ranch life

Beauty Un”veil”ed

So, if you’ve ever gotten married, or had a friend that got married, or knew a total stranger that had something to do with the wedding industry, you might be aware that the veil market is a RACKET. As in this particular portion of the outfit costs upwards of hundreds of dollars. And they cost PENNIES to make.  It’s just plain bedazzled highway robbery.

With that being said, when it was time for me to look at veils, I went straight to Pinterest. You can get tulle for next to nothing, and Hobby Lobby (my spirit animal) has more trims and beading, and bedazzled craziness than you can imagine, as well as combs to get it in place. The pattern I found on Pinterest called for 10 yards of tulle, and luckily I did a small amount of math before purchasing and realized that was 30 FEET of tulle. I’m 5’4″. That’s incredibly unnecessary. So, I went with 5 yards, later realizing that’s still 15 feet. Needless to say, we went with a cathedral length (3 yards) with an overlay (2 yards) purely because that’s how much fabric I had!

After twenty hundred million hours of sewing individual pearls on the fingertip layer (not quite maybe, but my BFFL and maid of honor sewed on that sucker until the wee ((as in 4 AM)) hours of the morning the night before we took my bridals), it was finished! NOT HARD at ALL, just maybe a little time consuming. But that was my fault for picking individual pearls. The lace trim on the bottom layer went SUPER fast, and was wayyyy easier! Here is the final product:

[[Olive Tree Photography/ Corie Williams; Palo Duro Canyon, Canyon, TX]]

All in all, it was a pretty painless experience that came out to about $50 total as opposed to the horrors of a bridal shop. So, when hubby’s brother and his girlfriend announced they were getting married, the first thing I volunteered to do was make Shelby’s veil. As I told her, it’s just Bridal Pay-It-Forward, friends.

She is a sweetheart, and asked for something simple, using these as examples:

So, I bopped my little self down to the Hobby Lobby and bought the following:


  • 1 1/2 yards of ivory tulle
    • You can get this in white or ivory, so pick the right color, otherwise the darker item will look dingy next to the lighter colored item– Shelby’s dress is ivory, so that’s what I got.
  • 2 yards of lace trim
    • This math is done by measuring around the three sides (1.5 x 36 = 54 (x2) = 108 + 48 (the bottom length) = about 156 inches; divide this by 36 (inches in a yard) and it comes out to about 4 yards). We only wanted trim around part of it, so I cut this to 2 yards.
  • 1 plastic hair comb
    • Technically, this doesn’t have to be plastic, you could go with something with rhinestones, or pearls, or neon lights, whatever your fancy is. Both of these were hidden by hair-dos so we went with plastic. Plus, the plastic ones come six to a package for $3.99 (HOLLA!)
  • Thread that matches the trim and tulle, plus a hand needle.

To get started, spread your tulle out so that it is 1 1/2 yards long, and 48 inches wide (or basically put the shorter edge to the top)…


Thread the hand needle with about twelve inches of thread, and start sewing a straight, loose line about a half inch from the top in the right corner…


The goal is to just get the thread through the tulle– don’t worry about how wide the stitches are, or if they are even. You are just using this to be able to pull the top to a gather.

Once you have loosely sewn across the whole top, take your thread on the left side and gently pull until all the tulle has gathered together. Leave your needle threaded– you’ll need it in a second!


Take this gathered area, and set it on top of your comb. You want the nice part, or the front part (however you want to describe it) to face outward. This way, the nice part sits away from your head when it is in your hair and that’s what people have a chance of seeing if they were to see the comb (chances are they won’t).

Take your thread (it should still be attached from sewing your gather) and start sewing the gather to the comb from the middle, working your way out to the sides. You can’t really sew through the comb, but wind the thread under the teeth of the comb and through the gather to attach the gather to the top of the comb.

Spread the gather across the comb the best you can so that it sits evenly across the top, and it’s not a giant lump in the middle of the bride’s head. The tulle will compact as you sew it across the top.


Now it’s time to concentrate on the bottom and the trim. I laid the entire piece out across the table.


The 1 1/2 yard was a little longer than I wanted, so I consulted the Google and found that a fingertip length is typically around 36″ long. The website I found listed the lengths for all common styles of veils, so I would check into this if you are wanting a different length.

I measured out 36″ and gathered this end all together and cut it.


Then, I cleaned up the cut edge the best I could (tulle is HARD to cut evenly, friends! Just be prepared!). I laid it out with the outside up, and set the middle of the trim in the middle of the bottom edge. I pinned it moving from the middle to the outside edges to keep it even.

I only went a little way up the side because this was the design we picked. On mine, I went all the way around all three sides, so how much trim you put on is up to you. This trim had the lace detail on the edge, and tulle on the opposite edge, so I lined up the bottom with the bottom edge of the veil.


Because of how the tulle lined up, I trimmed the top off once it was all pinned together.


Because of how the trim sat on the bottom of the veil, I ended up having to sew them together at each individual flower, rather than a continuous stitch so it wouldn’t pull and be visible. When I made mine, the trim sat evenly on the bottom, so it was easy to make a continuous hand stitch [[and based on experience, I recommend keeping your thread short as you go through. I have little patience for rethreading my needle, but the longer I kept the thread, the more it got tangled up, creating more problems]].


{Above photos courtesy of Olive Tree Photography / Corie Williams}

And that’s all she wrote, folks! Total cost for the project was under $20 and it took approximately 3-4 hours all said and done. It took a little longer than I anticipated because I had to stitch it individually, but still well worth it!

The moral of this story is that friends don’t let friends buy their veils for 5x what they are worth! This is a true DIY saver!! Stay tuned for the next bridal DIY– garters!

[Hit me up with questions, or comments! And if you’d like to order a custom made wedding veil, let me know! 😉 ]

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