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How to Make Your DIY Wedding Dress Look Haute Couture

At the last count, the average wedding in the UK cost an eye-watering £38,000. With venue hire and catering costs always on the rise, it’s harder now than it’s ever been to plan a wedding without splashing out tens of thousands of your hard-earned pounds.

Many people dismiss an expensive wedding dress as a frivolous expense, but any bride planning her big day will tell you that looking and feeling beautiful as you walk down the aisle is a huge part of the experience. The problem, of course, is that the average dress tends to have a price tag of at least £1000.

In response to this kind of overpricing, many brides have begun to opt for non-traditional gowns, bridal separates, and – most thrifty of all – the DIY dress. While making your own wedding dress is not for the faint-hearted, it can be a fantastic way to save money while achieving your dream style.

Top tips include buying a ready-made pattern, creating a mock-up in muslin before you start on the real thing, and spending some time planning the tiny details that will make your dress look like it came from a top fashion designer.

Swarovski® Crystals & Beads

The Bluestreak Swarovski® range is one of the largest available online in the UK, and offers a huge variety of options when it comes to the design of your wedding dress.

For ultimate ease, there are our Hotfix crystals, which come with a flat back and a heat-activated adhesive. All you have to do to attach these to your gown is apply heat with an iron (on a no-steam setting), or a special Hotfix applicator, which you can order through our online store. These gorgeous flatback crystals come in a range of wedding-appropriate colours, including Ivory Cream and White Opal.

Another favourite for DIY brides are our Swarovski® crystal beads, available in subtle shades like Blush Rose and Moonlight. These crystal beads are designed for hand-sewing, and each comes with a tiny threading hole. Other useful products include our Swarovski® crystal buttons and sew-on stones – all of which, like our beads and flatbacks, are available to buy either in small quantities, or wholesale.

Outside of our Swarovski® crystal range, we stock a good selection of glass and metal beads, as well as Sterling silver, silver, gold and rose gold plated findings, which can be used to craft that perfect piece of wedding jewellery.

And on the big day itself? You can put the finishing touches to your glamorous, glittering wedding look with some stunning Swarovski® Crystal Pixie nail art.

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Swarovski® Crystals Size Guide Table

We have two Swarovski® Crystal Size Guides to help you choose the right size for your Swarovski® Beads and Crystals. This one includes measurements in mm and inches, the other found here includes a visual representation of the crystal size.

Swarovski Size Classification

PP=Pearl Plate (usually used for smaller stones)
SS=Stone Size (mostly used for medium-large stones)

Size in mm

Size in inches

PP 1 / SS 000

0.80–0.90 mm

0.032–0.035 in.

PP 2 / SS 00

0.90–1.00 mm

0.035–0.039 in.

PP 3 / SS 0

1.00–1.10 mm

0.039–0.043 in.

PP 4 / SS 1

1.10–1.20 mm

0.043–0.047 in.

PP 5 / SS 2

1.20–1.30 mm

0.047–0.051 in.

PP 6 / SS 2

1.30–1.35 mm

0.051–0.053 in.

PP 7 / SS 3

1.35–1.40 mm

0.053–0.055 in.

PP 8 / SS 3

1.40–1.50 mm

0.055–0.059 in.

PP 9 / SS 4

1.50–1.60 mm

0.059–0.063 in.

PP 10 / SS 4

1.60–1.70 mm

0.063–0.067 in.

PP 11 / SS 5

1.70–1.80 mm

0.067–0.071 in.

PP 12 / SS 5

1.80–1.90 mm

0.071–0.075 in.

PP 13 / SS 6

1.90–2.00 mm

0.075–0.079 in.

PP 14 / SS 6

2.00–2.10 mm

0.079–0.083 in.

PP 15 / SS 7

2.10–2.20 mm

0.083–0.087 in.

PP 16 / SS 7

2.20–2.30 mm

0.087–0.091 in.

