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Vintage Patriotic Tablescape & Summer Entertaining Tour

No house is complete without an American flag. That’s what Robert always says. I love the ol’ red, white, and blue, but my husband… he takes it to a whole new level.

When we’re trucking along on the interstate, he’ll “ooh” and “ahh” over those giant car dealership American flags billowing in the wind. If a flag is wrapped around a pole when we’re out in public, he will stop and fix it to keep it flying.

The day we moved into this house, he made it his mission to make a trip to the hardware store and buy one for our porch.

It’s an awesome thing to be obsessed with, if you ask me. That man of mine is so proud to be an American, and I’m so proud of everything he’s done to defend it.

Vintage Patriotic Tablescape | blesserhouse.com - 5 tips for decorating a vintage patriotic tablescape on a budget for July 4th, Veteran's Day, or Memorial Day using repurposed items.

I’m joining up with Lory from Designthusiasm and a whole crew of talented bloggers again for a July 4th rendition of the Styled and Set Holiday Entertaining Blog Tour. (If you’re visiting from Citrine Living, welcome!)

So, of course, I had to stick old glory on our breakfast room wall. (True story: I actually was fresh out of thumb tacks and had to pin it to the wall with my pearl stud earrings instead. #commitment )

Vintage Patriotic Tablescape | blesserhouse.com - 5 tips for decorating a vintage patriotic tablescape on a budget for July 4th, Veteran's Day, or Memorial Day using repurposed items.

I found this 48 star flag on eBay for $20 that dates back to World War II, and I surprised Robert with it… who then went all weak in the knees because that’s what he does with this kind of stuff. He proclaimed we’re leaving it up all summer long, and I couldn’t agree more.

Vintage Patriotic Tablescape | blesserhouse.com - 5 tips for decorating a vintage patriotic tablescape on a budget for July 4th, Veteran's Day, or Memorial Day using repurposed items.

If you have a July 4th table you’re needing to style yourself for an upcoming cookout or family dinner, I thought I’d share some of my favorite tips to decorate a one while still working around a small budget.

A lot of times, I try to avoid spending money on the plastic red, white, and blue tablecloths and centerpieces in the Walmart and Target aisles because I know, with some digging in my stash, I can come up with a pretty, vintage-inspired tablescape for even less.

So…

How to Decorate a Repurposed Vintage Patriotic Tablescape:

 1. Repurpose items for a table runner.

I can usually find an old shutter hanging up on a wall (like I did this past Thanksgiving), a scrap of fabric, a folded tablecloth, an old curtain, thrift store books, or even scattered sheet music lined up for a makeshift runner.

Or, in this case, I used a blue and white scarf.

Vintage Patriotic Tablescape | blesserhouse.com - 5 tips for decorating a vintage patriotic tablescape on a budget for July 4th, Veteran's Day, or Memorial Day using repurposed items.

I love that it’s flowy and organic and imperfect.

Vintage Patriotic Tablescape | blesserhouse.com - 5 tips for decorating a vintage patriotic tablescape on a budget for July 4th, Veteran's Day, or Memorial Day using repurposed items.

2. Use craft supplies in unexpected ways.

I just bundled together silverware with some red and white striped twill ribbon, and it turned out to be so cute! As fast and simple as tying your shoe but still pretty. Use red baker’s twine to make napkin rings or brown shipping paper to make a rustic placemat, whatever you happen to have hanging around in your stash, get creative with it.

Vintage Patriotic Tablescape | blesserhouse.com - 5 tips for decorating a vintage patriotic tablescape on a budget for July 4th, Veteran's Day, or Memorial Day using repurposed items.

3. Always keep red in your dining stash.

I try not to buy holiday-specific table linens or dinner plates because I know I can always get creative with table decor throughout all of the seasons if I don’t limit myself to Santa placemats and heart printed glassware.

I’ve used these red striped napkins at Christmas, Valentine’s, and July 4th, and they’re always fun to change up for the time of year.

Vintage Patriotic Tablescape | blesserhouse.com - 5 tips for decorating a vintage patriotic tablescape on a budget for July 4th, Veteran's Day, or Memorial Day using repurposed items.

Vintage Patriotic Tablescape | blesserhouse.com - 5 tips for decorating a vintage patriotic tablescape on a budget for July 4th, Veteran's Day, or Memorial Day using repurposed items.

4. Grocery store flowers are easier to arrange in multiple jars and vases.

Somehow the talent of flower arranging never found me. Olivia can arrange a big vase of flowers better than I can… and she’s four. 100% truth. So I usually buy a bouquet of whatever pretty flowers happen to be at the grocery store, separate them into multiple bud vases or jars, and they look all vintage and cute.

