Lets face it, the economy doesn’t seem to be getting better and sometimes stay at home moms options are very limited when it comes to trying to bring in a second income. More and more women are turning to home based businesses to help ease some of the burden off their spouses.

Putting your creativity to the test and selling your creations can prove to be a successful money maker.

I started selling tutus on Craigslist, eBay and by word of mouth. The response was surprising and I was making close to $500 a month when I first started. It may not seem like much, but to a stay at home mom, that extra cash helped usgreg through tough times. My husband was self employed and worked from home, so the income he was bringing in at the time wasn’t steady. That extra couple of hundred dollars would cover groceries.

So whether you just want a little bit of extra money or you want to make it a full time business, making tutus to sell can be that home business your looking for.

Keep in mind that everybody and their mommas are making tutus, however there is still a market even when you’re first starting. Eventually you can create your very own tutu designs that will set you apart from the competition. Viewers spot lack of quality right away. Put a lot of effort into perfecting your technique and making sure you pay attention to detail when making your tutus.

What’s great about learning to make tutus is that even if you’re not as successful in selling them, you can still make the best gifts and save money since tutu materials are relatively inexpensive.

Here are some of the materials you will need to make a tutu

Rolls of tulle: 6″ by 25-yard rolls are best

Optional: Cutting Mat, Rotary Cutter and Quilters Lip Edge Ruler: The rotary cutter and mat make clean and even cuts. You can use Fabric Scissors if you cannot find the rotary cutter, mat and ruler. It will take much longer to cut though.

1/2″ Width Roll of Elastic. You can use an elastic headband for waist if you want a 100% non sew tutu. Non roll elastic is best. I would go no wider than 3/4″ width elastic

Needle and Thread: Sew ends of elastic together or use Stretchy Headband for a no sew waistband

Elastic Waistband Construction:

1: Measure and cut elastic 2-3″ smaller than measurement, that way the waistband will be snug around the child’s waist. Overlap the ends of the elastic at least 1/2-1″ and sew both ends of elastic together. This is the only time you will be sewing. If you’re unable to sew, use a stretchy headband.

2: You will need between 1-3 rolls for a baby/toddler tutu. For 4 years and up, start with 3-4 rolls. This estimate is for slightly above knee length tutus. Adjust number of roll accordingly.

To cut the length of the strips, you can place at least two rolls evenly on top of each other on top of the cutting mat and unroll the tulle. Line up the tulle edge on the 0″ mark of the cutting mat and cut the tulle to the desired length using a rotary cutter. Placing a quilter lip edge ruler where you want to make your cut and rolling the rotary cutter using the edge of the ruler as a guide can help prevent accidents.

The length of the tutu can be calculated by multiplying the desired tutu length by 2 and then adding an additional 2″ to compensate for the knot you will be tying. Example: tutu length (12″) x 2 = 24 + 2 = 26. Cut each strip to 26″ long. Your measurement may be different.

3: Fold the tulle strip in half to resemble an upside down “U”. Bring the folded end behind the elastic waistband. This will create a loop behind and above the top edge of the elastic.

4: From the one folded strip, you will notice two “tails” hanging. Take both tail ends of the tulle strip through the loop you have created and pull down to tighten. Make sure not to pull it too tight as that can over stretch the elastic. It takes some practice getting it right.

5: Tying double knots is another way to attach your tulle to the waistband. Continue to tie your knots until you reach the other side. You can tie additional knots to fill in any bare areas. Aim to tie at least 4-5 knots per inch of your original waist measurement. So if you have an 20″ waistband, you should be able to fit between 80-100 strips.

If the waistband over stretches, cut the elastic and resew to the original waist measurement.

Embellish your tutu once you’ve completed the steps above.

Once you’ve perfected your technique, you can start thinking about selling your tutus. Look around online and compile a list of tutu sellers and see what they charge. This will help you determine a fair price.

Start off by selling online or post photos of your tutus on your Facebook account. You’re bound to get some word of mouth advertising on there. Advertising at local ballet schools might be one route to go. Just make sure it’s not just a basic tutu. Take beautiful photos, because no matter how beautiful a tutu may be, no one is going to see that in a poorly lit and cluttered background. Find what catches your eye and improve on it.

My new favorite website to get ideas is Pinterest. Use it and when you create your website, you can start using Pinterest as a marketing tool.

One more important thing about selling… Make sure the materials and tutus are labeled in accordance with new CPSIA labeling laws for children’s products. As of February 2009, all children’s products sold must conform to all aspects of the law and safety standards, including the new lead content and phthalates limits. This is governed by the CPSIA.

Most tulle manufacturers should state on their website if their tulle conforms with CPSIA standards.

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