A Modern Use For The Traditional Doily

WORDS:: Chyka Keebaugh

PHOTOS:: Lisa Atkinson


I think all of us have seen a gorgeous old doily sitting at out grandmothers gathering dust, have we not?

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We may even have a collection sitting in our linen press, they are the kind of item we don’t know what to do with but can’t bear to throw away. I know I have! But this time, I am making use of them. I love the idea of reinventing a use for something old like I did with our anniversary silverware, so I have taken an entire collection of doilies, layered them up and created a gorgeous centerpiece for my dining table.

Layering the doilies, making different shapes can work in any area of your home if you have a corner that needs a little sprucing this is the perfect solution. My collection of doilies came from a family friend called Lynn, her mother actually made all of these doilies and I feel very special being gifted this collection. I remember as a young girl watching my grandmother crochet beautiful items just like this and even seeing the now and decorating with them feels very special, almost like I am continuing on with a lovely tradition. You don’t see handwork like this very often, so when you do - make the most of it and show it off.

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If you don’t have access to the traditionally crocheted doilies, paper doilies are a fantastic option. Their main purpose was to put them under food but that’s a little daggy, but there are so many other purposes for these intricate pieces of paper.

  • Wrapping a gift in brown paper and decorating with white paper doilies and some natural twine
  • Putting it on top of jar and tying a gorgeous ribbon around it
  • Colouring them in was a favourite past time of mine
  • Making into cupcake holders
  • Threading together and making a great banner
  • Using a paper doilie between homemade cookies as a gift
  • Using as a gift card on a gift
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