Pearls of Wisdom

DIY Wedding Dress Belt

DIY Wedding Dress Belt
by Leslie McLane, Content Development Group, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

You picked your perfect wedding dress. Congratulations! Now it's time to think about your bridal accessories, like a sash. A beaded or rhinestone bridal sash adds bling and personality to your gown, especially if you create a custom design. It's easier than you may think, especially if you follow these instructions.

What You'll Need

What you need to make a bridal belt depends on the types of embellishments you want to attach. For hotfix rhinestones, you'll want a hotfix applicator; for sew-on components and beads, a needle and thread; and for rhinestones or other flat-backed components, glue such as E6000® Jewelry and Craft Adhesive. You'll also need an existing, plain bridal belt or a long, wide strip of ribbon that can be comfortably tied around the waist.

Other items you'll need aside from your embellishments and the appropriate application methods are a Crystal Katana or awl to place and scoot design elements around, and potentially Lacy's Stiff Stuff™ as a backing.

DIY Wedding Dress Belt

Gather your embellishments: beads, rhinestones, sew-on components, buttons, pearls, cupchains, focals, brooches, etc. A brooch works excellent as a main centerpiece or jumping off point for bridal belt designs. Customize your embellishments to fit a wedding theme, too! A spider brooch works excellent for Halloween-themed weddings or cogs and gears for a steampunk wedding. Faux flowers and appliques are also fun to add.
Tie the ribbon or belt around your waist and mark with a pencil where you want the embellishments to start and end. Then lay the ribbon flat on your work surface.
Lay out your embellishments on the ribbon to play around with the layout. Use various styles, textures and sizes of beads and embellishments to achieve the fullness and personalization you want. Hide bead holes with other elements.

Tip: Take a picture of your finished design!
Work in 2-inch sections to glue down your design. Lacy's Stiff Stuff is a great backing for heavier designs to ensure your ribbon can withstand the needle and glue. If there are pieces that require sewing, it's recommended to do those portions first so you don't have to wait for your glue to dry before continuing.

It's also a good idea to add a few "safety stitches" to pieces that are glued down at the end for a little extra security in making sure nothing pops off. If you used Lacy's Stiff Stuff as the backing first, cut off the excess and stitch onto the ribbon at the end. Find out more on ''How to Use Lacy's Stiff Stuff™''.

Let the glue dry and try it on! See if there's anything you want to do differently or some embellishments that seem a little "wiggly" and therefore need a little extra stitch or dab of glue.

There may only be five steps that seem relatively easy, but be sure to take your time. Speed isn't the name of the embellishment game. Especially when it comes to such a special addition to your wedding dress. Have fun with the design and make it personal!

Design with ... Additional Resources ... If you have a question or feedback on this Pearls of Wisdom article, or would like to share your own wedding project idea, please contact us here.
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