How Can I Make Starch to Stiffen Doilies?

    by Katharine Godbey

    About the Author

    Katharine Godbey began freelance writing for blogs and websites in 2007 with a background in curriculum writing and teaching. She studied business at Colorado Technical University. Godbey enjoys writing about many topics including small business, crafts and florals, decorating and health.


    Starch is a refined corn product first developed in the 1800s. Among its uses, cornstarch makes a helpful household staple with its ability to stiffen fabric after dilution in water. This is especially handy when stiffening doilies as home decor accents or for stiffer doilies needed in craft projects. Instead of using a spray starch that contains additional chemicals, make a homemade liquid starch that is eco-friendly and economical. In addition, making it yourself allows for adjustments to the mixture to create a custom stiffness to the doilies.

    Things You'll Need

    • Distilled water
    • Glass measuring cup
    • Measuring spoon
    • Starch
    • Spoon
    • Spray bottle
    • Iron

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    Pour 2 cups of the distilled water into the glass measuring cup. Distilled water allows longer storage of the mixture than regular tap water and does not contain minerals that may stain doilies.

    Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the starch and stir the mixture until the starch dissolves completely in the water. The water will have an opaque appearance.

    Pour the liquid starch mixture into the spray bottle and place the lid on tightly. A spray bottle with a fine mist option on its nozzle will work best.

    Test the liquid starch for the desired stiffness by laying a doily on a washable surface and spraying the doily until it is thoroughly wet. Lay the doily flat until it is dry.

    Add more starch to the mixture in the spray bottle, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the doily is not the desired stiffness.

    Press the doily with an iron after it dries. Use the cotton setting on the iron and lay a towel over the doily to prevent damage.

    • Mix up large batches of liquid starch in a bowl to stiffen larger doilies. Dip the doilies into the liquid and then allow them to drip-dry on a clothesline.
    • If you want the stiffness to be more permanent, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of craft glue to the mixture and dip the doily until completely saturated. Then lay the doily out flat to dry.

    Photo Credits

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