Recycle your old doilies – you’ll love this shabby chic 63



View Profile

I have a pile of old beautiful crochet doilies at the back of a linen cupboard deep in the depths my house. They’re keeping the old memories together at the back of the cupboard.  I can’t part with them, but I also was struggling to think of a single thing to do with them now they seemed to clash with my modernising decorating style.
But, when you look at these simple ideas I think you will be inspired. In fact, if you look long enough you might even be tempted to get out a crochet hook or head to your local op-shops doily pile and see what you can find to make some of these beautiful homewares.

The Doily Table Runner (pictured above)

These pictures from Pinterest tell a beautiful story of how doilies can be used in an innovative and interesting way, sewn together into a shapely table runner.
a) select, wash and iron up to 20 co-ordinating doilies, pinning together into the best shape possible for your table.
b) Sew the edges with a sewing machine or by hand, being careful to shape the doilies together so they sit flat.


doily-tea-light-holderThe Doily Bowl: perfect for holding little or pretty things on display

a) Mix PVA glue (clear drying) and a small amount of water in a dish.
b)Rub Vaseline onto a selection of different sized upturned bowls.

c) Cover the upturned bowls with a doily of your choice.

d) Paste the glue mixture over the doily and leave it to dry.

e) After a couple of hours you can gently remove the doily and by flipping it over, you have a dish to use for whatever you choose

Doily Cushions

Find yourself plan coloured cushions that match your home or room and create the perfect shabby chic finish using your old doilies.  Use square on square for symmetry or a variety of doilies for a more shabby look.

a) select your cushion and remove the cushion padding.

b) iron the doily and cushion cover and pin into place

c) sew the doily onto the cover

d) restuff your cushion and voila!


Doily Frames

A doily can make the most magnificent decoration, and be very inexpensive to setup.  In fact I think these might even sell well at the markets!

a) select your doily (you might even want to dye them in a variety of colours as the picture here)

b) select a frame suitable for the look you want to create

c) select a backing colour or finish (you could use coloured gift wrap, fabric, or even spray paint to get this right).

d) compile the frame with doilies, backing, glue and hang on the wall…


If you like this list and think your friends will too – give it a SHARE!  

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. I am definitely going to try the doily table runner. I have a beautiful lace tablecloth that had holes in it so already a piece of it has gone onto a pillowcase. Its great when you can hold onto them a little longer.

  2. I wish I did have a drawer full of old doilies, they are so hard to find these days.

    4 REPLY
    • Thanks, for the suggestions. We don’t have many op shops and I look there regularly without luck 🙁 . I do crochet but prefer to work with chunkier cotton-not very patient I’m afraid 🙂

    • Even the op shops are realising they’re not as common now. They are starting to put unrealistic prices on them.

  3. I have seen them appliquéd onto plain squares in a patchwork quilt; very effective. A woman at the local markets has made them into dream catchers, also very charming.

    4 REPLY
    • Jenni a dream catcher is an Indian’s (USA) doily similar to these but with a hole in the middle where your nightmares can disappear out of. The rest of it catches your dreams. I make similar but more like a cobweb & stitch spiders, insects (& flowers for the girls) for my Grandchildren to hang in their bedrooms.

    • The ones at our markets have the doiley inserted where the spider web would be, stretched over a circle, and strands of sheer fabric instead of the traditional feathers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *