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 10/24/2011 at 7:17 am

    Jenimac, we’re so happy we helped make your special day a little more special. Can’t wait to see a photo!

  • 2
    Lillian 11/05/2011 at 1:04 am

    Hi Chica- Thank you so much for the easy instructions!
    Any thoughts on how I might attach a scalloped-lace edge? And do you think it would be too heavy for the tulle?

  • 3
    Chica 11/05/2011 at 8:20 am

    Hi Lillian! It seems like you could just sew the lace on the edge, either with a sewing machine or by hand (if you have the patience). Depending on the material and thickness of the lace, it may or may not be too heavy. Perhaps you could pin it on first and see how it feels before sewing it?

  • 4
    Jackie 11/14/2011 at 11:11 pm

    Thank you so much for these wonderful instructions – very easy to follow. I plan to do a thin lace edging and attach to a barrette, and decorate with flowers. This is the first time on this page, but think that I will be visiting in the future :) Than you!

  • 5
    Chica 11/15/2011 at 7:19 am

    Jackie, we are glad you found us! Check out the rest of our wedding ideas — you might find some more projects you could use right now.

  • 6
    sheila 11/18/2011 at 3:15 pm

    Thank you for posting comments from those who have tried your tutorial. I am making my daughter’s veil who plans to marry in December. She has purchased a blusher and a cathedral veil also.. Her tiara is gold and both veils are chanpagne I plan to attach the blusher to the cathedral veil and use velcro to attach them to the tiara…. will that work and how do I go about it?

  • 7
    Harmony 11/28/2011 at 11:14 am

    Finally!! Diagrams make me very happy, thank you!
    My daughter is not getting married til next August but I work full time so thought I would get this one detail out of the way since she already has her dress.
    I had the general idea in my head but wanted confirmation that I was right.

  • 8
    Belinda 12/29/2011 at 10:00 pm

    Thanks for the instructions and discussion. I have been asked to make my future Daughter-in-law’s veil and her dres is a gold one. I have experimented with tea staining white tule and have purchased($10)one lace edged veil and tea died it. Have you got any other suggestions of how to die the tule. I do not have a sample of the fabric and I can’t wrap my brain around the color gold for a wedding dress.

  • 9
    Chica 12/30/2011 at 6:52 am

    Belinda, you certainly have a unique challenge at hand! Unfortunately, I don’t think I have any advice to share. I’ve never really done anything with tea stain or other dyes. Good luck and we’d love to hear how it comes out.

  • 10
    sarah 01/04/2012 at 9:02 pm

    Thank you so much for these clear instructions. I am making my daughter’s veil and we are very happy with it. The only problem has been the static electricity, but the 1 tsp fabric softener mixed with some warm water in a spray bottle works beautifully. I plan to take the spray bottle to the March wedding.

  • 11
    Holly Behnke 01/17/2012 at 11:25 pm

    I found a beautiful cathedral length veil @ a bridal store. However, I would like to try to make my own. It has lace appliqué on the end of the veil. Can you tell me how I could create this look myself? Would I buy lace and glue it to the edge of the veil? Thank you so much for your help.

  • 12
    Chica 01/18/2012 at 10:43 am

    Holly, it seems to me that you could either glue or sew the lace to the veil, depending on how much time you have and how secure you want it to be.

  • 13
    Holly Behnke 01/18/2012 at 11:49 am

    Ok thank you for your help. I appreciate it.

  • 14
    Ellie 01/22/2012 at 6:03 am

    I have searched the internet high and low and this is by far the best literature and graphic combination I have seen to make a veil. My wedding is in two weeks and I will be making a center gathered elbow length veil, thanks to you.

  • 15
    Chica 01/22/2012 at 9:50 am

    Thanks so much, Ellie! Congratulations on your upcoming wedding and have fun making your veil.

  • 16
    Kris 01/22/2012 at 6:55 pm

    HI! Great instructions/diagrams. How would you recommend cutting scallops on a center gathered veil?

    Thanks :-)

  • 17
    Chica 01/22/2012 at 8:34 pm

    Kris, that sounds like quite a challenge. I think it might work to start with a round item (plate, cup, etc) that’s the size you want the scallop to be, and then use that as a template to trace your scallops onto the edge with a marker. Then you could cut along the lines, making sure to cut away all of the marker.

