There's nothing like a little DIY action to truly make your wedding super special! Sure, you might not be able to handcraft a wedding dress (we can't all be Vera Wang), but how about making a veil or earrings to wear on the big day? Also, what about all those bridesmaid dresses that still hang in your closet from the numerous weddings you've been in? I've spent hundreds of hours refashioning vintage dresses and can tell you that you most definitely can wear those bridesmaid dresses again, I promise!
You've been hitting every bridal store to find the perfect dress, but when it comes to a matching veil sometimes the pickings are slim. A DIY veil is something that anyone can create with some tulle, a headband, embellishments (beads, flowers, pearls, sequins, lace, rhinestones, feathers) and some thread or a hot glue gun.
I created a wedding veil by stitching two layers of tulle to a basic Goody headband and then added paper flowers, pearls and floral beads. I threaded the pearls directly to the tulle, but a hot glue gun does the trick as well. You can really personalize the piece when you make it on your own and it will be something that nobody else has!
If Neil Lane isn't in your rolodex, you can still make blingy wedding apropos earrings in just a few easy steps using sequin or beaded appliqués, jump rings and earring posts. I got a pair of gorgeous rhinestoned appliqués that were just a buck a pop and after attaching the jump ring to the appliqué and the earring posts to the jump ring, my appliqué danglers were complete! Plus they cost less than a Starbucks latte -- which is always a plus when balancing a wedding budget!
Our girlfriends don't all have the same taste as us (hello, Medieval-themed weddings) and we aren't always so lucky to get to wear dresses that we'd actually pick out ourselves, so turn those old bridesmaid dresses into pieces that can become part of your closet rotation just by thinking outside the box!
Sometimes the easiest fix is taking the dress, removing the skirt, and making it into a top that you can pair with jeans! I found a vintage bridesmaid dress from the '80s that was bright pink and fluffy, and removed the poofy tulle, trimmed it in half and wore with a brown skirt. Not only did it work perfectly as a top, nobody knew what it started off looking like!
Some people hold onto their wedding dresses all their lives -- my mom still has hers in a garment bag and hasn't taken it out since she married my dad in 1974 -- however others don't have the same sentimental attachment. I came across a wedding dress that was missing a sleeve at a garage sale and immediately bought it! Was I getting married? No. But was I intrigued to give this dress a second life? Absolutely!
With a white wedding dress or a lighter shade bridesmaid dress, dyeing is a genius way to really transform the piece into something new. For the dress I found without a sleeve, I removed the remaining sleeve and made the dress sleeveless, shortened it and dyed it mint green with RIT Dye. After three big steps, the dress no longer felt fit for a wedding -- it was the perfect sundress to wear for an afternoon summer picnic.
Using some basic craft supplies, you can DIY your wedding and wedding leftovers like a champ! Kristen Wiig could have totally benefitted from reading this pre-airplane breakdown in Bridesmaids.
Click through the slideshow below to see examples of the above ideas.
Marisa Lynch's new book, "New Dress a Day: The Ultimate DIY Guide to Creating Fashion Dos From Thrift Store Don'ts" is available now.