DIY: How to make a vine garter 

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The garter – a symbol of marital harmony, happiness and passion. Indispensable accessory for every bride on her wedding day. If you want yours to be one of a kind, or you are looking for a very special gift for a bride-to-be, this tutorial is for you.

You will need:

-elastic band

-jewellery wire

-beads, pearls

-needle

-thread

-scissors

-chains, chains with rhinestones

-pins

 

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Start with measuring out the desired length of the decorative part of the garter. In my project it’s 25 cm – the rest is an elastic band. The length depends on the circumference of the thigh. If you are planning to make the garter as a gift, you need to know the (approximate) circumference of the recipient’s thigh. Decide how much of the garter you want to be decorative and how much is going to be the band. In my garter the beaded plait is going to be the main part, with the band in the back.

Next, cut a piece of wire, about 1 m long. Fold it in half, creating an “eyelet” – this is the part where you will attach the band at the end of the process. Remember that it needs to be big enough for the elastic to fit through. At this point you can check what it looks like together. If your band is too wide and you don’t want to change your concept, don’t worry – you will be able to add more beads and hide the connection between the band and the wire. Now, twist the whole length of the wire so that the two halves are twisted together.

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Cut another piece of wire – about 50 cm should be a comfortable length to work with. Start weaving in beads in a pattern of your choice. Since it is a garter, try to make the pattern rather tight so that the wire doesn’t stick out and catch on the dress. Heavily adorned garters look gorgeous in the photos, but are they comfortable? Don’t forget that the garter needs to be functional. Pause after every few beads to check the part against your thigh. Bend or straighten the wires, shaping them every step along the way.

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When you start running out of the main wire (the part you weave the beads around), you need to hide its end inside a bead. While the garter itself is comfortable and the twisted wires cause no discomfort, endings that are not properly hidden may scratch the skin. Hiding the endings carefully is the most important part of the weaving. Don’t leave them loose, don’t twist them together with the neighboring wire – just hide them inside a bead. Then, if you add another piece of wire, you need to hide its endings too.

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When the decorative part is ready, you can start on attaching the elastic band. At this point, you should sew one end of the band to the wire and leave the other end pulled through the wire eyelet, but not attached yet. Put the garter on your thigh – exactly where you want it to be for the wedding – and adjust the length of the band. Pin the loose end and walk around a little bit, maybe jump or dance, too :) Check if the garter isn’t too tight or too loose, make sure no piece of wire bites into the skin. Adjust as needed.

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Gently take the garter off without taking out the pin. Cut the excess elastic and sew. You can add bits of chains or frills for additional decoration. Put the garter on again and hold the additional elements to the spots you want them before sewing them on.

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Such a handmade accessory is sure to delight the recipient :)

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