Patriotic American Girl Tutu – Make a Tutu for an 18 Inch Doll

By | June 24, 2011
American Girl Tutu


I have seen numerous tutorials out there showing how to make a tutu for a little girl, but have never seen any instructions for making them for American Girl dolls.  The Little One decided she needed an American Girl tutu.  So of course, mommy was happy to get out her craft supplies and try to make one for her doll.  With the 4th of July rapidly approaching, I decided to make it in red, white, and blue.

Turns out it’s pretty easy to make a doll tutu, everything is just smaller.  I was able to finish it up in an hour and that was with distractions.  The most tedious part is cutting the strips, but that is made easier with a rotary cutter.  This is a great project for your daughter to make.  An adult should handle the rotary cutter and glue gun, but everything else should be easy for a little girl to do.

Make a Tutu for an 18 Inch Doll

Make a Tutu for an 18 inch Doll Tutorial


Total cost   – around $3 (actually less since I had quite a bit of tulle and ribbon left over)


Start by fitting the elastic to the doll’s waist, pulling snug and overlapping a couple of inches.  You want to make sure it will stay up but you don’t want it so tight that your little girl won’t be able to take it off.  For my daughter’s doll, I used 12 inches of elastic.

American Girl tutu instructions


Overlap the elastic by an 2 inches and sew to hold in place.  Try on the doll to make sure it will come off easily.

Next cut your strips of tulle.  Each strip needs to be approx. 2 inches by 14 inches.  No need for perfection though.  I cut the whole piece into strips and had a lot left over.  I ended up using 35 strips of each color.

doll tutu


Next stack 1 strip of each color and fold in half.  Put the loop behind the elastic and bring the ends up over the elastic and through the loop, pulling to make a loose knot.  Don’t make too tight of a knot or it stretches the elastic.  Repeat around the circle.  I ended up with 35 knots but you may have a different amount.  That’s ok 🙂

tutu instructions


Now you want to cut 8- 12 inch lengths of gold ribbon.  You are going to tie them onto the elastic in the same way you did the tulle.  Fold the ribbon in half and put the loop behind the elastic.  Bring the ribbon ends over the elastic and through the loop, pulling loosely to form a knot.  I put a ribbon every 5 tulle knots, but feel free to add more if you like a little more bling!

tutu instructions


Now you want to add the stars t0 the ribbons.  I used a glue gun to hold them in place to make things easy.  However, you could use tacky glue or knot them in place as well.

Tutu ribbons


Thread both ends of the ribbon onto a plastic canvas needle and use the needle to get both ribbon ends in the loop of the star buttons.  Use a small dab of hot glue near the ribbon knot and slide the button up the ribbon into the glue.  Allow to cool.  This will hold the stars in place.  Repeat for all the gold ribbons around.

Tutu ribbons


Cut the ribbon ends to the desired length and knot each end to deter fraying.

Tutu ribbons


You’re all done! A quick and easy doll tutu to make with your little girl. Have fun!

American Girl Doll Tutu

For more homemade American Girl Doll Clothes ideas, I highly recommend this book.

If you make one of these doll tutus, you will have to come back here and let me know how it turned out.  Happy crafting!

Did you enjoy this American Girl Doll Craft post?  Here are some other doll crafts you might enjoy…

American Girl Doll Flip Flops ~ Free Plastic Canvas Pattern Make a Cute Doll Mailbox | American Girl Doll Crafts Winter Gear and Sled for American Girl Dolls

39 thoughts on “Patriotic American Girl Tutu – Make a Tutu for an 18 Inch Doll

  1. Karima

    Great idea! I have just made my first ever tutu for my littlest girl this weekend, I never thought about her doll, she loves dressing her doll up, so I might try this!
    New google follower via Skip to my lou link party, please pop by, karima x

  2. Hope Jones

    Thanks for such a great tutorial! This would be a fun activity for my girls and her cousins to do one afternoon!! 🙂

  3. kirsten

    This is too cute! My daughter has an american girl doll. SHe would love it! Thanks for the great idea! I am your newest follower. I would love it if you stopped by and became mine!
    Cute blog!

  4. How to make a tutu

    Great idea I can’t wait to try and I think I will make a matching one for my daughter while I’m at it. I love the gold touches you put on the tutu!

  5. Ginger Snaps

    Cute! Great job. 🙂 Following from Not Just a Housewife. Would love to have you link this up to my {wow me} wednesday link party going on right now over on my blog. The most viewed link will receive a set of fancy rectangle chalkboard labels from my etsy shop. Hope to see you there.


  6. Sandy K

    Love the tutu looks like this will be a project when I visit my granddaughter. Thanks

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  8. Dawn

    What a great idea! I love making things for my daughter’s American Girl Doll. Can’t wait to see what else you create!

  9. Marsha

    Thanks for the tutorial. I’m making one for my daughter’s McKenna and one for my niece’s AGD. They are excited. I could not locate the silver buttons in our local JoAnn’s. I may forgo or get really creative:)

  10. marcie

    LOVE this tutorial! Thank you! I’m trying to get back into sewing and this totally inspired me !:)

    1. Jen

      Thanks! You will have to let me know how it turns out if you make one.

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    1. Jen

      Thanks for letting me know. It seems she was using other bloggers’ photos without permission too. Hopefully she has learned her lesson.

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  13. Jean

    We are planning an AG tea as a Relay for Life fundraiser and when I came across the flip flops, I thought they were cute and easy. The tutu will be a great addition to the knitted body suit I am making as a raffle item. I am thinking if the organizers/helpers can make enough pair of flip flops they will be a cute gift bag item for each little girl.

    1. Jen

      Sounds like a lot of fun! Let me know if you have any questions about the patterns.

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  15. Holly B.

    My 7 yo daughter is working on her tutu right now. She thinks it is fun and can’t wait for her friends to make a tutu at her birthday party next month! Thanks for an easy, enjoyable, and affordable craft!

  16. Mary

    Thanks for a wonderful tutorial. I made step by step instructions along with an example for each and gave it to my granddaughters, a great way to introduce them to doll fashion design

  17. Anita

    Love this!! Have made several for AG/18 inch dolls. All the little girls love them too! Can make one color or lots of different colors. thanks for sharing!!


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