17 Creative Ways to Repurpose Your Old Wedding Dress Update 06/2022

After trying on dozens of dresses, you found the one that was perfect for your big day! Afterward, you are left with a dress that you will never wear again. What to deal with outdated wedding dresses? You can find out in this handy advice!

When it comes to selling or donating a wedding dress, these are two of the most common options. Other choices include repurposing the gown for evening dress or for children’s attire. Making quilts, holiday ornaments, album covers, or throw cushions to commemorate the outfit is another way to keep the memories of it close to your heart for years to come.

You’ll find seventeen creative ways to use your old wedding dress in this post. You’ll also learn about the average cost of a secondhand wedding dress. If you decide to recycle your dress, you will also learn how to cut it up.

What To Do With Old Wedding Dress

What To Do With Old Wedding Dress: 17 Ideas

An old wedding gown can be used in a variety of ways, from generating income to serving as a sentimental keepsake. Repurposing your garment into a christening gown is only one of the many creative ways you may use it.

After the whirlwind of a wedding, it’s likely that you’ll want to take a breather and begin your new life with your spouse. When it comes to post-wedding cleanup, you’ll have to write thank-you notes and figure out what to do with your wedding attire!

Consider selling, renting, or donating your gown if you want to pass it on to someone else.

If you can’t bear the thought of parting with the gown you worked so hard and spent so much money on, you might want to try preserving it in some way. If you have a lot of old clothing that you don’t know what to do with yet, there are many creative ways to use it.

There are many good reasons to save your dress, like wearing it again for a special event or even trashing it at a “trash the dress” or “zombie wedding” party!

1. Donate

You may be ready to go with your outfit if you believe, like Marie Kondo, that it has served its purpose and provided you joy. Assuming this is the case, there are numerous deserving organizations that would be happy to accept your wedding gown and redistribute it to a deserving recipient!

Donating your wedding gown is a thoughtful way to share the happiness you experienced on your big day with others. However, many charities require that you get the gown professionally cleaned before donating it. If you remember the fun you had at your wedding reception dancing, you’ll understand why.

A dropbox at Goodwill or the Salvation Army is a quick and easy option if you’re pressed for time. Alternatively, if you’d want to give your gown a more personal touch, you can donate it to a charity that specializes in helping women in need.

A portion of the revenues from the resale of wedding gowns are donated to a charity of the newlyweds’ choosing. Adorned in Grace, for example, donates 100% of its profits to help end human trafficking. There are numerous worthwhile causes that other groups may raise money for, such as a young mother’s hospital.

It isn’t just military wives and cancer survivors who can benefit from a garment from a charitable organization. For military wives and women in the armed forces, Brides Across America gives wedding gowns, as well as Wish Upon a Wedding Dress, which provides garments to women who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.

Donated wedding gowns can also be used to produce funeral gowns for infants, which is an even more heartbreaking option. When a family is going through a really terrible period, this charitable organization can assist bring a little bit of comfort. The Angel Gown and Newborns in Need are two examples of nonprofits that offer this service.

2. Sell

Ideas for old wedding dresses

A wedding gown is often the most expensive purchase a woman will make in her lifetime. If you’ve spent a lot of money on this dress, you may feel like you can’t just toss it in the trash after such a significant investment. Fortunately, there are several simple options to sell your wedding dress and recoup a percentage of its cost!

In some cases, you may even be able to sell the clothing for half its original value. However, there are a number of variables that play a role in this. For the best chance of a rapid sale, have your gown cleaned by a professional and use high-quality images when listing it for sale online.

When it comes to shopping for a wedding gown, Nearly Newlywed and The Knot are two of the most popular venues to do so. In addition to the $25 fee, the site charges a 40% commission on the final sale. However, the corporation handles everything for you, including shipping labels.

However, there are no listing fees or commissions at Wedding Bee, despite the website looking a bit dated. In a classified-style column, you can use this website much like Craigslist to advertise your gown for replies. If you want your gown to stand out from the rest, be sure to add information about the brand or designer, as well as photographs that capture the eye.

If you’re looking for a more low-key way to sell your gown, consider listing it on sites like eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace. Occasionally, local consignment shops take bridal gowns, but they get paid a commission if the gowns are sold.

3. Upcycle to Wear

Making a second life for your wedding gown by repurposing it may be a lot of fun!

Make a lacy sundress, silk kimono, evening wear, or cocktail dress for another special occasion out of your wedding gown, if you’re handy with the needle and thread. If you’d want some advice on how to upcycle your dress, check out the section on how to do it later in this article!

If you prefer, you can hire a company to do the upcycling for you. To give you an example, Unbox the Dress allows you to select from an extensive collection that includes everything from a day dress to a baby’s christening gown. Afterwards, you send in your outfit to be remade by experienced tailors.

