What to do with grandma's dollies?

Sandra Quigley
by Sandra Quigley
I have old dollies handmade by my grandmother. I don't want to throw them away and don't want to display them on my furniture. Any suggestions on how to frame them to look like art?
  33 answers
  • Brenda Brenda on Sep 30, 2013
    put in picture frame and if you had some old pictures that would be great
  • Lauralee Rios Lauralee Rios on Sep 30, 2013
    why don"t you try dying them different colors and setting them on end tables add tea cups too! I think that would be nice
  • Nancy Hatcher Nancy Hatcher on Sep 30, 2013
    Glad you asked this question! I've got a lot of old doilies too and am hoping someone comes up with unique and beautiful suggestions! My Mother did take some of my great aunt's laces and mounted them to some antique velvet fabric by making a few small stitches through the lace to the velvet - just enough keep it flat - and putting it into a picture frame. If your doilies are thick just add mats to build up the space.
  • Sandra Quigley Sandra Quigley on Sep 30, 2013
    Thank you for the wonderful suggestions. I saw on a home makeover show where they framed them and made them into more of an art look. I may try that with a different color backing and mat.
  • Cyndi Moore Tippett Cyndi Moore Tippett on Sep 30, 2013
    I have one that has been framed in a gold frame between to pieces of glass. It doesn't matter where you hang them the wall color shines through the glass. I get more compliments on it. Since you have several you could frame them in different size frames, but paint them the same color, and then hang them as a collage on a wall. I think you will be pleased with results. Plus if you ever want to use them somewhere else you just take them apart and use them again.
    • Lisa Lisa on Oct 02, 2013
      @Cyndi Moore Tippett What a great idea! I have a few and some un-used wall space....
  • Sandra Quigley Sandra Quigley on Sep 30, 2013
    That is a fantastic idea! I was going to back them but like this idea much better
  • Diane Kinnaird Diane Kinnaird on Sep 30, 2013
    If you want to dress up your Country/Shabby Chic Room....you can make pillows or buy pillows and just sew a beautiful doily on them and toss them on a bed, couch or chair...I have used a few this way...when I get tired of them, just remove them~Iron them 1st, makes it easier to get them positioned straight <3
    • Fleurette Fleurette on Oct 02, 2013
      @Diane Kinnaird I have done this many times. I have also used netting and made a potpourri pouch and placed it between 2 doilies (heavily starched), hung by a ribbon and bow. Great to put on the Christmas tree as a heirloom.
  • Larose LoganOakes Larose LoganOakes on Sep 30, 2013
    Do you happen to have any pics of the doilies? What size are the doilies? I have seen aprons, handbags, doll clothes, Potpourri holders or sachets, borders or mats for framing pics or other items.I could go on and on.Please let us know what you decide to do, with pics of course.:)
  • Dena Cottrell Dena Cottrell on Sep 30, 2013
    I've seen purses made from them (with matching or complementing fabric underneath). I like the wall art idea. I have a lot as well in 3 different colors (burgundy, dark green and ivory) and right now my house is decorated with burgundy accents. They would look great and match and if I get new furniture I can switch them out.
  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Sep 30, 2013
    @Sandra Quigley there are several examples in this site as to what people have done with doilies. http://www.hometalk.com/search/posts?filter=doilies Please post your results.
  • Kelly S Kelly S on Sep 30, 2013
    You could even use them as a background for family pictures; Grandma will be with great-grandkids she never got to physically meet.
  • Keri M Keri M on Sep 30, 2013
    Sew them all together to make a table runner. That would be beautiful!
  • DeborahG DeborahG on Oct 02, 2013
    Someone had taken the old doilies and crocheted them together makes a beautiful table runner. OOPS, I see Keri M had same idea. Anyway, it was beautiful!
  • Barbara John Barbara John on Oct 02, 2013
