We love shawls. We have loved them ever since we discovered how feminine, yet practical a light shawl can be: draped over bare shoulders in late summer when an evening breeze brings on some shivers, wound around a neck in early autumn to improve the warmth of light jackets, or just flung over a shoulder to smarten up a simple outfit at the very last minute.

We also love sunprinting. Especially using plastic fake lace table cloths. So we thought that a light fake lace cotton shawl would be just the thing to wind up a very satisfactory sunprinting season. The result is “Fabulous”, although we say it ourselves:

Shawl Fabulous

If you are familiar with sunprinting, creating a “lace sampler” on a light cotton batiste will not be a challenge. You only need to have enough fake plastic lace to cover a piece of fabric which is large enough to make into a shawl. If you are not familiar with sunprinting, we suggest that you read the article “Sunprinting” first and experiment with cotton calico before tackling the lighter fabric quality required for this project.


Easy to intermediate


  • Sunprinting

Materials needed

  • A piece of white cotton batiste, prepared for painting/dying (i.e. any size or other chemicals removed by prewashing) and cut to the desired size.


We used a shop-bought shawl to get the measurements from which in our case was ca. 20” by 80” (50 cm x 200 cm)

  • Fabric paint in turquoise and (optional) silver


To create the turquoise paint, we used a lot of leftover paint in blues and yellow and just accepted the result, minor colour “blobs” included. If you’d like to be more in control, we suggest that you use fabric paint which doesn’t require any mixing. The addition of silver just adds a very sophisticated touch.

  • Machine embroidery thread in matching and/or contrasting colours


To emphasize the light silvery note in the fabric paint, we used a shiny light grey machine embroidery thread.

Other tools and notions needed

  • Materials for Sunprinting (see article “Sunprinting”)
  • Optional: an extra pair of hands
  • Several pieces of fake plastic (Vinyl) lace


Fake plastic lace is no longer easily available everywhere. Probably because it has gone heavily out of fashion in the context it was originally intended for. However, you can still find fake plastic lace tablecloths or placemats in yard sales, in thrift shops, at flea markets or through the internet. You might need to go hunting before attempting this project. As an alternative, you could always use other sunprinting motifs to create your very personal lace pattern.

  • Iron and ironing board
  • Sewing machine


  • Start by reading the article “Sunprinting”. Prepare the fabric and your workplace accordingly.

Painting the Fabric

  • Mix the fabric paint and thin it down with water.

Mixing Fabric Paint

  • Place the old shower curtain on a flat surface in a sunny spot outside (with the size of our fabric piece, we are probably talking about the ground) and spread the wet fabric on top of it. Remove wrinkles and bubbles as much as possible. A second pair of hands is useful for this.

Cotton Batiste

  • Generously apply the fabric paint to the fabric.
  • Place one or several pieces of fake plastic lace over the painted fabric. Again smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles. The better the lace covers the fabric, the better the results will be.

Fake Plastic Lace


It is very difficult to create repeat patterns from just one piece of fake plastic lace. All our attempts so far have failed. So if you don’t have enough plastic lace to cover your shawl in one go, you might want to consider creating several pieces and sewing them together later.

  • As we own one square plastic lace table cloth and two oblong table runners (different sizes), we decided to place the square table cloth to form a triangle in the middle of our future shawl. The two table runners were placed along the sides and therefore at 90° to each other. The asymmetrical tapered ends add to the thrown-together charm.

Layout of Lace

  • Allow to dry completely in the sun.
  • Remove the fake plastic lace.
  • Set the fabric paint according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In our case, this meant pressing thoroughly with an iron on the cotton setting.
  • Wash the fabric to remove any excess fabric paint. Let the fabric dry and press it.


  • To finish the edges, we used a simple scalloped embroidery stitch. With such a light material, we found it easiest to embroider the scalloped edge first and cut back the edge very carefully with very sharp and pointed scissors afterwards.

Creating a Scalloped Edge


This all sounds pretty straightforward and easy. Which is true. But the scalloped edge does take some patience and endurance and you need to be very careful not to damage the machine embroidery.

Finished Scalloped Edge

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