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New Uses For Old Linens

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(Above: Downstairs bathroom window treatment using vintage linens.)

DIY Home Decor

I love old linens, especially those with beautifully hand crocheted edges. Many of those in my collection have edgings 10 inches or more in width and represent a significant amount of effort.

Sadly, I’ve watched them pile up in the linen closet, loved but unused. Many are of such fine linen or cotton that they are almost transparent, and it seemed a shame that they weren’t being seen and enjoyed.

When I decided that the bathrooms in our old house needed new curtains, rather then spend the money to purchase ordinary curtains, I determined to find a way to use and display some of my beautiful old linens.

One of my main considerations, of course, was to ensure that no damage would occur to the linens, which meant no cutting. Having decided on a café look for privacy with a coordinating topper of some type, I began sorting through my collection.

I was fortunate to find a linen panel with a 12 inch crocheted edge (see photo below) which was exactly the width of the window. (I think someone had the same idea that I had.) Using clip rings and a spring tension rod, I had an instant café curtain for the downstairs bathroom window.

The topper was a bit more problematic since I wanted to use linen in the same color. As I dug deeper, I found a beautiful round luncheon tablecloth with a magnificent edging. I folded it not quite in half to display more of the edging and draped it over the top rod, gently gathering it to smooth out the look. When I hung at the top inside of the window, it was a bit too long, so I drew it up in the center with a length of satin ribbon.

In our old house with its English country style of decorating, I got a great look at no cost with no sewing and no damage to the linens. The photos that follow show the panel, the topper, and a close up of the beautiful crochet on the topper.


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Next, I tackled the upstairs bathroom window. I found another round tablecloth, also luncheon size, and used the same approach as downstairs, draping it over a rod at the top of the window. Again, I gathered it up a bit with a length of yellow satin ribbon which coordinated with the wallpaper. This pretty tablecloth was embellished with baskets of hand embroidered flowers for an added touch.

I couldn’t find another panel as I had for the downstairs bath, but I did unearth a square tablecloth that had gorgeous inset fillet crocheted panels with a pretty edging all around. It was too long but I folded over the top edge to reveal more of the crochet and hung it using clip rings over a café rod.

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I hope that these ideas will help you to look at old linens in a new way to find new ways of displaying these treasures from years ago.


Regards, Flo


By Florence Dove Google

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