5 Ways to Upcycle Grandma’s Vintage Napkins

If you're lucky enough to inherit linens from the days of yore (or you scored big-time thrifting the other weekend), take a peek at these ideas to put those vintage napkins to use.

1 / 6
Lilac, bunch, bouquet of lily of the valley in vintage, antique authentic china, porcelain milk jug, sugar bowl, tea cup with saucer on lace napkin on table, bush background, garden floral scene
Photo: Shutterstock/Galina Grebenyuk
Photo: Shutterstock/Galina Grebenyuk

Vintage napkins aren’t just for tea parties anymore. Grab your favorite pretties and crafting supplies for some DIY fun. Warning, your friends may swoon!

2 / 6
via @hobby_decoupage/instagram
Photo: via Instagram/hobby_decoupage

Decorate Jars

This project uses vintage-inspired paper napkins. Justina of hobby_decoupage takes old glass yogurt jars and decoupages the napkin right on! Mod Podge will be your friend in this project, along with sponge brushes and any glass jar. Coat the jar first, place a cutout of the napkin on top and add another layer of Mod Podge. Let dry overnight.

3 / 6
Photo: via Instagram/eleanor.voorhees
Photo: via Instagram/eleanor.voorhees

Create a Quilt

This project is for an experienced quilter, but if you have many vintage linens in your collection, channel @eleanor.voorhees for inspiration and master this beauty. Gather all of your quilting supplies and make a weekend of it. Once the project is complete, take care of your quilt with these laundry tips.

4 / 6
via @greensk_ye/instagram
Photo: via Instagram/greensk_ye

Make a Charming Advent Calendar

Be on the lookout all year long for the perfect vintage napkins to create this custom advent calendar. Instagrammer @greensk_ye used the tutorial from @sarahedgarprettyfabrics to showcase vintage napkins for a Christmas Countdown. Fill it with handmade candy and special notes for your whole household to enjoy during the holiday season.

5 / 6

Adorn and Accessorize

Make like @thepumpkinscone and gussy up a plain, denim bag with a bright, vintage napkin. This is a quick project if your sewing machine is handy. Alternatively you can hand-stitch the napkin onto your bag, but be sure to choose a heavy-duty needle that can handle the thick canvas. This bag is sure to get a ton of compliments when you’re out and about.

6 / 6

Put Them Front and Center

If you have some fancy vintage napkins in your collection, set the table for your next event using the napkin as the focal centerpiece. If you’re feeling extra ambitious this spring, learn how to fold your vintage napkins in the shape of a bunny, or use Instagrammer @lusso_all_things_luxury as inspiration for a Sunday brunch table setting.

Michelle Steber
Michelle is the Customer Account Manager at Scott's Marketplace and loves all things local: shops, parks, garage sales and yes, even the local bar. She engages the selling community by day, and by night is a chauffeur, sous chef, spin instructor and Pinterest junkie. Michelle seeks joy in everything she does, especially closet organization.