Framed Doilies as Shabby Chic Wall Decor

Framed Doilies as Shabby Chic Wall Decor

Long before I even started my blog, I found the most amazing panel from an antique door while antiquing in Minneapolis, MN. Covered in layers of chippy paint, I used it’s beauty to inspire the painted bedroom furniture we now own. AND, it inspired the shabby chic wall decor that would ultimately kick off my upcycling blog. I know it sounds crazy, but it is the absolute truth.

Chippy paint on the panel of an antique door

It almost looked like an abstract painting of birch trees, which is what I thought it was when I first spotted it.

Regardless, the creams, blues, greens, and deep browns of the panel’s chippy paint were the catalyst behind our entire master bedroom redesign.

I spotted this dresser at an antiques shop in Columbia, SC and loved how it coordinated with the panel. 

Dresser that was painted and matches a panel from an antique door

Next, I commissioned the same furniture painter to transform my great-grandparents’ dresser to coordinate with the one I bought in Columbia.

Antique dresser that has been painted for a farmhouse bedroom

I found several glass-less wooden window frames at an antique mall in Charlotte, NC. I selected one to display some lace doilies that had been my grandmother’s.

They seemed like would work perfectly with the bedroom decor that I was going for. And this project, this shabby chic wall decor, was the first project I ever posted on my upcycling blog.

This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. All blue, bold, and underlined text is a clickable link, either to a product or to a related post.

Using Lace Doilies and a Vintage Window Frame

The vintage window frame was lightweight and relatively thin. Had it come from a screened porch, perhaps?

I placed it on the ground and arranged the lace doilies inside it, debating on how best to display them without glass.

Window frame decor with vintage doilies as shabby chic wall art

Picturing the wooden window frame in a screened porch was all I needed. Because that’s when it dawned on me to use window screen for my project!

I could attach inexpensive window screen to the frame and treat it like the backdrop for cross stitch. Then, I could pin the lace doilies to the screen where I wanted them, stitching them on with plain old thread.

First, I cut out a rectangle of window screen to fit the wooden window frame and spray painted it aqua. This tied into the chippy paint on the frame, the original panel from the wooden door, and the knobs on the painted dressers.

Then, I simply staple-gunned screen to the back of the frame, pulling it taut as I attached it.

Stapling a screen to vintage window frames for displaying the lace doilies

I pinned the lace doilies onto my window pane decor and simply swooned.

Yes…I swooned.

Displaying the vintage doilies with old window frame decorating ideas

Then, I stitched the lace doilies to the screen on the backside of my vintage window frame.

Lace doilies for shabby chic wall decor in vintage window frames

And when all was said and done, I removed the safety pins from the front. My shabby chic wall decor was complete!

Framed Doilies as Shabby Chic Wall Decor

I just love how it turned out- and it’s really become the centerpiece of our bedroom.

Shabby Chic wall art for a farmhouse bedroom that was inspired by an antique door

I never imagined that this shabby chic wall decor would be such a life-changing project. Not only is it perfect for a our farmhouse bedroom, but I seriously launched my upcycling blog with it.

Framed doilies as shabby chic wall decor

Thank you for humoring me as I told the story of how everything started…our master bedroom decor, this shabby chic wall art, and ultimately, my new career!

I’m also excited to announce that my first book is now available! If you enjoy upcycling clothing and simple sewing projects, then you will love my book on flannel crafts!

Craft book for flannel shirts

And if you enjoyed this upcycling idea, then you’ll love this windmill wall decor that I made from ceiling fan blades!

Farmhouse wall decor or windmill wall decor from ceiling fan blades by Sadie Seasongoods

Craft on!


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PIN ME!Framed doilies in a vintage window frame

Shabby chic wall decor with an old window frame

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. What a great idea! I have a few doilies made by loved ones who have passed and this would be a beautiful way to honor their work and their memory. So glad I found you at the Creativity Unleashed Party!

    • Thank you, Marie! YES, that’s exactly how I felt- I wanted a pretty, cottage-y, way to display these doilies. Finding the perfect window frame was key for me- but a large picture frame would work just as well. You just need enough surface area on the back of the frame to staple-gun the screen to it. Happy crafting to you!!

  2. Just beautiful! I love your brilliant idea and the frame is perfect!
    Have a wonderful day and week!
    Hugs from Portugal,
    Ana Love Craft

  3. It turned out just beautiful and I love the colors.

  4. Love this! I have lots of doilies made by my great aunt and this is an awesome display idea! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  5. What a gorgeous, individual piece!

  6. Cute, cute, cute! Thanks for linking up with Sunday Features this week!

  7. I absolutely love the idea of using porch screen for the backing of the doilies. I’ve got some vintage frames that migth need this treatment too.

  8. It’s a beautiful piece you have created. I believe the doily on the left is a bobbin lace doily – very intricate handwork. They will be cherished for many more years.

