When it comes to bridesmaid dresses, some brides actually do have good fashion sense and taste to pick out a bangin' bridesmaid dress that you will be able to wear in public again without fear of embarrassment.
Then there are the other brides or "Bridezillas," who, in all the craziness that comes with planning a wedding, are either totally oblivious or okay with throwing you under the bus by making you wear a dress so full of ruffles, you could get lost in it.
If the thought of taking an axe or chainsaw to that dress has crossed your mind, then look no further! Here are twelve ways to reuse your bridemaid dress that will actually make you love it and want to get it back into the action.
12 Dye that sucker dark
If your dress is made of light-colored natural fibers like cotton, linen, rayon or silk, congratulations—you're no longer stuck with a $200 dress the pale yellow color of a health junkie's pee. Consider DIY-ing it a darker color, like black, or darker black. Now it's perfect for funerals! Try this at-home dye tutorial from Modern Mom here.
11 Hem it shorter
You're probably not going to get a lot of use out of a floor-length evening dress, but with a few nips and a little bit of stitching, you can turn your ball gown into a flirty short number perfect for showing off those legs you had to hide so as not to upstage the bride on her big day. Try this hemming tutorial from the Stir, found here!
10 Strap it up
Strapless dresses might have been cute when you were traveling as a bare-shouldered flock with your fellow bridesmaids, but in most other environments, that strapless look will feel a little more awkward. Try this tutorial from Dandelion Pie, found here, to strap up!
9 Tailor it to fit better
Some bridesmaid dresses are actually gorgeous, but unfortunately they're usually ordered months in advance and might not fit you so perfectly by the time the wedding comes around or after the wedding is over. For a dress that's otherwise ready to wear, do a little self-tailoring to get the fit perfect at your hips, bust, and waist! Try this tutorial from JJ's House, found here.
8 Refashion it into an even better dress
If you're feeling a little stylish and crafty, you can turn a flop of a dress into something that's totally wearable with just a few snips and stitches! Check out how this woman turned a $1 prom dress into an elegant party dress here.
7 Upcycle it into a cool skirt
The top of your dress might have been ill-fitted or unflattering, but if you're in love with the bottom half, you're in no obligation to keep the whole thing together. Check out this classy refashioning from Brassy Apple here.
6 Frankenstein it together with a cute top to make it into a maxi dress
Going from formal to semi-formal is just a pretty top and a bit of stitching away. This cute idea from Grace Langdon is even more flattering than the original! Check it out here.
5 It could make a lovely... purse?
When a bride goes too wild with a print and there's just no saving it, remember this: that god-awful floral catastrophe will seem a lot more understated when it's just a pop of print used as an accessory with a more toned-down outfit. Turn your dress into a stylish bag with this Youtube tutorial from GiannyL, found here.
4 Turn it into a cute rose throw pillow
If you've blossomed out of your bridemaid dress (or just can't figure out any other way to reuse the fabric), this pretty, girly rose pillow is a much better option than just throwing it out. Find the tutorial from Bromeliad Living here!
3 Cut it down into a cute, pint-sized princess dress
If you have little ones in your life, you can be sure that they'll be happy to wear your old dress! Try turning it into a pretty princess dress for playing dress-up in, like they did on Stay.See.Make.Do here.
2 Do a "trash the dress" photoshoot
"Trash the Dress" shoots are popular with old prom dresses and wedding dresses, but who says you and your best gal pals can't get together for a trash the dress sesh of your own? When bride Shelby Swink was left at the altar, she had a dress-destroying photoshoot for herself and her whole bridal party—not terribly practical, but totally fun!
1 Remember, Halloween is just around the corner
For the truly horrendous dress (think bad themed weddings here) there's always the option to turn your investment into a fun costume you can laugh about later. With a parasol and a hat, that Civil War-era southern belle gown could make a great Scarlett O'Hara costume come October.
Not everyone is lucky enough to walk the aisle with a bridesmaid dress they love, but if you're willing to get crafty, anything's possible once the wedding is over. Get wild with it!