    I also have a lot of these I am making lampshades out of them.I also use them sewn on to cute country shower curtains
  • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Oct 02, 2013
    Display them in frames...between two pieces of glass, on a black background. I have some that I am going to do that with for my dining room when i get ready to redo it.
    • See 3 previous
    • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Oct 06, 2013
      @Jmarie813 How about a tea stained parchment instead of a black back ground..with old antique pictures?
  • Marlene Wilson Marlene Wilson on Oct 03, 2013
    I love the light you made.
  • Martha Martha on Oct 03, 2013
    I put some of my Grandmother's doilies on the shelves in my china cabinet letting them hang off the edge and set a pretty tea cup or champaign glass on them sort if a coaster..
  • Audrey Montgomery Audrey Montgomery on Oct 03, 2013
    I took an embroidery hoop, added fabric and trimmed the back, stitched the doily to the fabric, then hot glued lace around the edge of the hoop.
  • Dee Dee on Oct 04, 2013
    I dye them different colors and use as a theme for the holiday. Example I have orange doilies under my pumpkins, I have green ones for St. Patricks day. I have red ones for Christmas & Valentines day etc.
  • Kelly Mason Kelly Mason on Oct 05, 2013
    Find a frame larger than the doily. Get mat board in a contrasting color to the doily and stitch the doily to the mat board in strategic areas. You have to stich it enough that it won't sag or pull.It will be beautiful remoinder of a loved one.ea
  • Just Lookin Just Lookin on Oct 05, 2013
    Wash & starch the doily. hand stitch or zigzag to fabric a little larger than the doily. make a quilt by stitching the pieces together. This makes a beautiful quilt
  • Barbara Aubrey Barbara Aubrey on Oct 05, 2013
    I line inexpensive brass trays with them for my jars of cream and one to hold a few pieces of jewelry, Also, basted a couple on hand towels that became decorative guest towels and finally under the lamps in my bedroom - the real tattered ones I simply wrap in acid proof paper to have and to hold.
  • Regina Hicks Regina Hicks on Oct 06, 2013
    They are beautiful when placed on different colored velvet and framed. I have sold some of my own for $125+
  • Jmarie813 Jmarie813 on Oct 06, 2013
    lovely! hope to see a pic. :0)
  • Gayla Gayla on Oct 06, 2013
    I have some that my great grandmother and grandmother had tatted, very special to me. I have plans to be framed and put in my bedroom going horizonal across one wall in my bedroom. Good luck for what you decide.
  • Robin Seefahrt Robin Seefahrt on Oct 06, 2013
    use to make valences, sew on a pair of jeans
  • Cindy Morgan Cindy Morgan on Oct 06, 2013
    Get a shadow box (deeper than a picture frame). Put a black background in it. Add grandma's handkerchiefs, and other things of hers. Maybe a pair of lacy gloves pinned in the middle, a cameo necklace, a few folded handkerchiefs. Whatever she was about. Make it a memory box, with a glass or plexiglass lid. You could also do this with a shadow box in a coffee table.
  • Janiece Burgess Janiece Burgess on Oct 07, 2013
    My sister in law took their grandma's hankie and put them on quilt squares and then made a very special quilt from them.
  • Donna Kitchen Donna Kitchen on Dec 19, 2016

    Use Stiffy and make bowls, ring dishes, cloches...so many options. Larger ones, I've made tray size. They are good and stiff and then I placed a wooden base (maybe a favorite wall art) or a mirror would be good...inside..no need to glue down...no mess and then it's interchangeable for holiday themes, etc. It's an awesome valet for the dresser, perfect on the vanity for makeup and very cute on the buffet holding fruit or holiday decorations etc.

  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Dec 14, 2020

    Hi Sandra, you'll find a whole bunch of Dollie upcycle ideas here  https://www.hometalk.com/search/all?filter=dollie

  • Deb K Deb K on Mar 03, 2021

    Hi Sandra, check out this link, several ideas for displaying doilies, hope it helps give you some ideas


  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Aug 20, 2021

    Look this one up under Projects at top of Homepage!