25+ wedding dress refashion + upcycle ideas! My wedding dress (see it at the very end of this post!), bought as a store sample, was resold on Ebay shortly after my wedding because I was in a small apartment and not overly sentimental. BUT there are so many creative ways to preserve your dress and/or refashion it for someone else! This is a mix of ideas for both upcycling and refashioning that would work for a family heirloom dress or just casual thrifting to save an out-of-fashion dress (after reading five tips for thrift shopping to upcycle & refashion).
While researching for this post I bumped into an interesting video by Karolina Żebrowska, a vintage fashion vlogger, while I was digging around on this post; you can watch it yourself here; she addresses the importance of preservation when it comes to vintage clothes. I think this will vary with personal comfort and taste levels, but good food for thought as you go shopping or digging around in family closets. Something else to keep in mind is that Jean, who let me share her creative upcycle below, shared the tip that Oxi-Clean will help whiten an old dress that has yellowed over time!
While you’re here, check out these posts too:
- What to do with old jeans – 45+ upcycle sewing tutorials
- How to make a quilt from old clothes – 10+ ideas
- Upcycled flannel shirts – 15+ creative ideas
- 25+ ways to repurpose old t shirts
- 40+ ways to upcycle sweaters into something new
Pin this round-up of ways to reuse a wedding dress with this collage image or link; please click through to the original websites to pin specific posts so the wires don’t get crossed!
25+ wedding dress refashion + upcycle ideas
I separated the projects into two groups; upcycling wedding dresses into anything not-a-dress and then refashioning wedding dresses into other wedding dresses or some other type of clothes. I had so much fun choosing these projects and appreciate how many people let me share their photos. I hope this round-up inspires you to get crafty!
Upcycled wedding dress projects
I would’ve never thought to make a tree skirt out of a wedding dress but look how pretty this is! What a lovely way to decorate for Christmas. Shared with permission from Cindy Gomez – find her other work on instagram here!
I don’t think this would’ve occurred to me either; Susan Leshinsky turns all sorts of garments into keepsake teddy bears! My kids would have loved it if I’d saved mine and turned them into stuffies. Check out her business on Facebook, how beautiful is this bride teddy!
Another sentimental, beautiful upcycle by Moni Cox; she turned a wedding dress into a sweet Christening gown, check out her business on Facebook!
Not sure how many Barbie wedding dresses you can get out of a human-sized one, but Lorraine Appleton let me share this fun version to inspire you to find out! She also sells upcycled kits in her Etsy shop if you don’t have a dress on hand to cut up.
Make that old veil into a Christmas ornament, with a tutorial from Tikkido, this would be a great gift idea if you have a newlywed who isn’t crafty themselves!
Another beautiful example of upcycling a wedding dress into a Christmas tree skirt, shared with permission from Jean Krenke Flunker, what a great way to turn a family heirloom into something that can be used and loved each year.
A kind, sad way to turn your old gown into something meaningful for families who have lost a baby; see how to turn an old wedding dress into an ‘angel gown’ at DIY Danielle and donate it to your local hospital (check to see that they have this type of program before getting started).
Perfect if you’ve split scraps of a wedding dress among grandkids; see how to turn them into wearable art over at Little Red Window.
- Upcycle a wedding dress into a decorative art quilt, like this one from Back Porch Quilting
- Turn a wedding dress into a little boy’s baptism outfit, like the one Andrea Dekker made
- No tutorials for these but consider chopping it up and making a Christmas stocking, clutch purse, or even fabric flowers to display or add to a hair clip, etc.
Refashioned wedding dress examples
I love the back on this sentimental family wedding dress refashion that Amy from Amy Nicole Studio sewed for herself, go see more details on her blog!
A super vivid, techni-color dress refashion over at Unicorn Spit on youtube, how much fun is that with the vibrant colors!
Bonnie Oliver tweaked this vintage gown and turned it into an Elvish princess dress- please do yourself a favor and check out her instagram here because she is so creative!!
The skill level on this 1980s wedding dress makeover is out of this world, the before & after is shocking, at River Elliot Bridal Couture
A 1970s dress makeover at PoldaPop Designs, this one makes a huge difference with relatively simple alterations.
Please click through to see more photos of this wedding dress refashion, also from Amy Nicole Studio, because I think it’s really unique! You can definitely tell it is the same but the bride also made a lot of special twists.
- Consider refashioning an old wedding dress into a new formal/prom dress; I can’t find the original source but here is an example on pinterest
- A beribboned, super-laced dress into a modern tulle princess design by Haylie Michelle on youtube
- Simple dye and a chop turned a modern wedding dress into a modern cocktail dress at Konrad Brattke Photography
- The changes in this modest, blousy wedding dress are surprisingly subtle but I love the final result, from @coolirpa
- Another relatively simple update for a boring 90’s wedding dress that looks so pretty, from @coolirpa again
- A gigantic vintage dress turned into a chic cocktail dress over at Our Life Is BeautifulSee ruffles at level 11 turned into ruffles at level 5 in this wedding dress refashion from New Dress a Day
- Also consider turning an old wedding dress into a costume, like a fairy, zombie bride, princess, a witch, or a Christmas angel
Last and also least because it’s totally irrelevant, I told you what happened to my dress at the beginning and thought I’d throw in a picture at the end. I did keep a few small pieces off the train that we had altered but I hope some other budget bride wore and loved it!