How to Stiffen Doilies for Baskets

Written by jane smith
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How to Stiffen Doilies for Baskets
Line your baskets with stiffened doilies... (Straw basket image by Tasha from Fotolia.com)

Whether you crochet or lap-weave your own doilies or use store-bought ones, it is easy to stiffen them to use them as basket liners. Clear acrylic sealant will stiffen doilies permanently and allow the doily to stand alone. Starched doilies can be washed to restore their flexibility if you decide you no longer want to use them as basket liners. Stiffened doilies can be made into stand-alone baskets by adding a handle.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Doilies
  • 2-quart mixing bowl
  • Set of measuring cups and spoons
  • 1/2 cup starch
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1.25 cup tap water
  • 2-quart saucepan
  • Large-mouthed bowl or high-sided baking pan
  • Bowl or basin
  • Cooking spray or spray bottle of baby oil
  • Clear acrylic sealant
  • Paint tray or high-sided baking tray
  • Paint brush
  • Nitrile or clear plastic gloves

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Instructions

    Starched Doilies

  1. 1

    Mix starch one teaspoon at a time with water, in a large-mouthed bowl or high-sided baking pan, until it has a milkshake consistency. "Crochet Doilies" recommends mixing 1/2-cup starch and 1/2-cup cold water before adding 1.25 cups tap water and bringing the mixture to a boil.

  2. 2

    Lay the doily you wish to stiffen in the starch mixture. Press it under the surface until the entire doily is saturated with starch.

    How to Stiffen Doilies for Baskets
    Make sure the doily is flat. (hand crocheted lace with green background image by AardLumens from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Remove the doily from the starch and pull it through your fingers to remove as much liquid as possible. Do not twist or the doily will wrinkle or be pulled out of shape.

  4. 4

    Find a bowl or basin with the same diameter, shape and depth as the basket you wish to line. Spray the bottom and outside with cooking spray or wipe it all over with baby oil. Lay the bowl or basin bottom up and drape the starch-soaked doily over it.

    How to Stiffen Doilies for Baskets
    Fill a spray bottle with baby oil. (colourful spray bottle tops image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com)
  5. 5

    Allow the doily to dry for several days. Peel it away from the bowl or basin and place it in the basket you wish to line.

    Clear Acrylis Sealant

  1. 1

    Pour clear acrylic sealant into a paint tray or deep-sided baking tray.

  2. 2

    Lay the doily in the sealant and use a paint brush to push the doily under the surface. Brush additional sealant onto any areas that stay above the surface.

  3. 3

    Allow the doily to soak for at least 10 minutes to ensure that the acrylic sealant enters and coats every thread.

  4. 4

    Don a pair of nitrile or clear plastic gloves. Remove the doily from the sealant and gently pull it between your fingers to remove the excess.

    How to Stiffen Doilies for Baskets
    Gloves keep the sealant off your hands... (medical gloves image by sasha from Fotolia.com)
  5. 5

    Mist the underside of a bowl that is the correct depth and diameter with baby oil. Lay it on a tray, bottom up. Drape the doily over the bowl.

  6. 6

    Allow the doily to dry overnight. Remove it from the bowl and line the basket.

Tips and warnings

  • If you do not want to soak the doily in sealant, spray it instead. Craft supply manufacturer Plaid Enterprises states, "Don't be afraid to spray heavily; this will make your (doily) stiffer and it will hold its shape better."

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