Thursday, November 19, 2009

Creative Crafting With Vintage Hankies

One cold snowy day last winter, I decided to iron my vintage hankies and try "packaging" them in some quality clear cellophane bags to sell then in my shop Kitsch n Stuff. My thought was that if I "gifted" these hankies they would be elevated from cotton perennial "Kleenex" to lovely vintage treasures that might attract some buyers.

My hunch paid off, just last week, I passed by the shelf that I carefully displayed them and noticed the entire inventory of my upgraded hankies was sold. I wondered who bought the entire lot. Was it a business person buying early holiday gifts for office staff? Perhaps the buyer a was school mom thinking about teacher gifts?

Or maybe, my packaging was not the trigger and the buyer just wanted the hankies for their collection or even for crafting.

Crafting With Hankies

Hankies you see are sought after for numerous retro sewing projects and display purposes. Creative crafters use hankies to sew into pillows, totes, tablecloths. sachets, potholders, bedspreads etc.

Hankies also can be framed under glass as wall decor, used as doilies, shelf liners or curtain toppers, displayed under a glass tabletop, delicately stuffed into a pretty glass vase or wine glass and so much more.

Tips About Buying Hankies

Look for hankies that have clean crisp images. There are plenty of hankies around, so there is no need to settle for
sad and "whimpy" ones. Novelty pattterns are always popular as well as florals with scalloped edges. Children's images as shown in the photos of these lovely totes made by Elizabeth Holcombe are attractive, colorful and whimsical.
While ordinary hankies may cost a few dollars, more interesting ones can fetch as much as $10.00-25.00. each.

Hankies were made with so many designs and images, that you can really have a grand time hunting for thee charming collectibles.

"Sew Cottage-y"

In my second book, Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes I devote an entire chapter to vintage sewing projects. The section is called "Sew Cottage-y" and features the work of many very talented gals who work with vintage hankies, feedsack material, vintage embellishments and buttons etc.

These gals have photos in my book and above in this post.

Also of Note

Photos courtesy of Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes (

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.

To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link:
C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff

Email me at

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Dianne is a member of:
The American Society of Journalists and Authors
The Authors Guild, Inc.


  1. These are just adorable!!Each one is so lovely and unique! You have really been creative with your vintage hankies!!
    Best wishes,

  2. Chris, thanks for finding me...just to clarify...the lovely totes shown in my post were made by Elizabeth Holcombe, Dianne

  3. Beautiful work. I should get busy. I've got a ton of raw materials. Alas the left side of my brain is going faster than the right.