Tag Archives: doily

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!


I really enjoy decorating for the holidays, and was excited to change things up a bit this year.  We usually decorate with the same items and theme, and I decided this year would be different.  Why?  I guess it feels like I missed out on celebrating some things this year since I didn’t dress up for Halloween and was sick on Thanksgiving Day with a nasty headache.  So, when it came to Christmas I decided to go big.  I’m feeling particularly festive since I’ve been cleared by the doctor for full use of both my hands.  Hurray!  It was a real pleasure to decorate our home for the holidays, and I hope you enjoy what I came up with.

Doilies Everywhere!

As I mentioned in my Doily-Inspired Mandalas post, I’ve collected a number of doilies over the past few months.  One of the lots of doilies included several identical white doilies, and I decided to make a garland with them – to hang over a doorway.  I also decided to use some of the larger doilies for wall decor.  But first I had to stiffen them. Armed with a mixture I made by cooking cornstarch and water, I did just that.


The eight white doilies are linked together with old-school brass brads.  I added some ribbon bows and vintage silver candy molds to add some “pop”.


These three large doilies look nice alongside the window, and the silver floral trim that I glued in the center really added some sparkle to otherwise flat pieces.


This view is from the bedroom, showing the backside of the garland – looking towards the tree.


Our tree has to be elevated up off the ground because of our pet rabbits, and I decided to use a table cloth that my mother-in-law cross-stitched years ago for our “tree skirt”.  I love the look of it, and it has a lot of sentimental value.


Our main tree, lit.  I left our typical hand-painted tin Mexican ornaments off the tree this year, and used lights, glass bulbs and snowflakes instead.  I already had all those things though – the only things I purchased were the doilies used elsewhere in the room.


I found this vintage tinsel star at a thrift store in Kansas in 2009.  Cost?  A mere 75 cents!


This smaller green tree sits atop our bookshelf.  If those star ornaments look familiar, it’s because I shared how to make them in a DIY post last year: Aluminum Star Ornaments!  The star atop the tree is – yep, you guessed it – another stiffened doily.  I glued an old rhinestone earring into the center of the star to add some oomph.  The tree’s base and the the top of the bookshelf were “doilied”, too. :]


Here are the little tree and wreath that I put out in the studio, in the corner next to (and above) my desk.  Tinsel rules in the studio this year, but I still have doilies under the tree and under the tiny baby Jesus.


And of course, here’s the Vintage Crocheted Wreath I shared on Tuesday – which is hanging on the inside of our front door.

I wasn’t kidding when I said there are doilies every where!  The look I was going for is Modern Vintage, which is how I often describe my artwork – particularly my collages.  I love vintage, but want to keep it “clean” and interesting – and I don’t want it to look too saccharine.  Pretty, unique, and a bit unexpected – those are words I’d like used to describe this year’s decor.  Do you think I succeeded in keeping a bit of an edge?

Do you have a theme that you work with when it comes to your holiday decor, dear readers?  I hope you’ll comment and share.  Oh, and if you’re interested in the recipe/process for stiffening the doilies with cornstarch, just let me know.  I’d be happy to post a link in the comments to the page I referenced when I worked on the doilies.

Warm regards,

Posted in antiques, DIY, holidays, inspiration, life in general, vintage | Also tagged , , , 8 Comments

Vintage Crocheted Wreath


Back in October I saw a super cool wreath idea on the blog 20 North Ora.  “Ms. Ora’s” wreaths were made with vintage crocheted potholders and doilies, and I just loved the idea of using beautiful needleworked items in a wreath. So clever!  I found the doilies and potholders I needed to make the wreath on eBay and followed the directions on the 20 North Ora blog post with just a few exceptions.

1. I did use a straw wreath as instructed, but covered it with inexpensive white acetate ribbon instead of lace.  The wreath I selected is 13″ in diameter at the outer edges.

2. I didn’t use any glue, I just pinned the doilies on with T pins. I like the idea of being able to take this wreath apart and re-make it in a different color scheme/pattern if I want.

Straw wreath covered with ribbon

Crocheted pieces laid out, ready for pinning

Pinned, before the bow was attached


I think vintage needlework is lovely and am pleased with how well the three round pieces and three square potholders came together on this one wreath.  I just added a simple bow of aged and tattered lace to finish it off, and it was ready to hang. What do you think?

Personally, I really love that this wreath idea is so versatile.  By mixing different colors and patterns you can make themed wreaths for any occasion – Christmas, Chanukah, Valentine’s Day, Spring, 4th of July, and more. Or just choose colors and patterns that will appeal to you year-round and skip the seasonal reference!


Oh, and by the way, if you happen to have any vintage crocheted potholders similar to those on my wreath, aren’t using them, and want them to go to a good home, please keep me in mind! I’d be happy to adopt them.  :]

Warm regards,

Posted in crafts, DIY, inspiration, vintage | Also tagged , , , 6 Comments

Doily-Inspired Mandalas


I recently purchased (ahem) a “few” doilies and crocheted pot holders.  I originally intended to use them to make a wreath modeled after one I’d seen online, and have since expanded my scope.  I’ll likely post some of these creations in the coming months, and thought I’d start things off with the simple “project” I recently worked on in my art journal.

I’m still recovering from my two hand surgeries, so I’m limited on what I can do, but working in my art journal with my right hand has been do-able.  Last week I selected a doily from my stash, and decided to sketch it.  Though it’s far from perfect, I’m pleased with the way the page turned out.


I sketched out a stylized version of the doily’s pattern and design with black micron pens, and then filled in some areas with color.  I used water color pencils, some water, and a paint brush to “render” the color.

As I continued to work I realized that the image looked like a mandala of sorts, and since I’m pretty bad at creating mandalas from scratch this is a good way for me to work with pattern, color, and to relax.



I decided to work on a second doily-inspired mandala last week on election night, and like how this one turned out as well.


Instead of using bold black ink pens, I decided to use a water-soluble pencil to lay down the pattern.


The softness of the lead pencil marks dividing the page into segments reminded me of the leading in a stained glass window, and that sense grew as I used watercolors from a pan set to add color. Does it remind you of a stained glass window too, or is it just me?



If you like the idea of working in your art journal and creating a design and pattern on your page – in color or just in black and white – consider using a doily for your starting point.  As you can see, the color schemes I put on my page aren’t based on the doilies’ actual colors – that was me using my artistic license.

Do you have any doilies laying around?  Will you give a doily-inspired mandala a try? Have you ever used other textiles or pieces of needlework to inspire other types of artwork you’ve created? Do tell…

Warm regards,

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Posted in art, art journaling, art supplies | Also tagged , , 4 Comments