Home » DIY Tutorials » DIY Costumes » A HOOP SKIRT (…a sturdy and inexpensive version)

A HOOP SKIRT (…a sturdy and inexpensive version)

In case you didn’t see yesterday’s post, I shared my version of a Dorothy Costume.  And yes, Chloe is in ABSOLUTE LOVE!  (And takes her role very seriously…)

DIY Dorothy Costume (from Wizard of Oz) | via Make It and Love It
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All the kiddos decided they wanted to be a character from Wizard of Oz.   Well, except for Oliver.  3 month old babies don’t really object to much, so we’re saying he voted YES! ;)  I think Oliver’s is my very favorite though….mostly because it cracks me up! :)


But Elli’s costume (she’s my 7 year old), needs a little something to make the dress nice and poofy.  (I’m sure that pretty much gives it away, unless you’ve never seen Wizard of Oz, but I won’t be sharing it until Monday.  Ooooh, it’s a pretty one! :) ) To puff that dress right out, I made her an “old school” Hoop Skirt.


Why a hoop skirt and not a pettiskirt?  Or a tulle skirt?  Well, first of all, a hoop skirt isn’t as hot or stuffy.  Also, it doesn’t require as much fabric or supplies……so it ends up being a bit cheaper.  Also, when you want a skirt that goes all the way down to the floor, a pettiskirt doesn’t round out and tends to only fluff out the bottom of the skirt.  A pettiskirt and tulle also flatten out over time…..and lose a lot of their fluff.  However, you can make a hoop skirt really large and beautifully rounded and it keeps its same shape forever.  It’s also comfortable to wear, unlike tulle, which is pretty itchy and needs another slip beneath it to keep it from scratching.  And, besides, didn’t you always want a hoop skirt as a little girl??  Oh, I totally did…..I dreamed of dressing like a Southern Belle, complete with a very rounded hoop skirt.  SO this is kinda fulfilling that dream. ;)


And instead of waiting until Monday to share this hoop skirt with Elli’s actual costume, I figured I better share it separately.  Not only because it would make Monday’s tutorial too long, but also for those of you who may be making a full dress and need to puff your dress out as well.  A hoop skirt is a fairly inexpensive to make, especially if you use some tubing from the hardware store like I did.  This thing is super sturdy and will last for years!


Just remember, a hoop skirt will help turn a pretty dress into a beautiful one!  Oh, the whimsy!




In case you’re worried about how you’re going to store that thing, it collapses flat.  Problem solved.




And just so you can see what a full dress looks like with and without a hoop skirt, let me show you.  And no, I’m not going to demonstrate with Elli’s actual costume just yet (did you really think I’d give you that much of a sneak peek?!?!) So, I had Elli put on her Rapunzel Costume from last year….even though it’s a little short on her and reveals the hoop skirt.  But you get the idea of what it can do for a dress! :)



You may be figuring that I used standard boning from the fabric store to make each hoop…….but nope, I kept finding that the boning would collapse and was too weak.  I then searched for Hoop Skirt boning (which is made from steel and is sturdier) but found that it was too pricey.  So instead, I found some skinny yet sturdy tubing (for plumbing) at the hardware store and created really lightweight hoops that I fed through ribbon casings.  And wow is it STURDY…..but also really lightweight!  (Side note: the ribbons on the inside of the skirt are all different colors because I was just using what I had in my ribbon stash.  It stays hidden though, no biggee!)




And yes, Elli fits through the doorways.  Barely.  Haha.  But really, it’s not a big deal to pull up on the skirt a bit to fit into tight spaces.  (The hoops also bend slightly and then spring back, in case you’re wondering.)  Besides, this girl feels like royalty with this thing on and glides around the floor with some serious elegance.  Watching her kinda makes it worth every single stitch! :)




Ready to make your own Hoop Skirt?  I know you want to… :)



  • Light Fabric (I purchased a costume satin because it was $1.50/yard…..but satin is slippery and a little harder to sew on.  The next one I make, I’ll use a very light cotton fabric.)
  • 1 inch grosgrain ribbon OR 1 inch strips of bias-cut fabric (this is to encase each hoop……ribbon is fast and has finished edges.  If you use strips of fabric, you either have to create strips of fabric that are 1 inch wide AFTER the edges are folded under –OR– you can cut strips on the bias and not worry about folding them under because they won’t fray much.)
  • 1/4 inch Plastic “Pex Pipe” Tubing (don’t worry….I didn’t know what that was either.  But you can find it at the hardware store, in the plumbing section.  I found it in 5 foot pieces and bought 8 of them.)
  • 1/4 inch Threaded Rods (looks like a long screw without the head, and without a point at either end.  I found 12 inch long rods and bought 2 of them for $1)
  • 3/4 inch elastic (for the waistband)




Now, before you go and buy your supplies, you need to decide how much of everything to buy.  First, you need to decide how wide you want the very bottom of the hoop skirt to be.  I went with 28.5 inches wide because one of our doorways was that wide and I figured she’d want to be able to walk through doors without an issue.  (However, the hoops are still a tiny bit flexible and can be squeezed through a door if needed.  Or, you can pick up one side of the skirt and hold it at a diagonal as you walk through a door.)


