Holiday Table Runners made from Grandma’s Doilies

Holiday Table Runners made from Grandma’s Doilies

When I think back to visiting my grandparents’ house when I was a kid the memories are so vivid! I can smell a combination of mothballs, Jergen’s hand lotion and a pot roast cooking in the oven.  I can still see the front room; my grandma and grandpa’s reclining rocking chairs with handmade doilies on each arm rest and headrest and virtually every surface of furniture proudly displaying a handmade doily. My favorite pieces were the old record player and of course the antique air foot pump organ in the corner, each with a doily or two under some type of knickknack from their travels.

Perhaps you too have memories of your grandparents’ house where handmade doilies were displayed with pride all around the house. Most of us these days don’t have much use for something that was once a displayed treasure.

We get large donations at Heirlooms for Hospice of handmade handkerchiefs, doilies, table clothes and quilts that were lovingly handmade but no longer serve a purpose in our 21st Century lives. 

In the spirit of looking for ways to recycle, upcycle and upscale beautiful items Charmed by Heirlooms looks for ways we might be able to reuse these beautiful handmade doilies for the holidays while honoring past generations. 

We’ve taken doilies of different sizes, shapes and colors and pieced them together to create holiday table runners. Wouldn’t it be fun to sit down to Thanksgiving dinner and honor your grandmother by using a treasure from the past?

Here’s how we did it:

Step #1Decide the approximate shape and size of the table runner you would like to make. Is your table long, skinny oval or round? Spread out your doilies and start piecing them together. It would be ideal if you could do this on the table you will use for your holiday dinner. These do not have to be perfectly round or square or rectangle. Have fun with this! Also, if you don’t have enough for your project you can come a visit us at Charmed by Heirlooms for more doilies! 

Step #2 Once you have decided on the layout of the doily runner the rest is easy! Overlap corners and edges of your doilies. Simply cut small strips of freezer paper and iron onto these overlaps. The doilies will now be “stuck” together if gently handled.


Step #3 Turn your doily pieces over and zigzag stitch over the overlapping doilies with your sewing machine.


Step #4 Wet the freezer paper with a spray bottle and gently pull the paper out from under the zigzag stitch.

Step #5 You can finish by using a little spray starch and a warm iron. Voila! Done! 

Your new holiday table runner made from grandma’s doilies can be passed down to your children as an upscaled treasure, honoring past generations and make new memories with new generations. Your family will always have vivid memories of this holiday season!




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