Wedding DIY: $5 ribbon garter

Why on earth are bridal garters $50-300? Because people hear the word “wedding” and they mark up by 500%. I also find the tradition of tossing the garter a bit odd. It used to be considered good luck for people to “get a piece” of the bride. Literally. So the poor bride would be chased by people trying to rip off a piece of her dress. To distract the crowd, brides started throwing a piece of their outfit and then proceeded to run. Over the years, this “tradition” has evolved into the garter and bouquet toss. It’s weird, right? So decided to defy the wedding market and made a garter for a whopping $5. Here’s how you can stick it to the man too.


Take that, wedding market!


  • Ivory (or white) satin ribbon in 1.5″ and 0.75″ width. (Single or double faced)
  • Matching thread
  • Elastic in 0.5″ width.
  • Embellishment (you can make it your something blue like I did)

How-to: Measure your thigh where you want to wear the garter. Cut the elastic at a length 4-6″ shorter than the circumference of your thigh. (Remember…it has to stretch to stay on!) Next, cut both the 1.5″ and 0.75″ ribbon at 2-3x the circumference of your thigh. I did 2.5x for mine. If you’re making a tossing garter, cut an additional length of elastic as well as two lengths of the 0.75″ ribbon.

Running stitch after completion.

Running stitch after completion.

Align the 0.75″ ribbon on the center of the 1.5″ ribbon such that the satin face of both ribbons are facing outward. Pin them together. Sew a simple running stitch along both ends of the 0.75″ ribbon. Now you’ve created a pocket to lace your elastic through. Feed the elastic through the pocket. (Helpful hint on how to get the elastic inside the ribbon: Tie the elastic to a piece of thread and then tie the opposite end of the thread to a pencil. Use the pencil to feed the thread through the ribbon. Pull the thread through until the elastic is at the first edge of the pocket, and secure the elastic in place.) Sew one edge of the threaded elastic to one end of the ribbon. Then scrunch up the ribbon and sew the other end of the elastic to the other end of the ribbon. Finally, stitch the two ends of the ribbon together. You’ve got your garter! Add a little jewel and a ribbon to get in your “something blue.” Or you can use a little charm that’s symbolic to your relationship. (Think a little charm from the university you met or a charm from your favorite sports team.)


Don’t mind the yoga pants…I needed a picture of it on and figured the world didn’t need to see that much leg.

For the tossing garter, it’s the same idea, except I just used two lengths of the 0.75″ ribbon and did a round stitch over the two edges. This was a much faster process. (And I’m telling you…it had to be. I made that tossing garter starting at 6 am the day of the wedding…I had only finished the regular garter at midnight after the rehearsal dinner at the hotel bar!)


Hope this project helps you save a little cash in your wedding planning, too!


4 thoughts on “Wedding DIY: $5 ribbon garter

  1. This is such a great idea. I’ve been married for over seven years now and still don’t like that we did the garter toss at our wedding. I was seven months pregnant, hot, sweaty, and it was just embarrassing for me LOL My husband had a great time with it though (insert eye roll here)… This is such a simple idea though. We have a Military Ball coming up after my husband returns from Afghanistan and since it’s at a hotel in another city, we were gonna stay there for the night. Might be a nice surprise for him to find after the ball ends 😉 I could even match it to my dress!

    • Oooo I love that idea of matching it to your dress! Very playful! 🙂 And I *totally* agree about it being so embarrassing! It’s so hot and sweaty under those big, heavy wedding gowns! And I felt like it took Joe *forever* to find it lol

      • My husband crawled under my dress… Mind you, we hadn’t dated for very long when we got engaged and AT the wedding was when I’d met about half the people there for the first time… How’s that for a first impression? I don’t think they realize how embarrassing that kind of thing is for us.

  2. Pingback: Wedding Crafts Index | Heather HomeMaker

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