Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Vintage Hankie Valance

(I apologize for these pics ahead of time. I can never get a good angle of the breakfast nook window.)
I remember my grandma used to have a pretty hankie in her apron pocket all the time. I now have 4 of those hankies. In an effort to add a bit of "shabby chic" to my kitchen, I decided to make a vintage hankie valance for my breakfast nook window. I have never had a valance or curtain of any sort on it before. For the first several years we lived here it had a grapevine swag over the top of it with grapes dangling down. A couple years ago I painted the whole kitchen and left the window bare. Leaving it bare allowed me several decorating opportunities throughout the year.
My daughter's Hello Kitty birthday party was right before Christmas so this is what the window looked like this past December...
Confession:  I left the Hello Kitty decorations on the window all winter. They are sticky-back felt and adorable. The kids were enjoying them so I left them up. Hello Kitty cheered us during the long, cold winter months!
Okay, back to the hankies...
So I have 4 of my grandmother's hankies but 4 was not going to be enough. I wanted them to dangle down and I wanted a hodgepodge - a variety of colors, sizes, and different edges on the hankies. I had found hankies at a gift shop locally...but they were $6.00 a piece. A lot of them would have added up. Shabby chic shouldn't cost a lot. Also they were new and I wanted a bit of a worn look to the valance.
Lucky right down the street from the gift shop is our antique store. I walk through it about every other week sometimes looking for something specific and sometimes just checking out what new things have shown up. I found quite a few hankies there. I bought 16 for only a $1 or $2 a piece.

I love all the different patterns and colors.
Some of them have dainty crocheted edging or embroidery on them. So sweet!

The lady working at the antique store watched me unfold and carefully examine each one. She rang them up for me then said, "Okay, now tell me. What are you using them for?" When I told her she about fell over! "What a GREAT idea!" she shrieked. Clearly she is not on Pinterest! Ha! Oh, well, for a moment someone thought I was a genius! I'll bask in it while I can.
I dug, and I mean DUG, out a curtain rod I knew I had saved from our bedroom a while back. It was easily supported by the command adhesive hooks left on the wall and it was the perfect length. Yay!
My next dilemma was figuring out how to attach the hankies to the rod. I had originally intended to get out a needle and thread and tack them over the rod but...then I remembered I had this....

It is body/clothing fashion tape. I had it for a bridesmaid dress. Don't you love how it says, "Problem Solved?" Yep! It was perfect - clear, strong, yet removeable tape meant for cloth.

You cut off the length you need and lay it on the cloth. You then remove the brownish paper leaving just the clear, sticky tape. Perfect!
 I just did this over and over again to each hankie. I put the hankies on the rod with the colors spaced out and a few plainer ones in between. Each hankie had a corner hanging down in front of the window. Oh, I love it!

I actually really like the vintage hankies with the more modern rod.


 What do you think?


  1. LOVE it!! I've been wanting to do something like this- yours turned out so beautiful!

    1. Thank you so much, Laura! I do love how it turned out and it was so easy and affordable!

  2. I love vintage hankies, too, and I think your valance turned out beautifully. Don't you love when a great no-sew option crosses your mind? LOL

    Come visit me sometime at www.bigdollsboomtown.blogspot.com!

  3. Thanks for the fabric tape idea. I have a lot of handkerchiefs from my grandmother and didn't want to damage them. I'm using two dowel rods hanging from cup hooks inside the frame of a triple window in my sewing room.