Saturday, April 30, 2011

Vintage Handkerchiefs

I love vintage hankies. LOVE them.

There is just something so sweet and delicate about each and every one- from the painstakingly hand-crocheted and embroidered ones to the mid-century printed designs in vivid colors- they are each unique and lovely.

I love them so much that I began collecting vintage hankies in college. By the time I got married I had amassed enough to use as wedding favors folded up into "pockets" with a message inside for all of the ladies attending our wedding reception.

vintage handkerchief favors at our wedding with
history insert. Photo by Todd Nichols Photography

Since then I have done little else with my hankies except to stash them in a round hat box...but I have recently been thinking of new ways to incorporate them into my home so that they can be functional as well as beautiful. Of course, I have a handful that I actually use for their intended purpose- I find they are much softer on the nose and face than conventional tissues, and much more sustainable with less paper that goes in the trash. It also doesn't hurt that they are pretty :)

These are some ideas of other uses for vintage hankies:

* pillows
* framed wall art
* curtains
* basket liners
* rosettes for pillows, clothing, or hair bands
* lavender sachets
* book covers
* table runners

If you collect vintage hankies, what is your favorite way to use or display them?

Linking to:


  1. What a great idea to give them away as wedding favors! -- I love how you folded them like an envelope. Super creative! I have several from family, and after reading your post, I think I'll get them out and use them for their intended purpose.

  2. These are so beautiful! I will definitely have to start watching out for them at antique stores and such.

  3. Sweet and pretty posting. Love how you displayed them in the vintage wire basket.

  4. Hi Megan, I love how you used them for your wedding, so sweet and personal. I love old hankies too, especially monogramed ones. Thanks so much for joining in for VIF! xo Debra

  5. I hit the mother-lode at a vintage garage sale this spring. 45 hankies in beautiful condition for just 10 dollars. Each one is different and lovely. Some still have their tags on and originated from all over the globe...Switerland, Japan, France...What a lovely hobby I've stumbled upon.

  6. Hi Megan. It's me again. I just wanted you to see this post about another idea for vintage hankies.

  7. I'm so glad all of you love them as much as I do! Thanks for the link, Camille- Yet another awesome creative use for vintage hankies!

    Tracy- you did hit the jackpot! That is the best way to get them- in bulk for a good price!

  8. I love vintage hankies. And yours are beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing. Karie

  9. I love them too. Your idea for the wedding is so clever! I use them to make lavender sachets, pillows and aprons!

  10. I have been planning a vintage inspired birthday party (in my head) for my daughter (when she gets older) What I envisioned was hanging them up with pretty clothespins like on a clothesline or pretty ribbon....I've also been tossing around the idea of hanging them in her room. I have a few around her room already. I LOVE hankies too.