PP 17 / SS 8

2.30–2.40 mm

0.091–0.095 in.

PP 18 / SS 8

2.40–2.50 mm

0.095–0.098 in.

PP 19 / SS 9

2.50–2.60 mm

0.098–0.10 in.

PP 20 / SS 9

2.60–2.70 mm

0.10–0.106 in.

PP 21 / SS 10

2.70–2.80 mm

0.106–0.11 in.

PP 22 / SS 10

2.80–2.90 mm

0.11 in.

PP 23 / SS 11

2.90–3.00 mm

0.11–0.12 in.

PP 24 / SS 12

3.00–3.20 mm

0.12–0.13 in.

PP 25 / SS 13

3.20–3.30 mm

0.13 in.

PP 26 / SS 13

3.30–3.40 mm

0.133 in.

PP 27 / SS 14

3.40–3.50 mm

0.133–0.14 in.

PP 28 / SS 14

3.50–3.60 mm

0.14 in.

PP 29 / SS 15

3.60–3.70 mm

0.14–0.15 in.

PP 30 / SS 1

3.70–3.80 mm

0.15 in.

PP 31 / SS 16

3.80–4.00 mm

0.15–0.16 in.

PP 32 / SS 17

4.00–4.10 mm

0.16 in.

PP 33 / SS 17

4.10–4.20 mm

0.16–0.17 in.

SS 18

4.20–4.40 mm

0.17 in.

SS 19

4.40–4.60 mm

0.17–0.18 in.

SS 20

4.60–4.80 mm

0.18–0.19 in.

SS 21

4.80–4.90 mm

0.19 in.

SS 22

4.90–5.10 mm

0.19–0.20 in.

SS 23

5.10–5.27 mm

0.20–0.21 in.

SS 24

5.27–5.44 mm

0.21 in.

SS 25

5.44–5.61 mm

0.21–0.22 in.

SS 26

5.61–5.78 mm

0.22–0.23 in.

SS 27

5.78–5.96 mm

0.23 in.

SS 28

5.96–6.14 mm

0.23–0.24 in.

SS 29

6.14–6.32 mm

0.24–0.25 in.

SS 30

6.32–6.50 mm

0.25–0.26 in.

SS 31

6.50–6.68 mm

0.26 in.

SS 32

6.68–6.87 mm

0.26–0.27 in.

SS 33

6.87–7.07 mm

0.27–0.28 in.

SS 34

7.07–7.27 mm

0.28–0.29 in.

SS 35

7.27–7.48 mm

0.29–0.30 in.

SS 36

7.48–7.70 mm

0.30 in.

SS 37

7.70–7.93 mm

0.30–0.31 in.

SS 38

7.93–8.16 mm

0.31–0.32 in.

SS 39

8.16–8.41 mm

0.32–0.33 in.

SS 40

8.41–8.67 mm

0.33–0.34 in.

SS 41

8.67–8.95 mm

0.34–0.35 in.

SS 42

8.95–9.23 mm

0.35–0.36 in.

SS 43

9.23–9.53 mm

0.36–0.38 in.

SS 44

9.53–9.85 mm

0.38–0.39 in.

SS 45

9.85–10.19 mm

0.39–0.40 in.

SS 46

10.19–10.54 mm

0.40–0.41 in.

SS 47

10.54–10.91 mm

0.41–0.43 in.

SS 48

10.91–11.30 mm

0.43–0.45 in.

SS 49

11.30–11.72 mm

0.45–0.46 in.

SS 50

11.72–11.97 mm

0.46–0.47 in.

SS 55

12.97–13.22 mm

0.51–0.52 in.

SS 60

14.22–14.47 mm

0.56–0.57 in.

SS 65

15.47–15.72 mm

0.57–0.62 in.

SS 70

16.72–16.97 mm

0.66–0.67 in.

SS 75

17.97–18.22 mm

0.71–0.72 in.

 
 
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