Today we're going to show you how to put together a DIY Cathedral Veil with two tiers and plenty of 'pouff' for less than £15. Although wrangling all that fabric may seem like this could be a complicated tutorial, you'll soon see that this is incredibly easy, inexpensive and straightforward.

DIY Cathedral Veil Tutorial

This is really easy... You'll see!

  • A clear plastic comb - often sold in pairs you can find these at most bargain shops like Home Bargain or B&M's. Or if you want to order online you'll find them at Amazon and Claire's.
  • White, ivory or any other colour you fancy/can find tulle. Have a hunt online and you'll fall down a rabbit hole of colours and textures, sparkly and plain.
  • Needle and thread to match the colour of your tulle.
  • Very sharp scissors
  • Some pins, for marking out
  • A safety pin
To measure how much tulle you need for your veil first decide: A. How long you want it to be (ie. to the length of your train, floor-length etc. B. If you want a second layer on top to have over your face or create layers at the back. Measure from where you imagine your veil will be placed on the head, (ie. the top, behind your hair-do etc), down your back to the place you imagine it stopping. In most cases, this will be the end of your dress's train or floor length. You may need some assistance and an extra pair of hands here. Don't forget to let the tape measure go loose as the veil will not hang straight down. Let's call this measurement (A) If you will be putting the veil over your face you will need a second measurement, (B) taken from the same place on your head forwards and down to where you want it to hang, typically elbow length or fingertip length. If you think you won't put the veil over your face, you may still want the veil to have a second layer. So, measure from the top of your head backwards again, to where you want the second layer to fall. A + B + 1m = your finished length to buy. 1m extra may seem excessive but it should give you the confidence to snip away at it and leave room for error. Plus with the price of tulle, it's a few pounds extra worth spending.  Double-check the width your tulle comes in. You're aiming for around 180cm to ensure a full veil, but one that's not drowning you.
Step 1

Lay the tulle out on the largest (very clean) floor you have and flatten it all out straight.  Fold the tulle in half along its length as shown above. Starting at one end, measure length B and put a safety pin in the tulle as a marker (shown below). This is where your comb will eventually go.

diy cathedral veil 2021-03.jpg

Step 2

This is where you shape the veil to get a lovely rounded edge. With the veil still folded in half measure the width of the tulle (as shown by the arrow below.) Then measure that same width measurement from the end of the veil and put a pin in the side where the 2 edges meet. Now continue putting pins in freehand to form a nice sweeping arc like a quarter circle, as shown below. If you don't trust yourself 'freehand' you could use a pencil on the folded side, with a bit of string or cotton the width of the folded veil and make a kind of makeshift compass to guide you.Now bite the bullet and carefully cut outside the pins, along the line you have marked out, to create a smooth line. A tip here is not to make full snips and don't close the scissors as you cut - this will help you to keep the edges smooth rather than making ragged snags. When you open out the veil you should have a smoothly rounded end! If you spy any flat edges or wonky sections, carefully cut tiny slivers off until you're happy with the shape.

diy cathedral veil 2021-04.jpg

Step 3

Now repeat the stages of Step 2 at the other end of the veil, to round off the other end, as shown by the dotted markings below right. After rounding off both ends, unfold the veil to reveal an elongated half semi-circle at both ends of your rectangle of fabric. You should still have your safety pin in to mark where the comb will go.

diy cathedral veil 2021-05.jpg

Step 4

Now re-check the distance between your pin and the top end of the veil (measurement (B) ) just in case with all the snipping it got a little shorter! If you are happy with that length, next you need to take your needle and thread - use a double length of cotton that needs to be very long - about 50 cms, and loosely sew across the width of the veil at the point of Measurement (B).Leave some thread loose at the starting side and if you start to run out of thread as you are going across, scrunch up the fabric to make it go further. When you have sewn all the way across, push the tulle down together along the thread, until the whole width of fabric is gathered into the width of your comb - about 10cms. Now you will start to see the veil taking shape!

diy cathedral veil 2021-06.jpg

Step 5

Now that the tulle is gathered up, secure the ends of your threads by either tying a knot or making a couple of oversewn stitches at each end of the gathering. Now fold the shorter part of the veil over to lie on top of the longer part and hey presto, you have your veil. All that remains is to sew the veil onto your comb.

diy cathedral veil 2021-07.jpg

Step 6

To sew the veil onto the comb, line your 10cm area of gathering up along the comb - on top of it, with the top of the comb in line with the top of your gathering. Sew big loops around the top of the comb, at every second tooth gap, with several loops at each interval. Do this along the width of the comb and secure at the end. Make sure that the sections you take of the veil are very small - just around the line of thread you have gathered up, so as not to create a pucker in the veil when it is brought forward over the face, should you wish to do so. You might think this looks a bit messy but in fact, the gathered tulle will cover up any odd or white stitching that you are doing and when the veil is in place in your hair, you won't see it at all. And congratulations. You've just made your very own veil. Didn't we tell you this would be the easiest DIY cathedral veil tutorial on the planet?! All you have to do now is try it on!


Optional Step 7

Now that you've got a beautiful DIY cathedral veil, you can either stick with a classic, minimal look. Or you can go wild with trims, embellishments and sparkles. You'll find lots of haberdashery extras to adorn your veil on Etsy should you wish to do so. And that's it.  If however, you've got to the end of this post and thought, "Nah, not for me. Point me to the professionals", you'll find some of the most spectacular veils known to woman on our handpicked supplier directory, The List.

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Becky Sappor

Written by Becky Sappor

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