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Wedding Wednesday- Keepsake Garter

Wedding Wednesday

Today's Wedding Wednesday is going to a little bit different! For my last wedding DIY (don't worry, I have a few other wedding related things to share over the next couple of weeks), I'm sharing the garter I wore on my wedding day... but I'm going to let my mom share it with you! :)

When I was looking for a garter, I explored everywhere! I didn't like the ones I saw in bridal shops. They were too traditional for me. I ended up finding several on Etsy that I was in love with. I thought they were so beautiful, with lace and pretty chiffon flowers, but when I showed them to my mom, she didn't seem to like any of them! I was so confused because she had been on board with every one of my ideas throughout wedding planning, so I couldn't understand why she suddenly didn't like anything I liked! Eventually, I ordered one anyway. When it arrived, I showed it to my mom and she seemed pretty disinterested! Little did I know, she had her own plan up her sleeves!!!

Wedding Wednesday- DIY Keepsake Garter made from mother's wedding dress!
On the morning of the wedding, I woke up and before I left the hotel room, my mom presented me with a small gift box. Inside the box was a beautiful garter that my mom had made out of her own wedding dress! I was so blown away by how sweet and thoughtful it was. The silly little tradition of wearing an elastic band around your thigh on your wedding day suddenly had so much more meaning. Suddenly, I was going to be wearing an heirloom! I couldn't imagine a better, more meaningful gift from my mom! 

Wedding Wednesday- DIY Keepsake Garter made from mother's wedding dress!
So, I'm going to let you hear from the sweet woman who made my garter. She's no DIY blogger, but I like to think I get some of my craftiness from her :) She even took a few photos during the process! It's like she somehow magically knew that one day I was going to have a craft blog!
So..... Hi, Mom!! :)



When it came to using my wedding dress, I didn't decide lightly. After all, it is my wedding dress, no matter how simple and small my wedding was. I really wanted to do something special for both of my daughters, but I only have one dress, and I don't really have anything else that has such meaning.  

People don't pass down their wedding dresses like they used to, so I thought maybe I could make something old with the sash. When I started looking at the dress and saw the lace and the buttons, I thought of a garter. I looked online at garters. Today's garters are beautiful, but my lace was something I would have to gather because it was not stretchy like today's lace.

I searched YouTube for a how-to on making a garter. I don't have a sewing machine so I asked my friend, Tery, to help me.  She had never done anything like this so we worked as team. 
 
I cut the lace I wanted to use off of the dress, then cut the satin sash. I removed a few of my buttons as well. I wanted to use the colors of the bridesmaids dresses, so I used the same fabric from the birdhouse decorations with the same chiffon flower technique. I bought some pretty beading to go on the flowers, but I ended up using the buttons from my dress, an old pin from an elderly lady who had been married for 50 years, ( I thought it might be good luck!) and one of the pretty buttons I had bought. 



Wedding Wednesday- DIY Keepsake Garter made from mother's wedding dress!

I wanted something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. The something blue is on the inside on the little note that says "Handmade by Mom." The something borrowed was my friend Tery helping with the sewing part. 

The tutorials were all very similar, so it was easy to follow. The one thing I learned was not to make it as big as the directions state, maybe an inch shorter. You can always make it smaller by gathering and resewing the feed area.   

Steps:
  • Cut the fabric and elastic to size (The sources I found state 1.5 to 2 times your thigh measurement)
  • Make a tube of the ribbon or sash by folding it in half and sewing the outer edges together
  • Sew the lace to the ribbon
  • Insert elastic into the ribbon tube you have made
  • Bring ends together and hand sew elastic together to close up the hole
  • Decorate with embellishments of your choice.  
Wedding Wednesday- DIY Keepsake Garter made from mother's wedding dress!

It really was simple and only took an hour because we didn't know what we were doing at first. The decorating I did at home, and that took a little time because I kept retrying different ideas.

I really think it is a lovely idea that has meaning for moms and what they can do with their dress that is just in a bag somewhere. They just have to take a deep breath and know that it is just as special as handing down a dress. And if they have a train it probably wont even be noticeable with the little bit of fabric that is actually used.

I hope it was as special to you as it was for me to give it to you. 

Wedding Wednesday- DIY Keepsake Garter made from mother's wedding dress!

Thanks, Mom! I love you! Isn't she wonderful? She's given me a little piece of her own wedding day to cherish forever! I can't even tell you how special this is to me!
Andddd she totally avoided making me look like an 80's chick ;) But look at what a beautiful and happy bride my momma was!!

Wedding Wednesday
Pete are I are blessed to have strong foundations to build our marriage on with two rock solid families to love and support us! We couldn't be more thankful for both his parents and my parents and the loving example they have both given us!

See our wedding page for more DIY wedding crafts! Check out Anna Kerns Photography for more beautiful DC-MD-VA weddings!
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15 comments

  1. Aw, this had me tearing up! So sweet! What a beautiful keepsake and memory!

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  2. What a wonderful post from your sweet Mom! I never did see the finished garter...it looks amazing. It was such a great idea and she did a beautiful job!!

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    1. Thank you, Tery! She did an amazing job! Thank you for being such a wonderful friend to her :)

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  3. Aw this is so sweet! We had my seamstress do something similar with my mom's dress and a couple other heirlooms! It's the perfect something old :) Awesome job, Mom!

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    1. It was definitely a perfect something old :) Thanks, Bre!

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  4. I love this!! The garter is beautiful and the fact that it was made from your moms wedding dress makes it even more special. My mom threw out her wedding dress when we were kids, and when I got married a few years ago we were wishing she had kept it so we could've done something like this. Such a wonderful keepsake!!

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    1. It makes me definitely want to hold on to my dress for my future children!!! :)

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  5. Great job on the guest blogging, Mom! I can't wait to see my own garter one day! ;)

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  6. Aw, so so sweet! Your mom is so wonderful, Nicole. And what a crafter! I don't think I could make a more beautiful garter. What special meaning! Love this wonderful story of love :)

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    1. Thanks, Erica! I definitely get my crafty genes from her!

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  7. So sweet! What a beautiful garter and thoughtful gift! Love everything about this post :)

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  8. This is the sweetest, most endearing thing ever! Such a perfect way for your mom to incorporate her dress. It's beautiful! :)

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