It’s math time now, so brace yourself! ;)  With the number you decided on above, you’re going to multiply by pi (or 3.14) and that will give you the circumference of the circle…….which will tell you how much fabric you need to go all the way around the skirt.  So, 28.5 x 3.14 = 89.49…..but I rounded up to 90.  So 90 inches is my magic number for the width of the skirt fabric.


Then, decide how tall you want your skirt.  This is a little harder to figure out the exact measurement because the fabric will curve out from the waist and then down, so you can’t just measure from your waist down to how long you want it.  A little more math is required to figure that out…..and well, it’s been years since I’ve taken math. :)  So, we’re going to fake it a bit and measure from your subject’s waist (or wherever your subject will wear the skirt), down to how long the actual dress will be.  Then, after the skirt is made and it curves, it will sit a few inches higher than the hem of the dress, but not equal to the length of the dress.  But that’s okay because this will allow the actual dress to fall around and past the hoop skirt, hiding it from view.  Make sense??  Okay, so I measured Elli from her waist (actually I measure from right below her waist because that’s where she wears things) down to the floor (since the dress I’m making her will be floor length) and that number was 31 inches.  (And then remember, the hoop skirt after it’s made will actually hang a little higher than 31 inches from her waist.)  So 31 inches is my magic number for the height of the skirt fabric.


Okay, so you have the width and length for your hoop skirt fabric.  Check.  Now we need to add on a little for some seam allowances and for the casing for the waistband (shown in the picture below)……so you can determine how much fabric to buy.  As shown below, I cut a piece of fabric that was 33 x 91 inches.




Now, how much ribbon do you need?  Well, I think spacing each of your hoops between 4-5 inches is a good spacing.  If you space them too far apart, the skirt won’t have a very good shape but if they’re too close, you’re going to weigh down the skirt….and/or possibly waste supplies.  So you’ll need to determine how many hoops will fit on your skirt with a 4-5 inch spacing, making sure that you leave 1-2 inches free at the bottom (to keep the bottom hoop off the floor). It’s also very important to leave enough space at the top for the waist to be cinched in and fit snug around your subject’s waist.  If the top hoop is too close to the top and is too big around, there won’t be enough fabric to reach the waist and the skirt will fall off.  Or if the top hoop is too close to the waist, you just won’t be able to make the top hoop as big.  I also think it helps to put your hoops at the top a little closer together, since they’re getting smaller faster, near the top.  Here’s how I spaced my hoops, to give you an idea.

**This spacing does not include the seam allowances at the top and bottom… if you add up all these numbers, you get 31 inches, not 33.




And then how much tubing do you need?  Well, the skirt hoops will get gradually smaller as they go up.  So, you’ll need the full circumference for the bottom hoop (so I needed my bottom hoop to be 90 inches) and then gradually smaller as they go up.  I bought 8 pieces of tubing that were 60 inches (5 feet long) each and needed them all (but had little bits left over).  You could always buy extra and then return the ones you don’t use, if you’re unsure how many to buy.


But just as a reference, here’s how long each of my hoops were, starting from the bottom going up:

1st hoop – 90 inches

2nd hoop – 85 inches

3rd hoop – 77 inches

4th hoop – 72 inches

5th hoop – 56 inches


And finally, how much ribbon do you need?  Well, once you decide how many hoops you’ll need, you multiply that number by how wide your fabric is.  SO, I wanted 5 hoops and my fabric is 90 inches wide……so I needed 450 inches of ribbon.  And usually ribbon is purchased by the foot, so that would be 37.5 feet of ribbon.  Or sometimes by the yard, so that would be 12.5 yards of ribbon.  Make sense??



Okay, now it’s time to get started putting your skirt together…


First, cut your fabric to height and width that you determined up above.  It will be a large rectangle that is wider than it is tall (just like the grey box image above).  Then, fold your fabric in half width-wise (with right sides together) and match up the two shorter ends (the height of your rectangle) and sew them together using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Now you should have a circle or “tube” of fabric.  Next, hem the bottom edge of the fabric by folding it under 1/2 inch, another 1/2 inch, and then sew it in place. (I skipped sewing the hem by just using the selvage [[the finished manufactured edge of the fabric]] as my bottom edge.)


Then, mark your fabric where each line of ribbon needs to be attached to the fabric so that your hoops will be spaced correctly (just like my image up above) and then sew the ribbon in place (to the wrong side of the skirt), sewing nice and close to the outer edge of both sides of the ribbon.



