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What to Do with a Used Wedding Dress (Creative and Practical Ideas to Consider)

What to Do with a Used Wedding Dress (Creative and Practical Ideas to Consider)

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Wedding dresses come in all designs, sizes, and even colors but they all have one thing in common: they all tend to get packed away somewhere after the wedding to gather dust and become a relic.

Unless you intend to hand down your wedding dress to a family member at some point, it just isn’t worth it to keep it in your closet year after year but finding other uses for it can be a challenge.

Let’s face it; no one wants to throw an old wedding dress into the landfill even if you know that it will never be worn again. Sure, you can make something else out of it but that can be a real problem if you’re not a seamstress or you hate to sew.

Fortunately, there are enough creative people in the world to help people who are at a loss when it comes to doing something productive with their old wedding dresses.

What can you do first? If you’re creative but don’t want to make an entire dress or another item out of your wedding dress, you can make something small and simple instead.

You can even incorporate a small piece of your dress into another creation; for example, take a look at the following suggestions:

  • Take a piece of the dress and use it to make a piece of jewelry. This can include a necklace, a bracelet, or anything else that falls under the “jewelry” category.
  • Take several pieces of your dress and use them to decorate an old photo album or even a new one! It can definitely add a special touch to a boring-looking photo album!
  • Make a throw pillow from the fabric. Even if you don’t like to sew, it’s all right because pillows are just squares that you can quickly sew together and you can decorate them with buttons, lace, or even other pieces of fabric.
  • Make something for a future bride to use at her own wedding, such as a keepsake garter or even a wrap for her bouquet. It can count as “something borrowed” or “something old”!

Make an Earring Holder

This sounds more complicated than it is so do not worry. Just take some of the lace from your wedding dress and place it on top of another, more colorful piece of fabric. Then place both of them in an embroidery ring and make sure that it’s nice and taut.

Embroidery rings are inexpensive, as is scrap fabric, so you can complete this project without spending a lot of money on it.

If you hang it on the wall, your earrings will fit perfectly through the holes in that lace. Best of all, you have tons of possibilities when it comes to the fabric that lies underneath the wedding lace. It can be soft and filled with pastel colors or bold with lots of bright colors.

It’s really up to you what type of fabric to use but the wedding lace will add a special touch to each embroidery ring you make. You can even make more than one and give them out as gifts because they are both beautiful and practical.

Dye it a Different Color

If your dress isn’t too outdated in its style and design and you think that you might be able to wear it again, you can always dye it a different color.

It is super easy to dye something these days, especially with all of the over-the-counter dye kits on the market, and this is a great way to reuse the dress so that it doesn’t get stuck in the back of your closet or in the attic forever.

You can also get very creative when it comes to the colors you choose. Go crazy with the colors if you like and create your own one-of-a-kind masterpiece. If you do it right, no one will ever be able to tell that it used to be a wedding dress!

And on this same sheet of music, you can even get the dress altered before you dye it. Cut off the long sleeves, remove the lace at the neck or sleeves, and shorten the length a little so that somehow, somewhere, you’ll be able to wear it again in the future.

If you get it altered, you can turn an old, outdated dress into one that is new and useful again.

What If You Do Like to Sew?

If, on the other hand, you actually enjoy sewing, you have even more options when it comes to turning your old wedding dress into something useful. These include the following:

  • Make a dress for a little girl out of the fabric from your wedding dress. After all, all little girls love feeling like princesses!
  • Make a christening or baptism dress or gown. The parents of the baby will appreciate it and just think how the baby will look on his or her christening day!
  • Use part of the dress as a Christmas tree skirt. It won’t take up much fabric and you can decorate the piece with red and green buttons, bows, or anything else.
  • Make items for babies or even dolls, such as dresses, doll clothes, stuffed animals, and even baby blankets.
  • Turn the dress into a prom dress. With a few changes in the look and materials of the dress, a wedding dress makes the perfect prom dress for one lucky teenager.

Indeed, if you’re creative enough to be a seamstress, you’re creative enough to come up with an idea or two of your own. Just put your thinking cap on and get to work on the many ideas that are possible.

It won’t be long before you think of something both unique and memorable.

Some Very Practical Ideas

Naturally, if you’re neither creative nor a seamstress, you have a few more choices that are perfect for the practical-minded woman. These include donating the dress to a charitable organization, allowing someone in your family or circle of friends to wear it, or even using it as a Halloween costume.

You could also take it out every year on your anniversary and show the world how proud you are of the fact that you can still wear it or have a “wedding dress party” where you and all of your friends get together wearing your wedding dresses.

Finally, you could always sell it to a business that buys old clothes and then recycles them.

Miscellaneous Things That You Can Do with Your Wedding Dress

Naturally, there are other items that you can make from your wedding dress fabric. Whether you sew a little, a lot, or not at all, here are a few things that can be made from your dress, most of which require only basic sewing skills:

  • Bassinet cover
  • Christmas stocking
  • Clutch
  • Cocktail dress
  • Curtains
  • First Communion dress
  • Napkins
  • Scarf
  • Table runner
  • Tablecloth

And if you’re interested in donating your dress to some sort of charity organization, there are tons of them to choose from, including:

  • Adorned in Grace: They resell your wedding dress and use the money to help stop human trafficking and assist trafficking victims.
  • Angel Gowns/Baby Gowns for Eternity: Both of these organizations take old wedding dresses and make burial clothes for stillborn babies.
  • Brides Across America: This organization provides wedding dresses to military brides that cannot afford to buy one themselves.
  • Brides for a Cause: This organization raises money for several different causes and uses the money they get from selling your wedding dress for the donation.
  • Every Girl’s Dream: Based in Michigan, this company provides wedding gowns and evening wear to brides-to-be who are facing financial hardship.
  • Operation Prom/Cinderella’s Closet: Both of these organizations accept donated wedding wear to make prom dresses for high school girls.

One word of advice if you’re planning on donating your old wedding dress to a charity: always contact them before donating your dress because most of them have stipulations regarding the dresses they accept.

This doesn’t mean that they are super picky but there are usually rules that you have to abide by before you donate your dress.

Naturally, the dresses have to be clean and in good condition before you donate them but many of these organizations also accept only wedding dresses that were purchased in the past five years.

All of these organizations have websites you can visit for all the details you need so checking them out is easier than ever.

Final Thoughts

If your wedding dress is still in your house somewhere collecting dust, it’s simple to do something constructive with it that doesn’t involve throwing it away or leaving it alone to get yellow and dull.

If you’re creative and love to sew and craft, your possibilities are endless. And if you don’t sew or craft, you still have options.

Even if you decide in the end that you want to keep it, you can do so until the next creative mood hits you and you decide to do something else with it! After all, you never know when you’ll feel the need to do something unique with your wedding dress and there’s no statute of limitations on doing just that!

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