6 Fabulous Ideas for Repurposing Vintage Doilies

My personal hoard of vintage doilies

Of all the things we have were given to us or inherit from our relatives, doilies are among the prettiest and the most plentiful.  Vintage doilies will usually show glimpses into their past usage via their various stains – tea, wine, coffee, lipstick. With some gentle hand laundering and once you do you may wish to follow one or two of the ideas below to give a new purpose to those lovely doilies made with such love and care from times past.

 1 The Doily Lampshade

Create a beautiful lampshade by sewing varying sizes and pattern doilies and draping over a lampshade frame. Be sure to use different shades of white and beige to give the shade depth. Or go wild with colored doilies – perfect for a little girls room! CutoutandKeep shows us how it’s done with this beauty.

Doily lampshade from CutoutandKeep.

2 Doilies as Wall Art

Make beautiful displays from Granny’s doilies by displaying in embroidery hoops – lightly tack stitch onto burlap sized to be slightly larger than your hoop and clamp into wooden embroidery hoop. Or, thrift a beautiful frame with glass and repurpose it to show off a doily. Contrasting fabric backing makes the fine detail really pop.

framed doily from Girlpickers
Framed doily from Girlpickers on Etsy.

3 A Doily Bowl

Make a doily “bowl” by using fabric stiffener. Soak in stiffener according to directions and place doily over an inverted bowl and let dry. Once dry, remove from bowl and set on table open end up. Use battery operated candle to make a pretty lace centerpiece or fill with artificial flowers. The doily below would make a beautiful “bowl”.

*TIP – when the doily is still slightly damp with the stiffener use your fingers to slightly “pinch” the doily around the edge to create ruffles.

crochet doily pink white candy dish (1)

4  Doily Table Runner

Stitch several doilies together lengthwise to create a unique (and lovely!) table runner. This particular runner has scraps of gold lace glued or sewn on various doilies to give it a more current look.

Thank you to HGTV – click the photo for a link to the tutorial.

5 Doilies as Ornaments

Add a dash of American country and show off your smaller doilies by adding stiffener or Mod Podge and a festive ribbon and use as an ornament for your tree. The doily ornaments make a lovely gift for a family member, particularly if they are made from doilies that have been handed down through the family.

tree with exploded view doily ornament

6 and beyond – Get your doily on!

Sew small sample doilies onto a skirt pocket for a new chic look or embellish your old denim purse with a vintage doily or two and bring it back to life. Sew doilies together to make a delicate valance for your window. Let your imagination guide you and create your own treasure to hand down ♥











Dot ~ AtticAndBarnTreasures.com

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  1. I love these ideas! I have also used small doilies to patch holes in my favorite jeans. They make great sachet’s as well.I love doilies!

  2. I’ve used doilies (small ones) as pockets on shirts (tees, mostly) on skirts, and on some trousers. Always get many compliments. Sometimes, I use a liner, and sometime (like with the tees) I don’t.

  3. I have some old crochet collar from my aunt, I put them on some homemade pillows. Some I laid across some old picture frames.

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