I very nearly didn’t have a veil. I searched around for a cheap birdcage veil, decided I could make one much cheaper (can’t be that hard right?). It became one of those projects that kept getting pushed further and further back, until it was a few days before the wedding and I still hadn’t gotten any further than cutting up a piece of French netting. A friend bet me that I wouldn’t get it done and would end up buying one; that gave me the drive to finish it off and prove him wrong! It isn’t hard, but getting the shape just so can be pretty tricky. I’m not sure any actual milliners would approve of my veil. But I loved it, it cost just a few dollars and I think it provided that bit of balance to my wedding outfit.
For those who are interested in making their own birdcage veil, here’s what you need:
- 1 yard of 9″ French or Russian netting – I bought mine from fancygoods on Etsy for $4 per yard
- white and clear thread
- some kind of comb to attach it to
- bobby pins to keep it in place in your hair
I followed this tutorial on The Dapper Bun, which is the most clear one I found for this sort of gathered side birdcage veil (I also found a tutorial for a bandeau style veil on Wedding Chicks). The main gist is to cut a semi-circle out of your netting – start largish and trim as you need to – then gather it using thread along the round edge. It sounds simple, but getting the shape and size just right takes some time, and a lot of undoing, trimming, rethreading and then the same over again. Once you have a shape that you’re happy with, sew the gathered edge to a comb – I had a silver slide comb with diamontés (from a pharmacy), and just sewed the netting to it with clear thread. I had to use extra pins to make the veil sit the way I wanted on my head, as I wanted the gather to be right on the side of my head above my side bun. I’m not sure if a store bought one would have the same issue?
Overall I’m really glad I decided to make my veil – the nice ones seem to cost upwards of $50, even online, whereas I managed to make mine for less than $15. I also managed to tweak it to just the shape that I was after, and felt rather smug for having made it myself. If you’ve got a crafty bone in your body I’d say give making your own birdcage veil a shot!