Home DIY Projects + Tutorials 15 Ways To Repurpose Your Mom’s Gown

Dynasty-Dynasty-TV-series-003Ah, your mom’s wedding gown. You know – that 1980′s polyester monstrosity with poofy shoulders so large they’d darned near swallow your whole face that’s lurking in your folks’ basement? Yeah, that one.

Well, kiddo, she kept that for you to wear on your big day. That’s right. Just for you! While the thought of a full-on Dynasty-themed wedding, complete with appearance by Joan Collins in her glorious Nolan Miller-d glory, makes you giddy for a split second, we all know there’s no way your beloved is gonna go for it.

Or maybe mom’s gown isn’t so bad. You actually love it but it’s too small or too short and can’t be altered to fit you. Maybe it wasn’t properly preserved and it’s now damaged and irreparable. Don’t fret. There are creative ways you can use mom’s gown in your wedding. While these suggestions mean cutting up her gown, you will be creating new heirloom pieces that can (hopefully) be used for generations to come.

  1. Hello, ring pillow. Wedding gown fabrics make fabulous ring pillows. Ring pillows are also terrific beginner DIY projects. Check out the ring bearer pillow from vintage lace tutorial at CraftStylish.
  2. Hankies and pocket squares. Depending on the fabric of your mom’s gown, hankies and pocket squares for the wedding party are easy, elegant ways to repurpose the dress. Cotton is best for hankies; silk for pocket squares. Consider adding a bit of embroidery, beading, or ribbon trim to add a bit o’ pizzazz.
  3. Bouquet wraps. Strips of fabric from a beaded bodice look stunning rapped around the stems of your bouquet.
  4. Harvest the lace and incorporate it into your own gown or veil.
  5. Make a garter. Download our easy garter instructions here.
  6. Hair accessories! Cover inexpensive plastic or wire headbands with the fabric, lace, and embellishments. Use buttons and embellishments to create one-of-a-kind hair pins (see my new book, The Crafty Countdown, for hair pin instructions).
  7. Make fabric flowers. Perfect for headbands, bouquets, corsages. Tutorial coming up soon!
  8. Cover the front of an album, guest book, scrapbook or book of faith.
  9. How about a purse? Check out Better Homes and Garden’s instructions here.
  10. Incorporate pieces into a chuppah.
  11. How about something for the flower girl(s)? Line or cover the petal basket. If there’s enough fabric, how about an entire dress or skirt for your girls? See my new book, The Crafty Countdown, for a fabric flower girl basket project.
  12. Cover vases or votive holders with fabric and lace for stunning centerpieces. Check out Martha’s version here.
  13. Make a sash for your gown.
  14. Bib necklaces are super hot right now. If your mom’s gown has embellishments grab them and create your own, a la Vera Wang, and save $800.
  15. Cover boxes for use as card holders. Project Wedding has a fab tutorial here.
23 replies to this post
  1. If you must use your Mom’s dress, consider keeping just a portion – like the skirt portion or bodice. Then have a maker design to your tastes including that one piece. Of course, this may cost a small fortune! I recommend converting into a baby’s baptismal outfit. Make a mini-dress.

  2. If you must use your Mom’s dress, consider keeping just a portion – like the skirt portion or bodice. Then have a maker design to your tastes including that one piece. Of course, this may cost a small fortune! I recommend converting into a baby’s baptismal outfit. Make a mini-dress.

  3. Hi!

    I can’t thank you enough for the information. I have a gown my mother did keep for me. She would be thrilled to believe I can recycle her gown in the most special way possible. I’m thinking of turning it to a purse so I can pass it on from generations after. It’ll be an heirloom. Thanks for the great advice.

  4. Hi!

    I can’t thank you enough for the information. I have a gown my mother did keep for me. She would be thrilled to believe I can recycle her gown in the most special way possible. I’m thinking of turning it to a purse so I can pass it on from generations after. It’ll be an heirloom. Thanks for the great advice.

  5. Or you could leave mom’s dress intact and save it for her future granddaughters or great-granddaughters.

  6. Or you could leave mom’s dress intact and save it for her future granddaughters or great-granddaughters.

  7. SO, my mom is getting remarried for the third time, I have been appointed her Wedding planner/cake baker. HELP! lol but my question is this: Dare I suggest she reuse her 1980′s monstrosity[from the marriage to her 1st, my father]? (and yes, it is quite horrible) or would this be… tacky?

  8. SO, my mom is getting remarried for the third time, I have been appointed her Wedding planner/cake baker. HELP! lol but my question is this: Dare I suggest she reuse her 1980′s monstrosity[from the marriage to her 1st, my father]? (and yes, it is quite horrible) or would this be… tacky?

  9. I think it’s a great idea to use up pieces of Mom’s dress to make other things, my mom offered this to me, BUT that being said I do think that since styles come back around her dress will be ‘vintage’ in no time and since it’s made it this far in 1 piece I’m opting to keep it in one piece and maybe someone else will want to use it in the future as a whole… just my 2 cents :)

  10. I think it’s a great idea to use up pieces of Mom’s dress to make other things, my mom offered this to me, BUT that being said I do think that since styles come back around her dress will be ‘vintage’ in no time and since it’s made it this far in 1 piece I’m opting to keep it in one piece and maybe someone else will want to use it in the future as a whole… just my 2 cents :)

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