Wedding Dress Pillows

Repurpose Your Wedding Dress Into a Family Treasure

Eunice's Wedding Photo
Eunice’s Wedding Photo

By: Shaaron Chambers

What to do with that wedding dress that has been covered and hanging in the closet or packed carefully away wrapped in acid-free tissue paper.

Do you hold onto it as is for years to come for all the memories it holds? Or would you like to bring it out and do something creative with it? Wouldn’t it be nice to have it in view so you can relive that memorable day all the time?

There are a lot of things you can create with such special fabric. Here is just one idea.

My dear friend and the fraternal grandmother to our twin granddaughters called me with a wonderful and exciting craft idea.

There should be another more eloquent word than “craft” to explain it. How about couture project? Sounds good to me.

She wanted pillows, five to be exact, made from her beautiful 1950’s vintage wedding gown. I jumped at the privilege to do this for her and for our mutual granddaughters.

The dress was sent to me and I first did a very gentle cleaning.

Then it was time to take the dress completely apart. Next I pressed all the fabric. In this case I had satin taffeta, yards and yards of tulle, ornate wide lace and several lace covered buttons.

I was determined to use every element of the dress but felt compelled to make each pillow unique. They would be going to her four granddaughters as gifts and one she would keep for herself.

After the dress was cleaned, in pieces and pressed, I decided on a pattern for each pillow.

Sketching them on paper, I made sure each one would be different and incorporate all of the different elements. It is much easier to change things around at this point than later, so careful planning was very important.

Next I selected an off white poly/cotton blend for the backing material.

I didn’t try to match the original dress color as it had changed somewhat with age and was no longer lily white.

Then for each pillow back panel, a picture from the wedding was imprinted and I inscribed the wedding date under the photo with a very fine fabric pen in pink to go with her wedding color.

There are several ways to transfer photos to fabric. You can find stores that will do it for you or you can DIY. Be sure to find a process that does not simply iron a rubbery sheet on such as are sold for tee-shirt transfers.

To do it yourself, the best options are:

You can see a picture of the dress as it once was at the top of the page. Didn’t she make a beautiful bride?

Wedding Dress Pillow #1

Wedding Dress Pillow Variation One
Wedding Dress Pillow Variation One

This pillow was done in a collage form.

Pieces of lace, satin, buttons and tulle are randomly sewn together with decorative stitching and pieces of matching trims.

There is a flower made from the lace and a small bouquet made from ribbon. One area is machine quilted.

Small touches of pink here and there and tiny pearls also adorn it.

Wedding Dress Pillow #2

Wedding Dress Pillow Variation Two
Wedding Dress Pillow Variation Two

This pillow was first covered in satin with tulle over the top and then tiny drops of 3D fabric paint in pearl were added.

The center is a three layer rosette made from the wide lace with the covered buttons as the center.

To add a touch of pink, seed beads were then attached around the buttons.

Wedding Dress Pillow #3

Wedding Dress Pillow Variation Three
Wedding Dress Pillow Variation Three

This pillow top is satin and tulle with cross rows of the wide lace. Then decorated with tiny pearls sewn on the lace.

Wedding Dress Pillow #4

Wedding Dress Pillow Variation Four
Wedding Dress Pillow Variation Four

This pillow was time consuming but so much fun.

It consists of four lace squares over the satin with a layer of quilt batting on the bottom.

Each square was then hand quilted all around the lace design in a very pale pink thread.

After stitching the squares together, I added a decorative trim with just a hint of pink and stitched tiny pearls all over the lace design.

Wedding Dress Pillow #5

Wedding Dress Pillow Variation Five
Wedding Dress Pillow Variation Five

Last one.

Oh No! Again satin with tulle over the top.

A square of satin and lace makes the center. Pearls stitched here and there as well as decorative trim and delicate clusters of ribbon flowers finished this one off.

My goal was to have each one different. Check.

To have each type of fabric incorporated on each pillow. Check.

Now my dear friend has the memory of that day to relive every day with a photo on the back of her departed beloved and the beautiful dress she wore that day long ago.

Here are her words.

“My story is that I wanted to preserve my wedding dress and the memories so I came up with the idea of making pillows from the material and giving one to each of my granddaughters plus one for me. When I received them I fell in love with them, so I am keeping them for myself and the granddaughters will inherit them.”

Wedding Dress Pillow Collection
Wedding Dress Pillow Collection

Mrs. Eunice Dieter married Monty Dieter on May 24, 1959.

The silver heart pillow is a wish pillow I made but that’s a whole other story.

So go get that dress out and make another wonderful memory to enjoy it all over again.

Here are more Sewing Articles.

The Artful Crafter - Helping Crafters to Be

About Eileen Bergen


  1. Eileen Bergen says:

    Hi Gelieanne,

    Thanks for linking to my article on wedding dress pillows. It’s a nice fit in your Ways to Recycle Wedding Materials article.


  1. Ways to recycle wedding materials - Whichcraftph says:

    […]                           The Artful Crafter […]

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