Thursday, June 17, 2021

Vintage Doily Art

 When my grandmother passed away years ago I was gifted a hefty pile of her doilies. I think every surface in her home was covered with them (starched to the point that they made a light clicking noise when you put them down 😂). She did such beautiful work and I really would like to create something with them so that they aren't hidden away in my closet. So I headed to Pinterest for some ideas and found even more than I expected.

If you have a pile of doilies like I do, a piece of wall art is a beautiful option. The doilies are either sewn to fabric or glued to canvas, and can be embellished with buttons, brooches or other jewelry, chipboard shapes, or artificial flowers.

A single doily, regardless of its size, can be displayed in a picture frame. Often the pressure of the frame backing is enough to hold it in place, so this can be a good choice if you don't want to be bothered with stitching or glue.

Consider adding a mat to your frame to highlight the part of the doily you like best. This is a good way to display a piece that is torn or stained.

If you want to make more of a picture, doilies lend themselves well to flowers or snowflakes:

You can use a doily as the center of a beautiful dreamcatcher. This requires a metal or wooden hoop and some extra pieces of lace or ribbon. You can also add feathers, beads, or other embellishments.

Here is another wall hanging idea, which would be particularly suited to doilies with a more oblong shape:

Adding a photograph of the person that made your doily can create a beautiful keepsake. You could also add jewelry, handwritten recipes, or other memorabilia.

If wall art is not your thing, there are a number of ways you can incorporate your doilies into your decor. Add them to throw pillows, lamp shades, tablecloths, curtains, vases, candle holders... basically anything you can think of!

Sew many doilies together to create a curtain, window valance, table cloth, or bed spread. You can either leave the doilies as they are or sew them to a backing fabric. Having a backing will provide a lot of support and structure to the finished piece. Leaving the doilies without a backing gives more of a boho look and also allows light through.

If you feel like playing with heavy starch, you can create an assortment of items. Simply mold your doily around an object with an appropriate shape and allow to dry. You can use bottles, aluminum cans, bowls, or boxes. Even balloons will work. Just be sure not to use items that can rust, such as tin cans, as the rust can transfer to your doily.

For something quite simple, make a little sachet for potpourri or scented wax wafers:

If you are overloaded with small ones (or want to take the scissors to your larger ones) you can make this gorgeous wreath:

If you are handy with a sewing machine (or know someone who is) you can even incorporate your doilies into your wardrobe:

And finally, if all you have are bits and pieces, here are a couple of craft ideas that will still allow you to put them on display:

After all my pinterest-ing I have decided to glue some of my doilies to a painted canvas to make a piece of wall art. If you have any further suggestions or would like to share your own doily art, please let us know in the comments!

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