1. Home
  2. Living

DIY Embroidered Handkerchiefs

Are you a vintage lover in the true sense of the term, with a soft spot for anything of a nostalgic style? We certainly are, and we don’t mind whether it’s fashion, décor, or even just simple aesthetic detail and habit. In fact, we love vintage things so much that we actually recently made the switch from packing disposable tissues in our purses to using fresh handkerchiefs each day. Besides being a sentimental callback to days of old, using handkerchiefs is a great way to reduce the amount of waste your household produces on a regular basis. Beyond that, handkerchiefs are just plain adorable and useful for all kinds of things!

As you can probably guess, we’re also huge fans of vintage inspired DIY projects. That’s something that merges perfect with our newfound appreciation for handkerchiefs, as well as our love for practicing our needlepoint skills! Check out these 15 fantastic design ideas for hand embroidering a vintage handkerchief to put a new twist on it or embroidering a new one in a traditional style to give it an old-timey feel.

1. Crying eye handkerchief

Crying eye handkerchief

Are you the kind of person who’s always appreciated unique visuals and symbolism? In that case, this cute little crying eye stitching pattern from Honestly WTF might be the perfect embroidery idea for you! We love the idea of embroidering such a pattern onto a handkerchief because you might actually use it to dry your eyes someday. It’s literal at the same time as it’s artistic.

2. Tiny embroidered flowers

Tiny embroidered flowers

Are you only just learning about hand stitching and embroidery and you’re still practicing your techniques? Then finding simple pattern ideas like these adorable little flowers in a bed of grass is a great way to perfect your skills. This idea from Sew Guide is easy enough that you’ll enjoy doing it and learning something, but still nice enough that you’ll be very satisfied with your final product!

3. Themed quote handkerchief

Themed quote handkerchief

Perhaps your embroidery skills have been getting a little bit better lately and you’ve been practicing creating letters but now you’re looking for a bit of a challenge? In that case, check out how The Bridal Box made these hilarious nose and crying themed quote handkerchiefs as a wedding favour! Making these is a great way to learn and practice your embroidered cursive.

4. Lace edged handkerchiefs

Lace edged handkerchiefs

There are no two ways about it; we’re total suckers for lace. In fact, we prefer the option that involves lace detailing in just about any capacity, whether we’re talking about things that are functional or decorative, store bought or homemade. That’s why we fell so in love with these handmade lace handkerchiefs from Bohemian Romance! Check out their tutorial to learn about not only adding a lace trim to your own handkerchiefs, but also creating a cute embroidered shape detailing that suits the look.

5. Handkerchief invitation

Handkerchief invitation

Are you interested in embroidering your own handkerchiefs and you have an idea of what you’d like to do in that aspect, but you’d also really like to take things a step further and really get crafty with your piece? In that case, check out how Bumblebee Linens turned their handkerchiefs into adorable wedding invitations by folding them to look like envelopes.

6. Embroidered initials

Embroidered initials

As a DIY enthusiast, you’re probably already familiar with the fact that simple initials can make just about anything feel customized, friendly, and full of care. Embroidered handkerchiefs are no exception! Honestly WTF has a great post to help you learn about stitching letters of your very own into the corner or centre of a pretty handkerchief.

7. Handkerchief scent sachets

Handkerchief scent sachets

Are you actually not sure that you’d use a handkerchief for its classic purpose throughout the day, but you still just love the vintage look of them so much that you’d like to make them into something decorative and useful for your home? Then check out this full tutorial from Gooseberry Patch for turning a handkerchief that you’ve embroidered and added lace to into a pleasant smelling sachet for your closets and drawers.

8. Handkerchief pocket squares

Handkerchief pocket squares

This handkerchief idea featured on Magnet Street won’t actually teach you how to embroider a handkerchief but we certainly think it’s a great idea for one that you’ve already done. Imagine how nice a pocket square made from a homemade handkerchief that’s been hand embroidered with the groom’s initials would look at a wedding!

9. Logo embroidered handkerchief

Embroidered handkerchiefs

Do you know or love someone who just started their own business and you’re looking for classic gift to give them that could serve as something they might use or something they might simply hold onto as a keepsake? Well, if their business logo is quite simple, why not try embroidering the image or symbol into the corner of a handkerchief? Check out how this one was made on Design Sponge!

10. Embroidered wedding dress hankie

Embroidered wedding dress hankie

Are you looking for an extra cute way to gift someone a handkerchief that you’ve already embroidered with their initials but that you mean as a favour to go along with a wedding invitation? Then we definitely think you should check out how Emmaline Bride  folded theirs to create this adorable little dress shape.

11. Cross stitch initial handkerchiefs

Cross stitch initial handkerchiefs

We’ve talked a lot about hand embroidering and shown you many different designs, but most of them have used the same straight hand stitching technique to get you a smooth, mono-directional look in your finished product. What if, however, you’d rather a more rustic, country looking aesthetic for your handkerchief, like the ones your grandma used to use? In that case, you might prefer this cross-stitching idea instead! Honey Suckle Life shows you how to create the stitch and make letters as well as an X-shaped border.

12. Wedding date embroidered handkerchiefs

Wedding date embroidered handkerchiefs

Are you still enthralled by the idea of custom hand embroidered handkerchiefs as a wedding gift but you love stitching so much that you’d actually like to do more than just the recipient’s initials? Then take a look at how Weddbook added a wedding date inside a simple, adorable heart for a little extra detail and personalization! Your friends will see how much you care right away.

13. Tree carving heart initials

Tree carving heart initials

Do you like the idea we just showed you above but you’re actually quite new to the world of embroidery and hand stitching so you’d actually prefer a tutorial that shows you how to do something similar but in a little bit more detail? That’s understandable! Letters and hearts don’t have to be complicated but guidance is helpful when you’re new to just about anything. That’s why we love this tutorial from Bumblebee Linens!

14. Something Blue handkerchief

Something blue handkerchief

Are you actually quite an experienced embroidery enthusiast and you’re simply looking for cute gift idea inspiration rather than instructional tutorials? In that case, we definitely think you should take a look at this cute “something blue” idea from Weddbook! It’s a great way to tie classic wedding traditions into your love for vintage inspired things.

15. Kids’ drawings handkerchief embroidery

Kids' drawings handkerchief embroidery

Have you been a pretty big fan of these personalized and custom ideas but you’d prefer to get a little bit more unique and creative with your design before you thread your needle? In that case, check out how Miles of Sunshine turned their children’s drawings into embroidery designs. Talk about a keepsake worthy way of immortalizing your children’s art!

Do you know someone who loves vintage handkerchief and is always looking for new ways to make their own recreations of vintage things? Then share this post to give them a little bit of embroidery inspiration!