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10 Ways to Repurpose Vintage Linens

Here are 10 of my favorite ways to repurpose the stacks of vintage linens that seem to find their way into my home.

When I am out thrifting, I am always drawn to antique bedding, table runners and napkins. I rarely pay over a dollar or two for these items, even for a dust ruffle or duvet.

White fabrics are my favorite and anything with monograms melt me. Hand crocheted lace stops me in my tracks and takes me back in time. Who was she? What did she think about while labored over the details of her beautiful textile?

I know many women who acquire linens, though, and don’t feel the same about them. They don’t use them because they don’t fit their lifestyle very well.

So today, I want to think outside of the box and show you 10 different ways to use vintage linens beyond their intended purpose.

I am known in my family as the sentimental one, therefore family heirlooms are offered to me regularly. I am thinking of that one time that my aunt handed me a stack of my grandmother’s doilies. There were some weird ones in there, like a big crocheted bird.


Then a light bulb went off.

Number One | Turn Doilies into Appliques

Ta Da! How about a knock off “poodle skirt”?

Number Two | Create Beautiful Bunting

10 Ways to Repurpose Vintage Linens
Photo Credit source

For our Anne of Green Gables Party we hung a paper doily bunting in the trees, but you could make a higher quality, re-usable bunting with real doilies.

Number Three | Add detailed accents to curtains & drapes

14 Ways to Repurpose Vintage Linens

In our master bedroom, we used a crocheted table runner to add detail to our curtain panels.

Speaking of curtain panels. . .

Number Four | Use the Material for Other Sewing Projects

14 Ways to Repurpose Vintage Linens

This lace maxi skirt was part of a set of lace curtains I bought at Goodwill. One panel hangs in my bathroom and the other became last year’s Easter skirt! How’s that for proving the theory that we decorate how we dress?

I feel like Maria Von Trapp would be very proud.

Number Five | Create Pillowcase Nighties for gifts

14 Ways to Repurpose Vintage Linens

Every Christmas each of my daughters receives a pillowcase nightie in their stocking.

Here is a tutorial on how I made these.

Number Six | Use Dust Ruffles as Curtains

10 Ways to Repurpose Vintage Linens

The curtain panels in our kitchen used to be a vintage dust ruffle.

I simply cut it in half to let the two gorgeous crocheted edges have the most visibility.

Number Seven | Use Dust Ruffles as Table Cloths

10 Ways to Repurpose Vintage Linens

Twin size dust ruffles are my favorite go-to for table cloths that fit banquet tables. The crocheted edges looked lovely for our Anne of Green Gables party.

Number Eight | Use a Duvet Cover for Shower Curtain

10 Ways to Repurpose Vintage Linens

Duvet covers make great shower curtains, even the button holes can be reused. When we remodeled our bathroom, this ended up being the perfect solution for the shower curtain.

Number Nine | Use Large Pieces of Fabric for Slipcovers

1906 Farmhouse tour, childrens play room

Any large piece of fabric can be repurposed as a slipcover. Here is on old duvet that I paid one dollar for that now is covering a chair in the school room. The blue chair is a bed sheet from a garage sale.

This post contains some affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure here.

How to Slipcover a Recliner by She Holds Dearly

And I used antique hemp sheets to cover our recliners.

Number Ten | Use Lace Table Cloths for a Child’s Play Tent

10 Ways to Repurpose Vintage Linens

Finally, here is a fun gift idea using an old lace table cloth.

These can also be made with thrifted pieces of linen, canvas or other outdoor type materials for longevity!

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For more inspiration see these beautiful books:

Monograms and Antique Linens

The Book of Fine Linen

Linens: For Every Room and Occasion


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