Lace is a beautiful fabric that’s versatile enough for decorating or wearing. Sure, you probably have something lacy in your wardrobe. You’re also likely to have seen doilies hanging around your grandmother’s house as accents. They cradle lamp bases, adorn tables, and rest on chairs.

But lace laces everything from furniture, to nails, to stationery. If you’re trying to get crafty yourself, you’ll want to watch the tutorial below by Brooke of WhatsUpMoms. The star of this project is a lace doily. That’s right, straight out of Nana’s Hoosier cabinet— and turned into a bowl!

Stiffened with sugar-water, the sweet doily takes shape with the help of a bowl. For this project, you want to use 100% cotton doilies. If you don’t have any or access to someone’s stash to raid, they can be found at local big-box retailers. You can also purchase them at thrift stores, flea markets, or online. Look for “crochet lace” in the description.

Image of doily on bowl.WhatsUpMoms


  1. Make Sweet Water

    Mix sugar and water together and heat on stove or microwave until boiling.

  2. Cool It

    Remove from heat and allow to cool.

  3. Immerse It

    Wearing gloves, dip doily into the sugar mixture until fully soaked. Wring out excess liquid.

  4. Flip It

    Flip the bowl over onto its mouth and place doily on the bottom of the bowl to mold it.

  5. Heat It

    Place bowl into oven heated at 225°F. Remove from oven after 20-30 minutes.


Watch the video for a full step-by-step breakdown on how to handle the process. Brooke notes that these doily bowls are sturdy enough to withstand the mightiest toddler. That’s good news if you plan on using these as candy dishes for your coffee table.

Rumor has it in the crafting community that you can also make the liquid mixture by subbing in Epsom salts or glue for the sugar. Others use fabric stiffening liquid that helps to give the doilies unique shapes and indentations.

Some variations on this project also include dyeing the lace or painting the doilies after they dry. You can also buy doilies in assorted colors. If you want to dye the doilies, do so before doing the step with the sugar mixture. Painting your creations after they dry can be done with light coats of spray paint or carefully by hand.

Did you know you can embellish these too? Thread a small piece of ribbon through a row to add a decorative touch or to match the décor in a room. Who says you can’t glue a small handful of beads around the border? Pretty and useful, these bowls can hold things such as keys, snacks, hand towels, soaps or jewelry. They’re even used as tea light holders!

Don’t stop after making just one of these and feel free to mix up the sizes, because you can always gift someone with a set of nested bowls. What are your thoughts on these pretty lace bowls? How many doilies do you have that you want to transform? Tell us in the comments!