  • 18
    Sue 02/05/2012 at 4:57 pm

    my mom made my veil 40 years ago. she just cut the tulle and left the edges raw. it makes it very light. I am taking my veil apart to make a simpler veil for my daughters. No need to do the extra work of finishing the edges.

  • 19
    Denise 02/13/2012 at 6:45 pm

    I found your site today through an online search and am SO glad I did! After viewing the outlandish prices at the bridal salons, my future daughter-in-law wanted to try making her own veil to save money. She doesn’t sew, so she asked if I would help her. We have already purchased the tulle and she wants to have ribbon stitched on the edges, which is where I would really come in. I was a little shakey about that even though I have some extensive sewing background. We were going to attempt all of that without a pattern and fly by the seat of our pants with some ideas of our own. Your photos and diagrams have given us the extra encouragement we needed to show us that we are on the right track. The comments section of your site and the responses you give other women were very helpful to read as well. Thank you so much for putting this all together!

  • 20
    Chica 02/14/2012 at 6:56 am

    Denise, we’re so happy that we’ve helped you with this project. And big thanks to all our readers who always offer such great tips and ideas in the comments!

  • 21
    Rosa 02/15/2012 at 4:17 pm

    Great tutorial! Thanks for the great resources. I’ll be making my second veil this week.

  • 22
    Debbie 02/24/2012 at 3:12 am

    After several days of searching the internet, I’m happy to have found your site! I have a couple of questions though before I begin this project. First of all my daughter and son are getting married within 3 months of each other. Both weddings obviously have smaller budgets, therefore I am making the cakes, helping with food, flowers, etc….and I am now surprising both my daughter and soon to be daughter-in-law with veils customized to each individual girl. They both want 1 tier and each want different lengths. Each want 1/8″ Satin “Rat Tail” Ribbon/Cord. Neither girl wants anything that might look “poofy” as they call it. So would the pattern you list still work for that, and what would be the best way to trim the veil with the cord/ribbon? I’m thinking hand sewing, but I have never done anything with such tiny edging. Would love any help you can give! I want to make their “BIG Days” extra special with a gift from my heart!

  • 23
    Chica 02/24/2012 at 6:40 am

    Debbie, I’ll be honest with you — I had to look up rattail cord before I knew what you were talking about, but now it makes perfect sense. What a funny name! Anyway, I think hand sewing is going to be your best bet, since the cord is so round and thing. I would suggest getting matching thread and just whip-stitching it in place, so that the thread actually goes around in a wide spiral, securing the cord to the tulle. As long as your thread matches, you’ll never notice unless you’re up really close. To keep the veils from being too “poofy”, use a 72″ width of tulle instead of 108″ and that should help. And try not to worry about messing up, because this is a pretty forgiving project. And even though you are on a budget, tulle is really inexpensive, so even if you don’t like how the first one comes out, you could always start over. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  • 24
    Sherry 02/25/2012 at 10:16 pm

    Thank you so much for your diagram and pictures for the bridal wedding veil. I do not sew, so I never thought in a million years of making my own veil. I have searched on kijiji, looked at bridal stores ect for a veil. I really want something unique and special….what I like in bridal stores are over $100.00 a veil (on sale) $250 regular….way more than I want to spend. What I have seen on kijiji, it is hard to know in a picture if I will like it or not……with your site I have decided to tackle the task of making my own wedding veil. I can’t wait. With your instructions I think I can actually pull it off. Thank you. Thank you. I just wish those who have already posted on here would have shared their veils so I can see what others have come up with. THe one who did share, the page no longer exists.

  • 25
    Chica 02/26/2012 at 9:23 am

    Sherry, I applaud your courage and wish you the best of luck with your veil. I wish we could see all the veils others have created… Jo and I love seeing photos of finished projects!

  • 26
    Aleta 03/01/2012 at 5:59 pm

    Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to publish this information. I, too, thought the price of a veil outlandish in consideration of materials and skill required. Now I feel confident about making one for my daughter. I probably could have figured it out on my own, but having your pattern will make the process SO MUCH simpler and easier. Thanks!!

