Get ready to hate yourself for buying that expensive beaded wedding dress belt, because I’m going to show you how to make one for around $20! And if you haven’t bought one, yet… then you’re in luck!
- beaded trim
- invisible thread (Joann Fabrics $3.99)
- sheer ribbon (Joann Fabrics $2.99)
- pant hook and eye clasp (Joann Fabrics $2.99) ps. I was just made aware that this clasp was meant for pants… oops. Oh well, it worked great!
- elastic band
Tip: Measure! Measure! Measure! You wouldn’t want to spend all this time making a custom belt that didn’t fit, would you? I tried mine on a dozen times throughout this process to be positively sure that it was the correct size.
To start, I bought two lengths of beaded trim from Gloryshouse.com that were about an inch longer than the desired belt length/diameter. Below is the exact trim I used. I actually purchased scrap pieces so I ended up paying about $12 in total for the trim.
Since this trim was 3/4″ wide, I sewed (by hand) the two pieces together to make a belt that was 1.5″ wide. You could sew on a third piece if you want it to be even wider. I used a whip stitch, and with the invisible thread, you won’t be able to see any of the stitches, even if you’re a sloppy sewer.
Check out my lovely drawing of a whip stitch…
And my lovely photoshop skills (no judging, I did this quickly!) of how to sew the two pieces of trim together. (If only I knew back then that I would be blogging about all this stuff… then I could have taken an actual photo… darn.) Keep in mind that you are using invisible thread, so you won’t see any of the stitches, promise.
I bought sheer ribbon that was 1.5″ wide since my belt was the same width. I whip stitched it (by hand) all the way around the sides (yes, this took quite a while to do). Don’t worry about the curves of the belt, the ribbon will conform around it as you sew since it’s so flexible.
Then I attached the first clasp by sewing it. I usually get a little carried away when I sew on clasps and buttons. They’re most likely strong enough to withstand a war.
If you really wanted, you could have sewn the beaded trim onto an extra long piece of ribbon and forgo the clasps altogether, leaving long lengths of ribbon on each side of the belt for tying. This would make the belt easily adjustable and I suppose more like a wedding dress sash. I wanted a custom, made-for-me look so I opted to use the clasps, obviously.
For the other clasp, I first sewed it to the elastic, then I sewed the elastic to the belt. I did this so that it would have a little bit of give when clipping the two clasps together.
Since the beaded trim is unfinished on the ends, it will continue to unravel if you don’t finish them off, meaning you’ll lose all your beautiful beading and then eventually the clasp will come off. Believe it or not, I used my trusty hot glue gun for this part. I know, probably not the most professional way, but it’s clear and blended really well with the color of beading in my belt. You probably wouldn’t have known unless I told you it was hot glue. It also held really well. Here’s a close up of the glued end.
And then a few photos of how it looked when the clasp was fastened…
This is what I call the “beauty shot”. I LOVED this belt. I would wear it every day if I knew people wouldn’t call me out on it. It’s definitely a memorable accessory.
If you’re wondering the designer of my dress, it’s Casablanca style 2043 from the Fall 2011 collection. There isn’t a direct link for it, but you can scroll through to find it. My gown came with a belt, which I thought looked funny and it actually wasn’t the same color as the dress anyway.
Did I mention this belt also looks great paired with casual clothing?
Why am I holding cat dishes you ask? Well I think the real question is, why shouldn’t I be holding these cat dishes? They’re adorable. Although, I can’t take credit for them… they belong to a friend (who made them!).
Oh hey, guess what? I took in those pants in 3 different spots because they were 3 sizes too big. I suppose I should post how I did it. Check back soon and I’ll tell you all about it.
UPDATE (Sept 3o, 2013):
I always love hearing when my readers attempt my projects and recently I received some photos from Theresa of her DIY belt. She did three rows of beading instead of the two I did. Her belt and dress are absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing Theresa and congrats on your wedding!