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How To: DIY A Wedding Veil


When I was little girl, and was a flower girl (only once, though it was my life’s ambition), the bride took me aside at the rehearsal dinner to show me her veil (squeee!) and to explain to me that you should always, always make your veil. She explained that veils were marked up, and a huge rip off, and pretty easy to sew. I, of course, listened carefully, and nodded seriously, and then Remembered Forever. So when it came time for our wedding, I knew I was going to make what was on my head. After a What To Wear On Your Head When You Wed series, I finally ended up making a crazy beautiful hair flower (tutorial coming soon). So today, I’m super delighted to bring you a lazy girl How To on making a veil, from Adria. Let’s get started, and bury ourselves in Tulle:

How To: DIY A Wedding Veil  | A Practical Wedding

Let me start with some words of advice…

If you’re going to roll with a DIY veil, start early.  Look, I love crafting, and I have some (limited) time to do it, and I really enjoy knocking out projects, but if I was trying to make this thing one month before our wedding, I would have lost it.  The details are tedious, and totally boring.  Sewing beads onto tulle?  Aw-ful.  But the end result is worth it.

How To: DIY A Wedding Veil  | A Practical Wedding
Start with a good idea of what you want your veil to look like.  The first trial veil that I made wasn’t based on anything other than the concept that trimming a veil with ribbon would be the easiest of all edging techniques.  I like the trial veil, but it’s not quite as complete and inspired as I wanted my veil to be.  I wanted the veil that I tried on in the bridal salon, trimmed with scalloped lace and accented with beading.  I just didn’t want to spend $200 on it…it was that simple.

Use the good idea of what you want as a starting point, but don’t attempt to copy it 100%. I say that because 1) It’s probably going to be impossible to copy anything 100%…I’m convinced that either the veils out there are made by machines or are hand made by very, very talented people. And, 2) These people (or machines) (Editors note: Or people who are machines…) have resources that you and I can’t access.  I scoured the internet and the local fabric/craft stores for scalloped lace, but was unable to find exactly what I wanted.  Mainly, that’s because I started wanting the exact same lace that was on my inspiration veil and it just doesn’t exist in the places that I can shop.  I ended up buying lace from a shop on Etsy and trimming it down to the width that I wanted.  It turned out far better than I could have ever imagined.

How To: DIY A Wedding Veil  | A Practical Wedding

Be patient and don’t try to be perfect.  This is my mantra in most everything that I craft.  Look, there will be some beads askew, or you’ll forget to put on four beads and instead only have three in a certain spot.  Or perhaps your tulle oval will be every so slightly “off”.  No one will notice.  Don’t let it drive you batty.  The beauty of anything hand made is that it’s made from the heart and soul, and it’s not perfect.  That’s what makes it awesome.

Supplies Needed:

  • Tulle
  • Nylon Thread (Micro-filament)
  • Sewing Machine (optional, depending on your veil preference)
  • Straight Pins
  • Sharp scissors
  • Sewing Needle
  • Beads/Trim as desired

How To: DIY A Wedding Veil  | A Practical Wedding

The Pattern – You’ll need to determine what style/length veil you want to wear (shoulder, fingertip, chapel, cathedral…).  The best way to find the length that works for you personally is to drape the tulle over your head and fool around with it in front of a mirror (at least, this is what worked best for me).  From there, you’ll need to cut an oval or a circle of tulle that is the appropriate length.  I used 108″ wide tulle, cut it to my length, folded it in half, then in half again.  Using a ton of straight pins to hold it all together, I carefully cut all of the corners off to make them round, and effectively created a giant rectangle/oval shape.

How To: DIY A Wedding Veil  | A Practical Wedding

Since I needed/wanted a blusher, the oval shape worked very well for me (more on that later).  If you don’t want a blusher and just want the veil in the back, you will only need a half oval/circle shape, unless you want two layers in the back.

The edging – I made two veils – one that was a mock-up version and had ribbon edging, the other which will be my veil that has a lace and beaded edge.  You can go totally plain, add some beading, make a rolled edge – it really all depends on your patience level, your sewing skills, and most importantly, the look you’re after.  Attach your edge trim with nylon thread using a sewing machine (if you don’t have one, look into borrowing one from a friend or any local sewing shops that will allow you to use theirs for free/nominal cost). If you’re applying lace or trim/ribbon to the edge of the veil with a sewing machine, make sure your sewing machine is capable of using nylon thread or “micro filament”.  Otherwise you’ll end up with a lot of tears in your tulle.  And, to be clear, the only reason I stress the nylon thread is because you can’t see it when it’s sewn…it really and truly disappears, which is exactly what you’ll want!