  • 27
    Debby 03/18/2012 at 2:55 pm

    I was asked by my daughter to make her wedding veil. I got online and saw your instructions after looing at many others. I read the many different reviews & saw where people was saying Joan Ann fabric didnt carry the 108 inch wide tulle. Not sure where are living but the Joanne fabric store here in Ohio has a good choice of all widths including the 108″ wide. I am anxious to get started on this veil & thank you for giving such detailed instructions.

  • 28
    Chica 03/18/2012 at 7:44 pm

    Thanks for the tip about the tulle, Debby. Good luck with the veil and we’d love to hear how it goes!

  • 29
    April 03/21/2012 at 9:34 pm

    I have never sewn in my life, with the exception of maybe a button :) I was very interested in giving this a shot since I have a few months until my wedding. I’m having difficulty telling if all this can be done by hand (with no sewing machine) if the time is available. It seems like it is possible, but I thought I would check on what you guys thought for someone who has never sewn before. Should I break down and just spend the $150? I’m looking to do some beads, etc. to match my dress on the edging… and if I was OH SO LUCKY, I would love to figure out if I could stitch a few small smiley faces in it somehow. Any thoughts? Bluntess appreciated if I shouldn’t try it with no sewing skills! I was quite inspired by the ease you demonstrated and the helpful comments in all the posts. Thank you for making this available on the internet! (found through a google search fyi) :)

  • 30
    Chica 03/23/2012 at 6:46 am

    April, we’re so glad you found us and hope you’ll continue to poke around our site at some of our other wedding projects while you’re here! You can definitely do this veil by hand without much sewing experience. In fact, the only part that I used a sewing machine for was the trim, so if you don’t want trim on it, you’ll definitely be set. You can still do the trim, of course, and by hand. If you do, I’d say the biggest risk would be that the trim won’t be straight. To help avoid that, I would recommend that you make longer, easy stitches rather than tiny, tight ones. If it doesn’t feel secure, you can always go back and add a second set of stitches. That will help you keep things loose and not overworked. Sewing on the beads is something you’d definitely do by hand, too. To help you with the placement of those, perhaps you can lay them out and tape them in place, and then sew them one by one? Unless your budget is incredibly tight, I would suggest you go ahead and risk the $20 or so that it’ll cost you for tulle and trim and see what you come up with. If you like it, continue by adding the beads. If not, scrap it and go for something pre-made. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  • 31
    Chica 03/29/2012 at 6:55 am

    Special thanks to Beverly, one of our readers who shared a photo of her finished veil with us. I posted it in our Flickr group for reader’s projects right here so you guys could all see it.

  • 32
    Peqqy 04/04/2012 at 4:45 am

    please give me some advise I have been looking for days online on how to make a cascade… angel.. waterfall veil. They are all considered the same style. I want to make a a cascade veil that has wavey sides from top to bottom. How do I cut the tulle? Is it a circle or rounded oblong. I will be making it about 50″ long in the back and I want a blusher too.. thanks.

    Here is a sample picture of cascade veil what I would like to make.

  • 33
    Chica 04/04/2012 at 6:48 am

    Peggy, I think you will be able to make the cascading veil you’re looking for with our tutorial. Just be sure to only gather it in the middle, and not all the way across. You may want to experiment with where you fold the tulle to get the length and effect you want. You can always gather it then remove the thread and try again if you don’t like it. Note that a cascading veil doesn’t really work as a blusher, so you may need to gather a separate piece of tulle and attach it to the comb as well so that it can be flipped over your face. Hope that helps!

  • 34
    diane 04/10/2012 at 2:13 am

    I agree wholeheartedly that these are by far the best instructions I have been able to find. Thanks for sharing them. I am making a veil for my daughter’s First Communion. She would like it on a headband. Do you have any suggestions for how to attach it? Other sites suggest a hot glue gun, but that doesn’t make sense to me as I imagine it would be uncomfortable to feel the glue bumps on the underside of the headband. Would there be a specific technique you would recommend for trying to sew it to the headband? Thanks for your help.

  • 35
    Chica 04/10/2012 at 6:56 am

    Thanks, Diane! I would have to agree that hot glue could create bumps that would be uncomfortable. I suggest sewing the veil to the headband, starting in loose basting stitches to make sure all the tulle is going to fit, Then gather it together and add smaller stitches until it’s secure. Hope that helps!

