25 Ways to Upcycle Doilies

Did your granny leave you some doilies?

Are you baffled about what to do with them? I mean, do you even HAVE any end tables to set them on? And if you do, do you really want to dust that doily-covered end table every weekend?

No. No, you do not.

Fortunately, there are a lot of beautiful ways to upcycle paper and yarn doilies. Some are archivally safe so that you can pass the doilies down to your own grandkids, and some are great ways to alter them and give them a second life, especially if they’re tattered or torn.

So whether you want to keep your doilies pristine or give them an all-new style, there is definitely a project for you. Here are some of my favorites!

storebukkebruse / Flickr (Creative Commons)

1. Doily-covered bracelet If your vintage doily is in terrible shape, salvage what you can and make these lovely bracelets.

2. Bulletin board with doily pockets Your doilies are going to get a LOT of wear with this creation, so make sure that you’re happy using them up and enjoying them while they last.

3. Doily-wrapped luminaries The woven pattern of a doily makes beautiful shadows when used to cover a glass jar luminary.

4. Embroidered paper doilies These would make sweet valentines or lovely Christmas tree ornaments.

5. Envelope Liner Use an old paper doily to line envelopes, and your party invitations will immediately get a lot fancier!

6. DIY lace doily bowl You can use a whole lace doily to make this delicate-looking trinket bowl.


7. Dyed doily bowl The technique to make this doily bowl is similar to the previous tute, but includes the added step of dying the doilies–with food coloring!

8. Doily-covered pumpkins It’s easy to carry your Halloween decorating on through Thanksgiving with this doily-covered pumpkin project.

9. Scarf The author uses discount store doilies, but you can substitute sturdy crocheted doilies of any age.

10. Table runner The author of this tutorial dyed their doilies, but I think the table runner would also look lovely made with plain white doilies.


11. Doily wall art I think that this is one of the sweetest ways to upcycle vintage doilies, especially if you have a large collection. If you stick to the spray mount and avoid hot glue, you should even be able to unstick the doilies later to repurpose them again.

12. Fabric and doily mobile Paper doilies make the perfect background for featured fabric in this mobile made for a baby’s nursery.

13. Vintage doily necklace If you have a doily that’s not in perfect condition, you can utilize just the good pieces to make these delicate and pretty necklaces.

14. Window screen doily display If you keep the screen from rusting and keep the doilies away from direct sunlight, this is an excellent way to display and preserve your most special vintage doilies.

15. Framed doily If the doily fits the frame, you don’t need screening behind it–this tutorial shows you how to stretch the doily and frame it.

16. Doily lampshade This is a great way to utilize those sturdy lace doilies that you suspect aren’t handmade or antique or otherwise too fancy to be made into a lampshade.


17. Gift wrap You could use value-less or valuable doilies for this gift wrap, as long as the recipient knows whether they’re getting something to recycle or something to treasure.

18. Lamp cover If you’ve got an old lamp with a ratty cover, rip it off and use doilies instead!

19. Dreamcatcher Here’s a fun decoration that will also use up those ribbon scraps!

20. Quilt The doilies are appliqued onto this quilt. Put it somewhere where it’s not going to get a ton of wear.

21. Doily-appliqued pillow The doily comes first in this tutorial, with the pillow cover built to frame it, so you know it will highlight your special doily perfectly.


22. Doily and felt mobile Sewing the doilies onto felt gives them a completely different look, and allows you to fussy cut interesting features.

23. Doily hoop art This tutorial includes embellishments, but I think that the doilies look well simply framed in their hoops.

24. Hanging planters You will need some VERY sturdy doilies to make these hanging planters, but if you’ve got them, your plants will look wonderful!

25. Tablecloth embellishment The secret to this project is dyeing the doilies bright colors using RIT dye.

Do you have any favorite ways that YOU have upcycled old doilies? Let me know in the Comments below!

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