Sew the ribbon completely down at one end and then let the other end overlap a bit but leave a 1-2 inch opening, free from any sewing stitches.  (You’ll need some room to feed your tube through.)


For the top hem, I was trying to eliminate as much bulk as possible, so I serged the top edge (you could also zig-zag) and then folded it down 1 inch and sewed it in place, as close to the serged edge as possible.  You could also fold under 1/4 inch, then another 3/4 inch, and then sew in place.


Just be sure to leave a 2 inch opening so that you can feed your elastic through later on.


Okay, now gather your pieces of tubing….and don’t worry if you don’t have one single piece long enough to go all the way around your bottom rows of casing.



You will be joining the ends with these threaded rods.  I bought these at Home Depot and they are like a long screw without the head, and without a point at either end.  They kind of dig into the inside of the tubing and keep the two ends you are joining together from coming apart.  I had my husband cut them down into 3 inch pieces with his hack saw.



Begin threading your tubing through the very bottom casing first…..



…..and if your tubing doesn’t make it all the way around, stick a piece of the threaded rod halfway into the end of your tubing.



And then stick another piece of your tubing onto the other end and push together tightly.  (If your rod doesn’t fit inside the tubing nice and snug, you may want to add some glue inside of the tubing to keep the ends from coming apart.)



Continue pushing the tubing through the casing until it comes out the other end.



Trim off the excess tubing with a utility knife (cut carefully….and use a cutting board).



Grab another rod and fit into both ends, nice and tight.



Then, thread a piece of elastic through the casing at the top of the skirt and put the skirt on your subject (or use a mannequin).  The rest of the rows are easier if the skirt is hanging in place.



Now, add your next row of tubing to the casing that’s 2nd from the bottom.  This tubing will be slightly shorter so that the skirt will get slightly smaller.



Continue on up the skirt, adding your tubing one row at a time, until you have the desired shape to your skirt.  (I actually didn’t cut off the excess tubing for the top 3 rows until they were all in place and I could get a better idea of how big I wanted each row to be.  I just eyeballed it but also wanted to be sure I didn’t make the top row of tubing too large so that it pulled the skirt too far away from from daughter’s waist….and would fall off.)  At this point, you’ll probably need to tighten the elastic around the waist so that it’s nice and snug.



Next, take the skirt off your subject, and while keeping the elastic at the proper length, pull the elastic away from the fabric and sew the two ends in place.



Trim off the excess elastic, wiggle it inside the casing, and then sew the casing closed.



Now, trim the ends of your ribbon down until they are overlapping each other by about 1 inch.  Then heat seal the ends so they don’t fray.



Then stitch the ribbon closed with a needle and thread.



And that’s it.  A great little hoop skirt to fluff out your dress or skirt!!!



Good luck!



Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. natalia says:

    I'm 12 years old and making a big dress of my own so i'm hoping this will work if i just make it a little bigger. but thank you so much this helped heaps.

  2. Techtipntrick.Com says:

    Space out your ribbon evenly on the skirt and pin them down, leaving about a 3-m gap from the edge. Always sew the bottom ribbon as close to the edge of the skirt as you can (pictures left). Then run them through the sewing machine, sewing both sides down, but leaving the end 0 s open (this is important!). These strips will become the channels for which your hoop skirt s boning will run through.

  3. Lastenia says:

    Can you buy a whole role of 50’ of tubing instead of 5 foot pieces. Will it make perfect circles? I have to make a hoop skirt skeleton for a school play. Thanks

  4. Kate says:

    This post saved me! I am dressing in Victorian costume for a Christmas event this weekend. Got finished my skirt on Tuesday evening (huge, wool) and when I put it on over my slightly chintzy store-bought hoops, they collapsed. Horror! I found your post, and replaced the bottom three lightweight metal/plastic bonings with 1/4 pex pipe, using thin dowel to connect the pieces. I was able to slide the pex right into the existing casings. Works like a dream! $20 for the pex, $20 for the hoop skirt on Amazon, and I'm ready to go. I used the boning I had pulled out of the bottom three hoops to strengthen the top three. THANKS!

  5. Scarlet at Family Focus Blog says:

    My daughter is going to love this idea for a diy hoop skirt. She has been watching this youtube channel where the lady recreates old period pieces and wears them out. The other day I found her drawing out the pattern for a bodice. So this will be right up her alley.

  6. Carol Lewis says:

    HELP! I have made thethe skirt and have funneled the pex pipe through the casings but the pex pipe is not taking shape of a circle (they are bending inward at various spots). Anyone else have this happen?

    1. Carol Lewis says:

      I came to my own rescue! LOL! I read online that plumbers used a heat tool to get the tightly wound pipe to uncoil. I threw mine in the dryer on high heat and it totally relaxed! I did the same with the skirt I made and that worked too. Now – off to finish Mrs. Potts for Beauty and The Beast.

