4 fun ways to use doilies June 21 2012, 0 Comments

When vintage shopping and op-shop scouting, there is one thing I can be sure of purchasing and that's doilies. They're cheap as chips, you can find them anywhere and they are just so darn sweet. Maybe I love them so because they elicit flashbacks of Nanna's homemade scones and cups of too-sweet tea. But there are only so many spots around the house you can place a doily - under a vase or photo frame, on the coffee table, on the arms of a lounge... when my partner started finding doilies under the soap dish and toilet roll holder I knew I had to find something more constructive to do with them.

1. I started off simply by using doilies as ribbons for presents and bunches of flowers. A bunch of service station or grocery store flowers looks a million times better when you remove the plastic and tie a ribbon of doily lace around it. Another really simple idea is to glue a doily on to a piece of brown card and use it as a homemade greeting card. Or some butcher paper for wrapping paper. Homemade is always better!

2. Something that is almost as easy and just as cute as the ribbon is doily bunting. I discovered this in the midst of wedding planning and am going to use it around the garden at our venue, but it would be just as sweet around the home. It takes about 10 minutes and won't cost you more than $10, depending on how crazy you go with doily purchases. All you need is a sewing machine, your doily collection and some webbing or ribbon - easily found at Spotlight or any craft stores.

First you cut your doilies in half and lay them out along the piece of ribbon you intend to use. If you want to be sure to get it exactly right, pin the pieces along in even spacing, but otherwise I think a bit of imperfection can actually add to the fun. Then just fold the ribbon over the piece of doily and sew in a straight line. If you're not the world's best sewer, you can stop and start after each one - no-one is going to notice if the seam is not one straight line. Then hang it wherever you like, but just remember it's not going to survive long being left outside in the rain (I've learnt from personal experience).

3. The next little project was one I also came across while looking for wedding decor ideas. Doily lanterns! I used the tutorial at Glamour & Grace but there are plenty of online instructions about how to do it. When I was in primary school we learnt about papier-mâché by making a mask over the top of a balloon and then popping the balloon - this lantern is made using the same concept. So you just need doilies, balloons and fabric stiffener. Oh and a paint brush to paint the stiffener on. Then you use your papier-mâché skills and paint the stiffener on over the doilies to cover the balloon - just make sure you leave a small gap so you can get the popped balloon out and put a candle or light (or maybe some flowers?) inside.

4. I've been building up a framed picture wall at my house for the past year and after struggling to figure out what to put in some of the vintage frames I had picked up, it clicked - doilies! All you need is frames of all shapes and sizes and doilies to match. Use cardboard behind them and have some fun mixing up colours and patterns.

These projects are all super easy, but if you want to get a bit more tech with your doily craft, have a look for tutorials on DIY doily dresses, table runners and lamp shades. As I mentioned, I'm pretty hopeless at making things so everything I feature here is dummy-proof.

Happy crafting x