How to make a chapel veil

Written by samantha kemp
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How to make a chapel veil
Use a traditional chapel veil to honour your wedding day (bride veil hair head style elegant up do image by Paul Retherford from

Chapel veils or mantillas, have been part of religious history since Christianity began. According to St. Paul´s Epistle to the Corinthians, "Every woman praying or prophesying with her head not covered, disgraceth her head." (Corinthians 11:5). A chapel veil signifies respect and reverence for the church. Rooted in the Catholic faith, parishioners often wear chapel veils during church services and occasionally wear them during wedding ceremonies. You can create your own chapel veil for a traditional look for your wedding ceremony.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Ruler
  • Rotary circle cutter
  • Scissors
  • Sewing needle
  • Straight pins
  • Fabric chalk
  • Fabric such as lace or tulle
  • Border fabric
  • Embellishments
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine

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  1. 1

    Measure from the top middle of your head to a stop point on one side. Stop your measurement no farther than your shoulders for a traditional chapel veil or to the floor if you are using a cathedral chapel veil. Be sure to wear the shoes you will wear during the service because this can affect the total length. Double this measurement.

  2. 2

    Cut out fabric to match the length you measured. Use a metal ruler if you will be using a straight-edged shape such as a rectangle and mark your cutting lines. Use a rotary circle cutter for a circular or oblong chapel veil. Cut out the fabric in the desired shape.

  3. 3

    Place a cloth over the fabric. Iron the fabric on a low setting in slow circular motions.

  4. 4

    Pins the border to the main fabric. Sew the bordering lace using a simple stitch. Use a craft glue or bonding adhesive for a no-sew option.

  5. 5

    Add embellishments, such as iron-on appliques, pearl beads or sequins. The chapel veil is a traditional garment and often less is more.

  6. 6

    Analyse your veil. If the veil seems bare, add more embellishments. If it is too short, go back to Step 2 and use a seam ripper to separate the central fabric from the border. Cut out a new section of fabric and start over. Try the veil on to make sure it fits as you envisioned it and make necessary adjustments. Place the finished veil in a garment bag to safely store it.

Tips and warnings

  • Research styles of chapel veils before beginning your project. Many traditional and contemporary versions exist. It is easier to use a visual aid while you are creating your chapel veil to get the desired look.
  • A rotary circle cutter is available at your local craft or fabric store.
  • Select a coordinating coloured border fabric to edge the fabric. Choose a fabric, such as a scalloped edge lace or a ruffled edge.
  • Use a hair comb to secure the veil to your hair.
  • Scissors must be sharp and nick-free or they will tear your fabric.

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