Veils are kind of my thing. Short, long, blusher, birdcage — don’t care, I love ’em all. But want in on a little secret? Until I came across Jess’ tutorial for her own lace beauty, I had NO idea veils were so DIY doable. Pinky promise — with even the simplest of skills (read: no sewing required!) you, yes you, can make a veil.
Choose your tulle. The most expensive choice is English netting (what was used in Kate Middleton’s veil). This netting is soft and silky and clings to the wearer. I used regular tulle for a significantly less money, found at my local fabric store. Regular tulle is stiffer than and holds it’s own shape. Just be careful to choose a finer weave tulle, not the large weave extra stiff version used for tutus. The most important thing is that it is 108” wide, or else you will have to make a seam down the center of your veil! Choose your lace. I found the best selection on Etsy. You can use any lace you like, just make sure the tulle is trimmed to the shape of the lace- it would take you waaaaay too long to cut off excess tulle (ex. lace like this is gorgeous but would take too long to trim around all the lace shapes. 10 yards covered my whole veil with about a half yard leftover. If you want a shorter veil, I would cut your tulle first and measure with a fabric tape to estimate how much lace you’ll need. Definitely order a little bit extra as a cushion, just in case!
If you have your wedding dress already, definitely wear that for measuring (or possibly do this quick step at one of your fittings). Stand in your wedding shoes (or a same height heel) and place the tulle over your head. Lower the front edge to where you would like the edge of the finished veil to hit (the edge of the tulle will be come the bottom edge of the lace so just imagine that is where the lace ends). Have your friend spread out the tulle in the back, and trim in a straight line where you would like the veil to end in the back. I chose to have mine extend about 1’ beyond my dress in the back. If you are not in your dress, add a couple feet to the length you think you want, because in your clothes the tulle falls straight to the floor but in your dress it flows along the bulk of the dress (depending on how bulky your dress is). You can always make the veil shorter, but you can’t make it longer so err on the side of extra length.
Spread the tulle out on a (clean) floor and fold in half length-wise. Cut a soft half-circle (really more of a half-oval) out of the tulle. Cut both layers at once so that both sides will be symmetrical when unfolded. Don’t come into the fold too sharply (flatten out the shape a bit), or the unfolded oval will look pointy. If you want the bottom edge to follow the shape of your dress exactly, then once you’ve trimmed the front side, unfold the tulle, place on your head, and have your friend trim the bottom along the edge of your dress (make sure to fully spread out the skirt first). When finished trimming, place the tulle on your head to make sure you are happy with the shape & length.
Place the comb on your head where you think it will tuck into your hairstyle (typically an inch or two back from the center of your head). Have your friend place the tulle on top, position it until it is just right, and place pins in the tulle on all four sides of the comb to mark the position. Spread out the tulle on the floor. Measure 6” from the top edge of each side pin and place a pin to mark it. Place the comb underneath the tulle at its markings, with the top edge facing the front of the veil and the teeth facing towards the back. The scoop shape should be down.
Thread the needle and wrap it around the tulle & the comb, starting in the center of the comb. Gently gather the tulle on the right side, bringing the pin you placed to the end of the comb. Wrap the thread around until all the tulle gathers are secured to the comb, knot, & trim the thread. Repeat on the left side of the comb. Remove all the pins. Have your friend place the veil in your hair, and double check how the tulle lays. You can adjust how it is gathered or trim the shape slightly to suit you.
Spread the veil out on the floor. Starting on the side (least noticeable part of the veil) lay out the lace along the edge of the tulle. Lay it so that the lace scallops peek over the edge of the tulle and the tulle is not visible on the bottom, but that the majority of the lace trim is resting on the tulle. Pin the lace trim along the entire edge. If any of the corners are sharp, you may have to trim the lace and match up a new piece to keep the lace smooth and flat along the tulle. Place the veil in your hair and double-check the length & shape of your veil- things may have changed with the weight of the lace. I found it helpful to have my friend adjust the lace while it was on my head so that we could be sure of the symmetry. You can move the lace up in areas if you need to, and trim the excess tulle later. Trim any excess lace after adjustments. Grab a movie and your fabric glue- it’s time to attach the lace! Place dots of glue under each of the thickest bits of lace and then remove the pins as you go. Try gluing the bare minimum of what you think is necessary, then hold up the lace to see if there are any pieces that dangle. Too much glue will slow you down and seep through the tulle, too little glue will leave the lace flapping. I ended up laying down a sheet of aluminum foil to work on so that the glue would not stick as I went. Let the glue dry for 20-30 mins before trying your veil on. The glue dries clear and the lace feels very secure- it even won over my mother who was very afraid of it looking tacky. Wear with pride on your wedding day- your guests will be amazed that your veil is homemade!