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Friday, August 1, 2008

A little Hanky Panky help

It seems that there are many kindred spirits that share my love of vintage handkerchiefs. I can rarely pass by a flea market table that holds such small delights. My favorites are those that feature crocheted edges in bright colors.

I brought home quite a few more of these miniature handcrafted works of art after visiting my grandmother, who is also a collector. Look at these yummy white and ivory examples.

Love truly is in the details. Any of these would make a lovely baby bonnet.

My daughter wore a bonnet made out of a handkerchief on her christening day. It is neatly packed away for her wedding day.

While I was pregnant with our son we traveled to Belgium where I selected a handkerchief with beautiful Belgian lace that I made into a cap for him to wear at his christening. Someday, I hope his bride will carry it on their wedding day. You can learn to make the bonnets here.

With handkerchiefs now overflowing my drawers I have begun to look at other ways of using them. Miss Sandy of Quill Cottage provided a lesson on how to make a cute dress.

I love this blouse from Rebecca Sower.

But my favorite hanky idea is this corsage from Leslie Janson. Isn't it lovely?

So help me blogging buddies! How can I make a corsage from a handkerchief? What other great ideas are out there?
I will happily send the best ideas a gift. Hmmm, what do you think it might be?


Mildred said...

Recently at an antique mall, they had folded delicate hankys like dinner napkins and had pinned costume jewelry to them and displayed them in small tea cups. I purchased a lavender floral pin attached to a white hanky with a crocheted lavender edge and have it displayed in a teacup with a violet design. If you find a lovely hanky with damage, this would be a good way to hide the flaw.

Barbara H. said...

Those are all so gorgeous!!

Glenda~Many Fond Memories said...

I have hankies that were my mothers. I'll have to find them and take them out to look at them again. I do have some of hers that I've used for doilies.


Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

How beautiful, I have some old hankies from my grandmothers. I love to see the delicate handiwork!

happy weekend,

All Things Bright and Beautiful... said...

I have no idea how to make a corsage out of a hanky - but I must say these ones you have shown us are beautiful

Liz said...

hhhhmmmm...Well, I certainly don't have any ideas as creative as what you have shown... but I have used my small collection as napkins at a ladies luncheon... I don't really collect them but some are so pretty they are hard to resist. Yours are quite pretty!

Donna said...

Beautiful hankies! I love the old hankies and still use them. I carry one in each purse that I have, and sometimes my pockets too!

Wanda said...

Whatever you decide to do...I'm sure it will be quite clever. You have great taste. Our puppy (Baccus) is a scottish terrier mix....the mix part makes him a tad bit taller than the average scottish terrier...but you can see it in his face. :) He's a sweetie.

KaReN EiLeeN said...

I love antique hankys!! My favorites are all white. I had an antique hanky at my wedding, and I've never actually said this before, but I carry it with me to all weddings and funerals. I guess you could say the hanky holds the tears of my life. Some day I will put it in a little frame called " my joys & sorrows." They go together. I have fond memories of my mom, aunts and grandmas always having them. I'm sure there are many memories on your beauties....maybe a few colds thrown in.


Kathy said...

The hankies are so sweet! I especially love the white.

{this is glamorous} said...

Your collection is beautiful! And such a lovely idea to put ones aside for your daughter's and future daughter-in-law's wedding day.

The Berry's Patch said...

What cute ideas for those hankies!

Brandee :-)

Lorrie said...

Wrapping lavender in the center of the handkerchief and tying it up with a pretty ribbon is an easy way to make a fragrant sachet. Add a millinery flower to the ribbon and you've got a pretty present for anyone's drawer or closet.

I have a few handkerchiefs that belonged to my husband's grandmothers - I have them in a box but should really display them. Yours are beautiful.


Anonymous said...

I loved reading about your handkerchiefs. . . my grandmother collects similar ones, and gave me one with red roses (that matched my wedding flowers) to carry at my wedding. I've seen a few different ideas for turning delicate handkerchiefs into other works of art. These may be ideas you have already thought of, but here are a few:

1. If you have open shelves, you can line them with white or off-white lace-trimmed handkerchiefs, their points hanging down over the shelf edges.
I think I saw this in Victoria magazine, maybe? A long time ago. It can make the shelves look quite feminine and lacy.

2. Handkerchief angels. There are lots of versions of these; usually made with white handkerchiefs, but not always.

3. Two handkerchiefs sewn together can make a small decorative pillow or sachet. You can also center handkerchiefs on other delicate but larger fabric to make a pillow--or sew a set of four handkerchiefs together in a square to make a pillow top.

4. I have seen handkerchief quilts--a few made with various vintage handkerchiefs folded into butterfly shapes and then appliqued to the quilt tops. Here is a how-to site for one version. .

5. You can use them in shadow boxes/ vignettes. My mother-in-law had a grandmother's hankie, a grandfather's pair of baby shoes, someone's eyeglasses (circa 1920 or so), etc. and put them all together in a beautiful shadow box arrangement, backed by a sepia-toned (or black and white, maybe?) old family photo. It was lovely.

6. You can line decorative baskets with them.

7. You can make handkerchief valances. (I've seen both traditional ones, and rather unusual ones. I found a couple
different types on under "handkerchief valance")

8. Handkerchief table runners.

9. Use them under vases of flowers, like doilies.

Hope you find something you enjoy! Jeanine

Anonymous said...

P.S. I just left a longer post about ideas, but I forgot to say that I love the little Rebecca Sower dress! I hadn't seen that before and it is so cute! And the pansy handkerchief is beautiful--my grandma has a similar one. You have a really pretty collection! Jeanine

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Those are all great ideas Jeanine. Thank you so much. I was familiar with everything but the angel idea so I will look around for a pattern.

I am still looking for a corsage pattern if anyone has one.