Ties or Tutus: My DIY Gender Reveal

I love to celebrate…everything.

Whether, we are talking about a birthday, a holiday, a Friday, a “Historic Blizzard” outside my window, a baby, a new job, or a 3-day weekend, I’m your girl.

Needless to say, five years ago when I first heard about “Gender Reveal Parties” – I wanted to go to one/throw one/have one for my baby. Thanks to Pinterest I was filing away cute ideas before I was even married.

Our doctor wanted us to find out the gender at only 10 weeks using a blood test. I wanted to know what I was having, but it was SO early! We waited until early January to have my blood work sent off to the lab, and I hoped I only needed to wait a week for the results! Our plan was to have the results by the next Wednesday or Thursday and invite everyone to party with us over MLK weekend. The tricky part was, we couldn’t invite anyone until we knew the results were ready!

We were in a holding pattern.

Then, due to a series of complications:

  • No Subway service to our neighborhood for the next 4 weekends (Surprise! Thanks MTA).
  • Talented friends getting hired for awesome jobs that rehearse over the weekend and in the evenings.
  • A surprising amount of clashing birthday party/work schedules.
  • Bakeries need 48 hours notice for a custom cake.

…our plans changed again.

I cleared our potential last-minute plans with a few friends to make sure they could make it, and then hoped to give everyone else at least 24 hours notice.

All this to say…my ideas and plans for a gender reveal party theme were going down the drain FAST!  I wasn’t going to have time to prepare much of anything!

When next Wednesday rolled around, I was anxiously awaiting the “it’s ready” call from the doctor, so I decided to calm my nerves with an optimistic craft project.

I scrolled through my saved Pinterest ideas for a gender reveal and came across my favorite Ties or Tutus theme from Kara’s Party Ideas. (I’m a dancer and my husband is a banker). My favorite party details were the sweet sugar cookies and cute printables for guests to wear their gender guess.


I (surprisingly) didn’t have any tulle lying around the apartment, so I set off on a Pinterest/Google Image hunt for cute tutus.

I came across both of these, which seemed do-able…but not perfect.


Source: Etsy


Source: Suzdaily.com

The second one is actually a really cute cookie template, but I wasn’t ready to make perishables for a party date that was yet to be determined. Paper goods would keep…cookies were bound to disappear.

My google search turned up these beauties and I couldn’t help myself from giving it a try.


Source: Krokotak.com

Click here for directions. Click here for the template.

The full-size template was a little bigger than I needed, so I tried printing and cutting out a few copies at 60%, 55%, and 45% to see what I liked best.


I found that printing the template at 55% worked best for the stash of small square scrapbook paper that I wanted to use. I could get two ballerinas out of one sheet if I was willing to lose a bit of the tips of her toes.

  1. Print and cut out the ballerina template.
  2. Carefully fold your square piece of scrapbook paper in half and cut along the fold.
  3. Fold each remaining piece in half long ways with the pattern facing inside.
    1. (A hot-dog style fold – if you are familiar with that term). If your ballerina template fits, you did it right.
  4. Trace your printed ballerina template onto the folded scrapbook paper. Make sure to add a slit for her toes if it got cut off.
  5. Carefully cut out your ballerina! (It should like the rainbow striped one above).

For the snowflake tutus, I used plain white printer paper (actually scraps from my extra ballerina template prints) and made sure my squares were large enough to stretch the full width of her tutu when cut into snowflakes.

  1. Make sure your white paper is square, by folding it corner to corner and cutting off any excess.
  2. Follow the snowflake instructions from Krokotak.com, or experiment with your own version!
  3. snowflake instructions
  4. Insert the folded ballerina by cutting a small slit in the center of the snowflake/tutu and sliding her carefully into place. Once assembled, open the ballerina. You’re done!

snowflake tutu assembly

Here is my finished product: (using Target Scrapbook Paper)


I made the ties with the same 2-fold scrapbook paper technique to ensure equal tutu to tie sizing. :)

I honestly eyeballed the ties by looking at a picture and using a ruler for straight lines.  When I was happy with the shape I used that tie as my template for the rest. The ties are pretty hard to mess up, but if you are really worried – just start with printer paper that you don’t care about.

Sidenote: I sent this picture to my husband saying, “Ties or Tutus?!” Instead of congratulating me on my craftiness (as I’d selfishly hoped) he simply replied, “Ties.” I found out later he wasn’t even making a gender prediction…just saying he liked the ties better. Haha.

At this point I knew these were too big for pinning on my guests chests, so I decided to make them into a banner.

I used a hole punch to make holes on either side of the tie knot and in the middle of the ballerina heads. Then i strung them up with some sparkly baker’s twine I found for $3 at Anthropologie.



I used the remaining matching scrapbook paper to make a banner of words (for attendees like my husband who needed the theme spelled out for them). It’s not the greatest picture, but you get the idea.


My Wednesday project felt pretty creatively fulfilling, but the doctor didn’t call while I was crafting so I was pretty nervous that there might not be a party on Friday at all.

To get the ball rolling, I called my doctor first thing Thursday morning to see if the results were back. They didn’t call me back until 4:40 to say they had them and I could come pick them up before 5!

Good thing I was running errands in the city, because I wouldn’t have been able to make it there otherwise!

They knew to leave the results in a sealed envelope, so I could hand it off to my amazingly generous friend who’d agreed to keep the secret AND bake a pink or blue cake with only a day’s notice. Luckily she was also close by, so I could hand it off without too much temptation. At this point, I knew I would know the results by tomorrow night anyway…I could wait. (But I was GIDDY!).

We talked cakes after the hand-over and got a little carried away…as we usually do with cakes.

This was the inspiration:


Source: Pinterest

We headed to Michael’s to stock up on some Nonpareil sprinkles, paste food coloring, and anything else that I might need to throw a party in 24 hours.

While I texted everyone to tell them about the last-minute party, Addie went home to bake. :)

She found Duncan Hines Pink and Blue Velvet cake mixes that took the guess-work out of adding food coloring to white cake mix and made her mission somewhat easier. I owe her BIG time!signature-blue-velvet-cake-mix_detail

Source: Duncan Hines

IMG_6400a IMG_6404a

I especially love the top picture she took because it reminds me of our pregnancy announcement.


I don’t know how she did it, but she sprinkled the heck out of that cake and there was no way that my husband or I could tell what was hiding underneath.


While she was heading over to our apartment with the cake, I was still trying to throw together the last of the food, decorations, and cleaning that needed to be done.

Thank goodness our Chalkboard Door is a built-in decoration! I used a few Pinterest inspirations and my Scrabble Magnets to whip this up as quickly as possible:


(Actually pretty much every answer was BOY! I had to seek out a few that went with my GIRL prediction!)

While I was hunting for a lost tablecloth, I came across leftover paper straws from our wedding and my birthday party a few years ago. Pink and Blue!! Why not?

And just because I’m a glutton for punishment (and I had a willing pair of helping hands), I decided to add a little washi tape to each straw to further specify boy or girl. :) I found these sets of washi tape at TJ Maxx for 2.99 each, and although I had no idea why I NEEDED them then, I knew they would come in handy. I was right! :)


Source: Scrapbook.comSBC_pp-teymh111_0

Source: Scrapbook.com

I used the mustaches and the bows, and attempted to line them up back to back around the straw as best as possible. They looked cute…but I ALWAYS have paper straw leftovers from parties. It seems they don’t work that well…but at least they are festive. :)


And that’s pretty much all I had time for before everyone arrived!!


That was quite the long post! I suppose that blogging with blizzard outside makes me a bit verbose. Hope this finds you warm and toasty!! It’s a perfect day for a craft project!

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