Fab Fabrics: Vintage Doilies and Projects to Get You Started

doily garland

No-Sew Doily Projects

Can’t sew? You can still get in on the crafty doily action! Jaime Derringer has a great tutorial on how to turn a doily into a sweet little bowl. She even links to some tips on making your own, all natural fabric stiffener. Derringer suggests that you crochet your own doily, but you can skip this step and use a vintage one instead.

Don’t put away that fabric stiffener just yet! Use yarn or embroidery thread to tie stiffened doilies to a piece of twine to create a lovely, vintage doily garland. The one pictured above is made from dyed paper doilies, but you can just as easily use stiffened fabric doilies to get a similar effect. Small doilies would work best for this. Just make sure that you tie eacy doily to your twine in two places to keep things from sagging. You’ll also want your ties to be closer to the top.

Have you made anything fun out of vintage fabric doilies? I’d love to hear your project ideas in the comments!

[Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Maria Dryden]

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6 thoughts on “Fab Fabrics: Vintage Doilies and Projects to Get You Started”

  1. If you have an “heirloom” doily you don’t want to ruin or use in a craft, I’ve seen many sites on the web show how to frame them. That is a beautiful way of displaying and protecting the piece.

  2. Great post, as usual!
    I love sewing laces and doilies on pillow covers. I’ve been thinking about making necklaces with them but didn’t know how to make them stiff. Still pondering the idea of using commercial stiffeners since they will last longer than glue and starch but not so eco-friendly, I bet. πŸ™

    1. Aw, shucks, Karen. πŸ™‚

      Yeah, the stiffening thing is tricky, and I”m not sure how a home made stiffener would hold up, which is important if you’re planning to sell the necklaces. What about decoupaging the lace onto glass? Maybe you could even use some kind of reclaimed glass or sea glass?

  3. I love vintage doilies.Β  I also love to crochet doilies from vintage patterns.Β  The latter make great gifts for people who appreciate them.Β  (I judge “appreciation” by what people say when they see me making the doilies.)

    Anyhow, I have a few ways to use the vintage ones (or the new ones, for that matter).Β  They can be recycled into covers for throw pillows or pillow shams. You could center one doily on the cover or use several different but harmonizing ones. I suggest fastening the doily to the fabric with clear packing tape (instead of pins) when hand sewing it on.Β  I haven’t tried machine-sewing doilies, so I don’t have any suggestions for that.Β 

    They can also make a charming valence.Β  Use a variety of doilies that harmonize with one another, then simply attach them to a curtain rod with springΒ  clothespins.

  4. I used to work in a fabric store and one of our customers sewed doilies to pastel colored blocks of just inexpensive broadcloth. The doilies were all different sizes so on some blocks she would put 2 or 3 small doilies on, another one larger, as she cut all the blocks the same size. The pale pastel fabric peeking through the delicate lace made a beautiful shabby chic quilt. It would be a great project if someone inherited a stack of doilies from their grandmother.

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