From backcountry bandanas to delicate hankies, these small scraps of fabric pack a big decorative punch. Match your handkerchief style to your decor. Use bandanas in country designs or rooms with bold color. Try mens’ handkerchiefs in industrial-style rooms. Opt for lacy hankies in shabby chic decor and floral designs in a farmhouse look.


Handkerchief runner

Make an ethereal runner from dainty handkerchiefs. Choose a selection of similar fabrics and tones, in this case all pastels.


Fusing handkerchief runner with iron

Assembling the runner couldn’t be easier. Cut small squares of fusible webbing, place it between the corners of two hankies and iron until well bonded.


Handkerchief runner detail

Continue to add handkerchiefs until you have the length that suits your table.


Handkerchief pillow

Make a pretty pillow from a decorative hankie. Trace around the handkerchief onto a piece of backing fabric and cut out. Press ¼-inch of the raw edges of the backing fabric to the back side. Place the backing fabric on the hankie, back sides together and pin in place. Stitch around each side, leaving an opening to insert the pillow form or batting.

Insert the form or batting. Finish the opening by sewing shut with a whip stitch. For a no-sew option, press Sealah tape along each edge of a pillow form. Press the hankie evenly over the form, leaving a flanged edge.


Pincushion and trinket box

Jazz up your craft space with embellished pincushions and small storage boxes.

Gather your materials

  • Handkerchiefs
  • Tomato pincushion
  • Embroidery floss
  • Basic sewing tools
  • Fabric glue
  • Small piece of green felt
  • Small gift box

Remove the strawberry from a purchased pincushion and cover with a scrap of handkerchief fabric. Cut a circle from a hankie that equals the measured circumference of the pincushion.

One-quarter inch from the edge, sew a gathering stitch around the circle, place it over the top of the pincushion, and pull the thread to gather the fabric beneath.

Knot the embroidery floss at the top and wrap it around the cushion several times. Cut a six-point star shape from the felt and draw a tail of the floss through the felt to reattach the strawberry. Glue the felt to the top.

To cover a small box, cut embellishments from a handkerchief. Wrap the gift box with remaining hankie fabric and secure with glue. Glue embellishments in place on box top and bottom.


Photography by Chris Hennessey


© Caruth Studio

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