Tuesday, July 19, 2011

DIY Style: How To Make A Birdcage Veil

Back in 2008, I wanted to make a birdcage veil but had trouble finding a tutorial online with clear instructions.  I experimented around, came up with this, and decided to document the process with pictures and instructions.  Now, there's tons of them on the web and many link back to my original tutorial on my craft blog, but I wanted to repost onto this blog in case any readers were interested (these pics are from when I had short blonde hair!).

Note: Instructions have be translated into Swedish by Lina and posted at Bröllopsinspiration.

So here, I will list out my step by step instructions on how I made the birdcage veil. Let me preface by saying I am no expert in making these veils...many crafty items I make evolve from lots of trial and error, not from trained expertise. By scouring the internet, I have found lots of questions on how to make BC veils, but very little answers (well, at least the kind of answers I'm looking for which include step by step instructions with pictures). So with the information I have gleaned and my experimentation, this is what I have come up with:


- Millinery netting in your choice of width* (from Hat Supply or Judith M)
- Hair clip (I got the clip at either Target or Wal-Mart - I can't remember which.
- Ribbon that matches the color of the netting

- Glue (I use the stinky E6000, available at craft stores and Wal-Mart)

- Thread and needle

*In this tutorial, I used 12" French netting, purchased here (in 2008, I paid about $5ish per yard. I see the price has increased considerably). According to Hats By Leko: French Veiling (Made in France) is for those with discriminating taste. The edges are soft so as not to distract from the face or hat. The veiling itself is also much more discreet in comparison the hard edges of "Russian Veiling " which is actually Made in Taiwan.

*I'd also like to include a note that several of you have mentioned practicing on inexpensive tulle; this is a great idea and usually less than $2/yard at the fabric store.

Useful Info

So one of the reas
ons that the netting looks so cool is because it has two finished edges on it. You never want to cut these off! You will want one of the finished edges to fall across your face. To cut the netting, you will cut along the two non-finished edges.

Finished edge along bottom, cut (non-finished edge) along left side

Step 1
Determine where you want the hair clip of the birdcage veil to sit on your head. For me, I wanted it to sit slightly towards my left and slightly forward, so that the veil would angle down across my eyes and nose (as opposed to the ends lying horizontal across my face). From here, I was able to determine which width I would use. If you read the prior post, you know that I bought the 9", the 12", and the 18" widths. I took one of the finished edges and held it against the clip. The 9" fell a little to short (which works great for the bandeau style) and the 18" was a little to long; it fell below my chin (which works great if you want a larger one that encases your face). The 12" fell correctly so that's the one I chose. I cut it at approximately 30 inches in length along the non-finished edge.

Step 2 (optional)

Glue the ribbon to one end of the clip, wrap and glue at the other end. The reason I do this is to have something to stitch to, but it's not required. I did this same thing when I made the fascinator.

Step 3
Stitch the corner of the netting to the corner of the clip. I used the corner of the finished edge on the bottom of the veil (the part that would be touching my face).

Step 4
Take your thread and weave it in and out of each netting hole (diamond). You'll go up one of the cut edges, across the other finished edge (the side that does NOT touch your face) and down the other cut edge.**

My crude drawing (not to scale) shows the overall cut shape of the veiling and the red wavy line represents where I weaved the thread in and out of each diamond hole (click to enlarge).

Step 5
Pull the thread taught, gathering the netting. Go ahead and try it on to see if you like how it lays, fits, falls, etc. Make any necessary adjustments now.

**Note: I re-did this part 3 times. The first couple times, it was too poufy on the top. I cut the corners off at first, and finally, ended up cutting more length off the non-finished edge to get the look I wanted (which ended up being about 25 inches across the finished edge, laid flat). Better to start with too much material and trim down!

Step 6

If you're satisfied with the look of it, stitch the other finished corner from the bottom of the veil (the side that touches your face) to the corner of the clip.

Step 7

Make a few stitches through the gathers onto the length of the hair comb for extra reinforcement.

Step 8

And you're done! Enjoy!

Different view of the veil

Location: Ravello, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Yes, that's me with short blonde hair....many moons ago.


Anonymous said...

is that your wedding?

preciouspearl said...

lovely work..

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary, you're an angel!

eyoung75 said...

I'm making my veil tonight based on your tutorial! I'll let you know how it goes!

Mary Ann said...

Please do, eyoung!

Anonymous said...

My future daughter-in-law has asked me to make her a fascinator. Now I know how! Can't wait. Thanks so Much.

Jessica said...

This is just beautiful; thanks so much for posting! I have a quick question: How dod you affix the feather detail, and where did you find the feather part?

Mary Ann said...

Jessica, the feather fascinator is separate from the veil and I embellished it from a feather clip I found at Hobby Lobby. Thanks for the question!

Anonymous said...

I could NOT figure this out for the life of me until I read this!! Thank you so much!!

Anonymous said...

thanks so much for the help!

Anonymous said...

it's the 11th hour. wedding is t-minus 3 days and counting. may i just say that you are a my savior, Mary Ann. i will say a little prayer for you tonight! :) thank you soooooooooo much for going taking the time, and your BC veil looks just lovely!!!

K Covert said...

Thank you so so so much!!! I was able to make a wonderful veil that I will be wearing for my wedding!!! I also saved a ton of money by being able to make it for myself instead of having someone else make it....

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Time to put my crafting fingers to work! Thank you so much for this because I'm seeing so many veils but none drop just the way I like.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for these step by step instructions! I am doing something a little different, which is glueing it to a headband....hope it works out the same!!

Anonymous said...

This worked perfectly! I am so impressed. I showed my mom and she thought my finished work is spectacular so I showed her your website!

NoL said...

I'm making a practice version in tulle and it is SUPER poufy...Do you think it might be because the tulle is tighter and stiffer than the Russian veiling will be?

Mary Ann said...

Perhaps, or it could be the dimensions/measurements.

Mary Ann said...

I think it will work great!

Sarah said...

I just finished making this! LOVE IT! Thanks so much for the tutorial. I used tulle to make mine as it was a quick and cheap find. Like you I had to tweak the measurements and redo the sewing about three times, but I finally got it where I like it! Again, Thanks so much!

Sarah said...

I just finished making this! LOVE IT! Thanks so much for the tutorial. I used tulle to make mine as it was a quick and cheap find. Like you I had to tweak the measurements and redo the sewing about three times, but I finally got it where I like it! Again, Thanks so much!

Miss Westbrook said...

When I followed this tutorial, I got a very poofy veil that made more of a box shaped shield around my head instead of laying like a beautiful veil. I tried different sized, but with the same problem. Any suggestions?

Mary Ann said...

Miss Westbrook - it's been a while, so I can't quite remember, but I may have used a couple of bobby pins to help position it on my head.

JudyMarie said...

Getting ready to try one tonight for my wedding Thursday. Thank you for these clear directions!

Emilia Cross said...

what a great tutorial - i'm so glad i found it! you looked absolutely lovely on your wedding day. i've got one question since the 12" french netting is considerably more expensive now ($24/yd)…. how many yards of the netting do i need? will one yard suffice?
THANKS! xoxo

Mary Ann said...

Emilia - yes, one yard is enough for this project. Thanks for asking!

Jei (Jill) said...

How long was the netting, I know the width was 12", but I didn't see on the tutorial how long the netting was? Thanks!

Mary Ann said...

Jei (Jill) -

"I cut it at approximately 30 inches in length along the non-finished edge."

Hope this helps! :-)