collections | four

Remember the Cherished Collections series I occasionally posted last year (along with the week-long group series we did)? I’m dusting things off and bringing it back, since it seemed everyone really enjoyed these posts! Perhaps too, I might host another of the blog-tour Cherished Collections event in the spring too…

02.15.12 | cherished collections

I have an bit of an accidental vintage handkerchief collection. While I’ve always loved looking at the beautiful florals and bright colors of women’s vintage hankies, I never thought of acquiring any until several years ago when a lovely treasure box arrived at my doorstep from one of my aunts. Inside was a lovely array of goodies leftover from my grandfather’s old antique business stock, including some hankies. This, my friends, started my tiny collection! Since then, I’ve added one or two over time that I’ve found for mere pennies in thrift shops and estate sales. It’s one of those “pretty to look at” collections, rather than practical–or so I thought!

02.15.12 | cherished collections

02.15.12 | cherished collections

The beautiful lacework and embroidery on many of these is eye catching and worthy of showing off. But displaying handkerchiefs can be a bit tricky when you’re trying to strike a balance between vintage-girliness and a more masculine style in a space. So I’ve mostly kept them packed away in a box of vintage linens I’m saving for our “one day house” (e.g. when we own a house and are staying put in one area for more than a few years! It’s just one thing less to pack when the Navy moves us…). But I’ve lately been seeing a lot of fantastic ideas floating around on Pinterest for using old hankies in fun ways: as curtains, framed and hung in a grouping, fun bunting, a beautiful quilt, and even a one-of-a-kind table runner!

02.15.12 | cherished collections

This is my little homage to using a vintage handkerchief in decor, inspired by much of what I’ve seen. I remembered I had this vintage Florida souvenir hankie, and pulled it out to use in the powder room (which has managed to take on a very “Florida” theme, with a lot of our silly knick-knacks we acquired during our stay). It adds some color to the dull wall, and also brings in my favorite color: red. I’m really quite smitten with this display at the moment, I must admit! (Apologies for the odd photo angles, but we have quite possibly the world’s smallest powder room, which makes jamming myself in there to take photos a real challenge!)

Do you collect vintage handkerchiefs? What are some of the fun ways you display them?

February 15, 2012 · 34 lovely thoughts
posted in inspiration · tags: ,

Straight Talking Mama February 15, 2012 at 11:13

I LOVE that Florida hankie and the display you’ve done!

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Dakota February 15, 2012 at 11:20

Oh, so pretty!! The Florida one is fantastic! I love vintage hankies too, I always keep a couple in my purse and use them instead of kleenex.

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Michelle February 15, 2012 at 11:31

I’ve never seen hankies displayed that way. I’m over-the-moon about the Florida one you have; Oh those colours and how perfectly it fits in your space, what a dream :)

Always so full of cheeky, fun and creative ideas, you are!

xx
M

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beate February 15, 2012 at 11:34

nice wall-deco!
i use my vintage and not-so-vintage hankies all day, they much smoother then the paper-ones.

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ConstantlyAlice February 15, 2012 at 11:36

I confess, I have quite a large collection. I buy them all the time because they’re so pretty, thinking I’ll come up with some use for them. I’ve seen them used as decoration on bags (as a trim or appliqued on the front) and also made into little hair bows or flower brooches. One of these days I’ll get around to doing something with mine ;)

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Marmielu February 15, 2012 at 11:44

I can’t wait to see the poor little bathroom now!
Mom

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Janice February 15, 2012 at 11:53

I love the rose embroidery on these! Definitely makes me inspired to try embroidering.

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Jill February 15, 2012 at 11:55

Great ideas! I love vintage hankies but I can never figure out what to do with them. I think there’s a baby quilt in the future for a few of my new momma friends.

