13 Creative Ways To Recycle Your Old Wedding Dress

things to do with old wedding dress

Have you been wondering what to do with your old wedding dress collecting dust in the back of your closet? Don't let it go to waste! There are many creative and eco-friendly ways to give your dress new life. From transforming it into a sentimental keepsake to repurposing it into home decor, here are 13 inventive ideas to help you recycle your cherished wedding gown. Let's dive in and discover how you can repurpose your dress in a unique and meaningful way.


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After your big day is over, you may find yourself wondering what to do with your wedding dress. Perhaps you have no further need for it, or maybe you are simply looking for ways to declutter and simplify your life. Whatever the reason, consider donating your dress to a thrift store or charity organization. Here are a few reasons why this option is worth considering.

Firstly, donating your wedding dress is a great way to give back to the community. Many local thrift stores and charities rely on donations to provide support and resources to those in need. By donating your dress, you are helping to make a difference in someone's life. Your dress may go to a young bride who can't afford to buy a new gown, or it may be sold to fund a community project that helps people in your area.

Secondly, donating your dress can be a sustainable choice. Wedding dresses are often made of high-quality fabrics and materials, but they are only used once. By donating your dress, you are extending its life and reducing waste. This is especially important if your dress has sentimental value or was handmade by someone special.

Finally, donating your dress can be a practical choice if you are looking to free up some space. Rather than letting your dress sit in the back of your closet, you can donate it to someone who will appreciate it and put it to good use. This can be a great way to declutter your home and make room for new opportunities.

If you are considering donating your wedding dress, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure that the organization you are donating to accepts wedding dresses. Some thrift stores may only accept certain types of clothing, so it's important to check beforehand. Second, consider having your dress cleaned and preserved before donating it. This will ensure that it is in the best possible condition for its new owner.

In conclusion, donating your wedding dress can be a meaningful and practical way to give back to your community, reduce waste, and simplify your life. Consider this option if you are looking for ways to repurpose your dress and make a positive impact.


Turn it into a stunning cocktail dress

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If you're like most brides, your wedding dress holds a special place in your heart. But once the big day is over, you may find yourself wondering what to do with your beloved gown. One option is to turn it into a stunning cocktail dress.

Not only is this a great way to repurpose your wedding dress, it's also a chance to create a unique and personalized cocktail dress that perfectly suits your style. Here's how to do it:

  • Start with a good foundation. Your wedding dress likely has the structure you need to create a cocktail dress, but you may need to make some alterations. If you're handy with a sewing machine, you can do this yourself. Otherwise, take your dress to a tailor or seamstress who can help you make the necessary changes.
  • Choose a new color. While your wedding dress is likely white or ivory, you don't have to stick with that for your cocktail dress. Consider dyeing the fabric a bold new hue, like black, navy, or even a vibrant jewel tone.
  • Decide on a new length. You can keep your dress long if you like, but shorter lengths tend to work better for cocktail dresses. Consider a tea-length or knee-length style, depending on your preference and the style of your dress.
  • Consider adding embellishments. To really transform your wedding dress into a cocktail dress, consider adding some embellishments. This could be anything from sequins and beading to lace or tulle overlays. You could even add a bold statement belt or sash for added interest.
  • Finish off with accessories. Once your cocktail dress is complete, think about the accessories you'll pair with it. Strappy heels and statement earrings are always a good choice, but you could also go for a dramatic necklace or a bold cuff bracelet.

Turning your old wedding dress into a stunning cocktail dress is a creative and fun way to breathe new life into a sentimental piece of clothing. With a little bit of work and some creative flair, you can create a one-of-a-kind dress that you'll love to wear for years to come.


Use the fabric for a keepsake quilt or throw

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If your wedding dress has been sitting in a box in your closet for years, it might be time to consider repurposing it in a creative way. One such way is to use the fabric for a keepsake quilt or throw that you can cuddle up with and cherish for years to come. Here's how to do it:

Step 1: Gather your materials. You'll need your old wedding dress, a sewing machine, thread, scissors, a cutting mat, a rotary cutter, a ruler, batting, and backing fabric.

Step 2: Cut your dress into squares. Use your ruler and rotary cutter to cut your dress into equally sized squares. A good size to aim for is 12 inches by 12 inches. You can also include any lace or embellishments from your dress in the squares.

Step 3: Arrange your squares. Lay your squares out on a flat surface and play around with the arrangement until you're happy with it. You can arrange them in a pattern or randomly, depending on your preference.

Step 4: Sew your squares together. Using your sewing machine and thread, sew your squares together to create your quilt top. Make sure to sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Step 5: Layer your quilt. Lay your quilt top on top of your batting, followed by your backing fabric. Make sure all three layers are aligned and smooth out any wrinkles.

