vintage tablecloth, reuse, recycle, baby clothes
An embroidered card table cloth is recycled as the top of this adorable baby outfit.

Ideas for repurposed vintage linens

Decades ago, women spent hours carefully embroidering their linens. Now, those carefully crafted items go for a few dollars at garage and estate sales. I hate to see these beautiful linens languish in the closet. I’d rather put them to use in new ways. Here are 4 ideas for repurposed vintage linens.

A vintage cross-stitched tablecloth is repurposed as a baby outfit.

1. Vintage card tablecloth turned into baby outfit

People used to play cards, and they covered their fold-up card tables with creatively embellished tablecloths. I found this adorable cross-stitched sailor tablecloth at an estate sale and thought it would be great repurposed as a beach outfit for my grandson.

I used an ordinary baby outfit pattern, and used the tablecloth for the top of the onesie. I found vintage sailboat buttons in my stash for the finishing touch. It’s a great example of repurposed vintage linens.

Looking for sources for vintage linens?

I love to find estate sales on EstateSales.net.

vintage linen, reuse, repurpose, zippered purse
A woven tea towel was the perfect size for a zippered purse, a great example of repurposed vintage linens.

2. Vintage linen zipper purse

I’ve been on a zippered purse kick this year, and it’s been a great use of my (gulp) vast collection of vintage linens. For the purse above, I used a vintage woven tea towel. I made sure to keep the fringe of the tea towel intact. For the strap, I used a piece of vintage muslin. All repurposed vintage linens don’t have to be embroidered – plain muslin is another great find.

For the purses below, I used a cutwork napkin, an old piece of upholstery fabric and an unfinished cross-stitch scene.

reuse, recycle, vintage linen, zippered purse, handmade
An unfinished cross-stitch picture, a cutwork napkin and vintage upholstery fabric make perfect zippered purse.

3. Vintage tablecloth dress

Three vintage tablecloths and runners found new life in this dress I made for my daughter, Rachel. I didn’t use a pattern, but instead used Rachel’s measurements — and a good deal of trial and error — to piece it together. My favorite part — which was Rachel’s idea — is the round tablecloth at the bottom. It’s swirly flounce makes this a light and airy dress for summer.

vintage linens, reuse, recycle, handmade
Three vintage tablecloths and runners combine for this beautiful summer dress.

4. Vintage doily spider web

A fly is caught in the web of a vintage crocheted doily. You could appliqué this to a sweatshirt or a T-shirt. I used it as the centerpiece of a tea towel. It’s one of many for sale in my Etsy shop, handyjan.etsy.com.

vintage doily, recycle, reuse, tea towel
A vintage doily becomes a spider web, where an appliquéd fabric fly is trapped.

Looking for more crafty ideas?

Check out these ideas on my blog:

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