A lot of little girls grow up wanting to wear their mother’s wedding gown on their wedding day. That’s not always a possibility due to sizing differences, style changes, or even stains and damage to the dress. I was approached by a bride’s mother with a damaged wedding gown, that happened to be hers from her wedding day. Her and her girls had discussed it, and in order to make that dress a part of their wedding days as well, she wanted to turn the dress into a bridal bouquet.
It was a tall order, and I wasn’t sure where to start. Taking scissors to someone’s wedding dress, whether it’s stained or not, is a difficult thing to do! In the end, though, the bouquet turned out beautifully and all parties were thrilled with the result. If you’d like to make a damaged wedding dress a meaningful part of your wedding day, you can follow this tutorial on how to turn a wedding dress into a bridal bouquet.
When I made this bouquet, I used every part of the dress. The satin buttons, the filligree lace, the tulle from the second layer of skirt, and the satin underlayment. Each piece added a different element to the bouquet. I also added some new tulle, and some vintage jewelry to the piece to give it some sparkle as well.
The first step to turn a wedding dress into a bridal bouquet is finding the base. I used a large, white, styrofoam ball as the base for my bouquet. I used a few green, small branches for the bouquet handle. I shoved them into the styrofoam, and then hot glued all around where I inserted them to make sure they were secure. Then I began by cutting out the filligree lace portions (this dress had a lot) and hot gluing them to cover the styrofoam ball completely. Once I had the ball finished, then I could start working on the flowers. The filligree base made it so that if there were spaces between the flowers on the bouquet, that there was still a beauty element showing.
I made rolled flowers from the tulle, satin, and filligree lace portions. I start each flower by tying a knot in one end of the material. This gives you a base to begin rolling and also gives a neat center to each flower. When you’re done rolling the flower, you can trim the end of the tied portion, or leave it.
Twist and roll the material, as you wrap it around and around itself. Add a line of hot glue around the edge, then twist and wrap some more. Do this until you have the size flower you want, or until the piece of material you’re working with runs out. It’s important when turning a wedding dress into a bridal bouquet to make good use of the material you have on hand.
Do the same with the other materials you work with. This is with a portion of the satin underlayment of the dress. I purposely didn’t seal the edges of the satin with heat, because the fraying was stunning once the flower was finished. It really gave it a vintage, aged look.
As you twist and roll the fabric, you need to be hot gluing every section. Hot glue around the edge, then roll and twist that section. This will be difficult at first, but you will get the hang of it, and will go very quickly. You WILL burn your fingers. Eventually your fingertips will burn off and it will stop hurting. It’s wonderful.
To make a different type of flower, I cut out several sizes of circles from the satin underlayment. This will only work with satin material, so keep that in mind as you create. I cut circles ranging from three inches in diameter, to less than an inch in diameter. The circles don’t have to be perfect, which is good because I can’t cut perfect circles! Once you’re finished, take a lighter, and very quickly and carefully run the lighter underneath the outer edge of the entire circle. This will both seal the satin, and cause the edges to curl up like petals. Don’t leave the fire there for too long, or it will burn the satin, and cause it to discolor. Stack all the petals in order on themselves from large to small, and hot glue them together in the center. Add a pearl or two to the middle for a pretty center.
When you’re finished with all your flowers, hot glue them to the bouquet. Spread the types of flowers out, so you have sizes of varying shape, material, and size in a sporadic pattern across the bouquet. Once you’re finished, you will have an heirloom that can be preserved and passed down from generation to generation! You’ve just learned how to turn a wedding dress into a bridal bouquet! Have fun creating!
If you make a creation from one of our tutorials, we would love for you to send us your story and pictures! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can see your project! We might even share it on our social media sites!
For another fun wedding bouquet upcycle, check out this Hymnal Bouquet Tutorial we did!