How to Make Lace Stiff Permanently

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Make costume pieces with stiff lace.
Make costume pieces with stiff lace. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Valueline/Getty Images)

Permanently stiffening lace can boost the appeal of any craft or fashion project. Lace is constructed from coarse fibers and designed into decorative patterns. The light and thin characteristics of lace make it naturally flexible. You can prevent flopping or sagging lace by using liquid starch. Making your own starch solution at home with glue and water creates a translucent glue to make your lace permanently rigid. Apply lace as trim to a mirror or picture frame, for example, once the material is stiff.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 oz. permanent glue
  • 1 oz. water
  • Small bowl
  • Craft stick
  • Push pins
  • Polystyrene foam or cork board
  • Liquid starch -- optional
  • Paintbrush -- optional

Add 1 oz. permanent glue and 1 oz. water to a small bowl, if coating a small piece of lace. Add equal parts glue and water to increase the amount accordingly, for larger projects. Stir the contents vigorously with a craft stick for 30 seconds, until the ingredients are fully mixed.

Submerge the lace completely in the starch-like liquid for 5 to 10 seconds. Remove the lace.

Extend the lace outward -- as far as it will go without tearing. Pin the lace in the outward stretched position to a polystyrene foam or cock board for 48 hours, until the lace fully dries and stiffens.

Coat both sides of the lace with a liquid starch product, using a paintbrush, to increase the firmness of the fabric. Re-pin it, and allow an additional 24 hours for the lace to dry before handling.

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