Decorating with Vintage Items for the 4th of July

Updated: Apr 21

Happy July! Happy week of the 4th! Hope everyone is taking some time off and enjoying the summer. The rain has finally let up here in the Midwest and we have jumped right into scorching weather! Today I am sharing some of the vintage items I use to decorate for the 4th of July. I have a little bit of Americana woven throughout my home decor, the 4th of July just gives me a chance to ramp it up a bit.

This vintage eagle is huge. It is about three feet wide. It has great patina. I actually sold this piece last summer but it is still one of my favorite "Americana" pieces.



I picked up this flag plate last year on the 127 sale. I was drawn to it for several reasons: the flag, it was dated 1918 (so it was 100 years old when I bought it), it was a promotional plate from Indiana (I found it in Tennessee) and there was a robin at the top of the plate between the 19 and 18.


The Liberty Bell bank is special to me. It belonged to my dad. It was a promotional piece from a bank in Huntington, Indiana. I have had it for a very long time and it is always on display in my home.


I picked up this plate at an auction a few years ago. I really like the artwork on it. It is chipped and dingy, but I like those features too. It hangs in my dining room right above...


...this old map which is attached to a lap desk. It folds out and has a chalkboard and a little lever turning a roll of paper with school information. This map is actually on the bottom of the desk. I have it hung so the map is prominent.


I have about six of these miniature flags. They have 48 stars so that dates them prior to Alaska and Hawaii joining the union.


This Statue of Liberty clock/lamp reigns over my guest bedroom. I had planned to rewire the lamp, but Lady Liberty's arm is cracked and the lamp wire runs up through the arm. I am afraid if I try to rewire it, it may break altogether. The light bulb is burned out as well and I would never find anything as cool as the original.


I did a post last year about this patriotic themed child's ABC book from 1899. If you missed it, you can see it here.



Speaking of ABCs, you can take non-patriotic items and give them a patriotic twist. This red spelling board becomes 4th of July decor by simply spelling it out. The problem with spelling boards is there are not usually duplicate letters so you have to be creative when deciding what to spell. I originally tried to construct "happy 4th" or "indepence" but I didn't have enough multiples of letters—so "4th of July" it is!



I picked up this piece last summer. It is WWI era. It was for women on the home front to store special items of their loved one serving in the war.


I picked this one up a couple weeks ago at the Shipshewana Auction Barn. It was in the original box. It is also WWI era. And this one still had the special keepsakes inside.

Tucked in the pocket are two photos of a soldier and a handkerchief with a poem on it. There are no names of the photos. It does make me wonder if he made it back, was it a sweetheart, did they wind up together? Maybe it was a son or a brother. Lots of unanswered questions.


I found this in the bottom of an auction box lot in the past month. Again, the flag has 48 stars so it is well over 70 years old.

And now for some of my fun finds for this year. These items are only out for the 4th. This Ohio Art sand pail is a little rusty, but the litho on the eagle is still strong.


This sand shovel is a new addition this year. Usually these are scratched up and rusty from being in the sand. This one is pristine.

It paired well with my newly acquired red, white and blue tin litho wheel barrow. This has a little bit of rust but it is in great shape.


Right now it is holding the remnants of my Easter candy. I should probably get rid of the candy...

This is a US Service razor kit made by Gilette. It no longer has the razor or the blades in it but it still has the felt lining and the Gilette ad on the underside of the lid.



I also wanted to share the patriotic window display we did at The Standard. I think it shows there are many ways to decorate with red, white and blue vintage items.


Have a great 4th!


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Whether my junk is from a garage sale, estate or farm auction, flea market or the side of the road, I love to find it, fix it, clean it, sell it or keep it. So come along the backroads of Indiana with Junk is My Life (me), let's find something vintage and do something cool with it! Formerly Junk Journal.