  9. What a great idea! You’ve made such a beautiful piece, and since it carries family memories, it makes it even more beautiful.

  10. Oh my goodness, I just love this! I have handmade doilies that my great grandmother made and have been looking for a way to display them. This sounds like something that even I can do!

  11. Ah, you must be one talented lady with a special eye for design, because this is gorgeous! I don’t use doilys in my house, but have a whole heap of special ones that belonged to relatives. This would be the perfect way to use and display them. Thank you! Bookmarking this 🙂 and sharing Pinterest and FB!

  12. This is so stinkin gorgeous! I love everything about it! great job coming up with the screen idea! Love it!

  13. What a clever idea! I love the light and airy look of the doilies. Thank for the inspiration and for sharing at Vintage Inspiration Party.

  14. So, so pretty! Thanks for sharing linking up at the Vintage Inspiration Party!

  15. I can see why you swooned; it’s so pretty! What a brilliant idea. Love, love, love it. Thank you for sharing at Inspire Me Wednesday. Featuring you in next week’s issue.

  16. Oh, that looks so beautiful! I have a bunch of old windows and even a couple of old screens, I may have to try doilies to dress them up =)


  17. So pretty and a lovely way to show off those gorgeous doilies. And never apologise for the back of your work – no one has any business looking there anyway!

  18. I love this! It would be a great way to preserve and display family made doilies. Thanks for sharing!

  19. This is so lovely! Thank you for your wonderful ideas (:

    Visiting from / referred by Too Much Time

  20. Love your window idea. I love to use windows in my house and this would be a great idea.

  21. Absolutely LOVE this idea!! I have some old windows and could totally make this happen. Pinned!

  22. That is nothing but GORGEOUS. WOW! Thanks for joining us at the #HomeMattersParty! We hope to see you again next week 🙂

  23. My eyes popped when I saw this! I have an exact window frame, with glass, plus two others I wasn’t sure what to do with. I also have a huge assortment of vintage doilies so I just have to get to work. I just love the colors of you room. I am so taken with aqua lately!

  24. Not only do I love that doily creation, but that chest of drawers is gorgeous!! I’m featuring your project in the “What’s YOUR Prodigal Piece?” link party tonight! :o)

  25. I love the old frame, the colors, the dressers, and most of all the sentimentality of being able to use your grandmother’s doilies. This is an awesome project in every way. Thank you so much for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty 🙂

    Life With Lorelai

  26. Love this!

    found this on Treasure Box Tuesday

  27. Thanks for joining us at Project Inspire{d}!
    I’m excited to be featuring your Great Idea this week at our weekend wrap up. Please be sure to grab a button or link back!
    I can’t wait to see what you bring to next week’s party! 🙂

  28. I love the blue knobs on the dresser!

  29. I Love your idea so much better than what I did!!! I attached my doilies with fishing line and stapled to the back of the window frame. I have my old windows leaning in my windows of my sewing room. I am going to have my husband go to the hardware and get me some screen and use your much better. Should I use light weight screen?

    • I used the most inexpensive screen Lowe’s had simply because I didn’t see the need for anything stronger- so I’d say light weight is the way to go! Spray painting the screen (if you choose to do that) is easy- I attached it a clippy hanger, held the hanger with a gloved hand and spray painted it with the other. No mess! Then I hung the screen on my shower rod to dry.

  30. Luanne Bergenb says

    I absolutely love the doiley frame !!!!

  31. My husband’s mother passed away a few years ago and I have her doilies in a box that she had made thankyou for this, I know how to use some of them now

  32. sofia silvas says

    Love Love LOVE it!!!! Simply Cannot wait to try!!! Thnx for sheribg!

  33. I love this! Do you have anymore ideas on how to use or “repurpose” old doilies. Would you be willing to be work with me on a blog post on our store’s blog? Message me if you might be interested!

  34. Mindy Griffin says

    I love the doily display. I have a few from each grandmother and will definitely put this beautiful idea to use. They’ve just been stuck in drawers for years. Thank you for sharing!

  35. Antique embroidered handkerchiefs would be a good idea

  36. I love your idea and plan to replicate it in my daughter’s room with her great-grandmother’s doilies from a trip to India in the early 1900s! Never was sure about how to display those before. What color did you spray paint your background screen to make it so pretty?

  37. I just about fell out of the bed after seeing this. Not to toot my own horn, but I thought I was an extremely creative human, until I saw this post. This is absolutely GORGEOUS! Quite brilliant as well. Very smart! What spray paint did you use? Color and brand, because it is perfect and I would end up unhappy if it weren’t that color. I’m going to hade to steal this, but I will defintitely give proper credit to the lady who made the original when MY felriends swoon over my doilie display! Thank you so much. I could look at that picture all day, and I love how you concocted your entire bedroom theme from the cool chippy door panel. I am subscribing to your posts because of this. Thank you Ms. Sadie!