These white milk glass vases once belonged to my grandfather, and I constantly use them around the house. If you have a bunch of mismatched glass jars and bottles, stick an apothecary label on them, and they suddenly don’t look like they came out of your recycling bin. 😉

Vintage Patriotic Tablescape | blesserhouse.com - 5 tips for decorating a vintage patriotic tablescape on a budget for July 4th, Veteran's Day, or Memorial Day using repurposed items.

Vintage Patriotic Tablescape | blesserhouse.com - 5 tips for decorating a vintage patriotic tablescape on a budget for July 4th, Veteran's Day, or Memorial Day using repurposed items.

5. You can never go wrong with plain, white dinnerware.

Best wedding registry item ever! Without a doubt. I’ve used our white dishes at pretty much every single “nice” (non-Tupperware) dinner since we got married, and I will use them forever until they die. You can’t go wrong with a classic.

Vintage Patriotic Tablescape | blesserhouse.com - 5 tips for decorating a vintage patriotic tablescape on a budget for July 4th, Veteran's Day, or Memorial Day using repurposed items.

If you want to know about any of the sources in this space, here’s the whole list:

(Some affiliate links are provided below for convenience.) 

The table decor itself is very subtle, but I kind of love that. It lets that beautifully worn flag be the star of the show.

Vintage Patriotic Tablescape | blesserhouse.com - 5 tips for decorating a vintage patriotic tablescape on a budget for July 4th, Veteran's Day, or Memorial Day using repurposed items.

If you want more summer entertaining ideas, you can see more on today’s tour below or see them all from the beginning of the week. The next stop on the tour is StoneGable. Yvonne never ever disappoints!

Designthusiasm

Garden party decorations | Tabletop tips for summer entertaining - designthusiasm.com

Citrine Living

outdoor-blue-and-white-tablescape-ginder-jars-and-lantern

Bless’er House

patriotic tablescape

StoneGable

StoneGable

On Sutton Place

outdoor dining al fresco crystal goblet

French Garden House

Romantic-French-Country-Summer-Table-setting

Monday’s Posts

Monday summer

Shabbyfufu | Randi Garrett Design | Maison de Cinq | My Soulful Home | Zevy Joy

Tuesday’s Posts

Summer Blog Tour Tuesday

Life on Virginia Street | Town and Country Living | Celebrating Everyday Life
So Much Better With Age | Decor Gold Designs | French Country Cottage

Wednesday’s Posts

Designthusiasm | Citrine Living | Bless’er House
StoneGable | On Sutton Place | French Garden House

Coming Thursday

Design Dining and Diapers | Becky Cunningham
The Wood Grain Cottage | Eleven Gables

Happy Birthday, America! If you want to save this post for later, you can pin it here:

Vintage Patriotic Tablescape | blesserhouse.com - 5 tips for decorating a vintage patriotic tablescape on a budget for July 4th, Veteran's Day, or Memorial Day using repurposed items.

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15 Comments

  1. Love your site. Tell your hubby I am thank him for his service. He and all the other veterans have made it possible for us to live and thrive in a free country. They continue this effort from those who have served before them, of which my father was one (W.W.II, 2 purple hearts and P.O.W. by the Germans in the E.T.O.)
    May God bless you and your family !!!

  2. Love the flag and well done on hanging it! It’s perfect…and that’s absolutely my favorite, go-to ribbon! Everything is so welcoming and fresh. Happy Summer!

  3. Lauren, I love your table! Great point about getting all white dishes, it’s what I’ve advised many of my friends who got married to register for. That and red accents, for most holidays they work a charm.

    Love the flag, and that your husband loves it so. We celebrate our 4th and freedom because of him, and families just like you. Thank you. It’s a joy to be on this styled+set summer tour with you! Xo Lidy

  4. I love your special flag hanging as the focal point. The tablescape is beautiful, as well. Please thank Robert for his service.

  5. The white dishes are a brilliant idea. I love dishes and had several sets before we (said with a grimace) downsized. I wonder what my husband would say if I bought another set… Your point about white dishes and non-holiday color accessories is right on. I want a do-over!!

  6. I was teaching elementary school in 1987. I spoke at a School Board meeting about schools needing more money. I mentioned that the flag in my classroom had 48 stars. A member of the board promptly visited my classroom with a new flag. (I wish I had kept that old one!)
    (Both Hawaii and Alaska became states in 1959!)

  7. Lauren, I so love the homespun feel of your table and when paired with that awesome flag, it works just perfectly! What better way to celebrate the Fourth than with this lovely homage to our country!!

  8. simplicity at its best! interested to know how you’re liking your pendant light now that you have had it for a little while. I am thinking of buying 2 of them for my staircase.

    1. LOVE it! We use the GE Reveal chandelier bulbs for it, and it makes this windowless space very bright. 🙂

  9. Lauren I love your table and that flag is fabulous! What a fantastic focal point! I love the way is pops and draws your eye! I’m sure your hubby is very happy to have it proudly displayed!

    1. Thank you, Tamara! I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he wanted to leave it up through Christmas. Haha!

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