How to Make Doilies by Hand

Written by beverley gee
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How to Make Doilies by Hand
Decorative edging scissors can be purchased in art and craft stores. (scissors image by anna karwowska from

Doily-making is a good introduction to paper arts. Paper doilies need not simply be used as decorations for plates of food; they can be useful additions to other crafts, such as card making. Once you have learnt how to make round paper doilies, you can expand your skills to paper lace-making in any shape. Paper lace can be used for an endless variety of crafts; from creating scrapbook borders to holiday decorations.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • ¼ inch grid graph paper
  • Small paper plate
  • Pencil
  • Decorative edging scissors
  • Variety of paper punches, for example: diamonds, hearts, flowers.

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  1. 1

    Lay out a sheet of graph paper; place a paper plate on it, face down. Line up the edges of plate with two sides of the graph paper. Draw a circle around plate.

  2. 2

    Cut out circle with decorative edging scissors. The perimeter can be wavy, scalloped or zigzag, depending on your choice of edging scissors.

  3. 3

    Select a paper punch. Punch a design about ¾ inch in from the edge of paper circle. Work around circle using grid as a guide. Leave at least ½ inch between punch holes. When you complete the circle, take another paper punch and repeat the process, this time a little farther into the circle, again, using grid lines as a guide. Repeat, using different paper punches, until you have created a pretty lace design.

Tips and warnings

  • Try making square and rectangular doilies.
  • If you don't have graph paper, create some using a computer and printer.
  • Look in children's sections of craft stores for reasonably priced scissors and paper punches. The more variety you have; the more interesting designs you can create.
  • Use the same technique to make lace strips to embellish handmade cards.
  • Create holiday decorations, such as snowflakes, angels and treetop fairies.
  • Use paper doilies as stencils to make interesting backgrounds for cards and scrapbooks. Simply paint through the design with a stencil brush and suitable paint.

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