I’ve been planning Emma’s first birthday party for months and months. I have never been so excited about a party. We decided early on that we would be going with the sock monkey theme. She got a sock monkey when she was first born and we have used it to take pictures at every milestone (1-11 months). It’s crazy to see how she has grown in that short time period. He use to swallow her up and now she is bigger than him. Since sock monkeys have been such a huge part of her life so far, we found it fitting to have her birthday party themed in them.
I have several precious little outfits for her to wear on and around her birthday but the more I looked at them, the more unsure I was about her wearing them to her birthday party. I know it’s a little silly, but I wanted her to match the theme. And pink cupcakes do not match sock monkeys. She will still wear these on her actual birthday but not to her party. This led me to my next dilemma of what she would now wear. I looked on Etsy for sock monkey outfits and couldn’t believe the price. I threw up a little when I saw the prices. It was definitely not in our budget to spend that kind of money on Emma’s birthday outfit but I was still left not knowing what she would wear. Then one day I was on pinterest and stumbled across a website with a lot of DIY projects and one of the projects was making your own skirt for your kids. She had a demo that involved a sewing machine and a lot of tulle. I didn’t want to use a sewing machine, since I don’t know how, or just tulle. I searched her site and, voila, I found a demo of how to make a tulle AND fabric tutu skirt without having to sew a thing. Awesome! Today I wanted to show you how I made mine and how you can make one, too, for next to nothing.
We began with a stretchy headband. Emma has a lot of these. I just picked a color that was the least likely to take away from the skirt and black is what we decided on for this project. We picked the wideband one, although you can get them smaller. Ours came from a friend who got them at Hobby Lobby. And believe you me, they have every color under the sun so your options are unlimited. The next thing was to find something to put the headband on to make it easier to tie on the tulle and fabric. I spotted my utensil holder and it was like a beacon shining it’s light in the distance. I grabbed it and got to work.
I decided to go with red tulle instead of another color. I thought it would pull out more of the red in the sock monkeys and give a splash of color to the skirt. I decided to get my tulle at Jeannine’s fabric in Abingdon. It was pretty cheap, too. I love cheap. Cheap as in a good deal, not poorly made. I bought three yards since I forgot my list and realized when I got home I only needed ½ yard. Oops. If anyone needs red tulle, give me a call. Otherwise, I’ll probably end up making Emma a tutu for Christmas. I started by cutting my tulle into strips. They were about an inch wide and I used a skirt I had to measure my length. Take in mind that you will be folding it in half so it will need to be double the length when you cut it. Take this advice from me, it’s crucial to your sanity. Be sure to use your pinking shears, too. If you use regular scissors your fabric WILL fray. I tried to do one piece with regular scissors and traded them in quickly. The tulle will need to go on the very bottom layer of holes. The reason for this is that the tulle lifts and adds so much, it will need to be weighed back down a little by the fabric. You will put (2) pieces of tulle in each hole. You will take your (2) pieces, fold them in half together, stick the folded half through the hole, tuck the tails in where the fold has created a hole, and pull. There you go! You’re done with step one. Now plan to take forever on this part. The tulle is a little tricky compared to the fabric and it’s ornery, too. I have heard you can tear your tulle if you pull too hard. Poor
me other people. Once your done, it will be HUGE. You will wonder if your child is going to fly away in it. But fear not, your fabric will fix this problem.
My next step was getting fabric. I could only find one one pattern of sock monkey fabric so I went to search on Etsy again. This is where I found my deal. I found this wonderful shop called Southern Fabric and fell in love. They had a TON of sock monkey patterns, even some for Christmas. They also sold them by ½ yards which was exactly what I was looking for in this fabric. I wanted to do two different patterns and most places only sold in full yards. I didn’t want to have more fabric to go with my tulle. Now if you’re a professional, you may only need ½ yard of fabric. I, on the other hand, knew and understood the disaster I was capable of creating so I opted for getting a full yard. I choose a traditional brown sock monkey pattern and a red pattern with sock monkeys holding numbers. I thought it was appropriate for her birthday. For this part, you’ll need to cut your fabric into strips again basing them off the same skirt you use for the tulle. If you want to be smart and measure it, that would be wise, too. Cutting the fabric went so much faster than the tulle. I was so glad. I was about at the end of my rope. Also, when you begin tying your fabric it doesn’t tear like tulle does. Another win! You will go up to the next level of holes on the headband and follow the same instructions you did with the tulle. You will take (2) pieces for each hole, just like you did for the tulle.
Once you’re finished, be sure to bask in your creation. I starred at it for about 10 minutes, no joke. I just couldn’t believe I had made something I would have probably ended up spending $30-$40 for on Etsy. We also tried it on Emma to make sure it fit her. She’s a tiny booger. It seems to fit fine now and she will surely fit into it since I made it a few weeks prior to her party. Worse case scenario? We will use some ribbon we have to tie the headband together and make it smaller. I’m learning how to DIY with everything.
Lastly, who would I be if I didn’t do a price breakdown? It’s important to know how much you saved. Also, keep in mind that you do have to put the time and effort into it. I put about 2 ½ hours into making this. I think it will go faster the next time since I know what I’m doing now. Here’s a breakdown of it all:
Tulle- 3 yards (only need ½ yard) $2.97
Sock Monkey Fabric- 1 yard (2 fabrics) $11 (this includes shipping)
Headband $0 (already had)
Scissors $0 (borrowed)
(2 ½ yards of tulle & 1/4 yard fabric left)
Thanks for joining me and come back next week as we show pictures of Emma IN the skirt!
What have you made for your child that you were glad you did and saved money doing?