4. Upcycle as Kid Clothing

There is nothing wrong with using a piece of your wedding dress as a christening or first communion gown for your future kid, especially when you are expecting one or already plan to have children in the future. Other delightful ideas for a baby girl are lace headbands and a particular silky blanket for a newborn.

Sewing skills are required, but the great thing about upcycling a grown-up outfit into children’s clothes is that you will have plenty of material because children’s clothes are so much smaller! This is also a wonderful method to pass on the significance of your wedding to future generations.

5. Rent

Uses for old wedding dresses

If you’re looking to make money off of your wedding dress, you may want to consider renting it. Rather than a one-time sale, this provides a steady flow of cash! In order to get the most out of renting, though, you’ll have to put in some effort.

The rental procedure can be facilitated by a wide range of companies. You may list your dress on sites like Rent My Dress and Borrowing Magnolia, which operate similarly to AirBnB. When you list your wedding gown as a vacation rental, people can hire it for an agreed-upon period of time.

6. Dye It

There are plenty of colorful colors to choose from if you wish to wear your dress outside of the wedding season. You could dye your dress if this is the case. Your wedding gown can be transformed into an eye-catching crimson evening gown or a bright blue sundress if you so desire!

The problem is that many modern bridal gowns are composed of polyester satin, a synthetic fabric. Disperse dyes can occasionally be used to re-dye synthetic fabrics, although it’s not always possible.

If you want to dye your dress, you must use a dye that is compatible with the type of fabric it is made of, otherwise, it will not turn out as expected.

7. Preserve

A well-cared-for wedding gown will keep its luster for many years to come with proper cleaning and storage. Preserving a bridal gown was a common practice for decades before to today. This made sense because moms frequently passed down dresses to daughters, who would subsequently change the garment and wear it again and again.

This is a lot less likely these days. However, this does not imply that you should discard your gown! In order to maintain this gown in the event that you ever want to wear it again or gaze at it, you may want to store it in a safe, preserved setting.

Before you can preserve your dress, you’ll need to take it to a bridal gown cleaner. This service is available at some dry cleaners. Immediately after the wedding, the gown should be washed to prevent sweat and food stains from ruining the delicate fabric.

To prevent oxidation, you’ll need to put your clothing in an airtight container. This is similar to rusting, but it’s caused by exposure to the elements!

Finally, if you store your garment in a cool, dry spot that isn’t moist, it will last the longest possible period.

8. Display

Upcycled wedding dress

Wedding gowns are pieces of art that need a great deal of time and effort to create. As a result, many brides choose to keep their wedding gown as a memento of their big day.

Framing only the bodice and a bit of the veil, as well as accessories like headbands or special gloves, are some of the simplest ways to show off your wedding gown. You can take out just the dress’s laces, buttons, or other distinguishing features and then frame that square of fabric as an alternative display approach.

Alternatively, if you wish to showcase the entire gown, you can purchase custom shadow boxes for dresses! This is a pricey option, but if you have a large walk-in closet, it will look fantastic in your bedroom!

9. Keepsakes

Making souvenirs out of your old wedding gown is a creative way to recycle it. For yourself or as a gift for your parents and other family members, this is a great way to save a lasting memory of your wedding day.

This is a blank canvas for your imagination. Using the clothing to make a memory quilt is becoming increasingly popular. When it comes to producing lace-filled glass ornaments for the holiday season, or even for future weddings (like rings for the bride and groom’s future children), it’s easy to get carried away.

Make your own keepsakes if you enjoy crafting. Once Upon a Time Creations, for example, will take the fabric from your wedding gown and turn it into a souvenir for you if you like!

10. Pillows

Consider making a decorative pillow out of the fabric from your wedding gown if you’d like to keep it around as a keepsake in your house. The lace or ribbons from your dress can be used as a final touch on your fancy throw pillows!

Plus, even if you’ve never sewn before, a square pillow cover is simple to put together.

11. Gifts

Repurposing your wedding gown as homemade gifts for the people you care about is an especially thoughtful approach to repurpose it.

Make satin teddy bears for the children who acted as your flower girls and ring bearers. For the bridesmaids, you may make little drawstring purses to carry their jewelry. Your parents, grandparents, or other family members could receive a beautiful Christmas ornament made of fabric hearts this year thanks to you.

For both men and women, monogrammed handkerchiefs could be a wonderful present. Using the rosettes or ribbons from your dress, you could even create padded clothing hangers!

12. Jewelry

Why not turn your garment into an attractive souvenir, such as a necklace or a set of earrings, instead of conserving the complete thing?

Dangle lace earrings can be made with a few simple craft tools, including fabric adhesive. You may use a snap-shut glass pendant to hold a little circle of satin or lace from your dress. You could even use resin to enclose a piece of lace or cloth to create beautiful jewelry if you’re a skilled crafter!

Even if you aren’t a skilled jeweler, you may find jewelers on Etsy who will manufacture custom pieces from your garment if you send them a sample.

