Thursday, February 25, 2010

1,001 Uses for Paper Doilies

For anyone who doesn't know this about me, I love love love lace, filigree, and all things art nouveau (and tasteful, I should add). So, it's only natural that I have accumulated (and for some reason continue to buy) quite a number of paper doilies throughout the years and Valentine's Days. In light of my trying to recycle more things more often, driving less and bussing more, and buying groceries from local farmers, I figured I should stay consistent and find new uses for my beloved doilies.

Sure, they make great decorations, pretty yet ineffective coasters, and classic adornments for kids' valentine bags, but what more could they possibly be used for? The answers I have are surprising and admittedly accidental. For a Valentine's soiree I recently hosted for some of my gal pals, I had everyone decorate a Valentine's-themed reusable canvas bag (I'm a big fan of party favors that people can use and keep long term).

To recreate this bag design, you'll need:

-canvas bag (widely available at all craft stores- we got the extra big ones so the straps are long enough to carry on you arm)
-doilies (heart or rounds or both!)
-fabric paint
-paint brushes and sponges
-fabric craft glitter

1. Lay paper doilies down in the desired pattern for your bag.

2. Dip your sponge brush in the fabric paint and sponge paint the inside of the doilies. For full colored patterns, use a generous amount of fabric paint and make sure everything inside the doilies is colored (no canvas showing!).

3. If you would like to incorporate the scalloped edges in your design, use a broad tipped paint brush to paint the outline of the doilies. If you want a design that more closely resembles Day of the Dead paper silhouette decorations (i.e. shown above), only paint inside the doilies and once you're satisfied with the level of color saturation, peel the doilies off the bag.

4. For added bling, shake the craft glitter over your painted design while the paint's still wet (instant natural adhesive!).

Once you're done shaking off your glitter, voila! New bag to take to the grocery store! Personally, I think the Valentine's design is toned down enough to use year-round. What do y'all think?

In addition to being used as handy stencils for bag decorating, doilies make great add-ons for personalized valentines. I prefer cutting the hearts in half or quarters and using them as border filigree design in order to make them look a little less garish paper doily. One of my favorite alternative uses for doilies is home decor, and a perfect and unexpected example is shown here in This is Glamorous, an awesome blog Apartment Therapy recently introduced me to.

So, that's 3 down, 998 uses to go, right? Do you guys know of other great ways to extend the life of doilies or other favorite seemingly one-life/one-use everyday items? Let me know! In the meantime, hope to see everyone tonight at The WonderCraft's Grand Opening from 6-9pm at The Art Pad.

Action Jackson out.


Jasmine said...

oh so that's what you were talking about! that is so cute...i would do that on a shirt and wear the hell out of it :D

Action Jackson said...

Isn't it awesome? I think it's the perfect way to spiff up any blank canvas.

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