Five Ways to Upcycle Vintage Lace Tablecloths

(This is a sponsored post in association with Swiftcover – all views are my own!)

Hello everyone!

I was so happy when the lovely folks at Swiftcover asked me to share my #SwiftHomeHacks, as making a beautiful home on a budget is a subject very close to my heart.  #SwiftHomeHacks is a series of affordable hints and tips from Swiftcover, to make your house more of a home.  Moving into your first property is an expensive business, and if there isn’t a lot of money left in the pot to make your dream home, then you need to get creative.  I love to upcycle and repurpose vintage textiles, so when I sat down to brainstorm ideas, I decided this would be the perfect DIY project for those of you who want to add a touch of vintage chic to your home!

Once banished to the kingdom of unfashionable chintz, the vintage embroidered tablecloth or doily is on trend again after a little re-working with the help of scissors, glue, needle and thread.  In this age of mass produced consumerism, it’s a wonderful thing to breathe new life into old textiles, and make new accessories for your home for next to nothing.

You can find these old tablecloths and doilies aplenty in charity shops, flea markets and car boot fairs.  Even if they’re not in perfect condition, they’re still worth buying if they have some gorgeous detail on them.  Look for tablecloths and doilies with beautiful lacework and embroidery.

So here are my five top ideas for turning those old tablecloths into whimsical decorations for your home, which won’t break the bank or take hours to make.

You will need :

Scissors, PVA glue

Needle and thread or sewing machine

Glass jars of varying sizes.  I used coffee jars and little glass yoghurt pots.

Luggage labels

Bias binding tape for the bunting.

1) Recycle your old jars by making beautiful tea light holders or storm lanterns, perfect for adding a touch of Nordic cosiness to your home this winter.  I love these because they look like frosted or etched glass when they have a candle inside.  I coated my jar with PVA glue, cut my fabric to size, stuck it on, and hey presto.   Why not add wire round the top of the smaller jars to make hanging tea light holders for a dinner party?

2)Make this sweet bunting by cutting rectangles from your tablecloth, and sewing along bias binding.  Lay your rectangles out on the floor before pinning to your bias binding to get your spacing right, and use a mix of different lace/embroidery to make it more interesting.  This bunting would look lovely at a wedding or party, or string up with fairy lights for festive prettiness.

3) I’m a big lover of making my own decoration for gifts, and these luggage labels are perfect for tying onto parcels or on plain gift bags.  You could even use them as place name holders at a dinner party by stamping names on them!

4) Decorate plain crackers with scraps of lace doilies. You could add some extra sparkle by gluing on vintage buttons, or a pretty diamante brooch.

5) Make stockings to hang from your fireplace from old linen tablecloths.  Add a panel of lace at the top and an old button for a touch of brocante style, plus a ribbon loop so you can hang it up on Christmas Eve!

We would love to see your makes, so please do share them on social media using #SwiftHomeHacks!  Head over to their blog here to see more ways to make a gorgeous home on a budget from some amazing bloggers.  I have a couple more festive DIY posts up my sleeve over the next few weeks, so please do pop back!

Tamsyn x

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  • J. T.

    They are gorgeous on a bed. It doesn’t matter if they don’t exactly fit. A king bed can have it turned to go across the foot of the bed.

  • Wendy New

    Really lovely Tamsyn. I love the ideas, I am on your wavelength! I think you are incredibly creative, great flair.
    Thank you,

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