How To: DIY A Wedding Veil  | A Practical Wedding

Gathering the veil – hand sew two rows of running stitch that are at the gathering point of your veil, leaving approximately 20″ on either side of the gathering point so you have some side veil action happening.  Scrunch the tulle up on the gathering thread until the gathered portion is about 4″ long (assuming you’re attaching it to a 4″ comb.  The wider your tulle is from the start, the more “poof” you’re going to end up with.  Tie the thread into two knots on either side and trim down.  Now you can work on your attachment head piece….

How To: DIY A Wedding Veil  | A Practical Wedding

Fastening – I used a comb (but certainly bobby pins or clips or other such items could work).  You can buy plain combs from any craft store that has wedding supplies/crafts, or from most beauty stores.  I think, for veils, a metal comb works best to stay put in your hair, and allows you to attach things to it with wire or glue as you see fit  (or, you can find one already decorated from a sundry of shops on Etsy). And Voila.

How To: DIY A Wedding Veil  | A Practical Wedding

(Beautiful, say your editors. Just Beautiful.)

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  • http://dearwedding.wordpress.com/ Andee

    I’ve made 3 attempts at making a birdcage veil. First I bought the wrong material (you really do need the french netting stuff), then I didn’t cut it to fit my face right. But I swear I’m going to conquer this veil if it’s the last thing I do! Thanks for the inspiration. If anyone has pictures of a birdcage they made I’m dying to see them!

    • meg

      We clearly need a lazy-girl bird cage tutorial, with lots of awesome pictures. Anyone?

      • clairelizabeth

        I’d be happy to do a birdcage tutorial… although it may end up being more of a comedy of birdcage-veil errors and about 5 points of what actually to do…

        • Amy

          Don’t discount etsy either. I was able to find a whole host of different birdcage veil options for $30-$50.

          • meg

            Oh, you know I’m all about just buying it and solving the problem that way. But I know some people WANT to make the damn thing, just because. Stubbornness runs in the APW community. Wonder who attracted a lot of readers like that? (cough, cough.)

        • meg

          I’m all for it, as long as you deliver the actual how-to goods in the end. (With pictures? Eh?)

  • lolo7835

    This is a great tutorial! I’ve been trying to make my veil for a while, and this one is great! Any tips if we don’t want any poof? (e.g. a drop veil?)

    • http://townhousetohome.blogspot.com adria

      If you don’t want the poof, just don’t gather the middle of the oval (if you want to drape it over your head with a blusher…). If you don’t want a blusher, you can probably just cut a shape of tulle more like a teardrop shape (for lack of a better image), so you have minimal area to attach to a comb or your hair. Does that make sense? I could do another of my awesomely embarrassing sketches like the one above to show you what I mean…

      • KMA(C)

        This is exactly what I did. I basically cut out a narrow egg shape. Waist-length veil, no pouf, $12! I wasn’t organized enough to have sketches, though. Well done, you!

      • lolo7835

        Another sketch would be awesome. :D

    • Sarah

      I did mine without any poof!

      It was cut in a teardrop shape with the top bit being about 10 inches wide, and gathered into a 4 inch comb. That width gathered created just a little flow, but no poof … and prevented it from just sticking flat to my head. =)

  • Stephasaurus

    This is an awesome veil! I love the pretty comb too.

    And P.S. A hair flower is my headpiece of choice, so I’ll be waiting anxiously for the DIY hair flower tutorial!

  • sophia

    WOW. What a stunning veil!
    I wish this was around a year ago (in time for my wedding). I went with a simple veil from etsy (<$40) including shipping, which is an option for those who don't want to spent $200+ but aren't up to DIYing it either…

    • http://townhousetohome.blogspot.com adria

      Etsy is awesome for most anything!

      There is also the option of getting a veil at a craft/fabric store – most of them carry ones that are all shoved up into a box for about $20…then you could decorate it (or not) as you see fit.

  • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

    I made mine from 1.25 yards of polyester chiffon. I sprayed it with starch to make it stiff because that stuff likes to flow all over the place. With it stiff I cut as large a circle as I could and then did a rolled hem on the edge. Then I washed the starch out. I figured out where I wanted to gather it and sewed it to a clip. And that was it.

