Thursday, 21 June 2012

Upcycling Vintage: Part 1 Hankerchiefs

When we started selling vintage we noticed we came by a lot of things which were too good or interesting to pass up, but simply could not be sold in their original state.  That's where why we have decided to launch our Upcycled range- to make use of these things.  In the meantime we thought we'd share with you some Upcycling ideas in a series of posts with a different item each time.  Some of these may appear in the shop at some point down the line and some are just ideas to share with you to do yourself.

This week: Vintage Handkerchiefs and 3 sparkly pretty things you can do with a vintage handkerchief- that does not include wiping your nose with it or passing to an elderly relative.

The Pin Cushion

This is a pretty well known use for vintage scraps, napkins and handkerchiefs.  I used the method of folding the corners into a central point- envelope style, and using the seams as natural decoration.  It is possible to do something more complicated though using more than one handkerchief.

I finished this one off with some original yellow buttons from the 1960s, one on the top and one on the bottom.

The Bowl

This one is an outstanding idea courtesy of Vivid Please, here at Lesley's Girls we absolutely love their blog and are regular readers so I tried out their handkerchief bowl, the tutorial for which can be found here (the only annoying thing about this make is the length of time the glue takes to dry!)  Definitely stop by the blog if you get the chance.

I was quite happy with the effect and loved making it, I would have liked a steeper curve but that was the bowl I chose to mould it on- the inner child in me can't resist a bit of sploshing about glue! 

The Baby Bonnet

There is no chance I was going to try this one myself, much too complicated and I would not be able to do this item justice, but I had to share this unique upcycled item from Classic Baby Whites, she has done an amazing job in transforming a vintage handkerchief into a gorgeous keepsake for a newborn.

Source: Classic Baby Whites

Stop by her shop and see some of her other upcycled baby products- not just from hankys but also doilies, shirts and my favourite- the upcycled baby Sherlock Holmes hat from a Tweed sports jacket!

Other ideas

There are hundreds of vintage, retro or even unwanted new handkerchiefs knocking about these days, so if you want some fabukous upcycling supplies you know where to look.  The opportunities are endless after all is it just fabric!  My favourites I have seen about are curtains, bunting, table cloths, aprons (definitely have to try that), skirts or tops and wall art, but there are so many more things you can do with them.

Look for the next Upcycling ideas post and you'll start getting early sneak shots of what is coming to the Upcycled shop.


  1. Great article about vintage hankie projects. They call me The Hanky Dress Lady in my hometown of Littleton, Colorado. I create wall and door art from vintage hankies. They are a great way to take grandma's hanky and turn it into a family heirloom that can be passed down for generations to come. It is amazing how the hankies reflect the personality of the woman remembered. Here is a link to my blog -

    1. That's great- am on my way to look now!

  2. I remember my grandma's hankie, all of this have embroidery which I can't find this now. Compare to the latest hankie their hankie are not easy to worn out. And I am happy that I found this tutorial where I can got the idea of reusing those old hankie's.

    1. I love the fact that things can get a new lease of life in different way- upcycling certainly has a lot going for it!


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