Wednesday, 11 November 2020

stiffen the flakes

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As the season approaches snowflakes are being tatted by the dozens for decoration and gifting. And that leads to a commonly asked question – how do I stiffen my tatting, my snowflakes? 

There are already several methods (and studies) tatters use and share, some of which are listed here - scroll down to 2. Starting and Finishing > Blocking & Stiffening

Recently I came across this simple but effective explanation, accompanied by a couple of pics, shared by Barbara Pickens Tozzano in a facebook group (Tatting Ayse). It is not 'new', but so well presented. I have her gracious permission to share it with you!

How to Stiffen Tatted Snowflakes/Lace 

by Barbara Pickens Tozzano

In her own words –

" Just want to share my method of stiffening snowflakes for ornaments. This is tried and true. I have used this method for 30 years with no problems. No yellowing or anything.

  1. I like to iron and lightly starch ornaments first.
  2. Use 1 part white school glue and 1 part water mixed in a squeeze bottle. The glue bottle works well.
  3. Disposable plastic bowl or plate for larger items. A small, CHEAP plastic paint brush.
  4. Paper toweling for blotting excess glue.
  5. Waxed paper for drying ornaments on.


Place snowflake in bowl or plate, squeeze just enough glue\water mixture onto tatting to saturate using the small paintbrush to spread the glue. Next place snowflake on paper toweling and blot with a second piece. Then place ornament on the waxed paper to dry being sure it is shaped properly. Leave to dry overnight and then attach hanger. Enjoy! I give many of these in Christmas cards as gifts. I hope you will find this information helpful. "

I certainly find this very helpful! Now if I can get off my lazy back and actually do it - after all all these materials are on hand in almost every home. 

What is Your go-to method for stiffening?

Many thanks, Barbara, for sharing your time-tested method with my readers.


  1. My grandmother taught me the method listed in your post. Sugar water a tracks bugs as does just statch.

  2. I like the bit about putting on wax paper to dry. Don’t want to glue the tatting to a surface!

    1. Yes, I like that as well, Jane 馃挆 I wondered if aluminium foil could work as a substitute, but I guess there may be some fear of a reaction , ultimately causing yellowing?

  3. I rarely stiffen tatting but when it happened I used white glue like you explained here, it is the best. Actually I have used to put it on aluminium, it's good too.

    1. This is certainly good to know - one should always have options!!! But Nin, this is all Barbara's explanation; I am simply sharing. ;-D

  4. The waxed paper is a good idea! I glued my first stiffened tatting piece to a towel. I was able to soak and pull it back off, but that was a learning experience. Later, a frantic message appeared in one of the tatting groups, "How do you get your stiffened tatting off of the towel!" Tee Hee, I knew exactly what to post.
    P.S. I don't think aluminum foil would react to white glue. But, the wax would help prevent sticking.

    1. There's no learning like hands-on experience 馃槈馃槅 Thanks for sharing it with us, Linda 馃挆馃尮馃挆

  5. I used PVC glue for my snowflakes and place them on a white piece of cotton fabric, wax paper does sound a good idea.

    1. So I guess the damp starch does not stick to the fabric either?! Thanks, Margaret 馃挆