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!




Tinker Bell Half Marathon Preparations!

May is an exciting month for the Runs in Tutus team because we’re all in Disneyland for the RunDisney Tinker Bell half marathon.  We ran the Princess Half in February, so we’re eligible for the pink coast to coast medal!

In some not so magical news, I got a horrible case of pneumonia and I am on running restrictions until end of June. This means no coast to coast medal for me. #unmagical.

One benefit of being sick for over a month was that I had plenty of time to prepare some magical accessories for our team.  Here are a few of the magical extras we put together for this trip.

1. Luggage tags: I used these adorable chipboard tags from Joann’s to make luggage tags. Love my wing girls!

IMG_3386.2015-05-10_0057272. Body jewelry, bracelets and tattoos: No Runs in Tutus race trip is complete without a million body jewels, plastic bracelets, and temporary tattoos. Party City has a great selection of magical accessories.

IMG_3385.2015-05-10_005723 IMG_3387.2015-05-10_005738

3.  Pixieworthy Fashion: I Found this gem at that store for 15 year-olds called Wet Seal. Picked it up for 10 bucks and wore it to the expo.


4. Room Decorations: To add a little extra magic to our hotel experience, we brought our own fairy decorations from Party City!


5. Totebags: Last but not least our signature handmade tote bags for park time. We found the sparkly green bags for $1.00 at Joann’s. The straps were too short, so we bought extra bags and sew master Melanie used the extra bags to make longer straps. The bow on the front is from hot topic, and the rest of the details are simply hot glued ribbon. Shout out to Melanie for handling all that hot glue by herself. We usually make the bags as a team, but pneumonia kept me out of the game for this round of bags.


We’ve had a blast so far at the Tinker Bell Health and Fitness Expo and a visit to the park! Look out for our recap posts coming soon. Here’s a little sneak peek of some of our experiences so far, including Expo photo booths and the epic adventure that is the virtual New Balance queue. Tinker Bell RunDisney shoes were acquired and WORTH IT.  You can follow our tinkhalf adventures on Instragram and Twitter for some live updates from the weekend. We’ll be back in touch soon!


May the pixie dust be with you all!


Five Tips for Making the Perfect Race Costume



Costumes are one of the best things about participating in a themed race. The perfect race costume can be magical, but a not so perfect race costume can be miserable. I’ve experienced both the magic and the misery that can come from attempting 13.1+ miles in a costume, so I thought I’d share a few tips for picking the perfect race costume!


1. Choose breathable fabrics: Choose a base for your costume that includes workout friendly wicking material. This might mean you have to do a little bit of creative shopping, but it is well worth the hunt! Nothing ruins race fun like chafing from heavy fabrics. I like to look for cheap, solid color workout shirts from Walmart and Target. They work great as a base and are often less than 10 dollars!

  • Precautionary anecdote: At the Tower of Terror 10 Miler a few years ago, we decided to all wear pirate costumes. Life got crazy and I didn’t have the time to make a race costume. It was close to Halloween, so I went to a costume store and picked up the first costume that looked pirate-like and low cost. My costume was made for teens so the arm holes were a little snug and the top was made of velvet. Yes, you read that correctly. I ran a race in 100% humidity and 86 degree temps in a velvet Halloween costume. I thought I was going to pass out before the end of the race. At one point, I considered asking the medical tent to cut it off of me so I could breathe. The only saving grace of that costume decision was that we got selected to be on the Disney blog for a race costume contest. Here is a picture of my race costume disaster:


2. Consider weather fluctuations: This seems like a pretty obvious tip, but it can be tricky to plan around weather. For example, I’ve run the Princess Half Marathon 3 times, and the temperature has been anywhere from 40-85 degrees. I try to be as flexible as possible with my costumes. If I need a shirt with a logo, I make an iron on logo and wait until I see the race day weather forecast before choosing long sleeves, short sleeves or tank top. Tutus and sparkle skirts are also a great way to have a costume that can work in a variety of temps. If it’s cold, you can simply wear running tights or capris under your tutu or sparkle skirt. If it’s warmer, you can wear running shorts. You can also wear fun accessories like running sleeves that are easy to remove should you get warm while running.


3. Keep it simple: I love Pinterest, but sometimes I find crazy costume projects that are time consuming, stressful, and way out of my league. You don’t have to become a seamstress or find a gang of sewing mice friends to create a great race costume. The truth is, a race costume really only needs to make it through the race. I use shortcuts like hot glue, safety pins, and iron on materials to help make the costume prep less time consuming… and when all else fails, I hop on Etsy and outsource the costume to a pro.

Here are some examples of a few shortcuts I’ve taken in the costume department!




4. Check race rules: Planning on going as your favorite superhero with an epic mask? Want to carry a plastic shield? Before you make that extreme costume decision, be sure to check the guidelines for costumes at your particular race. Many races do not allow costume accessories that might conceal your face such as a mask or full face paint.

5. Take your costume for a test ride: It’s never a good idea to try something for the first time on race day. Once you have all your costume pieces together, it’s time to take that costume for a spin! Make sure you are comfortable with the weight and feel of the material.

That’s all for now, running friends. Hope these tips help you make your best race costume yet!


“There’s nothing to it really!”