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Monday, January 9, 2012

Makin' My Thigh Pretty

Just because we aren't doing the bouquet/garter toss, certainly doesn't mean I don't want my thigh to be looking pretty on our wedding day. In fact, part of the reason I didn't want to do a garter toss is because I'm quite in love with the circle of lace I've set aside for my thigh. My thighs are far from my best feature so this really is my only chance to dress it up with something feminine, pretty and sexy.

I wasn't really looking for garters, I hadn't even really thought about if I would wear a garter, I was just browsing the 'web one day and this picture made me stop dead in my tracks:
Image from Etsy Listing/All About Chic by Antiya
I loved the style, the more artsy take on the garter. I liked that it wasn't delicate tulle, but a more bold design. At $33, the price is actually quite reasonable, but I decided I would make mine...I mean it's just lace, some fabric and beads, right? Actually, yes, I was right.

A long, long time ago I stumbled upon this fabric flower tutorial and have been diligently making fabric flowers for a few other elements in the wedding. They remind me of the delicate flowers on the skirt of my wedding gown and they were just about the exact match to the flower on the garter inspiration picture, so I figured I would make a few extras for my garter. Done and done and here's the steps. I actually watched Little Birdie's video tutorial before diving in and it made it easier for me to learn. But here's my version.

The strip doesn't have to be perfectly even, so don't worry about measuring that precisely.

As you wrap the fabric around the knot/center, you want to twist the fabric at the same time. I dotted the fabric with glue every other twist just to be sure it was secure.

Waa Laa, 15 minutes later you've got a perfect fabric flower!

On to assembling my garter. I decided using stretch lace would be the quickest and easiest route, I'm not friends with sewing machines. When Wally World didn't have any stretch lace in stock, I turned to Etsy and found the shop Mary Not Martha. I purchased three different kinds of lace, all in one yard increments, for a total of $10, including shipping. I wasn't sure which color lace I would prefer, otherwise I could have stuck with just one. I picked up a package of pearls for $1.97 and piece of felt for a whopping forty cents.

I attached pearls to the centers of my flowers and then cut leaf-like shapes out of the felt. It was assembly time.

To add some fancy to the leaves, I applied Fabri-Tac to the felt and stuck the pearls to the glue, leaving a small blank space to attach to the flower:

I got pretty technical when it came to measuring the lace...ha just kidding. I wrapped the lace around my thigh, in the general area I figure I would like the garter to be, and snipped. Then I glued the three flowers to the lace, before gluing the actual lace together to create the garter.

The last step was gluing the ends together to make the garter an actual garter.

The true test was slipping it on my leg and making sure it work in all the ways a garter is supposed to work. It did fit, it didn't fall down my thigh, and it did look good! Fair warning, the next picture is of my thigh with a pretty lace garter on it...
Sorry for the pasty leg shot, it's January in Colorado!
I'm in love with it! I am so happy with the final outcome, I may even told my mom that my true calling is garter making (how fun would that be!). Now you can see why Mr. Honey's friends won't be getting thier dirty little hands on my precious piece of lace!

The total cost of my garter, $4.62. Total assembly time for my garter, 1 hour, tops. A true DIY success in my book.

Did you unexpectedly fall in love with your garter? Any other DIY garter brides out there?


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  2. I just ordered some lace to make my own garter as well! Yours came out amazing! Wish me luck!

  3. Good luck Celeste! I'm still in love with mine :) Let me know how it turns out!!

  4. I just made my own today, and it turned out great! When I sent my mom a picture, she responded, "do you need me to make that for you?". Then I got to tell her that was the one I made! Very easy and great results. I pinned mine with a link to your blog; hope it gives you some traffic!

  5. Great job! I plan on making a garter now after seeing how easy it is, I've already ordered pearls, just got to get the lace now. Thanks!

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  7. I'm following your tutorial because garters in bridal shops are ridiculously overpriced, and like you said, it's just lace, fabric and beads. At first I had trouble finding the stretchy lace until I stumbled upon a set of 3 white lace headbands. Stretchy, pretty, already sewn together lace for about $2.50, and I spent less than $1.00 in lace for the flowers. Now I just need to make the flowers and I'm done! Thanks for the tutorial!

  8. Did you have to cut the elastic lace about 2" shorter than your thigh measured?

    1. Hi Alicia! I think I just made it a bit tighter, I didn't really measure it. You don't want it to be too tight because then whatever you glue to it will pop off...but too loose and it won't stay up. I noticed mine was a little loose on my wedding day (stress weight loss?) but it still worked fine leading up to dancing, then it came off :) Good luck :)

  9. You must be proud of this job. SO wonderful. Thanks for sharing this lace garter DIY idea.