    • Thank you so much, Lisa- hard to believe, but that’s the very first project I ever did for my blog several years ago! It still hangs in our master bedroom to this day- I hope you’ll check out some of my most recent projects, too. 🙂 Here’s an affiliate link for the paint!: . Thank you again- I’m so glad you love it!

  38. pamela y creadick says

    Oh so happy I found your site!!! Just went through my vintage doilies linens and I have a ton. I found an vintage quilters frame today and now I know what to do with both. Window screen idea and barely sew perfect! Thanks!

  39. Your projects are so clever! I have a bunch of snowflakes that my grandma crocheted that would make for very unique winter decor. (And it’s kinda nice thinking about winter in this current mugginess)

  40. I love this! I have stitched dollies to felt and then stretched them onto a embroidery frame. This will be my next project! Thank you!

  41. Susan Walla says

    What did you use for the backing or is that teal color the screen spray painted? I was thinking about using a piece of poster board to hide the stitching on the back.

  42. What a clever idea – love it!

  43. Holy Cow Sarah, was starting to think would never get to end, happy for you to get so many comments. Another wonderful project for me to do which can afford. If I can’t find an old window will use a window frame, why not? This project is before the aqua frame project you did with embroidery scene I believe. Love both so much am itching to get started. Might have to send hubs to Ace Hardware to get some screening for the base on both projects. Luckily our Ace Hardware is about 5 miles away, so not too far to go.
    These are projects I can do and have materials on hand mostly. Makes me so glad I kept collecting all those doilies for so many years, still buy one now and then. Used to buy more when we lived in KY, what a supply always there.
    I think with this project and two others from you will keep me busy for little while, will be checking with you when they’re done and prettying up our home and outside..

  44. Kathy A. says

    I loved this idea and the winter snowflakes, too. I would advise against using poster board as a background as the color may run if it gets wet/damp. I have some maroon wallpaper with a tiny print that would be gorgeous. Hmm! Which frame and which doilies do I want to donate to the cause? I love the idea of a distressed gold embossed frame for a dressier look.

  45. Jeanne Dugan says

    How can I subscribe to your blog?? I can’t find any way to do it. Love your stuff!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Jeanne, I tried to do it for you but it says that you opted out of WordPress subscriptions. Do you have a different email address I could try?

      • jeanne Dugan says

        No, I don’t… Ha–I don’t even know what word press subscriptions is…I guess Ill try to figure it out.

  46. beautiful! do you have other ideas for using vintage doilies? also, loved the quilt window too….need some ideas for that too, like you, I have a couple old family vintage quilts, tatered beyond repair…dont know what to do with them but cant keep them packed away…..thanks!

  47. This is a brilliant idea!!! TFS.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you, Dolores! That was my very first project, actually, and the launch of my blog. 🙂 So it holds a VERY special place in my heart.

  48. This is the piece that drew me to your website, I LOVE it!!! I have a similar small frame that I was “fixin’ to do” like yours but I haven’t gotten a ’round-tuit. Yours is so special. Thank you for sharing!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Aww, thank you so much, Frani! It’ll always be extra special for me, since it launched my blog and subsequent new full-time job. <3

  49. Hello, I would like to know if I would be able to use some glue to hold the doilies down as I’m using scrapbooking paper as my background. Thanks.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      I’m sure you could, but since I’ve not tried that, I don’t have any experience in it. I’m sorry!

  50. Sharon Hare Moore says

    You knocked it out of the park again. !!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thanks, Sharon! I took fresh photos today, but can you believe this was the very first project tutorial I posted, way back in January of 2014!? It launched my entire blog, so will always be extremely sentimental to me.

  51. Love this dollie project so much that I am working on my own. But my paint is still sticky after 2 days. I am wondering if it is the plastic of the screen. What do uyou think?
    I brought it in the house and put a fan on it thinking it might be the humidity but it’s still not dry. Thank you for any help. Kim

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Hi, Kim- hmmm, that’s very odd! Did you allow each coat to fully dry before starting the next one? That can lead to a sticky build up. And sometimes glossy paint can feel tacky long after it shouldn’t. I’m so sorry this happened to you, either way- I HATE when paint doesn’t behave like it should!

  52. Juanita Burke says

    What a Beautiful idea! I have alot of these in many wonderful colors that would do great! Thank you for the showing and inspiration!

  53. Great idea! I love this!! My mother made Christmas ornaments one year out of my grandmother’s doilies! I am sure I will find more when going through my mom’s things. This will be a great idea if I do!!


  1. […] been a fan of Sleepy Poet for years now, and in a roundabout way, they helped me launch my blog (the window frame in my inaugural blog post was purchased there)! What I love about Sleepy Poet is that it’s a wonderful labyrinth of […]

  2. […] it any surprise, really, that I’m still making projects with vintage doilies? I mean, my very first blog post was this primitive decor piece that I made from a window frame and some of my grandmother’s […]

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