  7. Beth Pratt says:

    Would you be able to have a slit in the skirt and have it still be stable?

  8. Ruth says:

    This is just wonderful! Planning out making a nice, full dress for myself, actually, and this gives me wonderful inspiration and guidance. I wonder: If you were trying to aim for different time periods at styles, I suppose you could control the shape (mainly at the top) by having the increase in circumference be a bit more steep?

    Thank you for the wonderful tutorial!

  9. Anniefrançoise says:

    Your tutorial is very clear, even for me , from France ! I ‘ll just change feet and inches in cms ! Thank you very much! Mathilde , 3 years old, wants a Cinderella dress, it will be awesome
    Anniefrançoise ,
    Dijon, France

  10. Melissa Chance says:

    You can also use wooden dowels to secure the tubing. First use a hair dryer to heat the tube, then fit the dowel in snug, then let cool. Trick I learned from Eric at home depot.

  11. Beth Marie says:

    I am an adult and made a hoopskirt two years ago (now). I used tubing that was clear. My problem was is wasn’t forming into the circle. I inserted some type of metal wire into the tubing and it worked real well; except it ended up being a little fuller than I really wanted and made the dress very ante-bellum (which wasn’t what I was going for). I really like your tips and ideas. When I redo mine to make it smaller in circumference, I do believe that I will be using some of your suggestions. Of curse, my base came from the petticoat I had already made and copied it to make it a hoop skirt instead.

  12. Marieke says:

    Thank you for taking the time to make this very clear manual. I am going to try to make one as a prototype today. And then we will make about ten to use in an amateur theatre play in The Netherlands.

  13. Harriett Buchanan says:

    Thank you soo much for this.?❤️

  14. Geeta dubey says:

    Very nice but it is troubles in sitting. So it will nice to use flat sponge stripes instead of tubes.

  15. RenMan says:

    hula hoops.

    already a circle
    and can get in different diameters.

    thin flat molding

    or 9 gauge or higher utility wire

  16. Nicole says:

    THANK YOU for this tutorial! It is amazing!!! I made my daughter a Glinda dress for Halloween following your directions and obviously we had to have the hoop skirt as well. I’m not the best sewer so I struggled a bit, haha, but your directions made it so simple. I blogged about it and linked back to you in my post Thanks again!!!!!

  17. Anya says:

    BRILLIANT!! I’m bookmarking this page and coming back when I have more time to read ALL the comments! I was freaking out about finding boning heavy enough for JUST such a hoop skirt and found YOU and your amazing TUTORIAL! Thank, Thank, Thank you for sharing! I can’t WAIT to give this a go… instead of ribbon, though, on THIS particular skirt, I will be using leftover fabric for a casing I will tack up once my little model comes to serve as a mannequin!! SO EXCITED! THANKS AGAIN!!! GREAT JOB!!!

  18. Susana Costa says:

    Thank you SO MUCH! Wonderfully done.

  19. Kristy says:

    Thank you! My 7 year old is already in love with this. I can’t wait to make her one.

  20. Laura says:

    I found this tutorial when searching after someone suggested I make a hoop skirt rather than buy one for my cosplays. It seems very easy and I can’t wait to get the stuff to make it! I’m going to be showing this to my mom the weekend so that maybe she can help me start learning how to sew since I just bought a sewing machine!

    1. loona says:

      Good job on buying a sewing machine, it is vary easy to use once you get the hang of it keep sewing, loona

  21. loona says:

    I am 11yo and i love midevil cloths, i have a few questions do you have a tutorial for a petticoat(or a ruffled petticoat) and midevil dresses pleases answer!

  22. Kanika says:

    Nice instructions… very clear. I am gonna make one adult size for myself and a petticoat too! Please post if there is a different tutorial for that one. :)

  23. Ky says:

    Do you know how much to adjust the measurements for if you wanted to make an adult size version of this?:)

  24. Jeanette says:

    This is PERFECT! Did all the math and I’m getting all the materials tomorrow! I will post up how it looks under my two projects and then a link to this so you get all the credit! Thank you for sharing this and your talent! :)

  25. Deb says:

    Thanks so much for this. It brought back memories of a short hoop skirt I had in grade 4. It tied at the waist and during recess it came undo and fell to the ground! I was totally mortified! I quickly gathered it up, scrunched it as small as possible and asked the teacher “Can I go inside to the washroom” She said said yes you can but the question is”May you”, I totally didn’t understand and started to cry. She let me go inside. LOL. I have never forgotten the difference between Can and May. Make the waist band tight or your girls too may be scarred for life! LOL
    So making one for my granddaughter.

