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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Plastic Crochet Art, Vintage Recipe

I know I said I was going to put away the 1968 McCalls Magazine, but yet one more thing caught my eye.   This pretty picture of a crochet doily hanging as Wall Art.

I was immediately drawn in with the obvious question ... how did they keep it stiff for hanging?   And then, noticed the picture right below it.

Large doilies being used as chair and table mats.  Although doilies may be seen frequently on a table, chair mats wouldn't seem sturdy enough for this situation.      I flipped over to the pattern and there were those words I'd not come across in any of these magazines ....  PLASTICIZED CROCHET.      Curiosity got the best of me and I headed to the back of the magazine to the pattern.      Now, the crochet is a close stitch and I'm not going to list it .... by here's the Plastic Part:


  • Castolite Liquid Plastic, Formula-AC, 2 Pounds
  • Castolite Thinner, 1 pink
  • Castolite Hardener, 3 units
  • Castolite Opaque Color Pigmens, 4 ounces white
  • Rustproof T Pins
  • Corrugated cardboard,, 30" square
  • Waxed Paper


  1. Cover corrugated cardboard with waxed paper.  Tape paper to cardboard.
  2. With pencil, describe a circle on waxed paper in size of piece to be plasticized.
  3. When surface is prepared, mix plastic materials in an enamel or stainless stepp pot (After use, clean out pot with rag dampened with thinner).   Work outdoors or in a very well ventilated area.  
  4. The following amounts are for one seat cover (double amounts for table top)
  5. Mix 1 cup of Formula AC with 1/3 cup of thinner and 1 rounded teaspoon of white pigment.  Stir with stainless steel fork until ell blended. 
  6. Add 160 drops of hardener; blend in thoroughly.
  7. Wearing rubber gloves, knead crocheted piece in mixture until thoroughly impregnated with mixture.
  8. Pin out piece on prepared surface using rustproof pins, placing a pin in every space around edge. (If any spots are not covered, touch up with a stiff brush dipped in mixture.
  9. Let dry in in light; avoid heat.

Now, this sounds like a serious chemical treatment, but it obviously turns your your doily into a firm, rigid piece.  And obviously, more permanent that starch, stiffy or even polyacrylic treatments.   And from there ... the rest is art.   I can envision wall arrangements, bowls and an entire array of mixed media possibilities.

So, if you are one of those that collect old plastic recipies ... there you go !

Thanks for dropping by,

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