Make a habit of collecting pretty linen. You can find some beautiful pieces at car boot sales, second hand shops and reclamation grounds. Most of the times the linen is faded, but you can still use the lace. If you do find a piece with gorgeous lace, cut the damaged part away and sew it onto a new piece of linen for an instantly grand look. Fold them up in a neat square and pack them all into a wire basket for your guest to use or admire. I have packed my precious ones into an old shopping basket. Age the basket for a more attractive look.
How to age metal objects
Use a rust activator, following the manufacturer’s instructions. You can also find a more traditional way of ageing in my book From Drab to Fab on page 10.