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What is a Doily? Doily Crochet Basics

Get answers to what are doilies made of and much more with this doily guide.

By: Zoe McRae, Editor,
What is a Doily Doily - Crochet Basics

A doily, spelled d-o-i-l-y (the plural spelling is d-o-i-l-i-e-s), is a classic decorative item. The word doily is pronounced doy-lee.

Doilies are a great crochet project to know how to create since the beauty of the finished product is definitely worth all the careful handiwork!

A doily is a small decorative mat that is placed under household ornaments or food and beverage items on a dinner table. They are often small in size and characterized by their elegant lace pattern.

This helpful guide, What is a Doily? Doily Crochet Basics, will provide you with a great introduction to crochet doilies and will answer the question, "what is a doily?" along with other FAQs about these decorative pieces.

You'll learn what a doily is, what they are made of, what doilies are used for, and what some of the most common materials are that people use to make doilies. Along with other pieces of information; everything you'll need for doily crochet.


What are Doilies Made of?

Doilies can be made out of a variety of materials including paper, fabric, or yarn. Although many doilies are white in color, doilies can come in a variety of designs, sizes, and colors.

What are Doilies Used For?

Doilies can be used for a variety of occasions. They are quite often draped over a couch or seat, used to protect wooden surfaces, or as luxurious table decorations. Some crafters even create doily table runners that feature the same eye-catching lacework that is seen in traditional doilies. Doilies are great decorations to have at weddings, holiday parties, or around the house. As pretty decorative crafts, doilies can be used for just about whatever you want them to be used for!

Click here for the pattern of the image shown below, Mandala 3.

Mandala 3

Which Material is Best to Use for Making a Doily?

The material you choose to make your doily with depends upon what you intend to use the finished project for.

Paper: Paper doilies are thin and lightweight, making them perfect for single-use situations such as a mat to place food or drinks on at a dinner party. Even though paper will make the doily appear dainty and delicate with clean-cut edges, paper doilies are also fragile since they can get ripped or become soggy when wet. However, paper is a great material to use for easy paper crafts that you can hang as wall art. In addition, paper doilies also work well or for other activities like scrapbooking and card making according to The Spruce Crafts.

Felt: Felt is another material that many people choose to use in their doily projects. Unlike yarn, felt doilies lack a textured appearance and the lacework has to be cut out manually. However, felt is a great material to use for a doily that will be placed under an item with a flat base. The felt creates a nice even surface for an ornament to sit on and won’t become unstable by a textured surface. Felt works well to create an elegant, sleek doily to show off any treasured household decorations.

Yarn: Yarn is another material that is commonly used to make doilies. Whether knitting or crocheting, yarn will add a nice textured appearance to the doily. Another advantage of using yarn is that you can use all kinds of different colros to achieve a deired doily pattern. Then, once completed, you can use the finished project over and over again. Yarn doilies will feel soft and lightweight and you don’t have to worry about the pieces being ripped or getting wet like paper.

Crochet Doilies

Materials for Crochet Doilies: Doilies are quite popular in the crochet community, and to make an elegant crochet doily you will need to know about some special tools that are specific to crochet doilies. Because doilies are delicate and feature intricate lacework, you will find that using crochet thread and lace are excellent for making a cute, lightweight doily. In addition, small steel hooks are small enough to quickly weave in and out of the fragile crochet thread stitches. A lovely example of this is the Pretty Pinwheel Doily Pattern shown below.

Click here for the pattern of the image shown below, Pretty Pinwheel Doily Pattern.

Pretty Pinwheel Doily Pattern

Types of Crochet Doilies

When you browse our collection of crochet doily patterns, you will find that there are lots of unique doily patterns. Because doilies are beautiful creations with lots of open lacework, they offer great opportunities to let crochet stitches shine!

One common type of crochet doily pattern is the snowflake doily which is a fun decorative piece to have around the house during the holidays.

Mandala doilies are another popular type of crochet doily pattern that enables you to use a variety of yarn colors within one piece.

Crochet doilies also work splendidly as cute spring decorations or to display at Halloween parties.

How to Crochet a Doily

Although these are some of the popular types of doily patterns, you don’t have to limit your creativity! This easy-to-follow video tutorial for our Cute and Easy Crochet Doily will show you how to make a crochet doily from start to finish. Simply click the play button below to watch.

Once you've finished watching and learning, check out our collection of the cutest crochet doily patterns to get started!

Up Next

38+ Stunning Crochet Mandala Patterns >>

What else do you want to know about doilies?
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