Thursday, May 31, 2012

Vintage Lace & Doilies: Upcycled and Repurposed


Don't know what to do with all those old remnants of lace and inherited doilies? Check out these unique and fun ways to recycle and reuse these fading treasures. 

Don't have any doilies of your own? Check your local thrift shops and yard sales and I think you'll be surprised at how plentiful (and inexpensive) these beauties are.

Nelly Vintage Home

Doily lamp shade from A Beautiful Mess

DIY idea: frame lace and doilies atop of colored matting

Boho Vintage Crochet Lace Bib Necklace with Antique Brass Chain

Lace bib necklace by Urban Heirlooms via Etsy

Lace & doily lampshades

crochet lamps by NICE (by Naughty Secretary Club)

More doily lampshades

I think I like this one the most

Lace resist painting: lay lace on paper, spray with clear gloss spray, remove lace, paint with watercolors

For the project above you need:
Spray gloss finish        Watercolor paints           Doilies               Yupo paper

You can use any type of paper for this project but the Yupo is recommended because is its less absorbent so it creates a great resist. To make, place the lace on the paper and spray the gloss spray through the lace onto the paper. Then remove the lace and paint the sprayed paper with watercolor paints. Project by Christine Adolph.

Lace printed stationary

Lace doily candle holder: made by soaking doilies in wallpaper glue or sugar starch and forming around a balloon. Sugar starch is 1/4c water mixed with 3/4 cup granulated sugar. For more permanency use fabric stiffener such as Stiffy.


Necklaces made with lace and fabric stiffener by White Owl

Carved lace tape - this would be so pretty on a gift!

Adhesive lace tape

Doily wedding dress


Leather and lace handbags (above and below) by Urbanheirlooms



I'll have to add more hoops ...

Lace in embroidery hoops

Lace doilies on canvas, painted white

 Vintage lace jewelry (made by me!) DIY tutorial can be found in my bestselling jewelry project
 book: Boho Chic Jewelry: 25 Timeless Designs Using Soldering, Beading, Wire Wrapping and More
(above and below)

Also available for sale in my Etsy Shop!

Also be sure to check out this DIY scrap lace curtain:

 DIY scrap lace curtain

Did you know that you can use lace and doilies to make imprints in clay? Check this out:

Doily print clay dough ornaments tutorial

Pin this post!

Which do you like best?

Have a great week!

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Article copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2019 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author. Originally published on 5/31/2012.


  1. Lots of great ideas...thanks for posting... Love that lace cookie..sweet gift idea..:)

    1. I agree, and think they would be cute as snowflakes too...I would imprint the lace, and then cut with snowflake shaped cookie cutters

  2. Beautiful! So many great ideas--I'm inspired to go dig out my lace doilies I have squirreled away somewhere in my attic.

  3. Absolutely great ideas for all those lace things I've been collecting for the last thirty years and have noone to leave them to. Perfect!

  4. I love all the gorgeous lace! Thanks for the photos of the lace making. I have a set of lace bobbins from my great grandmother and never knew how they were used. Very cool!

    1. Yeah, those are great pictures, I love seeing how it was done.

  5. I am in love with your blog! Found you via Pinterest and I just can't get enough. You're definitely on my to read EVERYDAY list.

  6. What beautiful ideas! I hope you don't mind if I share your link with my friends on Facebook, Pinterest and by email. I know some of them will get a real kick out of this, and want to visit your blog for more ideas!

  7. LOVE this compilation, very inspiring. I have a 'glob' of doilies and continue to pick them up at thrift stores and yard sales because they speak to me... some day I will find just the right purpose for them.

  8. Just found your blog, via a friend, and I love it! Thanks for the creative inspiration!

    1. Thanks Nancy, glad you like it and thanks for visiting!

  9. Wow - great blog - just dropped in to see what was happening and you have so totally inspired me with your inspirational ideas! Keep up the good work. Christine

  10. Amazing post! Thank you for featuring my doily wall hanging!

  11. Wow, what a ton of great ideas!!

    I am brainstorming and looking for ideas for my son and his fiance's wedding which will be in the Autumn of 2014. Tight Budget. So DIY'in alot of it! Challenging part is that they will have it outdoors in a place with no trees, no flowers...because it's free. :) However, strangely, enough, there is a gazebo. ha.

    It will be outdoors and some of what she wants to use are:

    Vintage Lace (probably not batten)
    Jute Twine
    Mason Jars
    Milk Glass
    White Lights and Candlelight
    Pearls and Rhinestones

    Colors are: All shades of Ivory AND Very Pale Pink

    Anyhoo, here is my question...

    Can you tell me how I can cut up an old lace tablecloth and use it for various things without it fraying all over the place? I've never done such a thing and am a little scared to.

    Not sure where we will use lace yet, however I am certain we will use it in other places. A couple of places we are fairly sure we will use it is on the jars and tablerunners. Jars with strip of burlap and then lace over top with some homemade flowers and buttons tacked on, perhaps. And possibly burlap tablecloths with lace runners??

    You can look at my board that I've created for ideas thus far if you'd like here:

    Some of the things are just inspiration that I would likely modify, but you'll get the overall idea.

    If anyone has any ideas or thoughts, I would really love to hear them!! Needin help. :)

    Thanks much!!


  12. I love this. Give me a lot to work with. Could probably be used on pie crust if it can be used on cookies.

  13. I have a whole box of doilies. Who do I go to to sell?


  14. love your stuff - so cool and so many ideas!! Great

  15. WOW ... thank you for this marvelous post. I've been collecting old doilies for ages to use in mixed media art projects. I've used them as stencils, but never thought of the use as resist. I shouldn't be making a new mess today, as it's housecleaning time, but off I go.

  16. Those lace hoops are beautiful, my mother has lots of lace dollies hanging around at home so I may have to try and dig those out and give this a go!

  17. Love those antique lace necklaces, any chances to buy? and where i can buy it ?

  18. Wow--this is an excellent resource of ideas! So glad you posted this.

  19. Thank You for Sharing your Beautiful ideas!! It helps those of us that just don't come up with these unique things to do!!


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