How to starch a doily with, well, cornstarch.

Our 4 bathrooms need some decorating. I managed to pull something off in the little en suite bathroom in the master bedroom, but the rest of the house was SOL. I’m not useless at making halfway pretty things so I crocheted a doily. The problem, and it was a big problem, was that the pattern sucked. It was poorly written, confusing and left a lot of room for interpretation. Overall I think I did pretty well but the end result was a very bunched up doily. And a note written on the pattern to never use it again.

finished doily, bunched up

finished doily, bunched up


I used a homemade mixture of 1.5 cups filtered water (Brita) and 2 tbsp. cornstarch. Stir well. I had to soak the doily a little bit because it’s made of acrylic yarn that doesn’t readily absorb water. Then I laid it out flat on a tea towel, put another over top and added a heavy textbook. I left it that way overnight.

Pressing between 2 towels after being dipped in starch mixture.

Pressing between 2 towels after being dipped in starch mixture.


In the morning I took off the top layer of pressing material so the doily could dry properly and not smell like a wet towel.

final drying stage

final drying stage


I’d say that my cornstarch mixture produced a lightly starched doily. If you want something stiffer just add another tbsp. or two of cornstarch.

I'm holding it up and it's holding it's flat shape!

I’m holding it up and it’s holding it’s flat shape!

This is where the doily went.  The wipes are for the kids to wipe their faces without drenching the floor.

This is where the doily went. The wipes are for the kids to wipe their faces without drenching the floor.

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