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Doily Craft Idea: Modern DIY Doily Throw Pillow

If you have a pile of inherited doilies, and no idea what to do with them, I have an easy doily craft idea for you: try making this modern DIY doily throw pillow! Even if doilies aren’t you jam (I hear ya), you might like the end result because this is a fairly un-fussy doily craft idea.  Between the pale aqua linen (yum) and the unusually cool doily I found in my grandma’s stash of vintage doilies, this easy to make decorative pillow might have turned me into a doily covert!

DIY Modern Doily Applique Throw Pillow

The Inspiration for This Doily Craft Idea:

The idea for this doily craft project actually started germinating when I was rummaging around in my Mummu’s yard sale pile and discovered an entire box of vintage crocheted doilies.  Even though I don’t love doilies, I couldn’t help but marvel at how intricate and delicate some of them were.

Modern Doily Ideas

You might remember that I dyed some of these doilies different shades of teal for a wintry table runner?  That was a SUPER easy doily craft idea because there was no sewing involved.  After I was done with that project, I couldn’t think of another use so I returned the box of doilies, but couldn’t stop thinking about this eye-shaped one – so I asked for it back.  I had NO idea what to do with it, because I’m not really a doily person.  I loved how my tablescape turned out, and I do have a sentimental Hungarian embroidery framed in the hallway, but other than those two anomalies, my aesthetic tends a little more to the mid-century/modern.

I decided to hoard this vintage doily anyway, and then DIY magic happened.

When I bought the white linen fabric for my DIY closet curtain, I also purchased the same linen fabric in an icy, pale, shimmery blue hue because I couldn’t resist.  It was also on sale for $3/meter.  $3 for LINEN – that’s ridiculous.  I had thrown it on the dining room table and then happened to empty some other crafting supplies from a random bin of stuff to sort out and the eye doily tumbled out onto the blue linen.  All of a sudden, seeing the doily on the pale linen, I realized that the combo would make a gorgeous throw pillow!  So this doily craft idea totally happened by accident!

How to Sew a Doily onto Fabric

Here’s how to make a modern DIY doily pillow.  Read on for my tips and tricks for adhering the doily for a smooth look.


DIY Doily Pillow

Sewing this pillow was the easy part.  Click this link to find my: easy DIY pillow sewing tutorial.  The only trick was deciding how to properly affix the doily…

How to make a doily throw pillow

How to Affix the Doily to Fabric:

I thought about using the same fabric glue I used for my DIY linen tea towel with gold reindeer trim, but I dreaded the idea of dabbing glue on every inch of the finely crocheted doily.

DIY embellished tea towel

My Mom offered to try sewing it on, but we were both worried it would slide around and end up wonky or stretched out.  Luckily, while rummaging around in the Fish Room, we found some Heat Bond iron-on adhesive (rewarded for hoarding again).

How to use heat bond iron on adhesive

This is how heat bond iron-on adhesive works: you apply it (backing up) to the wrong side of whatever you want to adhere to another fabric.  You gently iron (no steam), remove the backing, place the newly created applique onto the fabric (adhesive side down) and iron again.  The adhesive bonds the two fabrics.  It dries clear and the only sign is if you hold the pillow to the light, it’s a bit shinier where the adhesive is.  It’s really, really not noticeable.

I experimented a bit with some lace and a scrap of linen to get the temperature right and during those experiments, I pulled a piece of the adhesive apart for you to see what it looks like:

Heat bond iron on adhesive review

Satisfied with our experiments, we traced the doily onto a sheet of Heat Bond iron on adhesive, cut out the rough doily shape, and proceeded ironing it – per the instructions I outlined above:

Heat bond iron on adhesive reviewHeat bond iron on adhesive reviewHow to glue a doily to fabric

Although this heat bond adhesive is strong enough to use alone, we were worried because we’ve had this stuff for a long time – would the glue weaken because it has been storage for so long?  Just in case the bond relaxed over time, we decided to sew the doily down in a few inconspicuous places.  With the adhesive helping to keep it in place, we no longer had to worry about the doily sliding or bunching while we sewed, so we did a few loops around the doily, tracing the design in the middle and along the edge.

A diy sewed doily project

With the doily firmly adhered and sewn in place, we sewed the linen into a cute throw pillow with a flapped zipper.  Check out our tutorial for how to sew a throw pillow with a zipper – there are tons of detailed photos and step-by-step instructions (click here if you missed that post).  You could always just add a doily to a pre-made pillow, but you’d have to put all of your faith into the adhesive because it would be very tricky to sew, unless you’re willing to hand sew a bit.

The Finished DIY Doily Pillow:

Here’s what the finished doily pillow looks like – it turned out to be such a cute DIY doily craft project and a sweet addition to my lakehouse decor.

DIY doily craftmodern doily decor ideaHow to sew a throw pillowDIY modern doily project

Hopefully you liked this DIY doily craft idea and think it’s a modern spin on doily crafts.  I think this modern DIY doily throw pillow would look great with so many home decor styles, and it’s a great way to put to use a treasured or vintage doily – even if a doily under a figurine isn’t your style (same).

DIY Modern Doily Applique Throw Pillow

Clearly I need to get that box of doilies back and keep brainstorming ideas for cute ways to use them!

DIY Doily Craft Idea: Modern DIY Doily Pillow



  1. Cassie Bustamante
    March 8, 2018 / 12:49 pm

    love this- it totally looks like an eye!

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      March 8, 2018 / 3:03 pm

      Thank you Cassie! So happy you like it 🙂

  2. Anonymous
    March 9, 2018 / 3:53 am

    It looks very fresh and summery. But, I would add tassels to the corners to give it a more finished look.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      March 9, 2018 / 5:22 am

      Very cute idea!!! As much as I loved making tassel keychains, I’m don’t think a tassel-y pillow would suit my otherwise kinda modern decor, but if you make this pillow and add some tassels I’d love to see!

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      May 28, 2018 / 2:30 pm

      Thanks so much!

  3. Alex
    April 20, 2022 / 4:47 pm

    I love this! Is there any chance you have a pattern for this doily? I’m obsessed with that eye motif!

    • April 21, 2022 / 12:21 pm

      I’m sorry no, it’s something my grandmother found at a yard sale. She collected these for years! But there are a few on Etsy that are similar.

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