    • meg

      I totally hair-sprayed the heck out of my silk organza/ tulle hair flower on my wedding day. I would have done the same with a veil, I’m sure.

      Photographer: What are you doing?
      Me: Hair-spraying it. It needs volume.
      Photographer: Where did you learn that?
      Me: I donno? Theatre?

  • http://islandgirl-concretejungle.blogspot.com/ JamieC

    This is awesome! But how much did all the materials cost you? Is it worth trying even though I have negative sewing skills?

    • http://townhousetohome.blogspot.com adria

      The most expensive part was the comb…it was about $5. Tulle runs around $2/yard for the 108″ wide stuff, I bought two yards.

      I’d say you can get all of the supplies (pins, thread, tulle, comb) for $15- $20, which is why I decided to give it a go. Of course, the more embellishing you want to do, the more the cost will increase. I got 10 yards of the lace shown above for about $10, the ribbon for the trial was about $6 total….so, I probably spent around $40 for both my trial veil and the one at the end up there which will be my wedding veil.

  • clairelizabeth

    That veil is beautiful!

    I’m in the midst of making a fascinator/birdcage veil combination and everything was going well until I decided to combine an evening of rose tasing (for wedding wine!) with trying to make rosettes out of satin ribbon.

    Take away lesson: copious glasses of pink wine WILL NOT enhance dexterity, and may result in drunken-looking rosettes….

    • Ciji

      Hah! I’m with you on that one!
      I spent a lovely weeklong music festival with a little bag of organza petals, thread, and needles, just waiting to be stitched into flowers…….and since it was a vacation of sorts, I was mildly drunk at any given point.
      Drunken-looking flowers kinda tilt with you by the end of the (wedding) night anyways!

  • http://kimberlywasher.blogspot.com Kimberly Washer

    That is one gorgeous veil!!! I wanted to make my veil for my wedding and even bought all of the essentials. The amount I spent was between $40-$50 because I was making a cathedral veil. However, my uncle found a cathedral veil and a blusher for $40 bucks. It was craigslist so I was able to meet up with girl and try the veils on with my dress!! I fell in love and saved myself all that heartache of DIY. The girl I bought them from had never worn them and the price tags were still they. They were about $300. Major saver!!! My sister got a friend to make her veil for $50, so she had the homemade feel without the hassle. Good luck to all of those brides who have the choice to make!!!

  • Amy

    Or ask your friends and/or trimming shops if they know how to sew. My friend’s mom made me a gorgeous veil with rolled edges and seed pearls sewn all over it for like $60. Plus she embroidered our names and wedding date along the bottom edge (and offered to do it in blue thread for my something blue), which was so sweet of her!

  • SpaceElephant

    Just in time. I am tackling this soon. Have tulle and combs. If I don’t want to edge it with ribbon or lace, do I just leave it cut? Do I need to treat it or anything so it doesn’t fray?

    PS: Who wrote this? I can tell from the intro that it wasn’t Meg, but I don’t see a credit. Just want to be able to give whoever it is some kudos!

    • http://townhousetohome.blogspot.com adria

      I wrote it :)

      As for the edge, it shouldn’t fray which is one of the nicer things about working with tulle. That said, you might want to look into rolling the edges. I have no idea how to do this, but there are tutorials online (I think). It might give it a more finished look, unless you’re awesome with scissors and patient enough to get a smooth cut all the way around (which I think would be fine and doable, but I’m totally impatient when cutting things and usually end up with the jagged edges to prove it).

      Good Luck!

      • SpaceElephant

        The post is lovely. So well-written, and gentle and clear enough that I feel like I can totallydo it!

        I have one of those self-healing mats and a rolling cutter thingie, so I feel like I should be able to get a good smooth edge. I don’t have a sewing machine, so am trying to minimize the sewing aspect.

        Thanks for the advice!

    • http://bondingcarbonunits.wordpress.com/ the Sarah formerly known as Sarah K.

      My mother made my veil, no edge, and it was great. She bought ivory and white tulle because we weren’t sure about the colors, so she was able to do a mock-up with the “wrong” color. I wanted a really simple fingertip veil, and that’s what we did!! It was a simple veil that attached at the base of my head, no blusher. My mom measured the tulle (from the point of contact on my head, down to my fingers), cut a U shape, gathered the tulle at the non-U end, and sewed it on to a comb. VOILA. I only wore it for pictures and the ceremony, so it didn’t need to hold up to a lot of wear and tear. It cost pennies to make, and didn’t take THAT much time or crafting energy. I’m so happy we made our own. It made the veil even more special.

