How to Hang a Doily

I make gigantic doilies. They are big enough to cover a significant amount of floor space. I used one as a rug but it wore quickly so I had to stop. Though I love to see the wear on it when I hang it on a wall, it makes it look like an antique to my eyes, which are always starved for the sight of a good old-fashioned Mormon handicraft.

I started making them toward the end of high school/first part of college, in other words, quite a long time ago. I think I have five that are finished and still in my possession. And, I finally know how to hang them for display.

Of course one option is to have the doily framed and mounted. If I saved for a long time, I could probably afford to do this to one of them. I like the way it looks riding the wall bare back much better than the framing job I picture in my mind.

First you make the damn thing. This takes months. Then you get A LOT of nails. Paint your wall beautifully – and in a color that compliments your doily. Painting is easier than making doilies, in case you were thinking its the other way around, and a little Spackle and touch up is nothing compared to the work of making a doily.

Hanging it is a two person job. One person mashes it against the wall. Now is not the time to be a perfectionist. In the end it will look like a galactic explosion – a beautiful super nova that a Utah great -grandmother would love. Its probably impossible to hang it perfectly. When I can’t hang something perfectly I always try for artistically off-kilter. The other person (who isn’t mashing) hammers nails in to support the doily every few inches. Pull out the lacy peaks and emphasize them.

I had my doilies – the whole collection – hanging at Ulysses Salon in February. I was concerned that the fibers would stretch and distort. They didn’t. I’m trying it at home now, and I’ll report back on how it holds up since it will be there for more than a month.

Oh, I almost forgot to remind you – its a great idea to lint roll the doily every once in a while to remove the dust and hair that collects. Air in a can also helps with this (I learned recently at the store that you also can huff it, but you really shouldn’t). And I suspect if you hang them on outside walls they could help with insulation.

The photos are our home – and after almost six years of work, the 1903, previously abused and neglected property is starting to look like the work of art I knew we could turn it into.

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