Weekly updates from BLDG 25

DIY Lace Doily Bowl

A little while back I was searching for doilies – not the paper kind, nice crochet and lace doilies – for a DIY project.  I finally found some online, so I ordered a bunch figuring I’d use them for something. Sure enough, inspiration struck soon after and I decided to make some into bowls! I had heard of covering balloons with them to make really pretty lanterns (similar to our “thought bubbles”), and it turns out you can make a doily into a bowl using a very similar technique.

lace doily bowl

What you need: doilies (I ordered them from this website), fabric stiffener (I found this at A.C. Moore), and a bowl. Choose a bowl that will allow you to drape the doily over the bottom of to create a bowl shape.

lace doily bowl

If you have a bowl and doilies already and don’t want to purchase fabric stiffener, you can make your own! Just mix equal parts white glue and water.

lace doily bowl

This DIY is as easy as 1,2,3: Turn your bowl upside down, soak the doily in fabric stiffener, and drape the doily on the bottom of the bowl.

lace doily bowl

Use your fingers to smooth the doily over the bowl, removing any wrinkles and pushing out excess fabric stiffener. Leave it on the bowl overnight to allow it to dry and harden.

lace doily bowl

Experiment with different shapes and sizes! In the morning, your lace bowls will be ready for use.

diy lace bowldiy lace bowl

Photos by Julia.

More DIY projects from the BLDG 25 Blog.


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sofie -September 26, 2012, 11:36AM

This is a really cute idea!! :-) .. . when do we get to take a peak at the upcoming catalog?? Can’t wait!! :-)

Terri -September 26, 2012, 11:58AM

My great aunts used to do something similar to this for christmas, they would crochet little doily snowflakes add starch and give them out as ornaments. Very cute.

Chelsea Ward -September 26, 2012, 1:31PM

I admittedly have a slight obsession of crafting with doilies. I have 2 purses with them mod podged on and most recently I used a pair as elbow patches on one of my denim shirts. BUT I still have yet to make a doily bowl. I do believe the time has come!

ADORED VINTAGE -September 26, 2012, 9:11PM

I love this, so simple…well it looks so simple anyway. Thanks again for the inspiration Free People!

Constance -September 26, 2012, 10:36PM

Gosh! What a great idea!!!

Alexandra Queen -September 27, 2012, 3:00AM

Yes!! This is so easy and yet so darling! Thanks!


diyearte by L & S -September 27, 2012, 7:11AM

we love it!!

DIY and more:

Bud -September 27, 2012, 10:25AM

What a great idea! I’d imagine throwing a few different shades of Rit Dye into the equation would make it even more fun. :D

fp julia -September 27, 2012, 1:19PM

Bud – that’s an awesome idea :)

amaliaa -September 28, 2012, 2:09PM

hey! this is awesome!!! i have one question so pleaaaaase answer. If i want to make the fabric stiffener on my own what kind of glue should i use???

fp julia -September 28, 2012, 2:29PM

amaliaa – you can use any white glue, like Elmers!

amaliaa -September 30, 2012, 3:12PM

oooh thank you very much! i just stealed some doilies from my grandma so im gonna make this bowl soon :P (once again everything in this blog is amazing thaaaank you)

liz -October 1, 2012, 4:54PM

Also, it is very easy to paint fabric wtih acrylic paint. I used metallic paint to turn vintage lace into jewelry. Using silver and gold paints, the lace looks like it was dipped in the metal. I have some bronze paint I want to try next.
See my blog post below for an easy DIY jewelry project.

ashley -October 8, 2012, 5:37PM

Seems so easy!! i’m so excited to try this. I will get the fabric stiffener tomorrow

Francine from Callaloo Soup Vintage -October 9, 2012, 10:02AM

What a gorgeous project! I love anything made with doilies ;)

Syb -October 9, 2012, 5:23PM

Beautiful and cute! I wanted to do it for a long time. If I well remember I’ve learned that you can do your own fabric stiffener with water, corn starch and liquid glue!…

Coco -October 21, 2012, 7:18PM

I stiffened some vintage doilies done by family and fixed them to color board and framed them. I DID find that once stiffened, they break and were fragile. No problem behind glass but in bowl shape ?? I don’t know?

Ann -October 22, 2012, 10:08AM

These are so pretty – I’ll definitely try that DIY stiffener. I’ve been making crochet snowflakes and spraying with laundry starch but it wouldn’t work for bowls – not stiff enough but ok for hanging decorations.