  26. Kat says:

    I was wondering if you’ve encountered the pex pipe twisting itself in the hoop skirt? My hoop skirt is looking like a clover rather than a bell…

  27. Sheila says:

    I might give this a try. It’ll be more fun than ordering one from china, anyways.

  28. Bronny says:

    Omg thank you so much for this! I’m planning on using this for a costume I’m making for a convention I’m going to in July. I will change a few things to fit the dress but this has been the best and cheapest thing I’ve found so far

  29. Mary says:

    Great idea gonna make one tomorrow glad to find this cuz I was gonna use wire don’t know how I was gonna do it but couldn’t come up with anything else till I seen this genius

  30. Karen says:

    So Cool going to make one for a Queen of Hearts costume for my 16 year old daughter. Just have to figure out the cards for the outer part of the dress. Any hints would be appreciated.
    Thanks so much for the tutorial.

  31. Diane says:

    Is it possible just to do one hoop around bottom of skirt. Thanks

    1. loona says:


  32. Abigail says:

    Thank you a MILLION TIMES for posting this! I made one this week to fit me, and it was quite the adventure! I never would’ve taken on the endeavor without this tutorial, but my hoopskirt turned out awesome! Now I just need a ballgown to fit over it ;)

  33. Melissa Enríquez says:


    I was about to buy one on ebay but the shippment was truly expensive to my country so the price was twice the real one. Thank you, it’s a really useful tutorial :)

  34. Josselyn says:

    OMG! I made a Bell cosplay and needed a hoop skirt to go underneath! Can’t believe this! I can not wait try it! Thanks for your genius!

  35. Cindy says:

    So glad I stumbled upon this post. My 11th grade daughter is Mrs. Potts in her school’s production of Beauty and the Beast. We started a pot for her, but it’s way too soft and uneven. I think I’m going to try your hoop method to make it. Your math takes all of the guessing out of it. Very cool!

  36. Melissa says:

    love this, going to try to make one for my prom dress.

  37. IZABEL says:

    Merci pour ce super tutoriel il est très bien explique et les photos sont montre très bien toutes les étapes , Dommage que je ne l’avais pas l’année dernière pour la robe de cendrillon que j’ai confectionner à ma grande fille pour ses 23ans’ j’avais fait un jupon de tulle très épais .

  38. Lei says:

    Thank you so much for the tutorial! I’ve been putting off designing/finishing some costumes for a while because I wasn’t sure what to use in the tubing for our hoop skirts. I definitely be referencing this in the future!
    Your tutorial is amazing and thank you for posting!

  39. Debbie says:

    Wow! I wish I’d known this when my daughter got married. She wanted a Renaissance wedding. I made her dress but we bought the hoop skirt. Expensive does not cover it!! They also ordered the wrong size, etc, etc. This idea would have been perfect!

  40. Lori Yahne says:

    Thank you so much for the wonderful idea and tutorial. I have been working on a historical character costume for my daughter and was hitting a wall about how to make a hoop skirt. This worked up easily and looks perfect

  41. Alison says:

    I’m usually a yarn crafts type of girl, but my eldest (6 year old) is determined to wear my Belle costume from when I was in 2nd grade for Halloween this year. The dress is a little bit long on her, and definitely needed a hoop skirt. So, I borrowed a friend’s sewing machine and followed your tutorial and made the hoop skirt today. It was so easy! I spent about $20 on supplies as well. It took me about 4 hours to make from start to finish. I’m a novice when it comes to sewing, so some parts of this project took me a little longer than someone who is really good with a sewing machine. Thank you so much for this detailed step-by-step! It’s so clever!

    My daughter has an itty bitty waist, so I am adding suspenders (actually they sort of look like cloth lederhosen) so that her hoop skirt doesn’t fall down while she’s trick-or-treating. :)

  42. Ashlea says:

    I was wondering if there was anything else that could be substituted for the pex pipe because at lowes I couldn’t find it cheaper than $38. Could you maybe use something made of foam or anything?

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh my word…..that’s way too much!! I bought mine at Home Depot for under $2 for each 5 feet piece. Was the stuff you found a large amount on a roll or something? I ended up spending about $15 for the whole skirt. Anyway, maybe Lowe’s doesn’t have the single pieces……so try Home Depot!


    2. Jenny says:

      I found the 5′ sections of Pex at Lowe’s. They were 1.75 each. The plumbing guy even told me about these couplings used for irrigation tubing that could join the pieces together instead of doing the rods. I’m excited to get started!!

    3. Teresa says:

      I was just going to suggest using the couplings instead of the rods. :)

    4. Ashley says:

      Oh, this is fantastic!! Even better than cutting metal rods. Thanks so much for sharing!!!!!! :)

    5. Anonymous says:

      Do you sell them

  43. Diane says:

    My store-bought hoopskirt for my wedding gown has a drawstring waist, to make it a one-size-fits-all. My much-smaller daughter wore it with a costume when she was younger.
    If you wanted to make a hoopskirt like that, to last for years of use or for multiple users, leave the seam open to almost the top hoop and use a ribbon or other drawstring to tie, instead of elastic in the waist casing.

