A seriously easy way to make a cathedral veil from your favorite fabric

Guest post by Rachael
A seriously easy way to make a cathedral veil from your favorite fabric
Photo by Kevin Monahan of Monahan Photography

About a month before my wedding, I became fascinated with a colorful floral veil in this post on my favorite wedding blog. Though I had initially planned to just wear my sister's veil, I suddenly felt the urge to have a more “Rachael” veil; I'm rather known for my love of rainbows and sparkles and wanted to make sure that passion came through in my wedding outfit. I looked around for similar veils online, but couldn't find anything for a price I was willing to pay.

So even though I hadn't sewn anything other than cross stitched zombies and extremely basic sock repairs pretty much ever, I took a leap of faith and decided to make my own. I went to the very same Etsy shop linked in that blog post and bought a few yards of a rainbow-y floral fabric from China. I paid extra for speedy shipping and prayed it would arrive on time.

It was surprisingly easy!

image2 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

What you need:

  • Pretty fabric (make sure to get as many yards as you'd like for your final veil. I was planning on making a chapel veil of about seven feet but ended up with a nine-foot cathedral veil just because I loved the fabric too much to cut it down)
  • Needle and clear or white thread that matches your veil
  • Metal or plastic comb
  • Fabric Scissors

image3 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

How to make a DIY veil:

  1. Receive fabric while teleworking at home and fiancé is out of the house. Freak out over fabric. Move fabric into guest room to hide it from said fiancé until wedding day. Trim any uneven portions at the top and bottom of the fabric.
  2. Gently iron out any kinks or folds in your fabric.
  3. Use extremely limited sewing skills to hand sew or sew using a sewing machine, a running stitch (see a running stitch here!) at the top of the fabric (one of the width sides). Leave a bit of the thread hanging at the end, you'll need it later. Make a second running stitch about one-half inch below the first line of stitches. Same thing here: leave some thread hanging off of the end. You should now have two parallel lines of stitches.
  4. Gather fabric (see how here!) together using the two hanging lengths of thread at the end. Gently pull them to start pulling the fabric together into a gather about the width of the comb you plan to use.
  5. Secure the gather with extra stitches around the fabric. Toss cats out of guest room and close door so they stop trying to play with fabric.
  6. Sew gathered fabric at the top of the veil to a comb by sewing loops around each tooth of the comb.
  7. Attach the finished veil to you hair with the comb teeth facing down and curving in. Pose in veil glamorously in front of mirror.
laced running stitch 1 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
An example running stitch by Rocksea + Sarah

image1 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

And you're done! Seriously, this was an incredibly easy and fast project and ended up being one of my favorite details of my wedding and the thing people are most likely to comment on when they see my wedding photos.

I threw a fair amount of caution to the wind (the fabric was not as wide as the internet said it should really be for a veil — usually 55in wide and 30in long, I did not bother to cut the fabric into a more rounded shape as many tutorials suggested, if anyone looked too closely at my sewing at the gathering point they'd be appalled), but it worked out wonderfully.

What did you DIY that surprised you and/or worked out well?

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Comments on A seriously easy way to make a cathedral veil from your favorite fabric

  1. Hey Offbeat team, please reconsider making posts with Amazon links during a strike. Workers are doing their best to get Amazon to pay them a living wage, and using your website to post affiliate links during that time is the same as encouraging people to cross a picket line. The Offbeat Empire is one that I expected to support all people’s rights to the life they want, and I’m a little disappointed in y’all right now, but I hope this was just a case of ignorance. I know that affiliate links are a big part of your income, but that doesn’t make it right.

    • We hear you, Meagan. Our posts are written and scheduled weeks ahead of time, and so the timing on this one caught us off guard… we’re talking about how to handle this better going forward. Thanks again for chiming in! It means so much to me that we have readers who are so invested. <3

  2. My best friend made my veil, but I’m definitely most proud of our homemade book arch for the wedding!!

  3. Hey internet friends! So many people liked and were interested in my wedding veil that I’ve decided I want to share it with other brides, a la Sisterhood of the Traveling Veil! If you’d be interested in borrowing my veil for your wedding, just email me at [email protected] with your wedding date and contact details! Only thing I ask is that you cover the cost of shipping from my house to you and back and get it cleaned if it needs it afterward.

    • Hi Rachael,
      I just found your beautiful veil on Pinterest and was wondering if you are still doing the sisterhood of the traveling veil? If so I’m very interested or maybe buying it.
      Thanks ,
      Mother of the bride

  4. The bride has requested rhinestone beading all the way around the veil. It comes on a strand. What is the best way to attach the beading to the veil? Do I need to hand stitch it on, or will a fabric glue work? there is 9 yards of beading to attach.

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