13. Hand Bag

Make a handbag or clutch purse out of lace and fabric to keep your wedding in your mind. What better way to remember your special day than to have a piece of your wedding gown with you for the rest of your life?

You can easily build a simple beach bag-style handbag at home if you have the time and patience. If you’d rather, you can have your garment turned into a purse by a professional. After the Knot, an Etsy shop, specializes in this type of service.

14. Album Cover

Make your wedding photos even more memorable by using your wedding dress as an album cover. You can make one for yourself, or you can make one for your bridal party members as a keepsake!

In this case, opening the book brings back memories of your wedding day by allowing you to touch your dress as you relive your big day.

15. Keep as Costume

Consider changing your old wedding dress into a costume if you’d like to use it in a more creative way. When not in use as a costume for your children, you can keep the gown in storage and let them use it when they want to dress up.

Keep it for next year’s Halloween. Frankenstein’s bride could be yours for the taking. Dress up like a Renaissance princess, Cinderella, or even Glenda the Good Witch and you’ll be ready to go.

Donating your gown may also be an option for those who have experience in the theater. There are wardrobe masters in many theaters that can transform your garment into a costume for a variety of different roles!

16. Keep for Special Occasion

You may imagine that your wedding dress would only be worn once on your big day. However, if you’re a fan of huge romantic gestures, you may keep your attire for a future event!

If you and your significant other are celebrating your first anniversary, you may plan a romantic date night for the occasion. A romantic candlelight meal is the perfect opportunity to wear your wedding gown.

You could also hang on to your outfit for a much longer period of time if you wanted to. For a “renewing your vows” ceremony on your 25th or even 50th wedding anniversary, bring it out of storage!

17. Trash It

Don’t read on if the thought of ruining your beautiful garment makes you squirm! After the big day is done, some brides enjoy the cathartic catharsis of trashing their wedding gowns in a “trash the dress” party. It’s not uncommon for this to entail squirting paint or squirting tomatoes at the dress!

Your wedding dress might potentially serve as the highlight of a “zombie wedding” themed celebration. The best zombie makeup is a must, so have your guests show up in their own wedding gowns or maids of honor attire.

How Much Can I Sell My Wedding Dress For?

Used wedding dresses are valued according to a variety of characteristics, such as the gown’s age, designer or brand, and overall quality. Wedding dresses that are less than two years old and in excellent condition might sell for up to half of their original price. If you have a designer gown, you may be able to collect as much as 60% to 70% of the original price!

Consider selling your mother’s wedding dress if you want to make some money. A sadder scenario is getting divorced and no longer wishing to cherish the memories that wearing your wedding gown brings with it. Even though vintage fashions can come back into style, you may not get as much of the initial price back in these circumstances because your older dress is probably not in the current fashion trends–though it’s possible!

To get an idea of how much a dress like yours will cost, search eBay or Etsy for dresses that are comparable in age, style, and brand to yours. If you decide to put your dress up for sale, this will give you a good indication of how much it will go for.

If you’re still unsure, you can use a tool like this one to estimate the cost of a wedding gown.

You can boost your chances of a successful sale by having your clothing properly cleaned, regardless of how old it is. The gown can be staged for shots by a professional photographer before being posted online.

How to Cut Up a Wedding Dress to Upcycle It

Maintaining the gown’s most important features as you dismantle it is the most important part of upcycling a wedding dress. Here are a few pointers to help you out:

  • Make a list of the adornments you intend to maintain before you begin. Is the lace-up bodice’s back gonna be framed in a shadow box? So, if that’s the case, don’t tear it apart; just make a frame out of that section and hang it on your wall!
  • Remove the stitches that keep the gown together with a seam ripper. If you’re patient enough, you’ll be rewarded with a dress that’s been cut up into its original portions. To retain the largest parts of fabric, another option is to take a pair of sharp sewing scissors and cut extremely close to the seams.
  • You should think about how you want the finished product to look before you begin. The amount of fabric needed to construct a bouquet wrapper is rather small, however the amount of fabric needed to make a first communion outfit is substantial.
  • If you’re making jewelry out of some of the lace, you may be able to remove the lace or other ornamental components without tearing up the dress at all if you’re planning on making anything small. Even if you don’t use it, you can still upcycle the gown.


Your vintage wedding dress can be used in a variety of ways. Your gown can be turned into a variety of gifts, including teddy bears, baby outfits, or quilts of fond memories, should you choose to keep it. Renting or selling your gown is one option for generating revenue, while donating it to a good cause is another.

In the end, there are countless uses for your vintage wedding gown. Wedding gowns can be preserved in a variety of ways, including a shadowbox display of the entire garment. There are several that allow you to hold a “Trash the Dress” party with your dress.

Has the thought of repurposing your old wedding gown struck you as a necessary evil? Do you intend to keep it or use it in a new way? Let us know what you think by commenting below!

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