  44. Alexa Pierce says:

    Goodness, I’m definitely going to size this up and make one for myself! I have so many costumes I’ve been planning to do that need a hoopskirt, but most tutorials are for the pros or super expensive! Thank you for sharing your ingenuity with us.

  45. Olivia N. says:

    My goodness! Every time I reread this post I get SO excited!! The only problem that I ran into so far is that I have NO idea how to make my Belle costume…otherwise this hoop skirt would be lovely! THANK YOU!

  46. Kristina Noall says:

    You’re an absolute genius. As usual. :) Your kids are so lucky! I’m also LOVING the Dorothy and Glinda costumes. Amazing, as usual! (Mary Poppins will probably always be my favorite, though!)

  47. Tc says:

    You are very clever! Thanks for sharing :)

  48. Julia says:

    I never have seen Wizard of Oz (I know, Shame on me!!). On the upside, I may be the only one actually surprised with Eli’s costume when you finally reveal it. HAHA

  49. Cami says:

    Oh my Ashley! This is brilliant! I tried making one a few years ago with boning, and it was totally floppy and didn’t work that great. Count on you to figure out the best way possible! Love it. I too, wanted one of these my whole childhood (ok, still do). Guess I’ll have to make one for my girls so I can live my dream too!

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh yay, thanks Cami! And ha, I have to laugh about the boning because I tried threading some through first and realized it would NEVER work. Boo.

      Okay, and you and I both. Don’t you want to join me next year and wear hoop skirts to some party? We could totally get away with it! ;)


  50. Jill says:

    so about how much did this end up costing altogether?

    1. Ashley says:

      It cost me under just under $20……..but that’s because I didn’t have to buy ribbon, I already had it on hand. But like a few comments above, you could also skip the ribbon and sew little tucks in the fabric and feed the hoop through those.

      Anyway, much sturdier than many of the discount hoop skirts available……and will last for years.

      Hope that helps!

  51. Sheila @ Sheila's Potpourri says:

    This is fantastic! Alas, my little princess is past this stage (14 yo) but it will be great for my niece and even grandchildren one day! (But not too soon I hope!)

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh darn…..but yes, there’s bound to be another little girl who would LOVE this! :)

    2. KatieL says:

      Maybe 14yo might be too sophisticated for a hoop dress, but I made a “Princess-Ariel-as-a-human, not-a-mermaid” dress for my 13yo recently. I cheated and bought the hoop skirt and when it arrived (on her birthday) she wore it all day over her track suit pants and even wanted to sleep in it!!! She was so excited she said, “Dreams really do come true!” That really made my day!

  52. Donna says:

    And for people who don’t have access to inexpensive ribbon…

    The casings can also be made by folding the fabric over and stitching about 3/4″ from the fold. If one is doing this then they need to add 1 1/2 inch times the number of casings to the length of the skirt pattern.

    1. Ashley says:

      Yes, Tena mentioned this above and I hadn’t thought of that. But yes, that would definitely save some money on ribbon. Thanks Donna for the tip and measurements. Perfect!


  53. Tena says:

    Love the tubing idea…can’t wait to use that. I did one by making tucks and running wire through them instead of the ribbons. Slightly more fabric, but cheap if you don’t have a ribbon stash.

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh, that’s actually a really great idea too! It would save some $$ on ribbon if you’re not crazy like me with baskets full of ribbon. ;)

      Thanks Tena!

  54. Theresa Diaz Gray says:

    Your Dorothy costume is precious, I love how you did the bias pieces. I’ve worn a lot of hoop skirts (used to do historical reenactment before moving to Merida) including one made from a hula hoop and this is a good cheap idea.

    Here are some hoop hints that I’ve learned over time. If unsightly hoop lines show through on your skirt, pop a ruffled petticoat over the top of the hoop skirt.

    Make the bottom hoop and the bottom of the skirt ankle height or higher to keep from stepping on your hoops. I have stepped on my hoops, gotten tangled, and tripped, no fun.

    Also, you might want to use even wider elastic on the waistband, hoops like to creep down,in fact the best waistband is a fitted yoke, avoid a drawstring waist, it doesn’t work well. If you find that the hoops and skirt are heavy and dragging down, a small bum roll under every thing will distribute the weight better and support everything. A bum roll is a simple stuffed half moon shape that ties in front.

    On real hoops you can collapse them,bend them into a figure eight, and then fold them together into a smaller circle to store them. I don’t know if the pex is flexible enough for this. My hoops are on a hanger in the closet with clothes pins holding them closed.

