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DIY Cathedral Veil Tutorial

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!

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 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

TIPS BEFORE YOU GET STARTED

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.

HOW TO MAKE A CATHEDRAL VEIL STEP 1

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.

HOW TO MAKE A CATHEDRAL VEIL STEP 2

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.

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.

HOW TO MAKE A CATHEDRAL VEIL STEP 3

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).


HOW TO MAKE A CATHEDRAL VEIL STEP 4

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!

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.


HOW TO MAKE A CATHEDRAL VEIL STEP 5

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!


DIY Cathedral Veil Tutorial

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.

Author: Becky Sappor
Becky is at her happiest when dunking a slightly chilled chocolate digestive into a very warm, very milky cup of tea. She also loves her job and pinches herself every day to make sure that she isn’t in a graphic design dreamworld.

44 thoughts on “DIY Cathedral Veil Tutorial

  1. Yay! I am making the first attempt at mine this weekend so this is perfect timing. Mine is only single tier though so we will see how it goes…

  2. Oh this is just FABULOUS!! The bridal store where I have bought my dress from is letting me have a veil for free, but if they hadn’t I would have definitely made my own. I may still keep this in mind! Thanks Rebecca, great post xxx

  3. Rebecca, totally not veil related but where is your wallpaper from and is it a dove grey colour? Looking for something similar.

    Fabulous veil but they way! hehe. xxx

  4. This is fab – thank you! My mum-in-law has offered to make my veil so this will come in so handy! I think I might also add some lace (from my dress) or a bit of bling x

  5. Ooo please do a birdcage veil!! I’m thinking of having them as little headpieces for my bridesmaids in black. Went to try some on in Selfridges which were £150…..I’m sure you’ll be able to save me some money and they’ll be just as beautiful!! xx

  6. Ha ha Rebecca! It’s not THAT exciting!

    Glad you’re all loving it though, 🙂 I cannot wait to see the first Bride on here who has made her own veil using my tutorial!

    xoxo

  7. Oh and Alex, I forgot to add, the wallpaper is Oriental Garden in Duck Egg from Laura Ashley.

    For greys, they do have a few silvery greys in especially in the special edition and ?Shadow Garden ranges otherwise try some of the specialist brands like Osborne and Little or Cole and Son.

    I’m just planning a revamp of RMW HQ so I’m fairly well up on every different wallpaper know to man at the moment!

    xoxo

  8. Lovely thanks for the wallpaper tips, off to look at those brands now! This blog has it all! Have a good weekend. xXx

  9. Yay!!! Great Tutorial!

    Just for info, i tried a few weeks ago at the Trafford Centre JL and they had no veiling tulle and no combs either 🙁

    In the end i bought one on ebay, cut it off the comb (was stitched on the wrong way for how i wanted it) and stitched it back on!

  10. Rachel – JL Trafford only has upholstery/curtain fabric -you have to go to Cheadle (I think) to get dress making supplies. They did have the combs in yesterday (in Trafford) though.

    I bought mine in the Liverpool JL.

    xoxo

  11. Thanks for this, I will definately be having go. I too want a cathedral length and have been quoted £300 where I got my dress from!!

    Can I ask, the one I tried on had crystals on, can these be bought at John Lewis and also how would people suggest I attatch them?

    x x

  12. Louise, I made a birdcage number for Ascot last year… Obviously my net was more net than tulle but I glued my sequins/crystals on with clear-drying superglue esp for crafting from Hobbycraft. Worked a treat but was pretty fiddly-tweezers at the ready!
    Really interesting post Rebecca, I love doing this kind of thing and find it so satisfying…you must have been so proud when you finished it-and then to get those stunning veil shots as well! Just goes to show it’s definitely worthwhile!
    X

  13. Wish I had seen this in time for my Big Day….. 🙂

    Louise mine had tiny crystals and they were just glued on, looked seamless though, it was only because I had the veil a cm away from my eye inspecting it that I could see!

    Aisling – you should send us the birdcage tutorial!!

    Charlotte xxx

  14. You’re welcome Louise! The crystals and sequins came from the wonderful land of Hobbycraft as well-they come in all different shapes and sizes etc and don’t cost a fortune so it’s easy to get lots and try them out ’til you find the right ones for you!
    Charlotte-I’m planning to get cracking on my W day birdcage this very weekend so I might just do that! (Or I might NEVER be able to make as much sense as Rebecca does in a tutorial, so we’ll see!)
    x

  15. I love DIY! Cannot wait to start making bits and bobs for our wedding! Rebecca your veil looks fab, you must’ve been so chuffed 🙂

  16. Fantastic tutorial! I’m at the beginning of the wedding planning process but making my own veil has always been quite tempting. Nothing ventured, nothing gained… Plus then I can get the hot-fix wand out and play with crystals. 🙂

  17. Great article! I made my own veil as well as I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. Another tip is if you don’t want it so “poofy” is not to sew across the full width of the fabric at measurement B. SO for half the amount of “poof” (for want of a better word!), start sewing about a quarter of the way along, and stop about a quarter of the length before the opposite edge, and just gather that section!

  18. I DID IT… much thanks to YOU!!! My friend asked me to make her a cathedral veil knowing I’d worked with tulle before to make ballerina tutus. I was a little, okay very, uneasy about it until I found your tutorial. Your steps make it so simple! She requested some sparkle so I added swarovski crystals which I just jewel glued and pearls which I hand sewed. It turned out GORGEOUS!!!! Thank you so much for all of your help!!!! I’d love to share photos. How do I do that on your page?

    Sarah

  19. Thankyou for the great tutorial I have just made my veil 🙂 I’m now just waiting on some heat fix Swarovski crystals to arrive to bling it up. I can’t believe how easy it was and such a huge money save too. Thanks

  20. Thank you for this tutorial! Trying to attach a comb to my mum’s veil, I have made dresses before-but we couldn’t get the hang of just sewing a comb on to some netting! Crazy!

    LEB
    Xxx

  21. This was a great tutorial! I just finished cutting and sewing my veil! I will send a picture when I have it completed 🙂 What a huge savings

  22. Thank you do very much. This is the best tutorial I have found for a diy wedding veil. I plan on adding sequence and hand sewn beading to mine. Wish me luck!

  23. Thank you so very much. This is the best tutorial I have found for a diy wedding veil. I plan on adding sequence and hand sewn beading to mine. Wish me luck!

  24. Question: how would someone embellish the bottom of the veil without ruining the tulle? I know tulle is pretty delicate so would adding beads or like a sew on lace trim mess it up?

    1. I have the same question as Bri. I haven’t found any patterns yet online for draping so don’t know if it needs to be cut differently to other veil shapes?

  25. I came across this article 2 years ago when I was newly engaged. I eventually found a veil I wanted, cathedral length and pretty diamantes – downside I was prepared to pay £200 for a bit of net. I remembered your article and sweet talked my mum. In October 2017, my mum and I assembled the materials and followed your instructions to make me a cathedral length veil. We had it made in one afternoon and it was so nice to have something special that mum and I had made together. We then attached diamantes to it as well, this took as long as the veil making! I wore my beautiful veil on my wedding day in late December 2017. Thank you so much for this tutorial, it was so easy to follow!

  26. Wow so easy! Thank you! I wanted a single layer veil though – is there a way to adapt this so it doesn’t have the second layer?

  27. If you add lace to the edges of the veil, would you do that before or after you see the material to the comb?

  28. I could never get this to cut right, so I ended up folding mine in half vertically, then folding in half again horizontally. That’s the only way I could get it to not have a mermaid look

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