How to Frame a Wedding Dress

by Clayton Yuetter ; Updated September 28, 2017

The dress must be sewn to acid-free backing before being framed.

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The future bride spends countless hours searching through potential dresses until she finds the right one. Framing a wedding dress can preserve both the dress itself and memories of that special day for future generations. Selecting a shadow box that keeps out dust, mold and UV light while clearly displaying the dress can help protect it from natural aging. Framing a wedding dress involves sewing it to a mat, which takes time and patience.

Place your dress in the position in which you want it framed. Decide whether you want it folded to accentuate aspects of its stitching and other craftsmanship, or if you want it to hang full length in the frame.

Measure the dimensions of the dress as it is to be framed. This will help determine the height and width of the shadow box.

Purchase or make a shadow box large enough to frame your dress. It must have an acid-free mat backing onto which the dress will be sewn. Black is a common interior color for shadow boxes, but you can also choose one that complements the dress, such as silk pastels.

Sew the dress onto the mat. This takes skill and patience. Use invisible or matching thread and sew the dress only at key hanging points. Sewing the dress incorrectly will result in dimples when it is hung. Also avoid sewing at places where the fabric is weak, because gravity will result in tearing over time. When finished, the dress should appear the same hanging upright as it does lying flat.

Place the dress and backing into the shadow box and display it on the wall.


  • If you do not feel comfortable sewing your dress to the backing, take it to a professional framer.

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About the Author

Clayton Yuetter has worked as a professional writer since 1999. His writing has appeared in many journals and websites such as The Milk House, The Country Folks, Progressive Dairyman and Three Times Daily. He received a Master of Arts in writing at the National University of Ireland, Galway.