Step 6: Quilt your layers together. Using your sewing machine, quilt your layers together. You can use any design you like, such as straight lines or free-motion quilting.

Step 7: Bind your quilt. Finish your quilt by adding binding to the edges. You can use the same fabric as your backing or a contrasting color.

And there you have it – a beautiful keepsake quilt or throw made from your old wedding dress. Not only is it a great way to repurpose your dress, but it's also a lovely reminder of your special day that you can enjoy for years to come.


Make a Christening gown for your child or grandchild

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If you're holding onto your old wedding dress with no idea what to do with it, why not consider making a christening gown? This is a fantastic way to transform an old dress into a cherished family heirloom that can be passed down for generations.

Here are some tips for making a christening gown from your old wedding dress:

  • Choose the right dress: Look for a dress with a classic, timeless style that has sentimental value to you. Make sure the fabric is still in good condition and can be easily manipulated.
  • Design the gown: Decide on the style and length of the gown. A traditional christening gown is made up of a long dress and matching bonnet, but you can be as creative as you like. Sketch out a design and plan out how you will use the fabric.
  • Get the right tools: You'll need a sewing machine, thread, scissors, and other basic sewing tools to complete the project.
  • Cut out the pieces: Carefully take apart the wedding dress, removing the zippers, buttons, and any decorations. Cut out the pieces for the christening gown using the pattern you created.
  • Sew the pieces together: Follow your pattern and sew the pieces together using a sewing machine. Make sure to leave enough room for the baby to move comfortably. You can add lace or ribbon to give the gown a delicate touch.
  • Finish the gown: Hem the gown and add any finishing touches. You can attach a matching bonnet or add sequins and pearls to make the gown sparkle.
  • Preserve the gown: Once the gown is complete, store it in a box with acid-free tissue paper to prevent any damage. Make sure to label the box so future generations know the story behind the gown.

Overall, making a christening gown from your old wedding dress is a beautiful way to celebrate your marriage and the arrival of a new member of the family. With some patience and creativity, you can create a cherished heirloom that will be treasured for years to come.

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Transform it into a vintage-inspired christening gown for a friend or family member

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When wedding season comes to an end, you might be wondering what to do with your beloved wedding dress. After all, this dress holds so many cherished memories and emotions that it's hard to simply give it away. If you're looking for a creative way to repurpose it, why not transform it into a vintage-inspired christening gown for a friend or family member? Here's how you can do it.

Step 1: Clean and prep the dress

The first step to repurposing an old wedding dress is to clean it thoroughly. Gently spot clean any stains and take it to a professional cleaner for a deep clean. Once it's cleaned, you can start deconstructing it. Carefully remove any beading or lace that you want to use for the christening gown.

Step 2: Choose a design

You can create a beautiful christening gown in any style you like, but a vintage-inspired design is sure to be a hit. Look for inspiration online and choose a design that suits the dress material and your skills. You might choose to add lace overlay, (silk) organza sleeves or ruffles, or embellish it with beaded trims.

Step 3: Cut out the pattern pieces

Once you have a design in mind, it's time to cut the wedding dress into pattern pieces. Be sure to carefully measure and mark the fabric to ensure that each piece is sized correctly and in proportion to the original design. Use a seam ripper to remove existing stitching, or cut away excess fabric that won't be used in the christening gown.

Step 4: Sew it together

Sewing the pieces together is arguably the most fulfilling part of the process. Use a sewing machine to create each panel and assemble the christening gown. Be extra careful when sewing lace and delicate fabrics. An experienced seamstress will know how to work with different fabrics to reduce any fray damage.

Step 5: Add finishing touches

Once the gown is sewn together, you can add finishing touches such as buttons, ribbon or lace, or embroidery, to enhance the vintage-inspired character of the gown.

Old wedding dresses hold a lot of sentimental value, but that doesn't mean they have to stay hidden in the back of the closet. By repurposing your wedding dress into a christening gown, you're creating a useful and memorable keepsake that can be cherished for generations. It's a wonderful way to celebrate a new life and a new connection with your family and friends.


Create a decorative pillow or cushion

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So you've had your special day and you've worn the wedding dress of your dreams, but what are you going to do with your dress now? It's natural to hold on to a dress with so much meaning, but it can take up space and may not be practical to keep in its current form. Consider upcycling your dress into something new to enjoy for years to come. One option to consider is creating a decorative pillow or cushion out of your wedding dress.

