Let’s face it, the economy doesn’t seem to be improving, and stay-at-home moms’ options are sometimes very limited when it comes to trying to earn a second income. More and more women are turning to home-based businesses to help ease some of the burden on their spouses.
Putting your creativity to the test and selling your creations can be a successful source of income.
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 started. It might not sound like much, but for a stay-at-home mom, that extra money helped us get through the tough times. My husband was self-employed and worked from home, so his income at the time was not stable. That extra couple hundred dollars would cover groceries.
So whether you just want a little extra cash or want to turn it into a full-time business, making tutus to sell may be that home-based business you’re looking for.
Keep in mind that everyone and their moms are making tutus, yet there is still a market even when you’re starting out. Eventually, you can create your own tutu designs that will set you apart from the competition. Viewers detect a lack of quality immediately. Go to great lengths to perfect your technique, and be sure to pay attention to detail when making your tutus.
The great thing about learning how to make tutus is that even if you’re not as successful at selling them, you can still make the best gifts and save money as tutu supplies are relatively inexpensive.
These are some of the materials you will need to make a tutu.
Tulle rolls: 6 “by 25 yard rolls are best
Optional: Cutting Mat, Rotary Cutter and Quilters Lip Edge Ruler – Rotary cutter and mat make clean, even cuts. You can use Fabric Scissors if you can’t find the rotary cutter, mat, and ruler. However, it will take much longer to cut.
Roll of 1/2 “wide elastic. You can use an elastic waistband for a 100% seamless tutu. Unwrapped elastic is best. I would not use a 3/4” wider elastic
Needle and thread: sew the ends of the elastic together or use an elastic headband for a seamless waistband
Elastic waistband construction:
1: Measure and cut the elastic 2-3 “smaller than the measurement so the waistband will fit snugly around the child’s waist. Overlap the ends of the elastic at least 1 / 2-1” and sew both ends of the elastic together. This is the only time you will sew. If you can’t sew, wear an elastic headband.
2: You will need between 1-3 rolls for a baby / toddler tutu. For ages 4 and up, start with 3-4 rolls. This estimate is for tutus slightly above the knee. Adjust the number of rolls accordingly.
To cut the length of the strips, you can place at least two rolls evenly one on top of the other on the cutting mat and unroll the tulle. Align the tulle edge at the 0 “mark on the cutting mat and cut the tulle to the desired length with a rotary cutter. Place a quilter edge edge ruler where you want to make your cut and roll up the rotary cutter with the edge of the ruler as a guide can help prevent accidents.
The length of the tutu can be calculated by multiplying the desired length of the tutu by 2 and then adding an additional 2 “to make up for the knot to be tied. Example: tutu length (12”) x 2 = 24 + 2 = 26. Cut each Strip is 26 “long. Your measurement may be different.
3: Fold the tulle strip in half to make it look like an inverted “U”. It has the folded end behind the elastic waist. This will create a loop behind and above the top edge of the elastic.
4: From a folded strip, you will notice two “tails” hanging down. Take both ends of the tail of the tulle strip through the loop you created and pull down to tighten. Make sure you don’t over-tighten it, as that can stretch the elastic too much. It takes some practice to get it right.
5: Double knotting is another way to tie the tulle to the waistband. Keep tying your knots until you get to the other side. You can tie additional knots to fill in the bare areas. Try to tie at least 4-5 knots per inch from your original waist measurement. So if you have a 20 “waistband, you should be able to fit between 80-100 strips.
If the waistband is too stretched, cut the elastic and sew back to the original waist measurement.
Beautify your tutu once you have 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 selling online or post photos of your tutus on your Facebook account. You are sure to get word of mouth advertising there. Advertising in local ballet schools could 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 is, no one will see it in a messy, poorly lit background. Find what catches your eye and make it better.
My new favorite website for 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 the sale … Make sure supplies and tutus are labeled in accordance with the new CPSIA children’s product labeling laws. As of February 2009, all children’s products sold must comply with all aspects of the law and safety standards, including the new lead content and phthalate limits. This is governed by the CPSIA.
Most tulle manufacturers must indicate on their website whether their tulle meets CPSIA standards.