No Fairy Godmother Required: 5 Custom DIY Prom Looks Under $15

Your hair is perfect, your date looks fabulous, and then it happens — your prom dress is already there, spinning on the dance floor. Guess your look wasn’t so unique after all.

To avoid this classic slow-mo nightmare scene, I asked the experts to let us know which hot trends could be easily -and inexpensively- added to your prom look.

Celebrity stylist, Dawn Del Russo, advised me on 2015 prom trends, and Rebekah Cooksey, Michael’s Vice President of Education and Projects helped us out with the DIY know-how:

Easy Embellishments

For a quick change-up on any dress or accessory, embellishments are key. Stylist Dawn Del Russo advises, “Take a cue from the red carpet with an embellished gown. Find a simple mermaid style or sheath dress in your favorite color and add fringe or feathers to the hem or crystals to the arm straps.”

Believe it or not, you can add plenty gold, silver, and jewels for under 15 dollars. Add a thick metal cuff to your ensemble with this easy crystal cuff DIY. For a new spin on an old clutch, just add glitter, and this low-budget Miu Miu shoe tutorial will add bling to your heels.

Add Tulle for Ball Gown Flounce

“Cinderella is the movie everyone is talking about right now and fairytale gowns are it,” Says Dawn, “Take a trip to a local craft store and pick up a few layers of tulle. Stitch (even easier hot glue) the tulle to the underside of an a-line gown.”

Tulle can add that extra ‘poof’ to any skirt, creating a fuller look that is perfect for spinning on the dance floor. A gown alteration may sound like a large undertaking, but tulle is actually fairly cheap and easy to tack onto the inside of a dress. This tutorial from shows us just how quick a tulle skirt makeover can be.

Statement Necklaces

“Finding just the right necklace to go with your dress can be such a challenge,” Says Rebekah Cooksey of Michaels, “DIY statement necklaces can be an easy and affordable way to get just exactly the look you’re going for.”

A statement necklace can also change up your whole look, giving a basic dress a new focal point at the collar. Martha Stewart is well-versed in creating bold necklace styles. With a bit of felt, ribbon, and faux jewels, you can make this formal statement necklace to match any dress. With these inexpensive materials making up your necklace budget, you’ll have plenty left over to invest in the dress.

Dramatic Cut-Outs

If you already familiar with a needle and thread, subtracting from your dress may actually be the fastest and cheapest way to makeover your prom look. Dawn Del Russo advises, “If you are daring, cut-out-style dresses are having a moment. Take well-sharpened scissors and decide just the right placement for a few cut-outs on a basic gown. Think sides and back.”

For just the cost of the thread and needle, your dress could get a major upgrade. After the careful cuts are made, it is just a matter of hemming back the edges. Geneva Vanderzeil, DIY maven and style blogger, made the perfect cuts in her high-backed dress to reveal a little skin and create a beautiful geometric look. Follow Geneva’s DIY tutorial for a cut-out dress.

Delicate Floral Crowns

Rebekah Cooksey tells us, “We’re seeing a lot of floral head pieces and crowns right now and the trend is, of course, making its way to the prom dance floor.  Headpieces add a festive element to a spring event like prom.”

Formal halos of flowers look best when done with small, understated flowers. Get the basics of flower design from the Michaels Glue String blog, and then try this whimsical headband tutorial from Bo Bunny.

She shows us how to incorporate small flowers, buds, and lots of twine to make a beautiful floral halo. We found baby’s breath and lily silk flowers for just under $2, making these crowns another inexpensive way to customize your prom look.

This post originally appeared on’s DIY Fashion site before they removed their blog.

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