Monday, September 17, 2012

Using Vintage Linens on Projects

This is a short how-to on using your collection of vintage linens, lace and doilies to make items you can use in your home.  This way you can enjoy the items rather than have them neatly folded away in a drawer.

The first picture has two Christmas stockings made out of vintage tablecloths.  I cut the stocking pattern using a focal point of the tablecloth.  Then, I used chenille for the cuff to add to the vintage look of the stocking.  

Adding buttons - some old and some not so old - just add more interest.  I hand sew the buttons on very securely so I don't have to worry about them coming undone.

The two pillows are made using a vintage doily and a piece of lace.  I place them on the backing fabric and then pin it.  I then hand sewn them with matching thread taking tiny stitches to secure the vintage piece.  I also machine stitch the lace on the edges several times to prevent it from coming unraveled.

This pillow was a very old hand towel.  I folded it in two and used the fringe edge on the pillow front.  I love the detail on this - simple, but beautiful!  I decided that it needed the black ball fringe to complete the look.

Always wash your linens in cold water before you start working on them.  Press them getting out any wrinkles you can.  A lot of time I have to reposition the design according to where there are creases.  Some of these creases have been there a very long time and will not come out.  So, plan accordingly.

An old tablecloth with these georgous cherries had alot of stains in the center which was where the food probably was.  But, the edges with the border print was still just so pretty.  I cut the center panel out, added red rick rack and then a band of red and white polka dotted fabric on each end.

This one was using the vintage end of a table runner as a "flap" on this envelope style pillow.  It is sewn in at the top but not on the sides, so it hangs freely.

The Scotty dog pillow was made similar to the cherry pillow.  The Scotty image was a vintage piece that had holes in it, but the cross stitch design was so precious that I had to use it.  So, I added the black and white polka dot fabric to the sides and added white ball fringe.  I saved the Scotty!!

By adding a red print on the side and at the top, I was able to use this red floral vintage fabric to make a sizeable pillow.  I love using cording on pillows.  I added a cluster of buttons in one corner for an extra touch.  Once again, sewn on securely.

You will notice my pillows are all different sizes.  Very seldom do I make a standard size pillow because of the fact that I start out with an idea and then just add to it.  I never know what size it will end up.  So, as a result, I hand stuff all of my pillows with polyfil.

Hope you enjoyed this and it will give you inspiration to take some of your collection and make it part of your everyday life.

Till next time, Judy


  1. Your pillows are gorgeous and so creative. I love that you've saved so many precious pieces of vintage linen. You've given me several ideas for my own pile of linens! Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. More for your book! Fabulous!

    Cheery wave from Bev

  3. I am inspired also. I have some linens that are so sweet but not usable as is. This makes them so special.
    hugs, Linda

  4. What great ideas! This has certainly provided some sweet inspiration to dig into my stash of linens.

  5. What pretty pillows... such a fun way to enjoy vintage linens!

  6. These are fantastic! I love vintage linens and such.

  7. I love all your pillows. But the ones with old lace and such are so special! Just remember one thing, every pillow I've ever ordered that had buttons on it, Charlie Ross has chewed off. So if you ever make one for me, might want to remember that...

  8. You are so creative! I love that pretty red floral! I like to use crocheted doilies on my bags. I love vintage linens!

  9. Everything is so adorable it's hard to choose a favorite! But the stockings are pretty darn cute!!

  10. Hi Judy, love the Scottie pillow and heck all of them. I buy and resell vintage linens so you are speaking my language here. I am following you now. xo, olive

  11. You've given me so many great ideas.

  12. I bought a (maybe the) Scotty pillow from you and love it. It is on my bed and I am so happy with it. Thanks so much! It makes me smile everyday. Velma (from up the road in Collinsville).

  13. Love the pillows - now I know what I can do with all my old dresser scarves. Thanks for the ideas.



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