Six Fun Ways to Repurpose Vintage Handkerchiefs

Whilst focusing on all things pretty vintage, we thought we’d share with you some fun ideas on how to repurpose vintage fabric / handkerchiefs. Nothing can fill a sewer’s afternoon more creatively than sitting around with a pile of vintage handkerchiefs and thinking up ways to repurpose them! From this Handy Hanky Apron and the gorgeous Bride’s Apron below, we have some great ideas for window treatments, table runners, pocket treatments and pillows…

Handy Hanky

Above: Handy Hanky Apron (left) and Bride’s Apron

Red, white & blue apron: This Handy Hanky Apron is made from only three handkerchiefs and a strip of ribbon. You could even personalize it with a machine embroidered monogram.

White apron: Our Bride’s Apron calls for four handkerchiefs, some silk-satin ribbon and two pearl buttons. It’s a great gift and absolutely adorable for any bride-to-be.

Window Treatment

Above: Window Treatment & Table Runner

Window treatment: We couldn’t resist showing two no-sew ideas for kitchen or bathroom windows. Using curtain clips, suspend each hanky from one corner diagonally, and then tie them together corner-to-corner to make a long valance, or suspend them from two corners to hang square by overlapping two hankies and clipping the corners with one clip.

Table runner: Join hankies together edge-to-edge to create a table runner. Make a rectangle or plus-sign shape. For added interest, sew the hankies to a base fabric to create a border.


Above: Pocket

Pocket: OK, we even impressed ourselves after coming up with this cool pocket treatment. It just took its natural form from a diagonally folded hanky that looked pretty much the same on both sides. The top edge is tacked to a strip of stretched elastic with pearl buttons, creating the fluted pleats when relaxed. The pocket is applied with a straight stitch all around. Add to an apron, a skirt or a pillow.



Above: Pillows

Pillows: Decorate any chair, window seat, bed or porch swing with one of these easy hanky throw pillows. Add buttons and maybe even embroider a large monogram in the center – very home dec chic, indeed.

For more vintage design inspiration, be sure to check out A Sewn Vintage Lifestyle. This book from Verna Mosquera, owner of The Vintage Spool pattern company and fabric designer for Free Spirit, teaches readers how to add a romantic, vintage charm to their everyday lives through 20 charming, useful and beautiful sewn projects.

Happy crafting!

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Blog, Home Decor, Other Craft, Sewing, Upcycling