    If you want a stiff petticoat but don’t want to deal with hoops, make a corded petticoat. It takes longer but it will work. Essentially, you sew rows upon rows of stiff cording (clothesline works well) about an inch apart on your petticoat. You can also put plastic boning in the skirt of your costume (provided you have ruffles) to help fluff everything out more.

    One of my friends made a great cage hoop using wire and duct tape. LOL…Not very pretty but it worked.

    I can’t wait to see your daughter’s costume.


    1. Ashley says:

      Oh wow Theresa, these are AWESOME tips!!!! I didn’t even know that real hoop skirts were collapsible….but totally makes sense. Like those sun visors for cars that collapse…..SMART. Also, a corded petticoat……WOW, sounds like lots of work but would be a really cool shape without the dips between hoops.

      Anyway, loved all these ideas and variations!

      Thanks so much!

    2. Anonymous says:

      For long time I want to do it but I dont now how thank you soon much ?

  55. Rose says:

    I am feeling pretty stupid right now, because although I have been sewing for many years and I never have difficulty following your tutorial, right now I am stumped with the very first step (cutting the fabric). I just cannot envision what you are saying to do. I hope I am just having a “senior” moment. It says, “cut fabric to height and width, fold fabric with right sides together, and sew the shorter ends together. You should have a tube”. I cannot make sense of this step nor can I envision what Iis supposed to be done. Is it possible to add a picture with this step? It is not because of the way it was written, Ii am just not understanding. Sorry. I hope you can help because I would really like to make this for my granddaughter .

    1. Theresa Diaz Gray says:

      Picture a rectangle of fabric the correct height and width. You sew the short end (height) and create a tube. Ashley has a photo of the skirt laid out prior to putting the tubing in that might make it clearer. I have those senior moments more and more these days.


    2. Rose says:

      Thanks Theresa!

    3. Rose says:

      I need a little more clarification. What is confusing me is that the original instructions say to “fold the fabric in half and sew the TWO short ends together”. I understand sewing the end where the fabric meets, which would result in making a tube, but why would I sew the side with the fold? Again, am I misunderstanding something or was there an error in saying “sew the TWO short ends together”? I noticed that your explanation did not say the two ends. No one else seems to be confused by this, so again, feeling kind of stupid

    4. Theresa Diaz Gray says:

      Rose I just reread the directions again, and again. It would be better if Ashley answered but it seems to me that she meant fold it in half so the short ends meet, not fold it in half lenght wise, there are two short ends and two long ends on every rectangle. “The fold it in half” and the word two aren’t necessary, IMO, because how else would you make the short ends meet and of course there are only two. LOL…this is why we have pattern testers and recipe testers because we all read things differently.


    5. Ashley says:

      So sorry for the confusion Rose…..and thanks so much for stepping in Theresa!! But don’t feel stupid at all Rose! Sometimes we’re visualizing differently than the person writing it and for that, I’m sorry I didn’t include an image for this particular step. I changed the verbiage a bit in the tutorial a bit but I think I have really confused you. Ack, so sorry!

      So, you asked in your second comment, “why would I sew the side with the fold?”……and I think this is where the confusion is. You don’t sew the side with the fold. You sew the two ends that are opposite the fold. So think of it this way. Hold a piece of printer paper in your hands horizontally, with one hand on the right edge of the paper and the other on the left edge of the paper. Now, take the left side of the paper and fold it over to the right side, folding it in half. Now, you have a new rectangle in your hands……there’s a folded edge in your left hand and two open edges in your right hand. Now, if this were your fabric, you would sew a vertical seam down the right side of this rectangle, joining the two open edges together. So now you would have a folded edge on the left side, a sewn edge on the right side, and open edges along the top and bottom…… you the “tube” that you need to continue onto the next step of the tutorial.

      Does that help at all?

      And thanks for asking….because you never know if someone else is confused by the same thing! :)


  56. Lynette says:

    I just learned about pex pipe this year when we did a redo of some plumbing in our bathroom! Glad to know it can be used for this crafty purpose too. My husband’s going to think I’m nuts in a few years when I have a little girl that needs a hoop skirt. :) Thanks for the great tutorial. How smart to use ribbon for the casings too. I’m glad she barely fits through doorways. :)

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh, haha, you’re the woman to ask about what this stuff is REALLY for! :)

      And yes, hang onto this one because you will one day make a little girl EXTREMELY happy!!

      Thanks Lynette!

  57. Angie says:

    Fabulous tutorial, as usual!! Thank you, Ashley!!

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh good, and you’re welcome Angie! :)


  58. Crystal says:

    This is incredible! I always wanted a hoop skirt too :) Now I need to think of a costume with a full skirt for my daughter to wear next year so I can make one too!

