Tuesday, 21 February 2017

DIY Vegan Tulle Boa for Burlesque

(UPDATE: I suggested that you could throw some stitches in the center of the knot before cutting your bows. After using my boa for a few shows, I would DEFINITELY add those stitches next time. It will prevent the strips of tulle slipping out over time.)

I'm completing a new costume and I decided I wanted to add a feather boa... but I wanted it to be vegan/ cruelty-free. I researched and asked around. Then I took my accumulative knowledge and came up with this method that I found surprisingly easy and the results are FABULOUS! In fact, I prefer it to a feather boa.
If you can't be bothered to make this yourself, there are few places you can buy a vegan boa on Etsy.com.

Please Note: I used a wide net tulle and did find that it would easily catch and tangle on beads. So take that into consideration with your costuming. Perhaps using a finer tulle or experimenting with this same method using a different fabric would prevent this issue.

What you will need:
-Tulle. There are so many different types to choose from! I chose a wide net stiff tulle, and a finer, soft tulle for some texture variation.
I bought a total of 16 yards from JoAnn Fabrics. However, 20 - 25 yards I think would have been better.

-Cord, in a matching color. I also found this at JoAnn Fabrics. I bought 2 1/2 yards.

Total cost: around $25 for me.

STEP 1: Measure the length you want your boa to be. Tape the cord to prevent fraying and cut to size.

STEP 2: This is the hardest step. You want your strips of tulle to be about 6-8 inches in width. So, fold your tulle and cut it so you end up with that.

STEP 3: Have you ever seen those puff balls used for decoration usually at weddings and baby showers? That's what you're going to make! Watch this youtube tutorial to learn how: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qWhBOrO_VQ&t=104s


STEP 4: Above you can see that I am making the tulle balls but not cutting them until I attach it to the cord. The photo on the right is what it will look like once it's cut.

STEP 5: Above are a few varying photos illustrating what i'm doing. I'm tying the bows of tulle onto the cord with just one knot, so I can easily undo and redo it, and make adjustments till I feel they are in the right spot. I'm also varying the direction and angles i'm tying them on. There is a bow on each side of the cord. Once you have them in the place you like, tie them on tight. You could even throw a stitch in there, with a thick thread, in the center of your knot for extra security.


STEP 6: Cut the bows and fluff you balls (tee hee) eh' viola! I could have trimmed the access tulle sticking out, but i liked the organic look of it. I mentioned I could have done with a bit more tulle to fill in some sparse areas, which I can do later.
I also finished the ends of the cord by hot gluing a white trim around the tips. You can add whatever embellishments you like.


  1. Can you make one of the organza ones people are selling now?

    1. This method was an experiment that turned out very well so I decided to share it. I know there are instructions out there for the organza boas you are talking about. Which seems to be sewing a tube, making a channel in the middle and then scrunching it. Good luck on your burlesque crafting!

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  3. Yours turned out absolutely fabulous. I am attempting to create my own as I type lol I am using a finer mesh and finding I need much more to add volume. I am using 30 yards of glitter fine mesh tulle and a mesh cord that will light up. I'm excited to see the final product and THANK YOU so much for this inspiration!!

    1. Sorry i'm just seeing this now! So glad this helped you! Happy burlesque crafting :)

  4. This is awesome wished I'd seen it sooner! My daughter needed one for her Junie B Jones costume tomorrow lol and I have purple tulle from halloween last year but not the cord and she doesnt need it as puffy but I could have maded it work.....oh well there's always next time! ;) Thanks for sharing!

    1. I bet this would be a fun project to do with her :) Thanks for sharing Jennifer!

  5. Hi, this is lovely!
    Do you know actually if fake ostrich/fake marabou feathers exist?
    I found some on the web but Im not sure if they are natural or artificial :/
    like this ones:


    I cannot contact the owner to ask if they're actually artificial...Can you help?
    I would like to create my own boa and fans.

    from Italy


    1. Hi darling! I don't believe those feathers are fake. I would be really surprising. I found an excellent fake marabou boa in a fabric store, but for the life of me i cannot find a supply of them online. I've been trying. The best realistic fake feathers i've seen are pheasant feathers: https://www.floralsupply.com/birds-butterflies/feathers/artificialfeather.html
      Bettina May has made some beautiful fans with these (although i don't know if from this supplier).
      Hope this helps.