Note: This is an UPDATED tutorial for my DIY no-sew tutu ghost costume with better photos and a slightly different tutu technique that makes it fuller and faster to put together.
My friend Janine sent me a link to this little ghost costume on Pinterest a couple of months ago and I knew I had to do something similar for Ellie (unless, of course, my boss Samantha came up with an idea for a themed costume that didn’t involve Ellie being an afterthought to her sister’s starring role). When Sam became vampire obsessed, I knew my little bean would be the perfect ghost.
Enter a no-sew tutu and warm, super easy top and you have the happiest crafting momma on the planet. I challenge you to try for a DIY fail on this one. It’s just not possible!
One of my favorite parts about this project is how incredibly versatile it is. It’s not just a Halloween costume DIY. You can use these steps to make a colorful little tutu and shirt with your lady’s age on it for a birthday party. Or you could make a couple of tutus for dress up. Hell, you could make one for yourself!
DIY Ghost Costume with a No-Sew Tutu
First up are the supplies. You need:
- At least 25 yards of tulle. The dollar store even sells tulle (check the wedding section), so this won’t be expensive.
- Wide satin ribbon
- Peel and stick felt
- A white shirt
- A lighter
Before you start, put the ribbon around your little lady’s waist to get an accurate measurement. Be sure to leave a few extra inches so that you can tie a bow to close it. You can always cut extra ribbon but not having enough will be a major pain in the butt. Also, burn the edges of the ribbon slightly to help prevent fraying.
Next, hold the tulle up to her to figure out what length you want the skirt to be. Double that length before cutting it (you’ll see why in a minute). Again, leave extra room because, as you can see below, you’re going to knot the tulle to your ribbon.
I like to cut all of my tulle at once so that I can get into a rhythm when I’m knotting it onto the ribbon. In my imagination it totally goes faster that way.
To knot your tulle on, fold it in half and lay it under the ribbon. Next, take the ends of your tulle and pull it through the loop, making sure to keep the ribbon in the middle (see photo below).
Keep tying! There will definitely come a point where you’re looking at what you have so far and are like “There is no way I could be doing this right.” But you are. Don’t worry. Like my crepe paper curtain DIY (which involves a similar technique), you need to have a lot on there before the vision in your head starts to come to life.
Now for the top.
DIY Ghost Costume Top
For this, I turned to my sweatshirt, sticky felt and scissors. I traced the cylinder my tulle came on to make the eyes, adding in some girly eyelashes before I cut them out. Once I put the eyes on, I lined the remaining felt up underneath to measure the perfect-sized mouth.
Next, all I had to do was peel the paper off the back of the felt and stick them on there. To make it nice and secure, I flipped the sweatshirt over and ironed the back. This helps to seal the felt on. Do not iron the felt directly—unless sticky, melty ghost faces are your thing.
Pretty stinking adorable, right?
I tied an extra piece of tulle around her head for a wispy headband and put some black leggings on under the tutu to complete the look.
If you trust her, she can wear her DIY ghost sweatshirt all October long. If not, you can at least be sure that she’ll be warm and toasty on Halloween night, especially since you can layer underneath without totally distorting the look of the costume.
If you use this tutorial please send me pictures of your little ghosts! I would love to see them. You can either post them on my Facebook wall or email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.