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Start a Business Selling Tutus
Let’s face it, the economy doesn’t seem to be getting any better and sometimes the options for stay at home moms are very limited when it comes to trying to bring in a second income. More and more women are turning to home businesses to help relieve some of the burden on their spouses.
Putting your creativity to the test and selling your creations can prove to be a money-making success.
I started selling tutus on Craigslist, eBay and word of mouth. The response was amazing and I earned close to $500 a month when I first started. It may not seem like much, but for a stay-at-home mom, that extra money helped us get through the hard times. My husband was self-employed and worked from home, so the income he was bringing in at that time was not stable. That extra couple of hundred dollars would cover groceries.
So whether you just want a little extra money or want to make a full-time business, making tutus for sale may be the home business you’re looking for.
Keep in mind that everyone and their mom makes tutus, but there’s always a market even when you’re just starting out. Eventually you can create your own tutu designs that will set you apart from the competition. Viewers immediately see the lack of quality. Put a lot of effort into perfecting your technique and make sure you pay attention to detail when making your tutus.
What is great about learning how to make tutus is that even if you do not succeed in selling, you can still make the best gifts and save money, since tutu materials are relatively cheap.
Here are some of the materials you will need to make a tutu
Rolls of tulle: 6″ to 25 yard rolls are best
Optional: Cutting Mat, Rotary Cutter and Quilters Lip Edge Ruler: The rotary cutting mat and mat make for clean, even cuts. You can use Fabric Scissors if you can’t find the rotary cutter, mat and ruler. It will take much longer to cut.
1/2″ Width Roll of Elastic. You can use an elastic waistband if you want a 100% unsewn tutu. Unrolled elastic is best. I wouldn’t go wider than 3/4″ wide elastic.
Needle and Thread: Sew the ends of the elastic together or use an elastic band for a seamless waistband
Elastic waistband construction:
1: Measure and cut elastic 2-3″ smaller than the measurement, so the belt will be snug around the child’s waist. Above the end of the elastic at least 1/2-1″ and sew both ends of the elastic. This is the only time I sew. If you can’t sew, use an elastic band.
2: You 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 roll number accordingly.
To cut the length of the strips, you can put at least two uniform rolls on top of each other on top of the cutting edge and unroll the tulle. Align the edge of the tulle on the 0″ mark of the cutting mat and cut the tulle to the desired length with a rotary cutter. Place a quilter’s lip edge ruler where you want to make your cut and roll the rotary cutter using the cutting edge.rule as a guide can help prevent accidents.
The length of the tutu can be calculated by multiplying the desired tutu length by 2 and adding an additional 2″ to make up 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 vary.
3: Fold the tulle strip in half to look like 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 a folded strip, you will see two “tails” hanging down. Take both tail ends of the tulle strip through the loop you created and pull to tighten. Be sure not to pull too tight as it can stretch the elastic. It takes some practice to get it right.
5: Tying double knots is another way to attach your tulle to the waist. Continue tying your knots until you reach the other side. You can attach additional nodes to fill any bare areas. Aim to tie at least 4-5 knots per inch of your original waist measurement. So if you have a 20” waist, you should be able to fit between 80-100 strips.
If the belt stretches, cut the elastic and adjust it to the original belt size.
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 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 need to have some word of mouth advertising. Advertising at local ballet schools could be one way to go. Just make sure it’s not just a basic tutu. Take beautiful pictures, because no matter how beautiful a tutu may be, no one will see that in a dimly lit and blurry background. Find what catches your eye and improve.
My new favorite website for getting 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 the new CPSIA labeling laws for children’s products. From February 2009, all children’s products sold must comply with all aspects of the law and safety standards, including new lead content and phthalate limits. This is governed by the CPSIA.
Most tulle manufacturers will declare on their website whether their tulle conforms to CPSIA standards.
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