  • http://whenhoyametsaxa.blogspot.com/ Kathleen

    “Be patient and don’t try to be perfect. This is my mantra in most everything that I craft. Look, there will be some beads askew, or you’ll forget to put on four beads and instead only have three in a certain spot. Or perhaps your tulle oval will be every so slightly “off”. No one will notice. Don’t let it drive you batty.”

    I know we all know this, but I just want to stress how true it is, even if you’re not crafting. My veil was store-bought (I borrowed it, so it was free-to-me, but probably cost my cousin a pretty penny) – it was fingertip-length, perfect, everything I ever dreamed of, the lace edging somehow, miraculously, serendipitously matched my dress exactly. When I got my hair done the morning of the wedding, my hair dresser put it in, used a ton of bobby pins to hold it in place. I was already home, in my dress, having pictures taken when the photographer asked for a shot of me adjusting my veil and I realized it was on BACKWARDS. (or inside out? what’s the correct phraseology for when it’s the reverse of the lace that’s facing up?) I spent about 2 seconds ready to panic, until the photographer told me you’d never be able to tell in the pictures, and my bridesmaids assured me that you couldn’t tell in person, and I left well enough alone, and wore that thing all. night. long. Because I loved it. And I forgot until right now that it was actually on backwards all night.

    • http://theblogwhisperer.tumblr.com Heather G

      I’d say that sums up “practical wedding” quite nicely. It’s backwards (or upside down)? Well. Oh, well. Wedding on!

  • http://www.linseykitchens.com Linsey

    All I have to say is WOW. Some amazing women on here.

  • Rebecca

    This was so well timed, thanks Adria!

    I’m trying to choose a veil, or not choose a veil, I guess. I’m wearing a short (below knee) dress; what GOES with that? An image search turns up fru-fru veils that add height and volume, or birdcages. Is that really my best choices? I’m such a visual person that I need examples in order to make a decision. Gah.

    • meg

      Crazy tulle headflower!

    • http://townhousetohome.blogspot.com adria

      What do you WANT to wear? Anything that you want to wear will “go” with your dress because you’ll be most comfortable in it, you know? I mean, I assume that you picked the dress because you liked the style of it and it felt very much like you…you can do the same with your head wear.

      My opinion would be a shoulder length veil, or a bird cage veil, or some kind of fascinator….that’s only because I can’t imagine a cathedral length veil with a shorter dress (though, I’m sure it’s been done and probably on some fashion runway in Milan). You can also wear one thing for the ceremony and something else for the reception (which is my intention – veil with blusher to keep with Jewish traditions, some other flowery something or other for the reception so I don’t have a veil in my face the whole night). You could even do a pretty head band…or not wear anything on your head at all.

      Keep searching for ideas (I do Google image searches all the time and scroll quickly though the pictures until something truly catches my eye). Good luck! You’ll figure it out!

      • http://www.twitter.com/kahlia kahlia

        I wore a fingertip veil (no blusher) for the ceremony and then just a flower for the rest of the night. Every single one of the people who caught & hugged me before I could make the switch included the veil in their hug and thus accidentally tugged on it & kind of pulled my head back. I was glad to get rid of it!

  • Suzanna

    This is so awesome. Credit that lady!

  • http://grant-and-kahiwa.blogspot.com Kiwa

    What a beautiful veil!! I’m lucky enough that a wonderful wonderful friend (was more acquaintance beforehand due to fb-status-liking only communication of last couple of years) of mine made one for me. It was spanish mantilla style, so sat just on my fringe parting then fell down to fingertip length down the back.
    Funny how friends who were seemingly more acquaintances come out of the woodwork and do amazing things for your wedding. Can be easy to feel like you’re taking advantage, but I like to think that weddings bring out the best of love in some people, and her best is amazing.

  • http://www.thinkingwedding.blogspot.com Rhiannon

    Wow that’s really beautiful! And so true about the mark up!

    At my first dress shopping experience (before I figured out how to say “No please don’t put any extra bits on me ‘for the effect’ I DO NOT WANT THEM) I was completely stunned to see that the veil alone had a price tag of £500.

