Decorate the border of a tablecloth with a selection of beautiful doilies. The tea-stain technique creates an heirloom look.
Pretty up a plain wire coat hanger with a lace cover. It is so feminine you’ll want to hang it on the outside of the wardrobe to show it off!
Lovely and LACY
Rummage through your grandmother’s linen cupboard for her treasure trove of handmade doilies and create contemporary tableware and accessories with them.
Before you begin
Wash the doilies in lukewarm water with a mild detergent and press them gently before you begin the projects. If the stitches have started to unravel or if the doilies are badly discoloured then discard these as their condition will only worsen with time and will spoil the appearance of the item. If the doily is in a good condition but is slightly discoloured you can always tea stain it. This will give it an attractive antique look.
You will need
• 254 x 144cm natural medium weight linen selection of handmade doilies in different sizes and stitches
• natural coloured sewing thread
• tea bags
• plastic bowl
To make the tablecloth
Fold a 1cm double hem around all the edges and press. Top-stitch the hem in place, working the stitching close to the top fold of the hemline.
To tea stain
Steep a few tea bags in a bowl of hot water. Leave to cool then remove the tea bags and submerge the doilies in the solution. When they have changed colour, remove them and rinse well in cold water, then soak in a solution of salt to fix the tea. Wash the salt out and leave the doilies to dry. Gently iron them flat. Note The excess tea must be washed out completely before the doilies are sewn to the tablecloth or they will stain the linen.
To decorate the cloth
Place the doilies at random at each end of the tablecloth to form a border at the hem line. Some can overlap each other. We used three uneven rows of doilies to create our border, with the bottom row draping over the hem to create a lace frill. When you are happy with the effect, hand-stitch them in place using neat, small stitches.
You will need
• wire coat hanger
• crochet tray cloth or runner
• crochet motifs to decorate
• matching sewing thread
• embroidery scissors
The crochet runner or tray cloth must be large enough to cover the hanger completely. Cut a small hole at the centre top for the hook and place the crochet runner over the hook. Carefully hand-stitch the runner in place, stretching it over the frame so the crochet is taut. Cut out motifs from other doilies using the embroidery scissors. Butterflies and flowers will suit the delicate openwork. Hand-stitch the motifs to the main lace section. Place a cut out at the hook to disguise the join in the wire hanger.
If you haven’t mastered the art of crochet, this project is tailor-made for you, as you will cover the bag with a ready-made tablecloth.
You will need
• plain white handbag
• small white crochet tablecloth
• white sewing thread
• brown paper
• pencil and ruler
• masking tape
• fabric glue
• small paintbrush
Note The pattern pieces will vary according to the style of the bag you have chosen. You need to make an overlay from the crochet tablecloth so it is slightly larger than the bag.
1 From the handbag, make a paper pattern. Stick the paper pieces to the existing bag with the masking tape then draw the pattern. According to the style of your bag you may have more than one pattern piece. Make sure all the straight edges of the pattern pieces are drawn with a ruler. Adjust the pattern to fit the bag if necessary.
2 Cut out the paper pattern pieces and place onto the tablecloth. Cut out, allowing a 1,5cm seam allowance. It will be necessary to finish off the raw edges. There are several options: you can carefully brush a fine layer of fabric glue around the raw edges to fix them, or you can over lock the edges if the crochet work is dense, or you can hand-stitch the raw edge with a blanket stitch. Choose the method to suit your tablecloth.
3 Sew the pattern pieces in the correct order, with a machine or hand stitch. Place the crochet overlay bag over the existing bag and secure it to the bag with small neat hand stitches.
A small doily is perfect to use as a necklace pendant.
You will need
• small doily
• spray starch
• white fine cord
• 4 jump rings
• long-nose pliers
• pink semi-precious stone or
• glass bead
• trigger clasp
1 Apply spray starch to the doily until it is quite firm and will stay flat. Place the cord around your neck and adjust the length until you are happy with the way the pendant will hang. Cut away the excess cord.
2 Attach a small jump ring at the centre top of the pendant and thread the cord through the ring. Attach a jump ring to the bottom centre of the pendant and attach the bead. Use long-nose pliers to close the jump ring so the bead is secure.
3 Attach the remaining two jump rings and the trigger clasp to the ends of the cord to complete