Creating a decorative pillow can be a beautiful way to repurpose a wedding dress by creating something personal and sentimental. You could make one for yourself to display on your bed or couch, or make smaller ones to give as gifts to family and friends. Here's how to create a decorative pillow or cushion from your old wedding dress:

Choose which parts of the dress you want to use

You can use various parts of the dress to create your pillow, such as the skirt, bodice, or even lace accents. Look for fabric that is still in good condition and is not too delicate to work with.

Cut out your desired shape

Once you've decided which parts of the dress to use, cut out your desired shape for the pillow. You can use a pre-made pattern or create your own. Keep in mind that you'll need to cut two pieces for the front and back of the pillow.

Prepare your sewing machine

Ensure you have a sharp needle and the correct thread color for your fabric. You can also use pins to hold your pieces together while sewing.

Sew the pieces together

Begin by pinning the two pieces of fabric together, aligning the edges. Sew them together by using a straight stitch or a zigzag stitch, leaving a small gap for stuffing.

Stuff your pillow or cushion

Using pillow stuffing or discarded scraps of fabric, fill your pillow or cushion to your desired level of fullness. Make sure to distribute the stuffing evenly.

Close the gap

Hand-sew the gap closed using a whip stitch or hidden stitch, ensuring your stitches go through both layers of fabric to secure it.

And there you have it, your very own decorative pillow or cushion made from your old wedding dress. It's a special way to repurpose your dress and keep it close to your heart. You could even add personal touches like embroidery with your wedding date or monograms to make it even more special. Plus, every time you see it, you'll be reminded of your special day.

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Use the fabric to make jewelry or accessories

Source: thegartergirl.com

Your wedding day is one of the most special days in your life, but what do you do with your wedding dress after the big day has come and gone? If you’re like many brides, the thought of simply storing your dress away in a closet might seem like an unfortunate end for an item that played such an integral role in your wedding day. Rather than letting your dress collect dust, consider repurposing the fabric of your dress into beautiful pieces of jewelry or accessories.

One of the easiest ways to repurpose your wedding dress is to turn it into a piece of jewelry. Whether you’re looking to create a sentimental piece that you can wear every day or you want to make something special to give to your bridesmaids, there are many ways to use the fabric from your dress to make beautiful pieces of jewelry. For example, you could use the lace from your dress to make a pair of drop earrings or a statement necklace. Alternatively, you could use the fabric to create a bracelet or even a ring.

Another great way to repurpose your wedding dress is to create a hair accessory. Whether you’re looking for something subtle or something more statement-making, there are plenty of ways to incorporate the fabric from your dress into a hair accessory. For example, you could create a headband using the lace from your dress or attach a piece of the fabric to a hair clip. If you’re feeling especially creative, you could even create a flower crown using the fabric from your dress.

If jewelry or hair accessories aren’t your thing, you could also consider using the fabric from your dress to make a clutch or a handbag. This is a great option if you want to make something that you can use on a regular basis and that will remind you of your wedding day. You could even make a matching clutch for your bridesmaids as a special gift.

No matter what you decide to make with the fabric from your wedding dress, the most important thing is that you’re giving new life to an item that holds a lot of sentimental value. Whether you’re making jewelry, a hair accessory, or a handbag, the end result is sure to be beautiful and unique. So start brainstorming and get creative – there are countless ways to repurpose your wedding dress and turn it into something that you will cherish for years to come.


Design a beautiful wall hanging

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A wedding dress is often a beautiful and cherished garment that holds a lot of sentimental value. However, over time and with changing fashion trends, the dress may become outdated or too worn to wear again. Rather than letting the dress gather dust in the back of the closet, there are many creative ways to repurpose it and preserve the memories associated with it. One of these ways is to design a beautiful wall hanging.

The first step in creating a wall hanging from an old wedding dress is to carefully deconstruct the dress, separating the fabric and any embellishments such as lace or beading. This can be done by hand or with a seam ripper. Once the dress has been taken apart, pieces of the fabric can be used for the wall hanging.

Next, decide on a design for the wall hanging. One option is to create a collage using various pieces of the wedding dress fabric. Another option is to sew the fabric into a pattern, such as a quilt square. The design can also incorporate any embellishments from the dress, such as lace or appliques.

After the design has been decided upon, the fabric can be sewn together and stretched over a wooden frame to create the wall hanging. The frame can be purchased at a craft store or made from scratch. The final step is to hang the wall hanging in a prominent location, such as the bedroom or living room, to enjoy and remember the special memories associated with the wedding dress.

In addition to creating a wall hanging, there are other ways to repurpose an old wedding dress. For example, the fabric can be used to create a christening gown for a new baby or to make a special memory box to store mementos from the wedding day.

