A few weeks ago my mother-in-law and I were browsing through our favorite second hand shop and I came across a basket full of old vintage Belgian doilies (most were handmade lace and a few were crocheted) for anywhere from 10 cents to 50 cents a piece. I grabbed a handful, paid less than 3 euro for them and took them home.
There were lots of questions as to what I was going to do with them (and the look on my husband’s face when I enthusiastically showed them was a mix of surprise and terror). And to tell you the truth, at that point I didn’t have any idea what I was going to do with them. I just knew there was a project using doilies just waiting for me and I had to give it time to be become clear what it exactly was. Yeah I know, I’m a nerd.
And sure enough a few weeks later I was rummaging through an old drawer and found a set of “naked” fairy lights. I knew then and there what that pile of doilies was going to be made into.
I decided that I wanted the doilies to be slightly stiff so they wouldn’t hang so limply from the lights. I didn’t have any starch of any kind so I made a mixture of normal white glue and water. I then dipped the doilies in the mixture, squeezed out any excess and placed them on a wine glass to dry in a nice lampshade shape (this was all trial and error…I had no idea if it was going to work or not).
To my surprise (and joy) the next morning the doilies were all completely dry and stiff enough to hold the shape that I was looking for.I then had to snip the centres of the doilies in order to fit the little fairy lights through (some had holes big enough but most needed a little snip). Once I had the fairy lights throught centre hole I hand sewed the doilies around the centre so that the light wouldn’t slip back through.
I find the final result really beautiful with all the different shades of white and cream, the different sizes of doilies and the various lace patterns. In the evening it makes the most beautifully romantic shadows on all the surrounding walls.