    £500? My whole entire eventual outfit ended up costing just over half that. Including the shoes.

    Tut tut.

  • Renee C

    Ooh, thanks for posting this, it’s awesome! What a beautiful veil!! I have been looking at fingertip length veils with ribbon trim on Etsy and they seem to run around $40-60, so I was going to do that…but on a whim after reading this I stopped by the fabric store today and ended up buying 3 yards of 54″ width tulle for $1.99/yard. Add a spool of white ribbon and my total was $8.50. Awesome!!

    My question is, though — I don’t have a sewing machine. I DO have 4 months until my wedding, and I do find hand-sewing somewhat relaxing (I hand-hem my own pants…..). Is adding the ribbon trim by hand just too time consuming or delicate for hand work?

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  • ericka

    Can you please do a tutorial on how to do a cathedral length veil with lace edge? I’m really trying to DIY mostly everything. i want to make my veil because I really want to pass this down to my one day daughter.

  • Diann H

    I am trying my hand at making my daughter’s veil. She wants a single tier , fingertip, with a ribbon edge. I got it cut out ok, but having a terrible time getting the ribbon to make the turn on the edges. I used Aileens fabric glue, but I dont like how it looks dry. I have tried cutting out little notches, pressing the ribbon with an iron to follow the shape of the curve etc. NOTHING works! Next step is to try skinnier ribbon, but my daughter really wants the wider, prob. 3/4 inch? I have looked at almost every web site (that is how i found this site) to no avail.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • K00kyKelly

      Another idea to try: for just the corners sew a long stitch down one side of the ribbon. Then pull the thread to cause the ribbon to gather and form a curve. You’ll have to fuss with it a bit to get the gathers even.

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  • http://dbodygoes.wordpress.com Belgie

    I was looking for a simple veil which I can doll up for my wedding. This is just the right one.
    Thanks!

  • Heather

    I’m looking to make a veil myself, there’s no way that I can afford to buy something with lace trim. I’m trying not to be too picky about it, but I do want a bigger lace motif and they cost a bit more. How much lace did you use for it? I saw a McCall’s veil pattern that said 10 1/4 yards (!) and that will put all of the lace I like immediately out of my budget. Did you need that much lace?

  • Katy

    I am in the process of trying to make a veil and I cannot figure out how to sew the lace on without everything bunching up a lot. Did you have that problem? Any ideas?

  • alicia

    hi,

    Thanks for your write up, exactly what i was looking for, DIY of a veil with side lace. May I ask, if i don’t have a sewing machine, would it possible to use clear fabric glue to paste the side of of tulle with lace?? i reckon that would be much faster too? Thanks and looking forward to your feedback

  • Mary Anne

    I am making our daughters veil. She wants a shoulder length veil with blusher. I know I need about 11/2 yard tulle but should I buy the 72″ width or the 108″

  • Katie Chandler

    This may be a silly question, but is there a tutorial about how to attach the comb? It must be simple, because all the tutorials I’ve read seem to stop at this step as if attaching a comb is second nature! I’m so excited to DIY my veil!! Thanks for this awesome tutorial.

    • shirley cadwell

      I am going to make my daughter’s veil and have been advised to use a metal comb since her hair is very thick. Another suggestion was make to buy a new type of bridal comb that the teeth are coated and thus nonslip. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find it in craft stores, beauty supply houses, or the internet. Any suggestions?

  • http://kristivosbeck.com Kristi

    Thank you so much! You helped me out in a major way! I am a fashion designer (www.kristivosbeck.com)
    who wanted to do not only my dress, but my Mom, Mom -law, sister, Flower girl, Husband to-be’s suit, plus the wedding party’s men’s ascots. then I thought, oh wait, I don’t even have a veil for myself! you saved me and I was able to put together the veil in one week before the wedding! (with the help of two assistants, but still, I could not have done this without your post!) Thank you!!! You are very talented – xo, Kristi Vosbeck – soon to be Kristi Sorensen

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  • Kay McGann

    This was a wonderful DIY explanation. I am making my daughter’s veil and have been scanning the internet. (Pinterest mostly) This answered so many questions. I’m actually using bolt lace fabric. The tip about using a metal comb is also useful. I may try “painting” the teeth with clear nail polish.

  • thomas

    Pretty! It
    was really a wonderful blog. Thanks for the provided information.
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