Friday, April 16, 2010

You say Doyley, I say Doily

However you spell it, doilies have risen through the crafty ranks, shaken off their fuddy duddy image and are now the height of Granny Chic. I, amongst numerous other crafty individuals, have embraced the doily. My usage requires scissors and chopping and adhering.
These creative people fashion items from the whole doily, utilising it's lacy, web like beauty.

Caitlin Holcomb from "Nice" makes eerily beautiful light shades created with vintage and found handmade doilies.I like the combination of patterns and textures. Imagine how many Nana's it took to crotchet all this doily goodness.
Here's Caitlin's worktable. Serious doily envy here! I've heard the shades have been available to buy right here in Melbourne at Douglas and Hope.
The Queen of Nana crafting, Tif Fussel from Dottie Angel, is also a huge fan of doilies. All her work incorporates some lacy loveliness of some kind. These moulded doily dishes are delicately pretty, but take note, they are all purely decorative .

Here Tif responds to customer inquiries at her etsy store "what could this little dish be used for?" and I say, that is a very good question. I have pondered this very thought myself and come up with "not a lot".For this sweet 'doily whatnot' is a decorative little soul, looking for a spot to rest and look 'pretty'. do not ask it to carry apples, remote controls or other such things for it will surely 'cave'..... But ask of it, to look 'splendidly granny chic like' and it will surely do the job..."

Here's a doily creation on a larger scale . A magnolia tree out side Pen Durston's shop "Cottage Industry" was adorned with hand stitched recycled doilies in 2008. Pics from here too.

Around this time there must have been a noticeable lack of doilies available at Northern suburbs op shops! It was a truly beautiful addition to the Gertrude St.streetcape.

Finally, I wanted to share this beautiful work by Shane Walter, a Brussels-born, London-based artist.
His installation titled "Aunty Peggy has Departed" was on show in Aldwych Tube Station in London.The cobweb like doilies are crotcheted with mercerised cotton and hang in disused phone booths, not unlike the fancy work of exotic spiders.
According to Shane "Doilies are like dreamcatchers, each knot holding a thought, a memory. The sum of these make up the history of a place.The piece was dedicated to Peggy, and her lifelong enthusiasm for crochet work and needlecraft."
Hooray for the Peggy's of this world!


  1. I've made the doily dishes before! If you only use fabric stiffener, then they wouldn't hold up very well! Paverpol works much better. Other crafters have used my bowls for their little items. I love the doily lightshades!!

  2. We used to soak them (the doilies that is) in PVA glue and then drape them over a bowl. they were reasonably sturdy. I wonder if you could dip them in appoxy resin?
    The Doily cobweb has to be my favourite, eerily beautiful.

  3. Beautiful! I have a huge collection of doilies and have made a doily lampshade for the girls room. I have also used them as a curtain trim. However I tend to use the cotton ones that are embroided. These images are so lovely. There is so much more to a doily than just decorative is a symbol that re-connects us to a bygone era. I really enjoyed this post! x

  4. MMMMM, doily love. In one of my crafty books (remade?) there is a recipe for making a doily bowl with expoxy resin (as Estelle) suggested - I've wanted to try it but haven't wanted to buy the resin, particularly because we live in a flat and my husband complains if I so much as open a pot of Clag!!!

  5. I'm in the middle of a fabric sculpture and have been researching and all the techies tell me epoxy resin is the go. All my stuff is done on the dining room table, amidst the mess, so I am very much in the same boat as Gina. I am going to give it a try thogh. The doily cobweb is my fav as well, especially the location.

  6. thx for this unexpected inspiration!

  7. What a fantastically beautiful post! I'm especially loving the doilied up tree. A gorgeous slice of inspiration for me this morning!

  8. Wow very lovely designs. You've made the best doyley ever. I tried to made this but I am impressed with these designs.