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Darling Petunia February 15, 2012 at 11:57

I don’t actively collect them, but I do have a stack that belonged to my grandma.

http://darlingpetunia.blogspot.com/2011/06/grams.html

Hanky decor isn’t really my thing, so I’ve been using them! :)

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LadyD February 15, 2012 at 11:57

I enjoy embroidery…keep meaning to try and get some plain handkerchiefs to embroider. Finding suitable material to make some from scratch I struggle with…not even sure what type is best.
What material are yours made of casey?

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YarnUiPhoneAppv2.2 February 15, 2012 at 12:05

I’ve some from my grandmother…I think the best way of I’ve seen them displayed is using picture frames intended for record album covers…they’re perfect because they’re already square. You could even paint the frame white too. Group them thematically on the wall in a girl’s room (or a bathroom). This works for yarn swatches too. Why not frame them too? Especially the lacy delicate ones. Study the handiwork on the wall while you’re taking a bath, hah!

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Annabelle February 15, 2012 at 12:14

My Baba (Grandama) used to give her vintage hankies to my sister and I when we would stay for the weekend. We used them as blankets for our barbies and made togo style dresses for our barbie dolls. As a little girl I loved using them for this purpose, it’s unfortunate that we may have destroyed them in the process (from too much use). Oh well, I am sure it pleased my Baba to see us get joy from playing with them.

German Pattern Experiment: Day 7 Your Free Pattern!.

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Jill February 15, 2012 at 13:15

I’m completely jealous of the Florida hankie! I grew up there, and it captures that weird, but beautiful old Florida that is unique to the area. Beautiful display!

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Lucy February 15, 2012 at 14:04

I have an accidental handkerchief collection too. My grandmother gave me some when I was younger and I told her how much I liked them. Now whenever she sees them at garage sales she picks some up for me. I love your ideas for displaying them. Two ideas I have actually done are using them as pillow covers like this: http://www.elsiemarley.com/from-the-north-country-noodlehead.html and adding them to little girls dresses. I used this pattern: http://www.echoesofthepast.us/patterns.htm to make hankie dresses for my 3 girls. I love the idea of using the corner as a sleeve or to accent the pocket. Maybe that could even work on a dress for me :)

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Jane @ Vintage Homemaking February 15, 2012 at 14:30

Love the vintage hankies and I loved your collections posts. Maybe it’s the nosey neighbor in me, but I like to see what everyone else has in their homes, lol. I think the hankies are a great starter item for collectors too, because they are usually relatively inexpensive and they are usually one of the few items left if you hit an estate sale on the second day! I love my little stash and I actually carry one in the ol’ purse, save a tree and all that jazz! I keep mine in a huge glass jar so that I can see all the pretty flashes of color! Cute examples by the way!

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Amanda February 15, 2012 at 16:16

I love the display! It is so nice to put something cherished out to enjoy and appreciate :D

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Gina February 15, 2012 at 17:08

It’s really sweet all your hankies. I have one hankie from my Grandma Minnie. My Aunt gave me a handwritten note on my wedding day along with my grandmother’s hankie and a poem she had written. I have them in my treasure box. As time goes by, I really appreciate the work and beauty these little cloths hold. Thanks for sharing, I hope you do more of these post.

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Miss Tallulah Porkchop February 15, 2012 at 19:54

Ooohhh… what a lovely collection!

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Cerridwyn February 15, 2012 at 21:28

Lovely collection! :) It’s amazing how beautiful an everyday item can be. I always have a vintage handkerchief tucked inside my handbag. I’ve seen them used as doilies and displayed like kites across a wall.

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Andi B. Goode February 15, 2012 at 21:35

This is such a sweet collection! Not something I collect but it was lovely to look at yours. :)
-Andi x

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Danielle February 15, 2012 at 23:01

I have some vintage and not so vintage hankies. It’s on my todo list to embroider some, I love to embroider but my project list grows longer everyday. I keep mine in a Gone With the Wind tin lunchbox- another one of my collections (tin lunchboxes). My favorite hankie is a Paris souvenir one. I think I’ll frame it when I get my own house. I haven’t thought of what to do with all of them quite yet, I get much more use out of my vintage scarves.

