If you want a simple, bandeau-style birdcage veil, making your own is relatively easy to do with a bit of large-holed netting material, a couple of small combs or hair clips, and some thread. I explain, step-by-step below, how to do this. I’ve also added inspiration for comb types and other birdcage veil styles, including links where you can purchase each. Finally, if you are thinking about making a regular veil, check out the How to Make a Wedding Veil tutorial.
How to Make a Birdcage Veil
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1. Cut 36″ of 8″-10″ wide birdcage veil material. (The fabric is like tulle netting but with larger holes. You can find many colors here.)
You can make a relatively full birdcage veil, with many gathers, from a yard of netting. Cut it shorter for a veil that lays closer to your head, with fewer gathers. If in doubt, cut the piece long at first. Then shorten it if you find that the veil is too full. It is also a good idea to buy extra fabric so you can try out different looks and in case you make mistakes.
2. Sew clips or combs at each end of the long side of veiling.
Position the teeth toward what will be the top of the veil (i.e. the crown of your head), so you can secure it at the top or sides of your head. Also, make sure you place the comb or clip so it will curve against your head under the netting.
3. Gather a cut side of the veil and sew it to one of the clips or combs, then repeat on the other side.
Using a slip knot, secure thread to the end of one cut edge opposite a clip / comb. Weave the thread in and out of the diamond patterns along the cut edge toward the clip / comb, then thread it through the hole in the clip or wrap the thread at the base of the furthest comb tooth. In the #3 photo, we’ve darkened the white thread to demonstrate.
Pull the thread tight so the entire cut edge is gathered against the clip / comb. Secure to the underside so the thread will be hidden when you are wearing the veil. You may want to tidy up by clipping off the frayed pieces of netting.
Repeat on the other side.
4. Make the gathers.
Attach doubled or heavy button thread to the inside edge of a clip / comb, then weave the thread in and out between the diamonds or holes in the netting along the uncut edge. Do not secure at the other end just yet. You will want to adjust the length of the thread so the veil looks perfect on you.
5. Experiment with different veil widths.
Looking in a mirror, adjust the thread length between the clips / combs. When you are happy with your veil’s width and fullness of the gathers, secure the thread by looping it through the inside holes (or base of inside tooth) of the clip (or comb) and tying it off. The last photo shows the fullness when using a 36″ piece of netting.
6. Secure the veil so it falls over your face at the length you want.
If you position the veil as shown and use 8″-9″ wide material, it will hit just below the nose. Attach farther back for a shorter look.
Different Types of Veil Combs
When we originally completed this tutorial, I used hair extension clips, but as I mentioned earlier, you could also use combs. There are different types available, so I consolidated some here to help you decide. There is a link to each one in the descriptions (or you can go here).
- Top left: When you see rhinestones, pearls, or other decorative features anchoring a veil, they are often part of a comb. Nora makes these with light ivory or white pearls, and you can get sapphire accents if you wish. This comb is 3″ x 2″.
- Top right: Metal combs are sturdier than plastic and may work better in thick hair because they do not break.
- Center left: Small veils and fascinators tend to be lighter and can be secured with smaller-width combs. These 18K gold plated wire combs are 1″ x 1.5″ in size. This seller also has the same combs in silver and rose gold, as well as U-pins in the same tones.
- Center right: If you want to firmly attach something to your hair, wig or hair extension clips are the way to go. Attach your veil, a fascinator, flowers, ribbons, or bows, to them by sewing through the holes. Buy a set of 10 here. These are 32mm wide and creamy white, but they also sell 24mm and 28mm sizes, as well as silver, light brown, and black colors.
- Bottom left: Plastic combs have significant advantages and disadvantages. They are very inexpensive and, because they are clear, do not show much if parts are left exposed. The down side is plastic breaks instead of bends, which can become an issue with thick hair or a heavy headpiece. These are 2.5″ wide and are sold in set of six.
Other Birdcage Veil Styles
There are other types of birdcage veils to consider, and you may like some of these designs even more. You will find links to each below, or find these and others here.
- Top left: This veil is very similar to the one in the tutorial, except even simpler in design. Attach it with bobby pins, included. Buy this affordable veil here.
- Top right: This veil has the option of being attached to a thin headband adorned with a crystal brooch or a comb. Either way, Amy constructs it so the decoration and veil can also be worn separately. Wear this one to fall across either the left or right eye. Take a look here.
- Center left: Margaret and Steven create this veil from Chantilly lace fabric. It is also made to fall across only part of the face, highlighting the scalloped edge.
- Center right: Jules designed this birdcage veil with regular veil material. It is 12″ long and covers the whole face. You can order it in several shades ranging from white to beige, and a couple of the color options use sparkle tulle. Take a look here.
- Bottom left: Your veil’s color does not have to be white or pale. Black can make a statement as well. Natalia has placed this one so it falls to the bottom of the cheekbones, covering the nose but above the lips. The veil is bandeau style, secured with two rhinestone combs.
- Bottom right: If you love the birdcage look as a headpiece but are not a fan of it over the face, this petite veil is for you. If falls to just at an eyebrow (left or right, your choice). Violetta attaches a short piece of Russian netting to a ribbon-wrapped headband and decorates it with a crystal brooch. She will also add Swarovsky crystals to the edge if you wish. See more pictures here.