What to Do With Old Linen Tablecloths?


  • Linen is a highly durable and sturdy material that can last for many years to come.
  • However, over time, linen sheets, napkins, table runners, and other cloths tend to turn yellowish or grey-ish, or simply lose gets old. At this point, we face the dilemma - what to do with old linens that are still in very good quality but no longer fit into your overall interior design?
  • In the article below, we will show you some creative ideas on what to sew from aged linen tablecloths.


The Uniqueness of Linen

Linen is one of the highest quality natural materials. It is lightweight, breathable, stain, and even bacteria-resistant. People love linen not only for the outstanding quality of it but also for the exceptional, unique look.

Linen sheets are recommended even for allergic people - they don't irritate sensitive skin and wick the moisture away. That's especially helpful for people that tend to have night sweats, or simply for those who live in hot and humid climates.

Linen kitchen and table accessories, such as table runner, tablecloth, towel, curtains are loved by those who value authentic and original pieces of interior. Being natural and Earth-color, linen accessories create a unique character to any interior design.

For those who care about the planet, linen production should be on top of the list - instead of buying several tablecloths, sheets, or any other home textiles made of synthetic materials, it is enough to get a few linen accessories that could be used for decades.

Speaking of sustainability, there is a growing tendency to reusing/repurposing items instead of buying new ones. Linen, in this case, is a perfect material for creating repurposed projects. If you don't have linens at home - you can always visit a thrift store or any other second-hand shop.

You can upcycle vintage linens in many different ways. Not only they will be a great interior detail for your home, but they will also make an exceptional, unique gift to anyone else.



Refresh Your Home Interior by Using Vintage Table Linens

  • If you have inherited some nice old vintage linens from your relatives - you should definitely bring them back to life.
  • Linen table cloths are a unique interior detail, especially vintage ones. These days it is very unlikely to find such high-quality linen textiles like the old ones. Therefore, implementing something like that in your own interior would definitely give a unique antique-like character to it.
  • Embroidered linen table runner, tablecloth, or napkins could be a cute and modern interior detail. Use them alone or combine them with some fancy cluttery or fresh-cut flowers. Super cute!
TIP: If you want to simply refresh an old wrinkled tablecloth - you can easily do that just by ironing it. Spritz it with some clean water and use hot steam. The wrinkles will be gone before you notice!

Using Vintage Linen Fabric for Decorative Napkins

  • If you don't have linen napkins at home, the thrift shops are full of it! The prices start from 20 cents and up. Can you believe it?
  • If you are lucky enough and have found matching vintage napkins - it might be enough to simply spritz them with some water and iron them.
  • However, you can always use some fabric dye to re-create the color.
  • Also, if you are into sewing, you can cut yourself some napkins out of a piece of plain linen textile. Afterward, you can even embroid those vintage napkins so that they would match together.
  • Believe it or not, using aged linen to create some nice napkins and replace the disposable ones are so worth it. For the simple set of linen table accessories, you would pay tens or even hundreds of dollars in the mall. By the way, this nice table accessories set would be a great handmade gift!

Upcycle Vintage Linens to Tea Towels

  • It might be a surprise for you, but a long time ago, people cleaned their silverware and dishes with a natural linen cloth.
  • Linen cloth is highly moist absorbent and polishes glass, metal, or similar materials just perfectly.
  • Because of that, ancient linen could be perfectly repurposed into linen tea towels. Simply cut the linen tablecloth into smaller pieces, hem the edges and that's it! If you want any embroidery - that's totally up to you. Another great gift idea for you!

Repurpose Vintage Linens to Hand Towels

  • As already mentioned, linen is highly absorbent. Therefore, old vintage linens could be repurposed to high-quality towels.
  • If you want, you can even double up the absorbency of such towels simply by doubling (or tripling) up the fabric layers.
  • The process of making such hand towels is also really simple - if you have a vintage linen cloth, simply cut it into pieces of the size you prefer. After that, put as many layers as you like on top of each other and stitch the edges.
  • You can also create some embroidery and make it another cute handmade antique gift!

Handmade Sandwich Bags from Vintage Linen

  • Plastic sandwich sacks are so yesterday! Especially, when there are so many easy DIY projects on how to make a nice reusable bag from aged linens.
  • Sewing a sandwich bag is as simple as ABC - simply cut some kind of linen fabric, fold it and stitch it!
  • They are also ecological, keep food fresh for a longer time and wick the moisture away.

Reusable Lunch Bags

  • Bags in general are one of the easiest ways to repurpose the aged or damaged linen cloths. And that's a good thing because we use bags (mostly plastic ones) all the time!
  • The principle of making a lunch sack is just the same as making a sandwich one. The only difference is the size.
  • Get creative - search the thrift stores to find some really nice pattern, colorful, vintage linens. In this case, your lunch bag will not only be ecological, sustainable, and reusable but also make you stand out from the crowd!

Store your Bread in a Reusable Bag

  • And another solution to reduce the usage of plastic- sewing yourself a reusable bread bag.
  • The idea to store the bread in the fabric bag is not new - people discovered this natural bread storing way a long time ago.
  • Linen is not only breathable and moisture-wicking but also antibacterial. Bread stored in the linen bags stays fresh for a longer time and doesn't dry out.
  • The bread bag creating process is also super simple. The internet is full of easy and fast DIY projects. The only thing you should decide is the size of it.

Make Decorative Gift Paper

  • How many dollars do we spend every year on low-quality boring gift wrapping paper? Lots! So why not give another life to some vintage linen fabric to create some piece of art wrapping paper?
  • Damaged linens could be a perfect material to make some unique decorative wrapping paper. The more unique pattern and colors - the better!
  • If you have plain fabric that is too dull to wrap a gift - you can always use colorful dyes, paints, and various embroidery to decor them in any way you want!
  • Such antique-like fabric wrap is not only an authentic but also a sustainable choice. Replacing your usual plastic wrapping paper with linen one could reduce the number of plastics you use every day. Also, such vintage DIY gift wrap is basically free!

Craft Yourself Some Nice Bed Pillow Shams

  • Craft a cover for your pillow from some antique grandma's tablecloth - free, sustainable, and chic decor element!
  • Measure the size of your pillow to find out what size of inserts you need to sew.
  • There are also many ideas on how you can decorate your pillowcases - embroidered linen shams with names or special dates for your family are always a cute choice!


Final Word

These ideas to repurpose vintage linens are just a top of mount Everest. Forgotten sheets or towels can become modern decor elements, like embroidered pillow sham for your bed, hand or tea towel, decorative napkin, gift wrap, reusable bag, or sustainable bag for your food products.

You can even come up with your own project idea! Not only this repurposing project idea is fun and original - but it also is a modern and nature-friendly way to bring forgotten fabrics to life and save you a generous amount of money.

Back to blog


  • Linen bread bag in Gray blue

    Was $18.00 (-8%)

    $16.56 CAD

    4 colors
    Linen bread bag in Gray blue

    Was $18.00 (-8%)

    $16.56 CAD

    4 colors
  • Linen tea towel in Charcoal gray

    Was $13.00 (-8%)

    $11.96 CAD

    38 colors
    Linen tea towel in Charcoal gray

    Was $13.00 (-8%)

    $11.96 CAD

    38 colors