Claire -November 9, 2012, 3:10AM

How simple and delicate! Can’t wait to give this a go!

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Ananya -November 16, 2012, 8:19AM

awesome!! and easy.

ashley -January 11, 2013, 5:21PM

How do you get the doily off the bowl?

jaye -January 27, 2013, 12:09PM

These look great! What size doilies did you use?

lola -March 6, 2013, 5:47PM

Just one question, does the fabric stiffener end up coming off the bowls, or is the bowl a gonner?

Anita -March 28, 2013, 11:58AM

I love it! And I read other people asked same question. How do you take off doily out the bowl? Please answer. Thanks.

fp julia -March 28, 2013, 12:17PM

Hey guys! I just pulled it right off the bowl! If the doily seems like its losing its shape as you pull it off, don’t worry you can mold it back into shape. And yes the fabric stiffener came right off the bowl :)

Anonymous -April 1, 2013, 3:51AM

A more environmentally-friendly version of this project is to simply exchange the fabric stiffener with sugar water! Works just as well and if you want to re-use the doilies its’s just washing the bowl with water! (:

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What a simple but fantastic Idea. Thanks

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Katie -July 2, 2013, 8:48PM

Is it ok to use paper doilies?

Bek -July 3, 2013, 7:01PM

I’m trying this today! Heading to my local op shop to hopefully find some preloved doilies! I will post later to confirm if it worked or not – fingers crossed! :) Thanks for the easy step directions :)

Bek -July 4, 2013, 7:37PM

These are amazing! I have made three so far & am going back to the op shop today for more supplies! What a cute little gift they would make! :) Thank you again for the great idea :)

~You can also just use normal white glue (kids for instance) without watering it down :)

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Nadya -September 3, 2013, 10:40PM

Guys your blog is so inspirational! Thank you for it!
And special thanks for this amazing post! After reading it I made my own doily bowls. Here is my post about it:

Maggie -September 4, 2013, 9:32AM

Love this Idea! I shared a link to this on my blog,
Hope you don’t mind.
Your doily bowls are just beautiful

Mizzy Boyle -October 3, 2013, 12:56AM

These are just so pretty!!! Just one thing’s missing…. Where should I look for doilies? Thanks all!

Sabrina -October 12, 2013, 6:11PM

Is the bowl fragile? Or does it maintain its shape okay?

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Annette -January 3, 2014, 7:57PM

I have dozens of my grandmothers hand made doilies….now I know how to make them into something to pass on

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Sharon -April 21, 2014, 9:02AM

Making these with my Sunday school class as a Mother’s Day gift! Easy to do and found a wonderful scripture to go along with it! Filling the new bowls with rose petals :) Thanks for the great idea.

crish -May 12, 2014, 6:07AM

Really cool project plus its fun to do. They make great gifts that all love to get. Plus they don’t take ve long to make. Make them any color you want to. Even make baskets … use your imagination. I know you have one!!!!! Go get ’em!!

Christine Rowe -July 10, 2014, 11:43AM

That is an amazing DIY project Thankyou for this post .I have a box full of doilies i collected over the years.

Simmi -July 17, 2014, 1:35AM

Truly an amazing idea but i have a small query. Which side of the doily (right or wrong) is the inside of the bowl. For eg. when the bowl is done…..i guess its more of the inside than the outside which is seen. So would you use the right side of the doily inside or the wrong side. Want some real good tips -October 8, 2014, 8:18PM

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Mtetar -January 19, 2015, 1:10PM

What a creative idea and so simple to make. Thank you for sharing your creativity as well as DIY. Be Blessed because you are Blessed, Mtetar

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como preparar una goma para el tejido de crochet en vez de cola blanca y agua

Emily -April 16, 2015, 6:32PM

Have you ever put a candle in these? Say, a pillar candle?

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Mamie -February 17, 2016, 8:05AM

A great idea with many possibilities, thanks for posting. Not sure how adding color works though.

cecilia -February 17, 2016, 6:46PM

Where again, can i get online dollies

Lorraine Perkins -April 5, 2016, 1:49PM

are you able to reuse the doilies over?

Grace Laverdiere -May 4, 2016, 5:36PM

Can these bowls be washed? Are they safe for food?

Thank you.

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