Brenda Wetmore Giffen was tasked with a very important project for her daughter, Robyn. You see, Robyn asked her mom if she’d turn her wedding dress into a play tent for her daughter, Elena. Giffen was nervous and excited for the chance to turn her daughter’s wedding dress into a keepsake, so she accepted the challenge.
Robyn had waffled over what to do with her wedding dress. Maybe her mom could make garters for Elena to wear on her wedding day? Maybe she could make a memory pillow and a keepsake necklace? And hey, what about that play tent idea? It was a lot to ask but, in the end, Grandma Giffen delivered. That’s what grandmas do, after all.
Giffen posted about the project to Facebook, telling the story of how she ultimately went on to create not only the play tent and the other things her daughter had asked for, but also stuffed animals, a tutu and more:
“I was honored and surprised that she trusted me enough to do this,” wrote Giffen. “She didn’t want to just store it for a few decades to probably never be worn again….I let it just hang there for a few days before I got the courage to take apart the dress she loved so much. The other items were my idea. It became a sort of game to see how many things I could make from one dress.”
Here’s what the dress originally looked like when Robyn wore it on her wedding day:
As you can see, the play tent turned out beautifully:
The little touches, such as the stuffed animals, made it all the more special:
This tutu is absolutely adorable:
While Giffen did point out that “making a ‘play tent’ from a wedding dress is the type of challenge that’s reserved for children and grandchildren,” she did open an online store so she could make other items — such as pillows, memory bears and jewelry — out of other people’s wedding dresses, too.
You can request that your wedding dress be turned into something extra special through her website, shopbrenda.com. Prices range from $5 to $119, depending on what you’d like to have created just for you.
You can find out everything you need to know on the shop’s site. Orders take two to four weeks to make.
And if you’re up to the challenge, you can use Giffen’s story as inspiration to create a play tent on your own! If you have the sewing skills, you can attempt trying this with a dress, as Giffen did, or you can follow along with this tutorial from the Bird’s Party YouTube channel and use something as simple as a store-bought curtain to get the job done:
Do you feel inspired to find a second use for that wedding dress that’s been hanging in your closet for the past 12 years? Get in touch with Giffen or break out the sewing machine. Either way — a keepsake item is just a DIY away!