Decorating with Vintage Handkerchiefs

Thrifty Style Team FacesHello and welcome to this month's Thrifty Style day! This is the day of the month when the members of the Thrifty Style Team share anything styled or photographed thrifty, a hand-me down, curbside rescue, heirloom, etc.  

Stack of freshly pressed handkerchiefs with tatted edgesWhen I was trying to think of something to share with you this month it suddenly hit collection (albeit small) of handkerchiefs.Freshly pressed fresh vintage handkerchiefs with tatted edges in a rainbow of colors.When I was growing up my Grandmother lived with us.  After she passed away I remember my Mom going through my Grandmother's belongings and putting things aside to give to other grandchildren, nieces, and other relatives.  One day in particular my Mom was going through my grandmother's handkerchiefs.  All starched, ironed, carefully folded and in pristine condition.  That day, my love of vintage handkerchiefs started. Vintage handkerchief with cornflower blue tatting and embroidered yellow flowers - vintage handkerchief at cupcakesandcrinoline.comI didn't want to be all push asking my Mom if I could have them so I waited until items were divvied up and then asked if I could have a few of the leftovers.  

That was the start of my collection.

I haven't added many over the years....most are those original handkerchiefs but I love to look at them.  I usually keep them in a basket in my craft room but for this post I pulled each one out....and ironed them.Decorating with vintage handkerchiefsWhen I first got my collection I used them as fashion accessories.  I went to a private school and we wore uniforms...gray pleated skirts, knee socks, white shirts...oh so fashionable! 😉 I, however, would add some of these hankies to the breast pocket on my blazers....the frillier the better.  I would tuck a handkerchief into the pocket, poof out the lace and off I would go.  As I was looking through this stash I also remembered the one that I put into the breast pocket of my winter coat kept in place with one of my Grandma's broaches.  It's the one above with the white tatting and pale yellow edge...that was one of my favorites!

After remembering how cute that looked I think I'll do that again this upcoming winter...maybe. 

Right now I have a valance across the windows in my craft room with some of my collection (no pictures but I'll work on that!).A gardenful of handkerchiefs - vintage handkerchiefs in glass vasesOne of the first posts I ever did her on the blog was about creating a Garden Full of Handkerchiefs.....

and another post was about using the Christmas ones on my kitchen window (ignore the pics.....oi!).Decorating with vintage handkerchiefs at cupcakesandcrinoline.comSo that's my Thrifty Style share for this you have any items or collections that you'd like to share? I'd love to hear about them! 

Be sure to check out the other team members shares for the month....they're sure to leave you smiling and inspired.

hugs, Mary Beth cupcake 07.10.2016

Thrifty Style Team


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  1. Charlotte @ Ciburbanity says:

    So cute! Love vintage hankies but never know what to do with them. Great ideas!

  2. kristi@ishouldbemoppingthefloor says:

    Such a sweet collection, Mary Beth!! And I love all of the memories of your grandmother and school years that these have...that makes them even more special!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you so much, Kristi! xo

  3. These are beautiful! And the story behind them is so special - this is the best kind of collection!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thanks so much, Carrie!

  4. Lindia Speer says:

    I use my hankies in vases as well. I also put them in greeting cards, grapevine wreaths, and flower arrangements. They can be used in junk journals as part of the journal or as a little gift in an envelope.

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you for sharing your ideas, Lindia! I appreciate you taking the time to comment and inspire.