Wedding Garter Tutorials

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Create beautiful Wedding Garters using our fun Wedding Garter Tutorials. We will teach you how to create one-of-a-kind garters, personalized for the bride or a toss garter. Check it out!

Whenever there is a wedding of a close friend or family member, I love to make something personal for the bride to be.  A wedding garter is often an after thought for many brides, but having something beautiful to slip on their leg can make the day that much more memorable.  

Today we’re going to make some very simple wedding garters than can be either be kept with other special wedding items, or tossed by the groom at the reception.  Either way, a handmade garter is sure to please the bride (and the groom).

~ Wedding Garter Tutorials ~

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}Shabby Chiffon Flower Garter



1-White Lace Headband
2-Frayed Shabby Chiffon Flowers (White, and Shocking Pink)
1-Curly White Ostrich Puff
1-12 mm Rhinestone
1-14 mm Pearlie
Hot glue gun, glue sticks
Needle, and coordinating thread
*Sewing machine  to take in headband as needed


Stretch lace headbands serve as the base for our wedding garters. Because they are already assembled, all that these garters really need is a bit of embellishing.


The White Lace Headbands are a bit wider than the other colors of lace headbands available.  If they are going to be worn on the mid to upper thigh, then they will most likely fit most average sized women.  If the bride would prefer to wear the garter lower, then you can easily *adjust the size of the garter.

*Clip the ribbon by sliding a pair of fabric scissors between the ribbon loop.  Remove ribbon.  The lace is secured with glue.  Flip the headband inside out, and fold the lace along the attached section.  Determine how much the headband needs to be taken in, and then stitch along the elastic line.  Keep the edges of the lace aligned as you stitch.  I recommend using a triple stretch, or narrow zig zag stitch to secure the material, and to allow for additional seam stress as the elastic stretches.

If the headband fits perfectly, then you can leave the band as is, or remove the ribbon loop so that the headband isn’t cinched.


Embellishing the garter is the fun part.  There are  so many ways to personalize these wedding garters.  Choose your favorite flowers, colors, and gemstones.  For the Shabby Chiffon garter we wanted to incorporate the bride’s wedding colors.  A shocking pink flower was just what the bride ordered, and a bit of curly ostrich feather was a fun addition.

Time to add the feathers to the garter.  First off, determine how much feather you want on the garter, separate the feathers into a small group.  Tightly wind a piece of thread around your section of feathers, and secure with a knot.  Clip the feathers just below the base.  Secure the feather section with a bit of hot glue at the base of the grouping.  You can now determine where you’d like them on the garter, place a dot of hot glue on the garter, and secure with a needle and thread.


The shabby chiffon flowers are perfect for this project.  They come attached to a tulle base, making them easy to stitch in place.

Trim the tulle base so that it is 1/4″ wider than the base of the flower.  Place a dab of hot glue on the bottom of the flower, and position on the garter.  The hot glue will temporarily secure the garter while it is sewn into position by hand.  I really recommend stitching the flowers down rather than gluing them, the stitching will adapt to the stretch of the elastic better than the glue, it will also be more gentle on delicate skin.


The first flower overlaps the base of my feathers, hiding any adhesive or raw edges of the feathers.  I recommend attaching the second flower just below the first, and slightly overlapping, but you can do it however you prefer.

Once the flowers have been sewn in place, you can embellish the flowers by glueing a pearlie and rhinestone into the center of the flowers for added detail.

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

There you have it, a super simple, and beautiful lace garter. Sure to please the bride.

Looking for something a bit more delicate?  Another version can be found below.

Wedding-Garter-Tutorials-9Glamour Pearl Garter
The perfect toss garter


1-Petite Lace Headband (off white)
1-Glamour Pearl
2-10 mm Pearlies
1-Spool Silk White Tulle
Glue gun, glue sticks
Needle and Thread 

Another simple garter.  The petite lace headbands offer a good amount of stretch and will fit just above the knee, or higher on the thigh.

The basic process is the same, the only difference is how we prepare our embellishments for attachment.


Because the Pearlies and Glamour Pearl don’t come on a tulle base like the shabby chiffon flowers, we get to make our own.  The process is simple, and will provide a more stable base for the garter.  If the garter only needs to survive being tossed into a crowd of eager bachelors, then the hot glue gun might be for you.  I recommend spending a few extra minutes to increase the longevity of this lovely garter, by stitching them in place.

Cut a piece of tulle that is about 10 inches long.  Fold it on top of itself until you have about eight layers of thickness.  Place a small dot of hot glue in the center of the tulle.  Press your glamour pearl into the glue.  Next, add two small dots of glue on either side, and secure your pearlies.  Allow to dry.

