By Jenny Ryan
Right now our minds are on upcycled projects and the Easter holidays, so why not attempt a how-to that involves both? Read on and find out how to turn vintage doilies and assorted sewing box scraps like ribbon and buttons into a ridiculously sweet bird’s nest-inspired basket you can use to hold candy or anything else your heart desires.
Vintage (or new) doilies, check thrift shops
Bowls in various shapes and sizes
Stiffy Fabric Stiffener
Aleene’s Tacky Glue
Needle and thread
Various embellishments, I used ribbon and fabric scraps, metal charms, buttons, etc.
Step 1: Choose which doily you are going to use, and drape it over various overturned bowls to find one that is similar in size to how you’d like your finished basket to look. Once you have a doily and bowl chosen, cover the outside of the bowl in plastic wrap.
Step 2: Pour some Stiffy into a different bowl (any type is fine, this stuff is water-based and will clean up easily) and submerge the doily until fully soaked through. Really mush it around in there to get it saturated with the liquid. Once there are no more dry areas, give the doily a squeeze so it’s not sopping wet and drape it over the overturned, plastic-wrapped bowl. Set aside to dry (several hours to overnight).
Step 3: Once the doily is stiff and dry you can pop it off the bowl and peel away the plastic wrap. (Note: The doily pictured above is not the one pictured soaking in Step 2…that one is still drying!) Now the fun begins. Use an assortment of embellishments gathered up from your sewing or jewelry box and go to town. The whole idea is to grab random pretty things and make like a magpie to decorate your little “nest.” I started off by threading thin strips of floral Liberty fabric through the holes in the now-stiffened doily.
I followed up the fabric with lengths of mini-rickrack. If at any point the scraps were too short to make it all the way around the basket, I just tied them together.
Step 4: Now you may want to use the Tacky Glue to attach some floral embellishments. I cut apart some daisy-chain trim and scattered them all over the basket. You could use little millinery flowers, shapes cut from felt – whatever you like!
Step 5: Last but not least, use a needle and thread to stitch on some buttons and charms as a finishing touch. Every magpie needs to feather the nest with something shiny, after all!
You’re ready to fill your basket with Easter grass (I prefer shredded, unbleached kraft paper but you can use whatever you like) and assorted treats. Or just use your new basket as a catch-all on your bedside table or in your craft room. Enjoy!
About the Author:
Jenny Ryan is an artist, crafter, and maker of things. She lives in Los Angeles with a pack of various animals (including her husband) and writes about her adventures in creating at Exit Through the Thrift Shop.
2 thoughts on “How-To: Vintage Doily Easter Basket”
This is a brilliant and welcome idea. I’m not familiar with “Stiffy Fabric Stiffener” — plus it’s an extra expense… can I use Elmer’s glue instead (perhaps watered-down a bit)?
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