for the Light Side Half Marathon. She wore the brown tutu again the next month at Princess Enchanted 10k when she dressed as Wall-E and then re-fluffed it to wear when we dressed as Aristocats for the second runDisney Virtual Running Shorts race.

Well, that’s all the tutu tips I have for now. I hope that these tips have inspired you to have fun and create a unique costume for your next race. Do you have any tips for running in a tutu? If you do, let us know in the comments below!




Speak Your Mind