28. Six Things to Make with Doilies

Have a lovely collection of doilies that you don't know what to do with?

These 6 simple tutorials will show you how to get those doilies out of the drawer where you can admire them.

(1) T Shirt with Doily Applique

1 Plain t shirt. Mine is a $3 shirt for my 7 year old daughter which I bought from Kmart.
1 Piece of vintage linen - circular doilies work well.
Thread and a needle

Here we go...
Making the shirt is as simple as placing your linen piece onto the t shirt and carefully hand sewing around the edge. If you place a piece of card between the layers of fabric it will stop you accidentally sewing through the back of the shirt.

(2) T Shirt with Cutie-Pie Sleeves

In 2009 I bought my daughter a top from a market in Queensland that was made with a singlet top and some floral fabric sewn on as sleeves. Cute idea, and very easy to make. I have two round cornflower blue pieces of embroidery that I plan to use as sleeves on a top for her this summer.  Nothing could be easier sewing a doily onto a top to make little capped sleeves. Just cut your doily in half and pin under the existing seam at the shoulder and sew it on.  For more ideas and step by step instructions see Jessica Wilson from scrumdillydo's article for Craftzine :

(3) Doily Lampshade

A collection of large doilies
1 Balloon
Wallpaper paste OR PVA plus cornstarch
Rubber gloves

Here we go...
This tutorial has been doing the rounds on the Internet for some time, but it's such a goodie that I have to include it here. The original pics are from Shannon South from reMade USA and the lamps are available in the reMade store.

All you need to do is blow up the balloon and mark with a pen where your light fitting will be inserted. Make up a thick paste with either wallpaper paste or a combination of PVA glue and cornstarch mixed with water. Dip your doilies then lay them over the balloon, smoothing down any bubbles. Don't place any doilies where you have your pen because that will be where your light bulb will be inserted.  Overlap the doilies at the edges. Hang it to dry and then pop the balloon.

(4) Doily Candle Holders

Amanda from craftsbyamanda.com came up with these sweet little candle holders made from doilies and mason preserving jars. Just spray your doily with a good quality craft glue then press onto the (clean) jar. Finish by decorating the tops with twine, buttons, shells, or whatever takes your fancy. Pop a tealight candle inside enjoy.

(5) Doily Bowl

This is a stiffened doily made into a bowl shape by using either starch or fabric stiffener (available from Spotlight).  thehappyhomeblog.com  has a great step by step tutorial.  Remember the sewing paper pattern lightshade I made earlier in the year? The concept is exactly the same here. I love the look of these bowls, I'll definitely be on the lookout for some more doilies so I can make a few of these as gifts.

(6) Doily Cushion

This is a bit gorgeous isn't it? Smile and Wave's tutorial on thebeatthatmyheartskipped.co.uk shows you how you can create a cushion by overlaying doilies onto fabric. For a more simple idea try sewing just one doily onto a plain cushion you already have by following the same technique as the Applique T Shirt above.

I hope this post has convinced you of the truth - doilies are cool! I'd love to hear your comments and if you make something with a doily make sure you let me know how it went.


  1. The different size mason jars, storage jars-- glass or clear plastic--would be beautiful with mini lights for a fairy effect. GA

  2. That's a great idea :) I'm slowly adding to my vintage doily collection. I'm looking forward to trying some new ideas with them soon.


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