In conclusion, repurposing an old wedding dress can be a creative and meaningful way to preserve the memories associated with the special day. Designing a beautiful wall hanging is just one of the many options available. By using the fabric in a new way, the dress can continue to be cherished and enjoyed for years to come.


Have it repurposed into a prom or formal dress for a teenager

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Wedding dresses can hold significant sentimental value, but they can also take up valuable closet space. If you're not sure what to do with your old wedding dress, consider repurposing it into a prom or formal dress for a teenager.

There are a few different ways you can do this. One option is to take your dress to a seamstress or tailor and have it altered to fit a teenage girl. This may involve shortening the hemline, changing the neckline, and adjusting the waistline to take in or let out the fabric. A professional can help you determine the best course of action based on the style of your dress and the measurements of the teenager who will be wearing it.

Another option is to donate your dress to a charity that specializes in providing formal dresses and accessories for underprivileged teenagers. Organizations such as Becca's Closet and The Princess Project accept gently used formalwear and redistribute it to high school students who cannot afford to purchase their own dresses for prom or other events. Your wedding dress could make a huge difference in the life of a teenager who might not otherwise be able to attend these events.

If you're feeling particularly crafty, you could also attempt to repurpose your wedding dress yourself. This could involve cutting it up and using the fabric to make a new dress from scratch, or combining it with other fabrics to create a unique and beautiful garment. There are plenty of tutorials and patterns available online for DIY formal dresses, so if you have some basic sewing skills and a lot of patience, this could be a fun and rewarding project.

Ultimately, repurposing your wedding dress into a prom or formal dress for a teenager is a great way to give your dress a new lease on life while also helping someone in need. Whether you take it to a professional, donate it to a charity, or tackle the project yourself, you can feel good knowing that your dress will be put to good use instead of gathering dust in your closet.

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Make throw pillows or a decorative cover for your bed

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Your wedding day is one of the most special days in your life. And, of course, a wedding dress is at the center of that occasion. It is a symbol of love and happiness that you will always treasure. However, after the wedding ceremony, finding a place to store the wedding dress can be a challenge. Why not repurpose that beautiful gown into something useful and visually appealing? Here are some ideas for what to do with your old wedding dress.

One great way to reuse your wedding dress is to turn it into throw pillows. Whether you love the idea of keeping the dress close to you every day or you're just looking for ways to preserve its memory, turning it into pillows has a myriad of benefits. Not only can they add a touch of luxury and elegance to your home, but they also make a great conversation starter or even a thoughtful gift for your partner.

The process of turning your wedding dress into throw pillows is relatively simple. First, you need to deconstruct the dress. Begin by separating the different parts of the dress, such as the bodice, skirt, and sleeves. This will allow you to create more uniform pillow shapes. Then, measure the amount of fabric you have and what size of pillow you want. You can create either standard throw pillows or oversized ones, depending on the size of your dress. Once you've measured and cut out the fabric, you can either sew them yourself or take them to a seamstress for finishing.

Another idea is to create a decorative cover for your bed. The flowing material of your wedding dress has the perfect texture and feel for a luxurious bed cover. With a little creativity, your old dress can be transformed into a stunning and unique duvet or comforter in no time. One would most likely need a lot of fabric for this project, so it’s best suited for formal dresses with a flowy skirt.

To make a bed cover, you will need more material than for throw pillows. You can use lace, ruffles, or other embellishments from the dress to add a touch of elegance to the cover. To create the cover, lay out the dress in a large open space. Determine which part of the dress you want to use and cut out the fabric accordingly. Then, sew the fabric together to create the size of the comforter or duvet cover you want. Use the lace and other decorative elements to create a custom design for the top of the comforter.

In conclusion, there are many ways to repurpose your old wedding dress, and not just keep it hanging in the closet. Making decorative throw pillows or bed covers from your wedding dress can help you celebrate the special day every day in different ways. It’s a great way of providing unique and special touches to your home. Not only will it be beautiful, but it will also have a very special significance to you. These simple do-it-yourself ideas can give you a new appreciation for the dress that made your special day.

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Have it turned into a beautiful evening bag or clutch

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Your wedding day is one of the most special and memorable days of your life. From the dress to the decorations, everything is perfectly planned and executed. But once the big day is over, what happens to that lovely, expensive dress that you wore for just a few hours?

