A wedding dress can be a statement piece, a treasure, a keepsake, a representation of a brand new season of life, and the stuff of many people’s dreams.
It’s an heirloom so precious that it seems like a waste to let it hang in a garment bag or sit in a box for the rest of its existence. Many brides dream of the moment when their child might one day don the gorgeous gown and give it a second life, but of course, that isn’t always the case. That’s why one mom took a more practical approach to her future hand-me-down and transformed it into a play tent.
Once Robyn had the brilliant idea, she couldn’t stop thinking about it. Soon, she turned it into a proposition for her mom, Brenda Wetmore Giffen: Robyn wanted her to transform her wedding dress into unforgettable playthings for her daughter Elena.
Among her ideas were a memory pillow, a memory necklace, and maybe even a garter so her gorgeous gown could still make an appearance at Elena’s wedding, just in a slightly different form.
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“I was honored and surprised that she trusted me enough to do this,” Brenda wrote on Facebook. “I let it just hang there for a few days before I got the courage to take apart the dress she loved so much.”
It didn’t take long for inspiration to strike! Brenda said it felt like a game as she brainstormed all the new creations she could make out of this one dress.
“I discovered that making a ‘play tent’ from a wedding dress is the type of challenge that’s reserved for children and grandchildren!” Brenda added.
She ended up fashioning a tent with all the trimmings, a necklace, multiple pillows, a framed swatch of lace, an adorable stuffed unicorn, stuffed bears, and even a tutu for Elena’s baby sister!
Though she’s a genius with a sewing machine, Brenda got a little extra help with the construction of the tent.
“[My husband] Jim helped with the engineering. We designed and he built stabilizers for the top and bottom of the tent so it doesn’t collapse on the girls while they are playing,” Brenda explained. “It’s been challenging, a little scary, lots of fun, and probably the major creative project of my lifetime!”
Even with all the items she’d already made, Brenda still had enough material leftover to create the garters.
“I made two garters so that each granddaughter will have her own,” she said. “It’s not very likely that I’ll be there for their weddings, but I hope they will give Grammy Giffen a thought on that day.”
While we are holding out hope that Grammy Giffen will be there for both of her granddaughters’ big days, in the meantime, they’ll certainly be thinking of her whenever they play a game of pretend in their amazing wedding dress tent!
Brenda’s creations have been such a hit that she even started an online shop, Brenda’s Online Boutique, where she sells pillows, garters, DIY necklace kits, and more!
What a beautiful idea with an even more beautiful outcome! Now Robyn’s wedding dress will be cherished for years and years to come.
Share this incredible project with a friend who might want to try it out for their own kids.
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