Cut near the gems, leaving a small amount of material for securing it to the garter.  Because the tulle is so sheer, you won’t even notice it on the garter.  If you are working with a petite lace headband that is a different color, I recommend matching your tulle to the headband.

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Just like with your Shabby Chiffon Feathers, stitch your tulle based pearls onto the garter.  I recommend overlapping the headbands seam line when doing so.

There you have it, a delicate little garter for the special day.  Simple, inexpensive, and lovely.

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}Custom Fit Elastic and Lace Garters

Not every women’s thigh comes standard.  With different shapes and sizes out there, sometimes it’s hard to rely on pre-determined sizes to work for every bride.  You can easily make your own garter, using some fold over elastic or stretch lace, and have a perfectly fitted, and beautiful garter.



Fold Over Elastic 5/8″ (White)
Curly Ostrich Puff (White…or blue)
Satin Double Faced Ribbon 5/8″ (Light Blue)
Hot Glue Gun
Tulle (Same color as feathers or elastic)
Measuring Tape
Hand Sewing Needle
Sewing Machine
Something to seal the ribbon’s edge (fray check, heat sealing tool, etc)


Fold Over Elastic is an ideal choice for a garter.  It is extremely soft, and offers a generous amount of stretch.  With one shiny, and one matte side, the bride has the option of choosing how formal she’d like to go.

The first thing you’ll need to do is determine where on the thigh you’d like the garter to sit.  Once you’ve determined the placement, you will want to using a flexible measuring tape to get an accurate thigh measurement.

Because you actually want to garter to stay in place, your garter should be smaller than the thigh measurement.  If your garter is about 75% of the thigh measurement, it should stay in place, without being too tight.  Multiply the thigh measurement by .75, and then add 1/2″ for seam allowance.  So for a 16 inch thigh, my elastic was cut to 12.5 inches (16x.75=12, 12 +.5=12.5).


Now that your elastic is cut, it’s time to create your garter.  Determine which side you’d like on the outside (I chose matte). Place the right sides of your elastic together, meeting up the ends.  Pin in place. Place the raw edges of the elastic under the presser foot, matching up the raw edges with the 1/4″ guide marks on your machine. I recommend using a triple stretch stitch to sew the seam.  If your machine doesn’t come with that particular stitch built in, you can just backstitch along the seam to secure the seam.


Once the seam is sewn, open up the seam allowance.  Turn the garter so that right sides are once again facing out.  Stitch 1/8″ on either side of the newly created seam.  This will secure the seam allowance, and allow the garter to lie flat.


To attach the feathers I recommend the following (note this is a different method than the above tutorial). First, remove the ostrich puff from the felt base.  Simply apply a small amount of pressure to the base, and gently pull.  You will be left with a small ring of feathers, snip to open.  Cut two small sections of feathers, the amount of feathers you want will determine the size of the section.  Once you have cut two sections, apply a small amount of glue to the ends, and glue the two ends together.  Next  cut a small piece of tulle that is about 1/2 inch wide, and about 6 inches long. By placing a dot of glue on the feathers, tightly wrap the tulle around the feathers.  The tulle will secure the feathers, and create a better material for securing them to the garter.

Place the feathers on the garter, overlapping the seam.  Stitch the feathers in place using a needle and thread, and stitch through the tulle to secure.

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Tie a simple bow using the double faced satin ribbon.  Seal the ends by using fray check, or a heat sealing tool. Stitch the bow in place with the needle and thread.

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

For a bit of variety you can adorn the center of the feathers with a grouping of pearlies (14 and 10 mm), glued in place.

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Another variation of this custom sized garter, is to create your garter using 3/4 inch stretchy lace. The garter is created the very same way as the fold over elastic garter.  This lace garter would make a perfect toss garter for the Shabby Chiffon Flower Garter from the first tutorial.

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Embellish the garter with a Shocking Pink Gemma Stone, and two 12 mm rhinestones. Gemma Stone and rhinestones are glued to a tulle base, and sewn by hand onto the stretch lace garter.

Here is our last fun wedding garter tutorial.

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}Tulle Wedding Garter

If you are looking for something different than a standard elastic or lace wedding garter, then a gathered tulle garter is a great choice. You can make it any color that you’d like and add an assortment of embellishments to finish it off.

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}


Fold Over Elastic 5/8″ (White, or to match tulle)
Tulle (Silk White, Dusty Rose used in tutorial)
Thread to match tulle
Starlight gem
Pealies, 10mm and 14mm
Curly Ostrich puff (baby pink)
For the pink version:
10 mm pearlie
Satin Double Faced Ribbon (5/8″, antique white)

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

This tutorial builds upon the previous tutorial.  You’ll follow the same basic process in determining the proper size of the garter.  Take the thigh measurement, times by .75, and add 1/2″ for seam allowance.  This will give you a basic measurement, both for cutting your elastic, and for determining the lengths of your tulle pieces. My calculated measurements ended up being 12.5 inches.

