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Always a Bridesmaid Never a Bride: How To Reuse Those Lonely Dresses

I've done a lot of wedding coverage for brides, but I was thinking how many of us are bridesmaids so many more times than we are brides - and how we all end up with many of those dreaded bridesmaid dresses.

So what to do? I've put together a couple of ideas for ways to recycle all those bridesmaid dresses collecting in your closet, and please - if you have any more ideas, do share!

  • If you're crafty, Blueprint Magazine has five great ways to rework the dress - giving it a little makeover, shall we say. Think painted maxi-skirt, strapless bubble dress, and more!

  • Or if you'd rather have a great home decoration than another piece of clothing, Home & Garden TV has a how-to on turning the dress into a decorative lampshade or photo album cover - for real! Another site has a how-to on transforming the dress into pillow slipcovers.
  • If you're not so crafty, you can always take the dress to the tailor and get the hem altered to cocktail length, or the sleeves taken off so that the dress becomes a sleeveless sheath. There are a million possibilities, especially if your tailor is willing to collaborate and give you advice!
  • But if you just really can't stand the thing, can't even stand to look at it any more, consider donating it to The Princess Project, or a similar organization that collects prom dresses for high school girls in your area. That way the dress will be going to good use!


Join The Conversation
wakeupandora wakeupandora 9 years
i made a pet bed out of my scarlet red strapless dress. it was gaudy as a dress but scratch-tastic as a cat bed!
d_ford d_ford 10 years
LaLaLurie, that sucks! Bridesmaid dresses aren't cheap. I forked over $200 for my bridesmaid dress, not including the shoes. I would have been so mad if the wedding was called off. Being a bridesmaid is ridiculously expensive, I spent over $700 dollars, and I will NEVER be able to wear the dress again. It's hanging up in a closet at my mum's house.
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
I just bought a bridesmaid dress and now the wedding has been canceled. Maybe I'll try one of these ideas!
Nickey Nickey 10 years
The Princess Project is a great idea!
smartypantssugar smartypantssugar 10 years
I wore a blue bridesmaid dress with devil horns and a tail for Halloween. I was a devil in a blue dress. I actually won a prize that year! It's even funnier considering that the bride was a complete devil and actually cursed out her bridesmaids in the middle of the reception for decorating the getaway car. At least I got something out of that whole wedding ordeal.
Candace04 Candace04 10 years
The Princess Project is a really wonderful idea. Personally the bridesmaids dresses I have picked out are TOTALLY reusable, they're this fantastic strapless brown and black lace number with a knee-length hem and empire waistline. Very flattering and the type of dress any gal would wear to a dinner date. I would never force my best girlfriends to purchase one of those ugly coverall satin burlap sacks. I HATE those damn things. I don't understand why any bride chooses to include them in their wedding party!
rb24 rb24 10 years
I used the bridesmaid dresses from my cousins wedding for pillows. The dresses were horrible but made out of a beige raw silk material. It made gorgeous pillows for my couch
Tech Tech 10 years
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