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Doilies: A Shower of Snow

Martha Stewart Living, December 2008

As lovely as they are ephemeral, snowflakes are the stuff that winter fantasies are made of. 

These natural wonders and their fanciful geometric designs evoke the frosty elegance of Scandinavian winters and the simple pleasures of childhood crafts. They practically beg to be brought indoors. 

Happily, intricate doilies, both the hand-crocheted kind that once topped Grandma's night table and the lacy paper versions that line bakery boxes, can serve as stand-ins to fashion a drift of captivating decor and gifts, including a twinkling paper wreath, a shower of crocheted and tatted flakes, a handsome tablecloth, and delicate pierced cookies. 

Here are some ideas for creating your own snowy wonders:

Melting Flavors
Scallop-edged sugar and espresso-flavored cookies take on the delicacy of snowflakes when made with aspic cutters. Present them in tins with our download-and-print doily labels, or scan and print your own doilies.

Web Exclusive
Doily Tin How-To and Clip Art 

Snowy Setting
A holiday dinner table evokes drifts of snow with scalloped plates, short stems of white amaryllis, and a cloth made from rows of stitched-together doilies. The setting's final flourish is a hearty pea-and-spinach soup topped with delicate patterns of piped creme fraiche.

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Doily Tablecloth How-To  
Hearty Pea-and-Spinach Soup Recipe

All the Trimmings
Inexpensive chip-wood boxes are certain to be as treasured as the treats they contain after they have been lined with tissue and adorned with paper doilies on top. To add to their charm, place inside one of the easily crafted snowflake-inspired ornaments of cloth, ribbon, veneer, string, and paper.
Three-Dimensional Doily Ornament How-To and Web-Exclusive Templates

Frozen Moments
Doilies reach from top to toe of this feather tree, which conjures images of folktales and snow-dusted forests. Its star is crafted from paper doilies; its branches are filled with simple, handmade wood-veneer garlands and ornaments and frilly hanging candy baskets made from cupcake holders. Doily-wrapped gifts underneath add a final touch of whimsy.

Looped-Ribbon Ornament
Cutout Wood-Veneer Ornament
Coiled Wood-Veneer Ornament
Beaded Wood-Veneer Garland

Web Exclusive
Doily Star Tree-Topper How-To
Doily-Trimmed Basket Ornament How-To

Light Flurries
A cascade of vintage handmade doilies treated with fabric stiffener forms a fanciful snowfall in the window; the theme is reiterated in the neutral linen sofa pillow. To make it, a glassine doily was used as a stencil and overlaid with white textile ink.

Stiffened Doilies How-To
Doily Pillow How-To

Frosty Treat
A delicate-looking wreath that creates the magical effect of candles flickering in the snow is easy to make and surprisingly sturdy. Wreath frames are strung with twinkling lights that are nestled in frothy, doilylike paper bouquet holders known as Biedermeiermanschetten.

Paper Doily Wreath How-To

A Dusting of Snow
The traditional celebratory Scandinavian "princess cake" of marzipan, raspberry jam, whipped cream, and vanilla pastry cream, opposite, is adapted to the wintry theme by pressing an elaborate doily into the tinted marzipan. Its pattern is then highlighted with confectioners' sugar to create the sweetest snowflake. 

Scandinavian Princess Cake Recipe

Personal Touches
Holiday gifts of family photos become even more special when encircled by doily patterns, and candles are simple to transform into custom pieces with rub-on transfers. Doily-bedecked wrappings make packages almost too pretty to open.

Doily Frame How-To
Lace-Embellished Taper Candle

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