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Halloween is right around the corner and a great time to get creative! I’ve had my wedding dress hanging in my closet for awhile now and didn’t know what to do with it. I tried selling it, listed it online and researched consignment shops. They would only give me $40 for it which is completely absurd. I don’t have any children to hand it down to so I figured I would get creative instead. I discovered a zombie pub crawl in Tampa and asked my girlfriends if they wanted to join in on the fun. There was a group theme contest so we decided to go as a zombie bridal party! I figured this would be a way more fun way to utilize my dress one more time.

It took me about 20 hours to completely transform my dress into a zombie bride! First I cut all the tulle out from under the dress. I also cut the entire second layer of material from under the train. That lightened up the dress a lot! Definitely don’t want to walk around as a zombie all night wearing a 50lb dress.  I used the tulle I cut out to make it into a veil.

I bought a cheap tiara and sewed the tulle around the top of the tiara to attach it. I got ping pong eyeballs from the Halloween store and super glued them around the bottom of the veil. It took a while to figure out how to attach them. I discovered they are two haves glued together.  So I broke them apart, put one side inside the tulle and the eyeball side on the outer portion of the tulle and layered the edges with super glue then pressed them together. It really turned out pretty cool so it looks like the eyes are really in the veil. I also smeared some blood on it. Make sure if you’re using blood to get the big jugs of it that will dry. The first time I used the small blood capsules and that stuff is so sticky, four days later it was still wet. I had to wipe it off with a paper towel so it wouldn’t get blood where it wasn’t supposed to be.

To lighten up the dress even more I cut out more material at a jagged edge for the zombie effect. I also cut a jagged slit up the left leg to allow easier walking around. I altered the bottom since I wanted to walk in comfy sketcher wedge flip flops and the length would of been too long. Cutting jagged edges all around the bottom and then covered those flaps in blood.

Since I did not have a “human groom” to dress up and go out along with me, I decided instead to make my own zombie groom. I wanted it to look like I turned into a zombie first and then ate half my groom and the rest of him starting crawling up the train of my dress. I bought a zombie head and found a nice white Liz Claiborne shirt at goodwill for $5. I cut the edges of the shirt and covered it in blood as well. Once the blood dried I stuffed the shirt with the left over tool from my wedding dress.  This concept worked great because the tool made the shirt poof out like there was a body in it, yet it was super light. I sewed the tool inside the shirt so it wouldn’t fall out, then attached the shirt to the train of my dress.

The left arm I chopped off like it had been eaten and the right arm I sewed coming up my right side. I put a bloody hand print (my hand dipped in blood then dragged it down the side of the dress where I was going to put the zombie groom.) I bought a plastic hand from the store with a bloody stump and used Gorilla Glue to attach it to the dress. It worked fantastic! The zombie head was harder to get to stay on. The head was made out of foam which was light, yet the glue would just pull off the first layer of foam and the head rolled off the back. It was too thick to use a needle to go all the way through the skull to sew it, so instead I just sewed the ear to the dress. That worked well, but then he was looking down. I put some holes in the head and then filled them with Gorilla Glue and put glue on the dress to stick it and that seemed to do the trick. (Gorilla Glue works by expanding into the porous parts and then holding them together). My cat got really comfortable with Mr. Zombie lol!

For the accessories to the outfit, I discovered this awesome zombie leg purse. It was a hit with everyone and I could carry lots of stuff inside of it. I also purchased the white zombie contacts. They’re a little pricey, but if you shop around you can find them for $30 shipped. Make sure when you’re purchasing that two come in a pack. Some website sell them one contact each. The contacts really pull the entire outfit together. Everyone was stopping to take photos. My girlfriends bought matching dresses at Ross for $9 each and black rose bouquets for $10 each. Only two groomsmen were left alive and I found great bloody boutonnieres at Hot Topic.

The 20 hours of labor I put into this costume was well worth it. It was hard at first to destroy my wedding dress, but once I starting cutting it felt great! I recommend being creative to anyone who doesn’t know what to do with these left over expensive dresses. Might as well have some fun with them!  I was even on the channel 8 news the night of the zombie pub crawl. Click here to see the video clip

The zombie bride outfit is going to be on display and for sale this Saturday October 20th at the Artoberfest in the Tampa Pitcher Show. The art exhibit starts at 10:30 pm. Come by and have some drinks, and browse the art by local artists!

Tara Richter

Tara Richter is an Internet Dating Coach in Tampa Bay. She is the author of “The Dating Jungle Series” and an Internet TV Show Host.