9 Ways to Recycle a Wedding Dress

Jon Fesmire |

Your wedding dress will be unlike anything you ever purchase. It’s meant for one event only. After your wedding is over, what do you use it for? Sadly, this beautiful dress ends up taking up space in your home or in storage, never to be worn again.

Fortunately, there actually are some creative and generous things you can do with your dress, things that can enhance your memories or help create new memories for others. Here are nine great possibilities.

Wedding Dress Soiree

There is so much you can do with your wedding dress, but first, here’s a way to enjoy wearing it, as-is, one more time.

Throw a party for you and all your married friends who still have their dresses. This could make a great time to reminisce about your weddings. Make hors d’oeuvres, or make it a banquet, and enjoy yourselves. This is also a great opportunity to take memorable photos of you and your best friends in your wedding dresses.

Donate It to a New Bride

We all know that weddings can be expensive. If you like the idea of helping another bride by donating your dress, check out Here Comes the Guide. This organization takes used wedding dresses and matches them to new brides.

Halloween Costumes

Halloween and Christmas are the two most popular holidays in the USA, and we have ideas for both. Your dress could easily be part of an awesome Halloween costume. Go as the bride of Frankenstein, or splatter the dress with washable fake blood and put on your best zombie makeup.

Cut and Dye

Take a good look at your wedding dress and imagine it in parts. You may be able to cut it short, into a skirt, remove some of the frills, dye it a fun color, and turn it into a new sort of dress. This look could be great for semi-formal occasions.

Trash It

While this can ruin the dress in some ways, it can be great fun. If you do this, we encourage you to make a photo shoot out of it, as you can get some great images.

Order some washable paint, get your photographer, put on your dress, get someone to splash paint on you, and go wild. You’ll want to do this somewhere that the paint can get washed away, of course. Alternately, you can get some colored dust, as used in the Indian Festival of Color. You can purchase these packets here in the U.S., and use them instead of paint. The dust also washes out.

Make Christmas Ornaments

Get some clear glass ornaments, and make your own wedding-dress based ornaments with them. Simply take cuttings from your dress and put them into the spheres. This can look great whether the fabric is still white, or if you have done “trash the dress” and you cut out colored sections. Make about a dozen, and you can use them on your Christmas tree every year going forward.

A Variety of Jewelry

Many types of home-made jewelry incorporate pieces of fabric. Check your local craft stores, or craft shops online, for ideas. Necklaces, earrings, and bracelets can all incorporate bits of cloth, and you can cut out pieces of your dress for them. These could make great gifts for your maid of honor and bridesmaids, and you may want to wear a piece yourself.

Garter Belt

Garter belts are a fun tradition in weddings. After the couple gets married, the bride tosses hers backward to all the eligible bachelors. Tradition says that the bachelor who catches it is the next to get married.

Use some cloth from your dress and make a garter belt out of it. The next time you have a friend getting married, give it to her to wear during her wedding, and let her know it came from your dress.

Scrapbook Embellishment

If you like to scrapbook, and want to create a scrapbook of photographs and other memorable items from your wedding, you can use cuttings from your dress for the cover and on various pages. The lace and patterned fabric can make for a gorgeous wedding photo album.

We hope this gives you some great ideas of what to do with your dress after your wedding. Have fun with it!