Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo

Make your own wedding veil

by: Chica

As you plan your wedding, you’ll fast discover that most wedding-related things are quite expensive, and you can easily overspend almost without realizing it. One of the surprise costs as you shop for your wedding day attire is the veil, which can easily cost a couple hundred dollars for the simplest of designs. Before you casually add a veil on to your wedding gown purchase, consider making it yourself. With as little as $10 in supplies and an hour or two, you can create your own veil that suits you to a tee.

The main thing you’ll need, of course, is some tulle (a.k.a. netting). This is available in any fabric store and can be found in 72″ and 108″ widths. For a fuller veil, use the 108″ wide tulle. The length of fabric you’ll need will vary depending on your desired veil length. Measure from the top of your head to where you want the veil to end and double that length. For example, a typical fingertip-length veil will be between three and four feet long, so you’ll need 6 to 8 feet (2 to 2-1/2 yards) of tulle.

Lay the tulle out on a large table (or a clean floor) and keep it folded in half lengthwise (this is how it was at the store). Put the folded edge nearest to you. At this point you have two layers of tulle.

Now fold the tulle in half crosswise by grabbing the rightmost edge and folding it over so that it touches the leftmost edge. At this point you have four layers of tulle.

make your own veil pattern

make your own wedding veil

Measure again how long you want the tulle to be (from the top of your head down) and cut the tulle to that length (keep it folded) if needed.

make your own wedding veil

Now round off the top left edge of the fabric by pinning to mark it and then cutting in a smooth motion. If you need a guide, try a large serving platter. You want to be left with a quarter-circle shape:

make your own veil pattern

make your own wedding veil

Unfold the tulle completely. At this point you have one layer of tulle. The dashed orange lines below show where the folds used to be:

make your own veil pattern

Fold the tulle crosswise from right to left, but you don’t have to bring it all the way over. You can match the ends up for a single-length veil, or you can leave a few inches between the edges for a nice layered look. If you keep a shorter layer, it can be used as a blusher if you like. At this point you should verify that the length is exactly what you want and if it’s too long, cut one of the rounded ends shorter, as needed.

make your own veil pattern

Turn the veil 90 degrees so that the folded edge is at the top, farthest away from you, and the open rounded edges are closest to you. Don’t be surprised if the veil seems wider than it is long, especially if you are using a really wide tulle or making a fairly short veil. Once you gather it all up in the following step, the proportions will make a lot more sense.

make your own wedding veil

You will now have to decide whether or not you want the side edges of your veil’s two layers to come all the way up to the top. If you choose to have the edges come up to the top, the top of your veil will be fuller and puffier. This decision is particularly noticeable if you plan to put a ribbon trim on the edges, because the ribbon will clearly be only at the bottom or will go up to your head, depending on your choice. This diagram illustrates the two variations:

make your own veil pattern

Once you choose from these two styles, you will be ready to gather the top of your veil. Depending on your choice, you will either gather up only the center portion of your tulle (diagram on left), or you’ll gather the entire width of the tulle (diagram on right).

make your own veil pattern

Once you have decided how much tulle to gather, do so with a needle and strong thread, weaving in and out with small stitches.

make your own wedding veil

Pull the thread to gather the stitched tulle so that it is only about 2 inches wide. Knot the thread securely.

make your own wedding veil

This veil was gathered in the middle only, so there is no stitching on the sides.

make your own wedding veil

Hold the tulle by the gathered area and give it a gentle shake, which will allow the sides to fall gracefull down with the rest of the tulle.

make your own wedding veil

Now take your gathered portion of tulle and sew it securely to either a simple French comb, or a barrette if you prefer.

make your own wedding veil

You can still wear a fancy tiara or decorative barrette if you like, by just placing it right in front of your veil on your head. Depending on your tiara’s style, you may be able to sew the veil directly to it. You can also sew silk flowers or ribbons to the comb to decorate it.

Your veil is ready to wear at this point, but you may want to decorate it further. A popular finishing touch is to sew a thin satin ribbon along the edges of the veil. You can do so easily with a sewing machine and some white thread.

make your own wedding veil

When sewing, don’t bother to try to get the ribbon right up against the end of the tulle — it’s far easier to just leave some extra and then come back and trim it later.

make your own wedding veil

Now go back with scissors and trim the excess tulle right next to the ribbon. And don’t worry about trimming it perfectly. I promise that nobody more than 2 feet away from you will even be able to see it!

make your own wedding veil

You may also choose to sew or glue tiny sparkling beads or gemstones randomly on your veil. If that’s what you like, then do it. It’s your veil, so it should be special and exactly the way you want it!

make your own wedding veil

Not only did I make my own veil for my wedding, but made my niece a “play” veil with some leftover tulle, so she could play dress-up bride. I used this same technique to make her niece’s First Communion veil a few years later.

make your own wedding veil

264 comments so far:

  • 1
    Chica 02/16/2015 at 11:25 am

    Marge, it shouldn’t matter which way you turn the tulle, as long as you can get the length and width you need.

