I’m not exactly sure when it all started, but a few years ago, while planning my sister’s med school graduation party, I fell deeply in love with vintage doilies. I suppose there are worse things, right? And now that I’m planning my own wedding (which is 15 short days away–yikes!), I knew that I wanted to incorporate these handmade hand-me-downs and decided that table runners would be just the thing.
My mom and aunts have been on the hunt for these crocheted, tatted, and knitted masterpieces (estate sales are their favorite for buying in bulk and have the best prices) for nearly six months. And they’ve uncovered dozens in all shapes, materials, sizes, and tea-stained colors. I didn’t want anything too matchy-matchy, so these variations couldn’t have been more perfect. In one afternoon, my mom, sister, and I transformed more than 80 doilies into six table runners. First, we measured how large the finished product should be and marked it on my dining room table. From there, we laid out different-size doilies and formed a loose, organic pattern with overlapping edges. Then, using a needle and white thread, we stitched together the overlaps. When each was finished, we rolled it up in tissue paper and stowed it safely out of my dog’s reach (!). After the shindig, we can easily snip the stitches to disconnect the doilies and dream up another project.
What do you hunt for at estate sales or flea markets? I’d love to hear what catches your eye (and some potential replacements when I move on from my doily addiction)!
P.S.: I even used French paper doilies as part of our invitations. I tell you, I’m obsessed!
-Alexa Fornoff, Shop BHG Editor
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