Have you ever been to an antique store or thrift store and found some beautiful, sometimes hand-embroidered, linens? They could be curtains, handkerchiefs, tablecloths, anything. I love finding gorgeous pieces like this, as they seem to hold a lot of love. However, sometimes these linens are stained or faded with age. This doesn’t mean that you can’t still use them! Often, these damaged pieces come at a discounted price. I’ve gathered some ideas for how you can use these linens in your own home.
1. Display Handkerchiefs in Embroidery Hoops
This is one of my favorite DIYs. All you need is a few embroidery hoops. You can stain them, paint them, or even buy colorful ones. If you have found a vintage handkerchief with some great embroidery, but damage on one section, you can choose to frame only the intact section, giving you a sweet use for something that may have been discarded.
The rosy patterned embroidery hoop actually came from a partly stained handkerchief. Now its beauty is lighting up the room again!
2. Adding Handkerchiefs as Accents
I have a beautiful handkerchief from my great-grandma. It has little butterflies embroidered on one section. Since I wanted to keep this handkerchief intact, I chose to use it as a bit of interest on my bookshelves. You can apply this same idea to a vanity display or centerpiece for your tables!
3. Reusing Table Runners
If you are a parent like me, you probably know how messy little kids get when they eat. I found a nice table runner at an antique store, but some of the stitching was a little worn. I loved the colors, and, since it was already imperfect, I knew it would be okay if anyone spilled on it!
On a later trip to the same store, I found a matching, smaller runner. I am currently using this as a draping in a basket on the table.
4. Use Doilies and Handkerchiefs in Craft Projects
Love a doily, but not sure what to do with it? It can be used as an accent to your decor, or you can use it to spunk up a craft project! There are several pins on Pinterest that involve using lace as a stencil when spray painting or for pressing in clay projects. You could also put these pretty little pieces to work in your scrapbooks or wedding decor.
My mom did a great project with a doily for my wedding. She draped it in the background of a vintage suitcase. Guests were able to put their cards in the suitcase. Since I had a vintage-themed wedding, this was perfect!
5. Fold Faded Blankets at the End of Your Bed
I love chenille! I think it is such a great, textured fabric. I found a chenille blanket in one of my favorite colors at a local antique store. Unfortunately, some sections of the blanket were very faded and discolored. This is where strategic folding comes in handy!
Since I was just going to use this blanket as an accent piece, I folded it so only the portion of the blanket that wasn’t faded was showing. The best part about this find? It was only $9 and is a huge blanket!
6. Stitch Vintage Handkerchiefs Together to Make a Set of Curtains
This last idea I found in a vintage inspired magazine. All you need is a large collection of handkerchiefs and a sewing machine.
Measure out the dimensions of the curtains you would like to make, and arrange your handkerchiefs so they will fit these dimensions. Then just pin and stitch away!
I did this set of curtains in just one night. Since I was keeping it for myself, I wasn’t too worried about perfection. I love the boho feel!
How do you use vintage linens? Let me know in the comments!