Clothing + Fashion fancy-fabric-image-via-Shutterstock

Published on March 11th, 2014 | by Julie Finn

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Pretty in Pink Once Again: 23 Prom Dress Refashions

23 Prom Dress Refashions

fancy fabric image via Shutterstock

Your Prom dress is not cute.

Sure, if you’re wearing it to your Prom next month, it’s definitely cute *now*, but just hang onto it for a couple or ten years, and then take another look at it.

See? It’s not cute. Those sleeves! That neckline! Those ruffles! The sequins! That BOW!!!

Old Prom dresses–and bridesmaid dresses, and cocktail dresses, and formal attire of all varieties–need our help to make a new life for themselves, one that’s not tacky and dated and just all sorts of wrong. These dresses, with their beautiful fabrics and embellishments, have bright futures as tasteful skirts and modern dresses, purses, play clothes, quilts, and more, but they need us to pick up the needle and thread and hot glue and scissors and make it happen for them.

Please, won’t YOU rescue an ugly Prom dress today?

With ugly Prom dress in hand, check out these amazing Prom dress upcycles, and get started giving that ugly dress of yours its new life:

Bell bottoms. I took a couple of ugly Prom dresses and refashioned them into skinny jean bell bottoms for my kid.

Cover your boobs. See how to update and add a little more cleavage coverage to a formal dress that’s otherwise perfectly fine. Big boobs also need more support, so here’s how to add thicker straps to a perfectly fine formal dress.

Dress to skirt: If you like the bottom of your dress but hate the top, then ditch the top and keep the skirt. With so much else going on, people won’t even notice that the upcycled skirt has a comfy elastic waist.

Dress-up clothes. Ugly Prom dresses are PERFECT for this, because kids don’t know that they’re ugly. Check out these Prom dress to princess dress tips for easy ways to make ugly Prom dresses kid-friendly. If you want to put more work into the project, here’s how to even make the dress child-sized. If you’ve got several dresses to upcycle, make a rainbow dress. And when in doubt, add a crown.

Dye it. A drastic change in color often does the trick. And yes, you can even dye buttons!

Fabric flowersJust be careful with the iron — old Prom dress makers were inordinately fond of polyester.

Not your grandma’s dress. It started out as grandma’s dress — you won’t believe how great the refashioned version looks!

Old Prom dress to new Prom dress. A refashioned bodice and some layering makes this dress no longer something that my mom would have worn to Prom.

Pajama pants. Silk and satin make EXCELLENT fabrics for pajama pants. Sew a matching eye mask for extra-comfy sleeping.

Prom dress to purse. Fancy fabric looks good in small amounts — make a Prom dress purse! Or a tote? Definitely a coin pouch.

Sew silk bloomers. Soft silk bloomers look super cute on babies.

Shorten it. What a difference simply re-hemming a dress can make! That extra fabric can easily become gathers and ruffles.

Take the tulle. Tulle and a little ribbon can be sewn into sturdy, washable produce bags. You can also make yourself a petticoat to go under your other, legitimately cute Prom dress.

Got more Prom dress refashioning tips? Share them in the Comments below!


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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.



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