I was looking for a simple veil with crystal beading for my wedding but was astonished by how expensive veils could be! So I set out to make my own veil, headpiece or anything I can think of for the wedding including invites, favours and table decorations. Before I started making the veil, I read Veiled in Beauty and A-Z Bead Embroidery. ‘Veiled in Beauty’ explains how different veil types are cut from cathedral length to birdcage. It also shows examples on how to finish the edge of the veil. Although the styling shown in the book is super 80s, the information still stands.
The materials I used for making the veil include:
- 50″long x 60″wide Tulle Veiling Fabric (I think it’s also called bridal illusion)
- 3″Clear Plastic Comb or Metal Comb (My hair stylist told me afterward that metal comb is much better as it can be bent to suit the hair style)
- Swarovski Creamrose Light 3mm Pearls
- Swarovski Bicone Clear 4mm Crystals (The number of pearls and crystals required depend on your design which I’ll explain later.)
- Japanese Kimono Silk Thread to match the colour of the tulle fabric
Measured the length of the veil. I wanted a fingertip length veil so I measured 3″ down from the top of my head to my fingertips. I also wanted a single layer veil but it needs to be quite full. I draped the tulle over my back and decided the width of the veil which is about 60″. Cut out a rectangular tulle fabric piece and fold the tulle fabric along its centre lengthwise. Cut the end of the fabric in an arc like the diagram below. I’ve seen scalloped edge in purchased one, so I suppose you can cut scalloped edge too.
Before you unfold the tulle, use a baby ribbon (or anything in hand) to tie a knot at the centre of tulle fabric’s bottom cut edge. This will make sure that the beading which will be done later is centred to the veil. Set the sewing machine to its longest stitch length. Sew along the top edge of the tulle fabric 3 times for gathering.
Pull the bobbin threads to gather the top edge of the veil. This takes a bit of time because you’ll need to fit 60″ of tulle into 3″ to fit the comb’s length.
Take a strip of scrap tulle cut crosswise (so it stretches). Wrap it around the top of the comb like so. Secure with a knot. Trim.
Take the gathered veil and lay it over the comb’s back like so. Stitch the veiling to the comb.
Sew pearls and crystals onto the edge of the veil individually (breath in because it’s going to take forever!). Using double matching colour silk thread, take the needle from the wrong side of the veil to the right side and do a loop. I used orange thread for the demonstration here.
Take a pearl (or crystal) and thread it through so it sits on the right side of the veil. Take the needle down to the wrong side so the thread is under the pearl. Bring the needle up again and repeat at least twice.
When the pearl feels secured, take the needle down to the wrong side again. I cut one side of the thread leaving the other end still threaded through the needle.
Take the needle (with one thread attached) to the veil’s right side and down again. Tie a double knot at the veil’s wrong side.
Repeat Step 6 to 9 forever until you’re done! I used 1 crystal for every 3 pearls and spaced them about 1″ apart. I didn’t count how many pearls or crystals I used but surely it had taken at least 16 man hours to sew them.
I hope the instruction is clear. Good luck if you’re going to make a DIY veil!