When browsing flea markets or thrift stores, it’s the lovely little doilies that always call my name. I want to rescue these beauties — probably made with love by somebody’s grandma — but I tend to battle my textile-hoarding instinct, unsure of what that doily’s life would look like with me. Jill, a.k.a. ILoveLune, has dreamed up a How-Tuesday project to transform these second-hand findings into a modern dream catcher for the vintage heart.
Hey everyone! I’m Jill. I own and operate a vintage fashion shop (and mobile trailer shop) in Winnipeg, Canada and run Lune Vintage, a website dedicated to vintage fashion and DIY thrift style. I’ve always been very inspired by the native crafts of indigenous cultures. I also find satisfaction in creating something with my own hands, using natural and re-purposed materials. In this spirit, I fashioned this project using a vintage doily and traditional macrame techniques. It’s fun, simple, inexpensive and easy to customize. I hope you enjoy it. Come visit me at Lune Vintage to find more tutorials and tips for your vintage home and wardrobe.
Supplies you’ll need:
- Large metal loop (wire macrame hoop)
- Lace doily — Find them at a thrift store, flea market, or on Etsy. (Thinner fibers like doilies made of mercerized cotton work the best.)
- Small ball of inexpensive, lightweight yarn (Use a cotton/poly blend for less fray.)
- Clothespins or clips
- Decorations (feathers, shells, stones, gems, trinkets, jewelry pieces)
1. Tie a lark’s head knot and begin to macrame your metal loop. Cover the entire frame with the knots. I created this video to illustrate the best way to do this. Alternately, you could simply tightly wrap the hoop with the yarn.
2. Knot a piece of yarn into a loop at the top of your dream catcher. This is what you will eventually use to hang it.
Lay your doily in the center of the hoop to decide which way is up. Notice how small the circumference of the doily appears in relation to the hoop?
3. Tie a piece of yarn to opposite ends of the doily. Using clothespins to help you find the center, tie each side securely, stretching as tight as possible. This is the really fun part — but if you allow the web to go slack, you’ll be disappointed with the final result. Work across from each side in quadrants. Think north, south, east, west, and divide evenly until there are no sagging areas. If you find halfway through that your initial tie-offs are a bit slack, cut them and re-tie.
4. Leave tied-off ends loose and do not trim. Keep your web as tight as you can, like the skin of a drum. I also left all ties with two loose ends dangling. These ties are what secures the adornments you will add in the final stage of the project. Remember to keep that web taut!
Tips on creating a seamless look:
- Use yarn with mixed fibers of a similar tone to make it easier to match that of your thrifted doily
- Consider dyeing your doily to match the yarn, or immerse the finished product in a dye bath before adding embellishments. If doing this, be sure that you are using natural fibers of similar content. Synthetics require special acid dyes and heat methods, so stick to natural cold water baths if possible.
- Scout doilies which are lacy, unstarched, and on the thin side. Thicker, stiff doilies will not give you the stretched effect, as they won’t expand or contort into a natural web-like shape.
5. Finally, once all loose areas have been pulled and tied tightly, your web will be tight and ready to decorate. Using a lace crocheted doily like this one provided me with an instantly intricate design that would have been beyond my capabilities. Using similar fibers and colors, the doily blends almost seamlessly into the project.
6. Adorn your piece with tassels, feathers, stones, gems, trinkets, shells, fabric, and any special object that gives you a feeling of peace. Hang and enjoy!
If you make your own doily dream catcher, share a photo with us in the Etsy Labs Flickr group.