DIY Projects

August 5, 2010

DIY Framed Handkerchiefs

Find vintage handkerchiefs online through websites like Craigslist, eBay and Etsy. We found the ones framed above at Cabaret Vintage and Cynthia Findlay Antiques in Toronto. Flea markets and thrift shops are also great resources if you don’t have any hankies of your own.


  • Vintage handkerchiefs
  • Album art frames
  • Picture-hanging kit

Step 1: Narrow down your collection

Handkerchiefs recall a more genteel era, when people politely offered them up to friends and strangers in need. Today, vintage versions are sold in an array of patterns and make a colourful art alternative that can inject patina and history into your decorating scheme. Sort through your collection and select a few prints: I chose blue and red versions.

Step 2: Place hankies into frames

Picture frames with a slim profile, like these album art frames from Urban Outfitters, won’t overpower small-scale prints. Don’t worry if the hankies don’t fit the frames exactly; seeing the finished edges adds extra texture and dimension. Use a blank piece of white paper to create a backdrop for any hankies that don’t reach the perimeter of the frame.

Step 3: Hang frames in a grid

A simple grid helps bring order to a mix-and-match collection. Place each frame about 2″ apart. Since they’re all the same size, it’s easy to change up the order of the prints as desired later. Pair them with a no-frills industrial task lamp and simple furniture like a rustic table to keep the look from feeling old-fashioned.

Author: Michael Penney

John Cullen