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh gosh, I always did too! And yes, you have a full year to get thinking. Just do it……both of you should be southern belles with fancy umbrellas! :)

  59. Darcy P says:

    This is one of the best tutorials I’ve ever seen. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh good, I’m glad it makes sense…..I always wonder! ;)


  60. cucicucicoo says:

    Wow, that is so awesome! Great idea to use tubing! :) Lisa

    1. Ashley says:

      It worked so well too… I’m a fan of Pex Pipe, even though I have no idea how to use it for its actual purpose. Haha!

      Thanks Lisa! :)

  61. Sharlyn says:

    Very, very cool! Thanks for sharing your great ideas!

    1. Ashley says:

      You’re so welcome!!

  62. Stephanie says:

    Our family did the Wizard of Oz theme a couple years ago and I was Glinda. This hoop skirt would have been perfect!! To poof out my dress, I used a combination of a petticoat and a body pillow strapped around my waist under my dress. Getting in the car was a bit tricky! Here’s a link to how it turned out:

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh my WORD!!!!!! How adorable you all were! I love that your costumes were just as amazing as the kiddos’! And the petticoat and body pillow….HA, that’s perfect!

      And yeah, there’s no riding in the car with a hoop skirt. Hahah…..funny thought though!

      P.S. your mary poppins up in your header is DARLING! I love that you included Jane and Michael. So darn cute! (Probably my all time favorite group costume theme. :) )

  63. Melanie says:

    Brilliant! You’re amazing! Super gold star!

    1. Ashley says:

      Awwww….thanks Melanie!

  64. Kim the girl says:

    I’m crazy and decided t hat I should direct a play for my six kids (11 and under) and their friends to perform a week after Halloween. It just so happens that the play we’re doing is, The Wizard of Oz! I’ve been trying to figure out what to do die the girl playing who I suspect Elli will be and this is PERFECT! Thank you so much!!

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh my gosh, you’re incredible! So not only costumes but DIRECTING a play!!!! WoW!

      This is perfect for you then!

      Good luck….and high fives!

  65. Lisa Burger says:

    Wow! Great tutorial, thanks for doing the math :)

    1. Ashley says:

      No problem….and good luck Lisa!


  66. Corrine says:

    I have four children as well (basically the same ages, just off by a few months)…..perhaps I will make all these for Christmas presents. You are amazingly talented! And you’re going to be busy keeping the boys away with this little beauty you have pictured here.

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh how funny… you must be busy too? How are your night’s going? Getting any sleep? Haha! ;)

      And YES, this would be so fun for Christmas!!!!

      And oh gee……thankfully, she’s more on the timid side of personalities. That saves me some time, right??? :)

      Enjoy those babies!

  67. Sarah R says:

    Now please make a lovely southern belle dress to go with this hoop skirt. Then I can live out my childhood dreams of wearing such large dresses.

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh gosh, me too! Wouldn’t that be fun! I just need to get a movie or some children’s book that has southern belle’s in it, so that she’ll want to wear that next year!

  68. liz says:

    I love your hoop petticoat and I know my 7 year old grand daughter would love it too but I’m wondering . . . would she be able to sit down if she wore one under her dress to her school Halloween party?

    1. Ashley says:

      So, typically, hoop skirts aren’t really meant for sitting. However, if Elli sits straight down, she can sit on the floor…..but not in a chair because the hoops would flip up if you sit on the back side of the them. But at her school, they do a costume parade and then they have to take off their costumes… there’s no sitting! But nonetheless, she has worn it several times to just play around in it….and she loves it. The hoops don’t slow her down a bit! :)


    2. Alexa Pierce says:

      I would suggest for her to wear leggings or something underneath and slip off the hoop skirt whenever she needs to sit in a chair. I had a two-piece Belle dress ten or so years ago, when I was in elementary school, that I wore for my class’s Halloween party. I wore yellow leggings underneath the skirt, and would slip the skirt off (it had built-in hoops–not a very good idea) whenever I needed to sit. It worked well, and let me play story teller whenever I was asked why Belle was wearing pants

  69. MandaNell says:

    LOVE this! I needed a couple of years ago, but it will still come in handy for my daughter. Little Miss (Chloe) Dorothy is just adorable too!!

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh perfect, yes hang onto it! And thanks!! :)

  70. Carole says:

    This is so well done! The hoop skirt is beautiful and so well made and the tutorial is wonderful. I will be saving a copy for when I have a granddaughter, too!

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh thanks Carole…….hopefully that day comes soon! This is a fun one to see being by a little loved one! :)

  71. Carol says:

    Very nice! Keep that in mind if I get a granddaughter :)

  72. Kassondra says:

    love this!!!

  73. Laurinda says:

    I always wondered how to do that, & you’re pretty awesome for figuring it out!

    1. Ashley says:

      Haha…..not so bad, right? :)

    2. Glenda says:

      WOW-THANKS ASHLEY! I’M IMPRESSED & EXCITED to affordable have a hoop skirt! YOU ARE THE BEST!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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