The most challenging items to creatively reuse are sentimental items, and your wedding dress is often an item that lives in your closet for decades “just in case” you find a use for it. But what if your dress could help another bride? And how could you make your dress something you see every day, rather than something taking up storage space? Get ideas on where to donate or sell your dress, as well as projects to transforms your dress into a keepsake.
This episode was inspired by one of my favorite podcasts – Happier hosted by Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft. This week they responded to a listener asking for advice on what to do with a wedding dress.
Note: My own wedding dress is still in my closet but researching this episode has given me many ideas! My dress was secondhand and I fell in love with it for the soft lace at the shoulders.
Please let me know if you make items from wedding dresses or accessories at email@example.com!
Where to Donate Secondhand Wedding Dresses
Many of these organizations use the profits from the sales to help a charity, so buying a secondhand dress not only saves you money and reduces waste, but it also helps someone else.
- Brides Against Breast Cancer
- Brides Across America – They give a military or first responder bride a free wedding gown
- Brides for a Cause
- Adorned in Grace – Supports organizations to help victims of sexually trafficking
Most only want dresses that are less than five or seven years old. But it’s worthwhile to search for local companies who take older dresses, like the one where I purchased my own dress.
Websites Where Brides Sell Dresses
Creative Reuse Ideas for Wedding Gowns and Accessories
- Artist who specializes in drawing wedding dresses in a frame-able sketch (to make it easier to let go of your gown)
- Angel Gowns which takes wedding gowns and makes gowns for babies who will not come home from the hospital – They are also looking for volunteers to sew and donations for shipping costs.
- Trashmagination’s Pinterest board of craft projects from wedding dresses
- wedding dress lace in a locket
- Wedding dress lace in a frame – some people used it as a background for their wedding invitation in the frame
- Wedding dress lace scarf that wraps around your neck – or a wedding dress scarf that combines lace and t-shirt fabric
- Wedding dress lace earrings if you have lace that has a solid flower, feather or similar shape you can cut out
- Miniature version of your wedding dress which you can frame
Fairy Godmother Creations makes all sorts of items from wedding dresses, including christening gowns, communion dresses, memory bears, doll clothes, purses, pillows, blankets, tree skirts, stockings, tooth fairy pillows and fabric flowers.
Renting Wedding Items
Reduce the impact of your wedding by renting items.
- Happily Ever Borrowed – A wedding accessory rental service, featured in episode 184 of the podcast Side Hustle School
- Rent the Runway – rents designer wedding dresses (check out this interview with the founder of Rent the Runway, Jenn Hyman, on the podcast How I Built This
- Borrowing Magnolia – They send the dresses for you to try on at home.
Share Your Wedding Flowers After the Ceremony
While we are talking about creative reuse at weddings – check out these organizations which pick up your wedding flowers after the event and share them at nursing homes and other places.
- Script for this podcast episode about creative reuse of wedding dresses (not a transcript but gives the main ideas)
- The Trashmagination podcast theme music is Kitchen from the Marian Circle Drum Brigade.