  • 36
    Ahma 04/17/2012 at 1:41 pm

    How much fabric will I need for a child’s communion veil? And I would I attached a beaded headband?

    Your directions are AWESOME! I have searched everywhere for directions made simple for a novice like me.

    Thank you!

  • 37
    Chica 04/18/2012 at 6:59 am

    Ahma, I’m so glad you love our tutorial! To determine how much tulle you need for your veil, measure from the top of the child’s head to where you want the veil to end and double that length. Whether or not you attach a beaded headband is up to you :)

  • 38
    Kimly 04/20/2012 at 1:29 am

    Hi! I love how easy you made this tutorial! I was just hoping to clarify, for the “center only” veil, what did you do with the top edges that weren’t gathered?


  • 39
    Helen 04/20/2012 at 10:37 am

    Hello. I am making my own veil. Thank you for having this website. I looked at the price of wedding veils & I couldn’t believe how expensive they were. Wow! So far my total is $3.84! That is a big cost difference. When the veil is completed I will post pics if you would like. I am also taking a sewing class so I can make my own wedding dress due to the fact that I can’t find my perfect dress. Does everyone wear strapless, cleavage revealing dresses these days or what? Do they even make modest, simple wedding dresses anymore?

  • 40
    Chica 04/20/2012 at 11:35 am

    Thanks, Kimly! For the center-only veil, I just left the non-gathered edges hanging down.

  • 41
    Chica 04/20/2012 at 11:37 am

    Helen, it sounds like you are off to a great start at keeping your wedding budget under control! We’d love to see finished photos of your veil, and if you have a Flickr account, you can post them in our Flickr group for reader photos.

  • 42
    Janice Stover 04/22/2012 at 10:07 am

    Wow your tutorial makes it so easy. We have a very tight budget for my daughter’s wedding in November so we are getting really creative in order to stay in our budget w/o being “tacky”. This tutorial assures me that I can make a beautiful veil for my daughter’s special day. Thank you so much for taking the guess work out of it for me!

  • 43
    Chica 04/22/2012 at 8:08 pm

    We’re so happy we could help, Janice. Let us know how it goes!

  • 44
    momof4 05/01/2012 at 12:23 pm

    Great tutorial! One question, is the ribbon applied with one row of stitching or two? It’s not like I’ll be washing this often, but usually I try to “bomb-proof” my sewing…Does the ribbon lie flat with a single row of stitches?

  • 45
    Chica 05/01/2012 at 1:12 pm

    momof4, I only applied one row of stitches to the ribbon on my veil. I have no intention of washing it, though, so no idea how well it will hold up to that.

  • 46
    Darlene 05/13/2012 at 8:47 am

    My daughter wants to make a veil for her wedding….. She wants it made from the lace of my wedding gown which has a lace trim on the bottom already…. How do I make a veil out of this kind of fabric ? Please HELP !!!!!!!!

  • 47
    Chica 05/13/2012 at 9:38 am

    Darlene, that is a lovely idea to reuse your wedding gown to make a veil for your daughter. If it were me, I would enlist the help of a professional seamstress for the job, though… I would hate to make a mistake and ruin such a treasured item.

  • 48
    rebecca 05/26/2012 at 4:57 pm

    Thank you so much for the tutorial. I just made a veil using your instructions; it was easy and it came out great! I’m going on safari in Africa with my best friend who is getting married in September, and the veil is a surprise gift for her on the trip. I can’t wait to get photos of her wearing the veil with elephants and giraffes in the background! Thanks again, she’s going to love it!

  • 49
    Chica 05/27/2012 at 2:26 pm

    Rebecca, that sounds like a pretty amazing wedding, and your handmade veil will be a lovely gift. Glad the tutorial worked out for you, and we’d love to see a photo of the veil in action :)

  • 50
    Ellie 06/03/2012 at 10:12 am

    I would love to thank you a million and one times. I used your method to make my wedding veil and it cost me about $3 to purchase the tulle. I did a elbow length veil and it was absolutely gorgeous. I would like to upload a photo of my veil on my wedding day. thanks again. you saved me hundreds of dollars and added a personal touch to my wedding day. thanks for inspiring.

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