Best Things To Do With Old Wedding Dresses? What to do with old wedding dresses is a question brides and grooms wonder about on their wedding day and often forget to ask. The answer is simple: you can do just about anything with them!
Wedding dress recycling is a growing trend as the cost of weddings rises and the benefits for charities become more obvious. After your big day, for some of you, a wedding dress will take up a ton of space and collect dust. Many brides either donate their dress to good causes or recycle it. Here are the best ways you can put your old wedding dress to use.
Make an eye-catching Halloween costume
Transform your old wedding gown into a spooky or sexy costume to turn heads at Halloween. Not everyone can pull off this look, but if you have the personality to do it, give it a whirl!
How to do it:
Hire a local seamstress to hem the dress and add in straps or cut slits in it so you won’t have to wear anything underneath. He or she can also sew on some lace or sequins to make your dress look sparkly and glamorous.
Throw a bridal shower
How to do it:
Use your wedding dress as the backdrop for the invitations (you can always hold onto these in case you or someone you know decides to get married). Also, cut strips off of the bottom to create confetti! This way when people arrive at your party, they won’t be confused about where they’re supposed to throw their “confetti.” A few more ways you can use your wedding dress is by creating table centerpieces-just purchase some cheap vases from a local craft store and have some flowers or candles around them. You can also use the dress to create photo booth props, like signs that say “sip & dip” or “kiss the bride.”
Add a little bling
If you don’t currently have a wedding band, now is your chance! Get creative and craft your own band from your old wedding dress-it’s easy and cheap to do at home with some supplies from a local craft shop.
How to do it:
Go onto Pinterest and find an intricate design that you’ll love. Cut out a piece of cardboard the size can be whatever you’re most comfortable with, typically 5 x 3 inches will suffice-and trace around it on the backside of your dress using fabric chalk. Cut out the fabric shape you just drew, and voila;! You have a custom wedding band.
Sew a quilt
Take your old dress and turn it into a blanket or a memory pillow-it’s for both of you to enjoy!
How to do it:
If someone in your family is good with sewing, get them to help you cut up your dress into different strips. Then sew all the strips together on three sides so that they’re still open on one side. Turn this inside-out until it looks like a little pillowcase. Fill this “pillowcase” with some polyester stuffing from any craft store and tie off the open end by hand sewing it shut. Now you have an adorable keepsake.
Make a memory quilt or pillow
If you have a lot of old wedding dresses to choose from, this craft can be very fun! You can create a memory quilt with all your family members’ wedding dresses that the whole family can cherish for years to come.
How it’s done:
Have each person cut out squares (of varying sizes) from their dress and place them together in a patchwork pattern. When you’re finished, sew it into one larger quilt/pillow and enjoy! Or… Sew your old gown onto some fabric canvas and make a photo frame, like this. Now you have an adorable picture frame! Remember: if you’ve kept receipts for your exact dress, check to see if the company you purchased it from allows for exchanges or refunds.
Create a unique piece of jewelry
This is one of the easiest and cheapest! ways to recycle an old wedding dress. For this craft, you’ll need thread and any type of beads you like.
How to do it:
Take two long pieces of thread (either matching or contrasting colors that look nice together). Tie them with a knot at the end and string your beads on top in between the threads with more knots along the way. Once you’re done, tie another knot at each end and cut off any excess thread with scissors. And there you have it: an adorable necklace or bracelet!
Re-purpose into fabric scraps for quilting, sewing, or crafts
How to do it:
First, you’ll need to carefully cut the seams of your dress and open up all the pieces; make sure not to cut too big as you won’t be able to sew it back together. Now just re-cut it into different shapes and sizes for crafting. Be creative! You can use a pair of scissors or a rotary cutter, which is what I used here. These scraps are perfect for creating doll dresses, but if you have an old wedding dress lying around you can also make quilts as well with them!
Don’t throw it away-recycle!
Small pieces of fabric can be recycled into other items such as shopping bags, purses, and more. The sky’s the limit when recycling fabric scraps into something fun and functional. If your dress is made from acetate or rayon, you may not want to attempt this project without a professional seamstress who can ensure that the material won’t fray and turn into a mess. But if your dress was made with cotton or other natural fibers, all you’ll need is some scissors and thread to get started on your new bag or purse!
Use them in crafts for kids
Your old wedding dress fabrics are perfect for making all sorts of adorable crafts for kids. Just cut out any style of shape or design that you’d like, and get creative! You can use your wedding dress scraps to make heart garlands, picture frames, photo mats for your wedding album just about anything.
Sell it online
If you’ve got a good eye for fashion, you could make some extra cash selling your wedding dresses online. Etsy is a great place to start because it’s an outlet for all sorts of handmade items. There are also many other sites where you can sell used clothing, but I recommend starting out on Etsy because it has everything-from Vintage Wedding Dresses to Custom-Made Bridal Gowns.
Tips On selling an old wedding dress:
– Do your research: Don’t settle on the first site you find-do your research to make sure it’s reputable. Read reviews, ask for references and check out other people who are selling similar items to avoid getting scammed.
– Make a detailed post with clear pictures: The more detailed you are in your listing, the better chance of your dress being sold. Be sure to include measurements, material information, and any potential flaws that an interested buyer should know about.
– Set competitive prices: No one wants to buy something that was once considered “the most important day of someone’s life”-set prices accordingly! Your goal is to sell it as quickly as possible so price your dress according to what similar items are listed online.
– Don’t give away personal information: Don’t share your name or any personal details online. The more contact information you give the less protected you will be from potential scammers and thieves.
– Ship carefully: There’s nothing worse than receiving a package in the mail that looks like it was just thrown around by USPS employees. Make sure to securely pack your old wedding dress in a sturdy box with plenty of bubble wrap and include insurance during shipping in case anything should happen to it along the way.
How much can I make selling my old wedding dress?
This depends on how rare or unique your specific dress is-the “hottest” dresses tend to sell for up to $3,000 US Dollars! But if you’re looking to get anywhere near this amount of money, be prepared to do a lot of research and provide high-quality images and detailed measurements.
Are my old wedding dress fabrics recyclable?
There’s no such thing as “waste” in recycling-meaning, yes your old wedding fabrics can be recycled! Just make sure they’re 100 percent cotton or another natural fiber. Other types of fabric may be difficult to recycle because of the different materials used to create them.
How long do I have before donating a used wedding dress?
You should try and donate your used wedding dress within one year of the event so that it doesn’t look too out-of-date for potential brides. There are also charitable organizations that specialize in collecting new and gently worn formal dresses from weddings, proms, and other special events for underprivileged women nationwide. They give these dresses to women for their special events, such as quinceaneras and sweet-sixteen parties.