Valentine Handkerchief Charger

Vintage Valentine Handkerchiefs

It’s time for another Thrifty Chicks Challenge, where a group of creative friends come up with projects centered around a theme! This month we are focusing our efforts on scarves or handkerchiefs. I will have the links to all my friend’s projects at the end!

Thrifty Chicks

Since Valentine’s is right around the corner, I decided I needed to come up with a better way to enjoy these vintage hankies that belonged to one of my grandma’s. Just letting them hibernate in a linen closet just doesn’t seem right. I wanted to come up with a way I could actually enjoy them with a whole new fresh style.

I’ve been kind of obsessed with Pier 1’s chargers lately. I bought a leafy variety last Easter for my table {“Add Luscious Layers to Your Tablescape”}, and then bought a cedar style for my Thanksgiving table {“Styling the Thanksgiving Table, Step by Step”}. I just love the circular shape of a placemat, rather than the tried and true rectangle; it just seems more updated.

I pictured these vintage handkerchiefs, pieced together in a snowflake-type pattern, since February is still very much  the winter, here in MN. I also like the idea of seeing all these pretty patterns together, like a quilt. Similar to when I made the “Vintage Fabric Wreath” last spring. When it comes to vintage patterns, the more the merrier, I think!

To see if what was in my head would really work, I traced the 4 handkerchiefs on some paper. I divided the approximately 12″ squares by 3 on each side and drew lines across, through the middle:

Design Plan

This is how I would cut the hankies, so I could create this:

Design drawing

Kind of looks like a snowflake, or an old quilt, right?

I decided my idea would work, so I started cutting up my grandma’s handkerchiefs (yes, kind of scary), using a rotary blade for straight lines.

Valentine handkerchief

I did screw up once and had to trash one corner:(

Once I had 4 pretty pink and red Valentine’s hankies cut up, I laid out my pattern. I decided white fleece would be a nice, soft, thick backing for these delicate fabrics.

Vintage Handkerchief snowflake

The corners of the hankies created the snowflake pattern I was going for. I made sure to line up the outside edges where the patterns met and slightly overlapped them. You can play around with the patterns; I liked the little cherub hankie to be above it’s neighbors. One by one I ironed each segment with spray starch so it was crisp and wrinkle-free.

FYI: I used the middle pieces of the hankies for another, but didn’t like how the edges looked together, so this version is still in limbo:

Vintage hankies

What do you think? That one with the border waving in just isn’t doing it for me:(

Back to the cute one…

One at a time I sprayed each segment with Heat and Bond’s Fusible Adhesive. I fell in love with this stuff when I made my “Sunflower Button Pillow” last fall. It’s the perfect application for no-sew cute projects! They don’t give it away, so make sure you have a coupon when you buy;) No need to sew, and it says it’s even machine washable, but I don’t plan on washing these, hopefully.

Heat and Bond spray fusion

Before activating the sticky stuff with the iron, I trimmed the excess white fleece, cutting about 1/4″ under the cute hankie edging. The sticky stuff clung to the polar fleece nicely, so the hankies didn’t slip while I was working my way around.

Vintage handkerchief project

Vintage handkerchief project

Following the instructions on the Heat and Bond can, I fused the hankies to the fleece using my iron. I finished off the project by sewing a vintage red button in the middle to cover where the points came together. (FYI…my grandma’s name was Astrid, hence the “A”).

The cute, vintage handkerchief charger or placemat can be enjoyed even more by using a clear plate!

Vintage handkerchief project

Now to whip up a couple more for that romantic, Valentine’s candlelight dinner or dessert;)

Vintage handkerchief project

Vintage handkerchief project

Such an easy, no-sew project! And a great way to enjoy some treasured family linens! If you have springtime or Christmas handkerchiefs, they would be adorable, too! Anyone going to try this fun project?

Vintage Handkerchief Placemat


Now to see what my Thrifty Chicks friends came up with for their projects!

Here are the “teaser” pics:

Thrifty Chicks Junkovers

  1. Debra at Shoppe No. 5, “How To Make Flowers From a Hankie”
  2. Diana at Adirondack Girl at Heart, “Homemade Heating Pads From Thrifted Scarves”
  3. Me;)
  4. Marie from Interior Frugalista, “How To Turn a Scarf into an Easy DIY Valentine’s Wreath”
  5. Tania from Little Vintage Cottage, “Little Hankie Bird and a Hankie Project Roundup”
  6. Tuula from Thrifty Rebel Vintage, “Quick and Easy Repurposed Scarf Draft Stopper” 

Sharing at these lovely parties:

Talk of the Town 

Wow Us Wednesdays

To Grandma’s House We Go

Vintage Charm

Farmhouse Friday

Friday Favorites

DIY Salvaged Junk Projects

18 thoughts on “Valentine Handkerchief Charger

  1. Another winner! I’ll be digging in my stash of linen – hope I haven’t donated all the vintage hankies I had! I did a major purge about a year ago & now wish I hadn’t been quite so hasty. Sigh-
    Oh well, if all the good ones are gone it’ll be something fun to search for! Thanks for the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Really enjoyed your tutorial: I have never used a rotary cutter. I immediately started to problem solve for the one that you didn’t like as well. Pomander with potpourri, doll overskirt or umbrella, pillowtop with a button in the middle? I’m sure that after you look at it for a while, a good usage will present itself!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your Grandma’s collection of hankies are so pretty! I felt nervous for you reading the party about cutting them. I’m with you in preferring round or unique shapes for placemats rather than traditional rectangles. Your handkerchief charger for Valentine’s Day is darling!

    Liked by 1 person

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