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Wednesday, November 18, 2009



Vintage ladies handkerchiefs make a wonderful collectible, and they are still quite affordable. People often ask me though, What do you do with them? How can you display them?

Here are a few ideas for you.

My daughter was fortunate enough to have the same initial as her great grandmother, so she was able to use her vintage handkerchief for her wedding. We incorporated the hankie right into the bouquet.

wedding photos courtesy of Genevieve Fridley Photography

If you are not fortunate enough to have your grandmothers original handkerchief, be sure to click here to see our


You can display them framed in clear acrylic clip frames. They can also be stretched over a square painters canvas using double sided tape to hold them in place. You can arrange 8 of these above a bed to create a headboard.

Use them as doilies on tables & nightstands,

Show then off under glass on a coffee table

Sew into quilts, pillows, sachets, tablecloths, or potholders

Make a baby bonnet from a white hankie to be used years later as
wedding handkerchief

Make a valance by clipping them onto top of curtain with clothespins Display them in a vase or hang them from a towel bar
Wrap small gifts with them, make hankie angels or hankie dolls,

Darling Christmas Stocking Ornaments

Use as a cuff on a solid colored stocking

Make a baby’s first blankie

Sew a
monogrammed hankie onto the front of a little girls bib overalls

Use them to line your Longerberger baskets (or others)

Trim the edges with beads & make a "cozy" for your teacups


Tie them onto your ponytail, belt loop, or purse,

Tie them to your suitcase handle so you can identify your suitcase at the airport!

Tuck them into birthday, get well or any holiday card

CUPCAKE Birthday Cards With Hankie Handkerchiefs

Use monogrammed handkerchiefs
for the "something old or something blue" for a bride to be,

Give as gift to bridesmaids, flower girls,
mother of bride or groom

Display them hung by little wooden clothespins on a vintage indoor clothesline, or satin ribbon

A customer gave me this idea to pass along. She is giving a monogrammed hankie to her son’s girlfriend as a small gift for her prom night. A nice tradition to start!

Use as a curtain topper

A customer Sherrie made this fabulous valance all with
Isn’t that clever!

Another customer idea! They look lovely draped over a nitelight for soft romantic lighting.

Use any type of vintage rack for display

I recently saw these on a blog and just had to add them here, the idea is just adorable. SAVE THE DATE Hankies......How unique!

You can also use them for wedding invitations as shown on this website:

Well I will tell you I never would have thought of this, but it is fun to watch!

How to make a ’camisole’(in fact an early bra) out of a pair of handkerchiefs. It may be similar to the one made by the New York socialite, Mary Phelps-Jacob, - later patented by her, with a more complex form - in 1914. Almost certainly the model wears it over her shift for reasons of cinematic propriety. British Pathe archivist dates it to around 1921.

See the You-Tube video here (authentic vintage!)

Click to view:
Ladies New & Vintage HANDKERCHIEFS Hankie Hankies
Here are some books you might be interested in about handkerchief collecting and displaying:

Hanky Panky: An Intimate History of the Handkerchief

Collecting Handkerchiefs

Hooked on Hankies

Handkerchiefs: A Collector’s Guide

Hanky-Panky Crazy Quilts

Printed & Lace Handkerchiefs: Interpreting a Popular 20th Century Collectible

Children’s Handkerchiefs: A Two Hundred Year History

© 2006-2009 Nanalulu

1 comment:

Lauri said...

Thank you for these wonderful and inspirational ideas. I have many of my Grandmothers hand made hankies and doilies that are very dear to me. I love the ways you have made the old new again.

Lauri- Omaha, NE