Cut three lengths of tulle, that are three times the length of your measurement. My cuts were 37.5 inches long.  Once you have your three pieces, stack them, and then cut them down the center.  Tulle can be a little bit difficult to layer, but don’t worry, they don’t need to be perfectly centered.

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Stack all six pieces of your tulle together.  Pin along the length of your tulle.

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Leaving your bobbin and needle threads long, and your stitch length lengthened, stitch down the center of your tulle to create a gathering stitch. Do not back stitch.

Take one of the long bobbin threads, and gently pull to gather in the fabric.

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Gather in the fabric until it is gathered into two times your original measurement (25 inches for me). Distribute the gathers along the length of the thread, make sure that they are fairly uniform.

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Once your gathers are evenly distributed, place right sides of the tulle together, and match up ends. Stitch 1/4″ away from the raw edges to create a loop.

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Ahhh…a lovely little tulle loop. Turn right sides out.

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Now create your elastic base.  To do so, cut your fold over elastic to your predetermined size (12.5 inches).  Match up raw ends, with right sides together.  Stitch 1/4″ away from raw ends, backstitching to reinforce the seam.  Open up the seam, and stitch down the seam allowance.

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Divide both your tulle loop and your elastic into quarters.  Place the elastic loop inside the tulle loop, and match up quarter points.  Your elastic will be smaller than the gathered tulle.

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Using a narrow zig zag stitch, stitch down the center of the tulle, securing the tulle to the elastic as you go.  Gently stretch the elastic as you sew, so that the elastic stretches to the length of the tulle.  Stitch around the entire length of the garter.

You can now gently remove the gathering stitches.  If they are not very visible, you can choose to leave them in place.  Mine were easily removed.

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Now it’s time to embellish.  I used a small section of the curly ostrich puff from the previous tutorial, a 10, and 14 mm pearlie, and a starlight gem.

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

With a small strip of tulle (1/2″x8″), and a bit of hot glue, tightly wrap the tulle at the base of the feathers. Doing so will secure the feathers.

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Create a base for your embellishments by stacking a few layers of tulle on top of one another.  Place a dot of hot glue on the underside of each element.  Glue them to the tulle.  The pearlies and starlight will cover the tulle wrapped end of the feathers. Using a needle and thread, stitch the embellishments to the tulle garter.

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

All done.  A feminine and unique garter for the big day.

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

A simple satin bow, topped with a pearlie is a great, and simple alternative embellishment for this garter.

*Note: This finished garter does not have as much stretch as the elastic garters, the stitching limits the amount that the elastic can stretch.

With all these wonderful tutorials and amazing products at The Ribbon Retreat, you can create beautiful one-of-a-kind wedding garters for yourself or as gifts.

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Should there be any adhesive left from the base of your curly ostrich puff, simply clip it away.

Thank you so much Tricia!

I love these wedding garter tutorials so much. It just shows how beautiful you can make a garter, and you don’t have to just settle for one (that’s expensive to boot!) There are so many ways so take these helpful tutorials and get creative.

All the supplies can be found at The Ribbon Retreat! We have wonderful prices, great service, and awesome shipping. Come visit us and browse all our fun items!

Tricia is the blogger behind Leafy Treetop Spot, and I just love her! I found her blog back when Pinterest first started and was so impressed by her wonderful ideas and simple tutorials. Click the link to view her tutorials. My favorite one is perfect for this season! A cute little pumpkin applique on the bum of a baby onesie. Too cute!

Wedding Garter Tutorials - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

So definitely go check out Tricia’s blog and be inspired!

We are currently searching for crafty contributors so if you’re a craft blogger or bow maker who’d like to submit a tutorial of your own, visit our Project Submission Page to see all the details. We love all tutorials, and now especially love holiday ones! We make it worth your while! We love our contributors!

Have a great day! ~ Shirley, The Ribbon Retreat Blog Editor

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  1. Posted September 20, 2012 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Thanks so much for having me!

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted September 20, 2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      It was our pleasure! Thanks Tricia!

  2. Posted September 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    I love the second one! You’re totally right- it was definitely an afterthought at my wedding. I think I didn’t even have one. 🙂 Great tutorials!!

  3. el
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 2:09 am | Permalink

    For the Shabby Chiffon Flower Garter where did you get the flowers from? Did you purchase or make them yourself? If you made them do you have atutorial for that?

    Thank you in advance.

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