  • 2
    Carol 04/14/2015 at 8:50 pm

    Hi Chica
    I am making a veil for my grand daughters first communion and haven’t even started and am already having trouble. I love your instructions but cant seem to get the tulle to lay evenly so that I can cut it. I have purchased a very wide fabric and plan to do a two tiered veil as per your instructions. Any tips would be great. Thanks.

  • 3
    Chica 04/15/2015 at 6:32 pm

    Carol, perhaps try steaming the tulle flat by putting it in the bathroom with you during a hot shower?

  • 4
    marisa 04/17/2015 at 9:27 am

    Just wondering if it makes sense to sew the lace around the edges first before gathering/sewing in place on the comb. If not, is it hard to sew the lace as it gets close to the comb?

  • 5
    Mary 04/18/2015 at 8:14 pm

    Feeling inspired by your great site–but have two questions I’m hoping you can answer as my daughter’s wedding is in 2 weeks and she just decided she wanted a veil! Here goes: I bought 2 1/2 yards of 108 in. tulle as you described to make a fingertip veil. When I laid it out from the store, it was 108 in. long, folded double, providing a width of about 29 in. Do I leave it like this, fold it again, and cut the curve? I’m wondering if the guy at the store refolded it differently somehow. Question #2: (you can tell by now I have no math skills, I’m sure) I found some wonderful trim, bought 2.5 yards, and am pretty sure that’s woefully inadequate. How much trim do I need if I was using it as you used the satin ribbon? Thanks so much (btw, I’d already made her hair pieces, and knitted a shawl!)

  • 6
    Chica 04/19/2015 at 5:25 pm

    Marisa, it would be easier to sew all the lace on first, then gather. I don’t think the lace will get in your way, because there will only be a little bit of it on each side of the comb. Hope that helps!

  • 7
    Chica 04/19/2015 at 5:28 pm

    Mary, I’m not exactly sure I understand how your tulle was folded when you brought it home, so let’s start over. Unfold the whole thing and lay it flat. Then fold it in half lengthwise, then again crosswise. That should bring you up to where the tutorial instructions assume you will be. As for the ribbon, you’ll need to measure around the entire piece of cut tulle to see how much ribbon you’ll need.

  • 8
    Mary 04/19/2015 at 7:47 pm

    Thanks, Chica! I did that, and dear daughter has decided that she likes the look of the veil actually doubled, all the same length, instead of tiered. I don’t see many photos of veils like that, and while holding it up to her head unsewn seems to show it will be all right, I’d hate to sew on the trim, gather and then find out it looks wrong. Is doubled a look you see in veils?

  • 9
    Chica 04/19/2015 at 7:54 pm

    Mary, I don’t know a lot about all the veil options out there, but I do know one thing… if the Bride likes it, it’s right! :)

  • 10
    Mary 04/23/2015 at 10:01 pm

    Ha! You’re so right, Chica! The veil looks great, the trim looks great, but now I’m stressing about exactly how to attach the comb. I’ve tried following Internet directions but friends have said I might have sewn it on backwards and I’m hoping you can help me understand this. I’ve sewn the raw gathered edge onto the convex (rounded out) side, with the teeth pointed down. The raw edge disappears when the comb is flipped over to insert into the hair. Does this make sense? I can’t believe I’m so dense! I don’t seen any other comments about comb attachment, so any help you can offer is appreciated. Thanks a million.

  • 11
    Chica 04/24/2015 at 8:29 am

    Mary, does it look bad on the comb, or do you just think it’s wrong? I bet nobody is going to look at the comb part at all, so as long as the rest of the veil looks good, you’ll be fine. If it looks back on the comb, just sew on a piece of ribbon or some silk flowers to cover it up. Or have the hairdresser curl a lock of hair over it. :)

  • 12
    Marta 06/28/2015 at 7:18 am

    Liked your comments. Very helpful.

  • 13
    Joyce 01/20/2016 at 12:48 am

    Hi. I’m making a single tier veil for my future daughte-in-law. It is fingertip length. Do you have a tutorial for a single tier? I’m not sure how to cut the edge so it lays right in the front of the shoulder. Also, the lace is only going to go to right above the elbow when you are looking at it from the front. Should I gather the entire width for the comb, or it seems like I would only gather a portion in the center. I appreciate your help!

  • 14
    Chica 01/22/2016 at 4:32 pm

    Joyce, we don’t have a separate tutorial for a single tier veil, but the general gathering and stitching would be the same as described above. Just gather at the end rather than at the middle. As for your lace/gathering questions, I’m not sure how to help… I think you’ll be better off trying different ways until you see what works for you. Just baste loosely and pin the lace until you figure it out, then sew it more securely afterwards.

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