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Kailey February 16, 2012 at 03:33

Ooh I absolutely LOVE getting a peek into what people are collecting – so I love this post! Such a unique idea to collect, and I love the pieces you have!

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LollyWillowes February 16, 2012 at 05:05

I use them, forever wiping my specs with mine….and, no, I don’t use them dual purpose with my nose!….. but also as patchwork and my kitchen curtains are made from two old tablecloths and some tray cloths.

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Charlotte February 16, 2012 at 07:57

What an adorable little display! I have several vintage hankies – mostly lacy and embroidered ones, but a few printed. I love the idea of using them on the walls.

xx Charlotte
Tuppence Ha’penny

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Lisette February 16, 2012 at 08:33

I love that Florida one! Very awesome. I’ve actually been using mine lately for its intended purpose – I’ve had a terrible cold.

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Joen February 16, 2012 at 10:33

I too have a hankie collection, my grandmother used to send them to me when I was a girl. At one time she even sent me a triangle box that you folded and kept them in, I don’t know what ever happened to that, but I cherish the memories of getting them in the mail from her.

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jessie heninger February 16, 2012 at 13:46

I have a pretty nice collection of hankies myself. I love them and they’re so cheap and so often hand embroidered which I fine to be just fascinating. I love that every day items became art (something we could use a bit more of).

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Ann February 16, 2012 at 16:41

I have a bunting of vintage hankies serving as a “headboard” for the bed in the guest bedroom. I usually carry one too, instead of tissues.

I know what you mean about trying to decorate with girls stuff, but also respecting that a man is living with you too! I like to think I strike a good balance. I actually love the look of something really girly next to something more rustic and masculine. Like my royal Albert old country roses dishes displayed in our hundred year old farm worn cabinet.

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Sara February 16, 2012 at 19:34

I just came across my vintage hankie collection. It was an accidental collection as well; My grandmother gave me a bunch when i was 11 or 12. I’ve kept them in various treasure boxes since then, and I’m so glad i never got rid of them. They fit right into my developing “adult” tastes! I’m afraid to do much else with them besides frame them, since they belonged to my grandmother. It’s funny how much familial ownership can alter our opinions of worth.

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Cassie Stephens February 18, 2012 at 07:57

Okay, when insomnia hits you, you produce this?! Oh my!! When insomnia hits me, I go hit the wine…but I guess that’s why you are your awesome productive self and I’m…well…it sounds like I’m a lush! Seriously, this is beautiful. I’d offer advice but I’m too drunk (JK!!). Cannot wait to see the end result.

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YYZ February 18, 2012 at 09:47

I also have an “accidental hankie collection,” acquired in much the same way. My great grandmother tatted the lace around the edges on many of them and embroidered on others. One I particularly love is a circular floral one. I’d love to use them somehow, but can’t think HOW, exactly– I can’t bear to cut them up…. I have been looking for a few years now for inspiring ideas online, but until today I felt like I must be the ONLY person out there wanting to honour her vintage handkerchiefs in some pretty way. I like the bunting idea above, though– it would be perfect in our guest bedroom, too! Thanks so much for this post, Casey!

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Olivia February 18, 2012 at 11:59

I love that you shared this- I also have an accidental collection of these! Picked a few up at yardsales several years ago simply because they were pretty, and the collection just kept growing. I tie mine around ponytails with a little 40/50s poof in the front- looks so cute and adds a fun pop of color. Super easy- just tie it around the elastic that hold the hair back. Cute and easy, and it actually puts them to use as well. Especially adorable with floral bordered ones! :) Thanks for sharing this collection!

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Margo, Thrift at Home February 19, 2012 at 21:55

I USE them! I love matching them to my outfit :)

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Crystal Hoshor February 19, 2012 at 22:10

I have a growing collection myself. I love the handpainted and signed ones the most. I keep one in my purse. Some I have displayed on a vintage six arm drying rack in my laundry room. I have others tucked into a vintage spoon rack, which is an idea I got from pinterest. : )

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