I was one of those brides who got the opportunity to have two weddings to the same guy (on separate continents, several months apart). For the second one, I had much more time to prepare, so I decided that I’d try to add a bit of excitement to my attire by making a birdcage veil.
Although I enjoy crafting, I had no idea what I was doing, so I relied heavily on several other DIYers, mixing and matching aspects I liked from the different veils they did.
I began by gathering my veiling and attaching it to a hair comb like 17apart did. I used 9 inch wide millinery netting from JoAnn Fabrics, about 25 inches long, and a 4 inch hair comb (I started off with a 2 inch comb but it didn’t stay in place as well as the 4 inch one, and I didn’t want to have to rely too much on bobby pins).
I wanted a flower for the headband, and I wanted it to be large and three dimensional. At first I used the wispy fabric flower tutorial from fafafoom, but although it was really cute, I thought it might not fit the style of my dress. I ended up choosing daisyclub23‘s fold-and twist style of rose because it went better with my dress, covered up its own frayed edges, and was pretty easy to make:
The only thing to note that I did differently is that I used two different kinds of fabric strips (one lace and one organza, laid flat right on top of each other and following the same steps in the fold and twist pattern as the tutorial) to add volume and variety to the look of the flower. When I was done folding and twisting, I sewed through the finished flower to make sure it didn’t unravel.
Then I had to decide what I wanted to place around the flower to cover up the rest of the hair comb. I knew I wanted my embellishments to involve lace and pearls to go with my dress, but none of the appliqués I found online looked like they’d fit the size of my comb or the style I was going for. I found sprigs of organza flowers with faux pearls in the center (at Michaels craft store) which I used to hug my main central flower, and I decided to make my own leaves out of the same lace as my flower, following the tutorial at jennysbuttonjar.
I laid the small flower sprigs and leaf sprigs up next to the hair comb to figure out how long this little embellishment needed to be, then twisted the ends of all their stems together to make a solid embellishment base for the main flower to nestle into the middle:
Next I covered up the messy-looking wire with a strip of lace. This would also serve as a backdrop for my main flower, so there wouldn’t appear to be major gaps between flowers and leaves:
But when I put it all together, I still wasn’t fully satisfied with the look. I felt it needed some flash or bling or something extra fancy to make it look more bridal. A few more pearls, I thought, and maybe sticking out from underneath the flowers, like sprigs of pearls. Everything at the craft stores either didn’t look “spriggy” enough or looked cheap, so I decided to design and make my own. I bought a small string of glass pearl beads and some thin jewelry wire, and I twisted them into the kind of sprigs I was going for:
This is the only part I didn’t have someone else’s tutorial for. Here is how I made them:
- Clip off a piece of wire, several inches long.
- String a bead through to the center and then twist the wire together for about half an inch. This is the end point of your sprig.
- String a bead down the length of one of the wire ends towards the first bead, stopping short of the main “stalk” by about half an inch. Bend the wire back on itself.
- Twist this side of doubled-back wire like you did for the first bead.
- Repeat steps 3-4 for the other side of the sprig, and twist the rest of your wire together to finish the stalk. Now you have the most basic sprig!
If you want to make slightly more complex sprigs, follow steps 1-5, then add the following for each side of your sprig, feeling free to vary the placement of each side sprig so they’re not always lined up:
- String another bead down the length of the wire, stopping short about an inch or two (depending on how long you want the side sprig to be) from the stalk. Bend the wire back on itself.
- Twist this doubled-back wire, but only half-way back to the stalk.
- Bend the wire back again and string another bead.
- Bend the wire back one more time and twist the two sides of wire together.
- Repeat the previous two steps for the other side of this side sprig.
- Twist the wire together at the bottom section of this side sprig, then when the two wires meet at the main stalk, twist them together and your sprig is done! Unless you want more side sprigs, in which case you just repeat the last six steps until you have enough side sprigs to achieve the look you’re going for.
After I finished my pearl sprigs, I sewed them onto the underside of my small flower/leaf sprigs and my main flower:
Then I sewed the main flower into the middle:
The only thing left to do now was sew the whole flower configuration to the hair comb, and voila! The birdcage veil of my dreams!
I’m grateful to all the DIY’ers I linked throughout this post, for their generosity in offering their tutorials for free. I hope that mine might do the same someday for another penny-pinched, crafty bride!