Instead of letting your wedding dress collect dust in your closet, why not consider having it turned into something useful and beautiful like a unique evening bag or clutch? Here are some reasons why this can be a great idea:

  • It's a great way to remember your wedding day – Every time you use your new evening bag, you'll be reminded of your special day and all the memories that came with it.
  • You can keep it close to you – Having your wedding dress turned into an evening bag allows you to have a piece of it with you at all times, especially when you attend special events and want a stylish and meaningful accessory.
  • It's eco-friendly – Upcycling your wedding dress into a new item reduces waste and helps the environment.
  • It's unique – No one else will have a bag like yours! You can choose elements of your dress to incorporate into your bag, like lace, beads, or embroidery, making it even more special and unique to you.
  • It's a great gift – This can be a unique and thoughtful gift for a bride-to-be who loved your dress when you wore it.

The process of turning a wedding dress into an evening bag or clutch typically involves finding a reputable artisan seamstress or designer. They will work with you and help you select the parts of your dress you want to include in your new accessory. The end product will be a beautiful, one-of-a-kind bag that will have you feeling fabulous and unique in any evening event.

In conclusion, if your wedding dress is accumulating dust, and you’re not sure what to do with it, consider turning it into an evening bag. This will give you a meaningful and unique accessory that you can use time and time again. Plus, by upcycling your dress, you're helping to reduce waste and create a treasure that will be cherished for years to come.


Use the fabric to create a unique set of curtains

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If you have an old wedding dress that is taking up space in your closet, repurposing it is a great way to keep it close while also freeing up some storage space. One creative use for your old wedding dress is to transform it into curtains for your home. This is a wonderful option for those who are sentimental about their wedding dress but no longer need it in its original form.

To create curtains from your wedding dress, start by measuring the windows where you want to hang them. You will need to calculate how many panels you need and the dimensions of each panel. Once you have your measurements, deconstruct your wedding dress by removing all of the embellishments, such as lace or beading, as these can get in the way when creating your curtains. You should be left with the plain fabric of the dress.

You will want to iron the dress to ensure it is flat and free of wrinkles. Then, use a cutting mat and rotary cutter to cut your fabric into strips that match the dimensions of your curtains. You can decide how wide you want your strips to be depending on your preferences and the style of your windows. After cutting all of the strips, hem the edges that will be visible once your curtains are hung.

If you want to add some texture or interest to your curtains, consider adding some small details like appliques or lace trim. You can also add sheer fabric panels to the bottom of the curtains to allow some light to filter through. Once your curtains are complete, you can hang them using your preferred curtain rod and hardware.

Using your old wedding dress to create a set of curtains is a great way to make your home decor more personal and sentimental. Not only will you have a conversation starter in your living space, but you will also have a unique and beautiful set of curtains to enjoy for years to come.

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Source: money.com

When it comes to old wedding dresses, many brides are left wondering what to do with them. Whether it’s a family heirloom or a beloved dress that was only worn once, it can be difficult to part with such a meaningful piece of clothing. Fortunately, there is an option that not only keeps the dress from going to waste, but also helps those in need: donating it to a bridal wear recycling program.

Bridal wear recycling programs vary in their specifics, but the basic idea is the same. Instead of letting old wedding gowns collect dust in a closet or storage unit, brides can donate them to organizations that will repurpose or resell them to brides in need. This can help to reduce waste, provide affordable options for brides on a budget, and give back to the community all at the same time.

So, what happens to the dresses once they are donated? Some organizations will take the dresses apart and use the fabric to make new dresses, veils, or other accessories. Others will sell the dresses as-is, often for a fraction of their original price, to brides who may not be able to afford a brand new dress. And some programs will even donate the dresses to brides in need, such as those from lower-income families or military brides.

If you’re interested in donating your old wedding dress to a bridal wear recycling program, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure the dress is clean and in good condition – many programs will not accept dresses that are stained, ripped, or otherwise damaged. You’ll also want to do some research on the specific programs in your area to find out what their specific policies are regarding donations.

Ultimately, donating your old wedding dress to a bridal wear recycling program is a great way to give back and help those in need. Not only will you be decluttering your own space, but you’ll be making a difference in the lives of others as well.

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Frequently asked questions

Yes, you can sell your old wedding dress. There are several websites and stores that will purchase pre-owned wedding dresses as long as they are in good condition.

You can repurpose your old wedding dress into a new outfit or reuse the fabric to make a christening gown or a special occasion dress. You can also donate it to a charitable organization or use it for a creative DIY project.

Yes, it is possible to preserve your old wedding dress even if it is over 50 years old. A professional preservationist can clean and restore your dress and then carefully store it in acid-free packaging to prevent any further damage.

You can still honor your old wedding dress by displaying it in a shadow box or framing it as a piece of art. You can also incorporate pieces of the dress into your home decor or create a memory quilt with pieces of the dress and other sentimental items.

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