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15 Cute Ways to Repurpose Vintage Linens

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You know how I love modern design around here. Well, one of my daughters reminded me that modern isn’t everyone’s thing and I should share some ideas that had a more vintage feel. With Mother’s Day so close, I have rounded up 15 Cute Ways to Repurpose Vintage Linens.

I’m always drawn to vintage linens but never really know what to do with them. As a matter of fact, I have a whole bunch from my Mom and a few from a friend. These ideas have really got me thinking. I am especially drawn to #9 down the list.

1. Vintage Handkerchief Valance

A valance from vintage hankies. This would be perfect if you have lots of vintage hankies of similar sizes.

2. Vintage Linen Moth

This moth made from vintage linens is exquisite.

3. Linen Patchwork Curtain

More curtain inspiration, but a patchwork one this time. I really love how she took the time to piece these together. Perfect for a cottage look.

4. Vintage Pillowcase Apron

Ya’ know I love aprons and here’s a tutorial for a layered linen apron.

5. Envelope Pouches from Vintage Linens

A free pattern download for sewing small envelope pouches from vintage linens. You’ll need to enter your email to access the free pattern.

6. Vintage Linen Buttons

No tutorial but a few pictures for inspiration on using vintage linens for buttons. Easy to accomplish using button kits from the sewing store? These would be great to add as details on handmade hand decor such as pillows.

7. Framed Vintage Doilies

A tutorial for attaching vintage doilies to a window frame for unique wall art.

8. Vintage Linen Sachets

These lavender sachets are an ideal way to use the undamaged section when the rest of the linen has some irreparable damage.

9. Table Runner

A tutorial for a pieced-together vintage table runner.

10. Vintage Dish Towels

Love these pretty dish towels with a bias tape edge.

11. Vintage Cocktail Napkins

A tutorial for making vintage linens into cocktail napkins.

12. Vintage Handkerchief Quilt

Perfect when you’re feeling all quilt-y.

13. Necklace from Vintage Handkerchiefs

A unique idea for using a small part of vintage linens to make a unique necklace, and it’s super simple.

14. Vintage Linens Burpcloths

A detailed tutorial on making burp cloths with vintage linens.

15. How to Launder Vintage Linens


If you’re going to use vintage linens you will need to know to launder them. This shows some simple but good reminders.

What I really love about these vintage linens is how many ways you can reuse them. Try pairing them with a few of my tutorials:

Mason Jar Pin Cushion

Turn a Mason Jar into a Pin Cushion Tutorial using this step-by-step DIY tutorial. A simple no-sew project. Great gift idea for friends who sew.

Quilted Coasters

How to Make Geometric Quilted Coasters

Pillowcase (used on the cuff)

How to Make a Pillowcase Using the Burrito Method Final

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33 Comments

  1. What a great post! I have a stash of vintage linens that will finally see the light of day. Thanks for the great ideas.

  2. Thanks Leslie. I have many, many crocheted and tatted items that were made by my maternal grandmother. I do like vintage, but it is so much! These are some good ideas. 🙂

  3. Great ideas! I have some needle point dishtowels my grandmother did. I’ll have to get them out and use them in one of the ways you highlighted! Thanks for sharing. Here from The Shabby Nest.

  4. Hello Leslie, just want to let you know, that I love your blog and tutorials most. The photos are very clear and the text leads the way even for me, who only started recently again, after a break of 20 years. I am making tops and bags from African kikoy materials and you inspired me to get creative and also take up blogging again.
    Kind regards from a German in the African bush.
    Barbara

  5. Leslie, I came to your blog to check out your blog design, but your blog posts make me want to get back to crafting/sewing and being creative that way! 🙂

  6. I would love to get my hands on some vintage linens. These projects are awesome. I would love for you to link up at the Stitch It, Blog It, Share It Link Party going on now at behindtheseamssewing.com.
    ~Bonnie

  7. Great ideas for these linens! I especially like the sachet and buttons. I have seen dust ruffles made out of hankies as well….maybe adding a few to add interest will be a future project for me. Thank you for sharing. Also I checked out your burrito pillow case. It took me a while to digest it (hehehe) but after studying the pictures several times I got it. Thanks again!

  8. I saw this post through my pinterest feed and just had to read the article – love these ideas! I don’t have vintage linens, but plan on perusing vintage stores just so I can try out some of these projects 🙂 I’ve pinned this post so I can reference it. Thanks for sharing these marvelous ideas! I am definitely going to be revisiting your site for my inspirations!

  9. I have several vintage aprons that are in great shape. Their all different and I would love to use them with out risking ruining them. Any ideas?
    btw this blog is wonderful, It’s become a favorite place to hang out on the web

  10. Thank you so much for this info!I’m off to Goodwill in search of some hankies or napkins, my daughter needs a curtain or valance( or wall hanging) to make her dorm room more personal and interesting.thanks, again!

  11. These ideas are great! I made a cafe style curtain out of thrift store doilies when I needed more privacy without losing natural light. I find items like that and vintage linens at thrift stores – often with sewing and crafts items (even when finished) or stuffed in with sheets and curtains. Garage sales also be a great place. Sadly, great-grandmother’s handcrafted treasures may go for 25 cents each. Bravo for seeing the beauty that still is there!

  12. If it’s possible to be in love with a blog post, this would be the one for me. I’ve always been a collector (hoarder) of vintage linens. Thanks for all the great ideas. Much appreciation.

  13. Leslie I loooove these ideas! I have been collecting vintage linens for awhile and you have inspired me to use them in some new ways. Thank you so much for linking these up to our Bewitchin’ Projects Block Party last week you are one of my Featured tomorrow over at Recreated Designs. Hugs, Lisa

  14. What a beautiful post. I have a ton of old linens that I never appreciated until recently. This would be the perfect way to repurpose them.

  15. You might also like to look at the work of Cindy Needham and Kelly Cline that machine quilt old linens in the most amazing way.

  16. I intend to make three dolls from the huge batch of vintage linens I bought at a yard sale. Hope my three grands

  17. I too am from south central Texas and could use some of that rain we had in the spring.
    I love vintage fabric and get it when I can. I love your ideals. I have been collecting vintage hankies for some time now. I started when I was going through my late Mom’s things and found some beautiful ones. I want to make a quilted throw with them. I have given up the TV for good because of nothing good on it. Just my music all day while sewing, quilting, embroidering…
    Thank you so much for you e-mails. The other thing I enjoy, my sewing, crafting, woodworking….e-mails.

  18. Thanks so much for your wonderful ideas. I always have LOTS of shabby linens that are too pretty to throw out.
    The Linen Lavoir

  19. I love your vintage items. I make similar items. I call them Second Chances. I’m a cancer survivor, have His gift of salvation, and make old things into new items. It’s fun.
    Look forward to seeing more!
    CJ

  20. What cute ideas! I have my mom”s and my mother-in-law”s and made a decorative table cloth from them, but I have some left so glad I found your post. Of course, we do not use the table cloth for meals, it is only for decoration between meals.
    Love your ideas!

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