How to Make a Ghostly Tulle Cape

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Learn how to make a tulle cape with this tutorial.  I'm sharing instructions for drafting a simple cape pattern for any size, from toddler to adult.  

Two children wearing tulle capes, with text overlay saying "How to Make a Tulle Cape."

Every spooky masquerade calls for a mysterious costume.

Little girl wearing a purple tulle cape and mardi gras masquerade mask.

A flowing tulle cape was easy to throw together, and had just the kind of diaphanous, floating mystery I was after.  

Two young girls wearing tulle capes, one purple, one a ghostly white color.

Done in purple, it paired perfectly with a Mardi Gras masquerade mask.  In grey and white, it's the perfect ghost costume for a little kid (nothing to cover the face and lead them to claw it off after five seconds).  

Little girl wearing a white tulle cape and a black and white masquerade mask.

The amount of fabric you'll need to recreate this will obviously vary depending on how tall your costume-wearer is, so I'll just step you through the process I followed to make these costumes more generally, without specific measurements.

Materials for a DIY Tulle Cape

  • ribbon (to make the tie around the neck)
  • tulle (exact yardage will depend on how large the cape will be--see instructions below)
  • matching inexpensive fabric for the under-layer of the cape

I originally conceived of doing this entirely in tulle, but then I found some lovely, super inexpensive grey and purple fabrics at Joann Fabrics, and realized that making an under-layer would cut down considerably on the yardage of tulle I'd need.  

Diagram of the underlayer of a DIY tulle cape.

I measured my kid from floor to shoulder, and added 4" to that measurement.  Add a little extra if you'd like the fabric to puddle and drag on the floor a bit.  Gather along one edge of the fabric, using the full width (no patterns, no cutting, no hemming!).  

Under layer of a tulle cape being gathered and sewn to a ribbon.

Sew the underlayer to a long piece of ribbon (this will be the tie around the neck) and trim off any excess.

Tulle cape pattern for the outer layer of a ghostly tulle cape.

The top layer made of tulle is a little more complicated to explain.  Basically, you want a length of tulle twice as tall as the costume wearer, plus a little extra (I liked a wide, gaping hood rather than a tight one).  

Fold your length of tulle in half.  The fold will be the top of the hood.  

Take that floor to shoulder measurement from making the under-layer, and add an extra inch or two (you want the top layer of tulle to be slightly longer than the bottom layer).  Measure from the bottom edge (the not-folded edge), and sew a line above where that measurement ends to the top of the fold. This will be the back of the hood, and is represented by the oh-so-graceful vertical squiggly line I drew in the diagram above.

Turn the fabric inside out, so the seam will be on the inside.  

Tulle and under layer for a tulle cape being sewn together.

Now pin your tulle layer to the under-layer, gathering and securing with pins before you sew so the fabric will be evenly distributed.  Sew to the ribbon.

Closeup of a hood of a purple tulle cape, worn by a young girl wearing a peacock feather masquerade mask.

Gathering the tulle to the ribbon naturally creates a flowing, ghostly hood shape.  

Little girl wearing a hooded tulle cape in front of a spooky tree background.

With a simple costume like this, it's easy to dress kids warmly beneath the cape for chilly Halloween nights.  Here in Phoenix, that's not such an issue, but I vividly remember some very cold Halloweens from my own childhood in Ohio!

Young girl wearing a DIY purple tulle cape and masquerade mask in front of a spooky tree background.

Pair with a mask or a bit of face paint, and your little ghouls will be ready to spook the town.

Other Halloween Costume Ideas You Might Like:

Navigational image leading reader to tutorial for peter pan's escaped shadow costume.

Navigational image leading reader to tutorial for a day of the dead floral headpiece.

Navigational image leading reader to tutorial for an easy DIY felt gnome hat.

Navigational image leading reader to tutorial for a flower fairy costume made with real leaves.

Navigational image leading reader to tutorial for a no sew bat costume.

Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido

Links on this page may be affiliate links. We may receive a small commission for something you buy through those links, at no additional cost to you.