How to Decorate a Patriotic Cottage Table

Seasonal decorating doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. I'm sharing 5 fantastic ideas for styling a patriotic Americana table with cottage charm using items from around my home and a couple select items from Walmart and the thrift store!
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Welcome to the June edition of Thrifty Style Team! We're a talented group of home decor and DIY bloggers who share thrifty ideas with you each month to inspire you and get your creative juices flowing! I love the challenge each month to come up with something affordable yet beautiful for my home!

This month we're sharing our Patriotic decorating ideas with you. You'll find links to all 17 thrifty ideas below. I really think we outdid ourselves this month and I know you'll be inspired!

Thrifty Patriotic Decorating

I'm excited to show you how I pulled together a charming cottage table that screams Americana. I did it all for under $15 using pieces from my collections, some new thrifted items and a quick stop at Walmart!

I used to decorate for seasonal holidays with items strictly related to that holiday (ie: stars and stripes for patriotic holidays).

There's nothing wrong with that except that it requires you to store all those pieces for the rest of the year. And when you tire of it, you need to start purchasing items all over again, so it definitely gets expensive!

And I'm all about thrifty!

I wised up a few years ago when I realized that the colors of the holidays make just as much of an impact as the actual decor! By using items I already own (that aren't seasonal specific), I get a lot more mileage from my decorations!

Let me show you what I mean.

5 ideas to style a patriotic table using items you already own

1. Layers

Decorating a table (or even your island) with layers helps to emphasize the theme you are decorating for. In the past I've used wrapping paper, a sheet, a quilt, even scrapbook paper to create a thrifty runner or base for my table decor!

When I spotted this Pioneer Woman floral drawer liner, I knew it would make the perfect base for my patriotic table. Are florals patriotic? No, not at all! But when you combine them with other elements, you can achieve the feeling that you're aiming for.

I wanted my table to feel like a little explosion of cottage charm with lots of color. The drawer liner was a smart and inexpensive choice. I simply cut it to size and placed it down the middle of the table.

I topped the drawer liner with a vintage doll quilt. I used this same quilt when I decorated my table for Easter and you can read the story about it here. The colors are muted and softened by time, which seemed very fitting.

I also used a set of floral monogram napkins from Returning Grace. The napkins are from her Spring line, but they work beautifully on this patriotic table because I've used other floral elements.

Other items you could use: 
a quilted pillowcase, fabric remnant, a single place mat, vintage sheet music or book pages

2. Mason Jars

To me, mason jars just feel like classic Americana. I own a lot of authentic vintage blue mason jars, but I couldn't resist these pint size blue mason jars when Ball first came out with their reproductions. They're a brighter blue than the originals but that makes them perfect for using on a patriotic table! 

Adding some inexpensive patriotic paper straws to the mason jars makes them the ideal drinking glasses for my patriotic table. Extra straws are in a vintage pitcher that I found at the thrift store last week for $2!!

I try to avoiding matching my decor whenever possible; I think when you use complimentary colors and patterns, rather than perfect matches, it creates a casual style and definitely adds more of that cottage charm! Plus you'll find yourself using those items over and over, maximizing your dollar!

Other items you might use:
red or blue solo cups, white enamel glasses, these blue vintage looking glasses from Walmart 

3. Fat Quarters

Fabric fat quarters are like a little known top decorator secret! When you need a pop of color, use a fat quarter!

What is a fat quarter? It's a quarter yard of fabric that's cut crosswise across the fabric, yielding a piece that is 18 x 22" or a "fat" 1/4 yard piece.

What makes a fat quarter so perfect for home decor? The awesome thing about fat quarters is not only their price (you can buy them individually at Walmart for $1.47 each), but their size! They make perfect napkins! I like to wash them first and allow the cut edges to naturally fray like I did when I decorated my blue and yellow summer table.

You can click here to see how I made Millie some no-sew collar bandanas (they slip right over her collar) using fat quarters and bandanas. She is proudly show off her patriotic spirit lol and so happy not to have a bunch of bulky fabric tied around her neck! 

I don't have a lot of decor items that are red (aside from Christmas of course!), so I used red fabric fat quarters with polka dots as napkins on my cottage patriotic table.

Other ideas to consider:
paper napkins, bandanas, other fabric remnants

4. Food

If you've been to a party around July 4, the tables are loaded with food! You've no doubt made patriotic cupcakes or sugar cookies with sprinkles.

star shaped sugar cookies with red white and blue frosting
Click here for my favorite soft sugar cookie recipe

Don't forget about blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and watermelon! Display them in vintage tea cups like I did here for an extra dose of charm.

Other ideas to try:
cupcakes in blue liners with red sprinkles, cookies with red and blue frosting, fruit salad in a watermelon bowl

5. Mix and Match Dishes

I mentioned above that I like to use mismatched items to decorate my spaces. That is especially true when I set a table! I've been collecting antique white ironstone as well as blue and white transferware for years and I have quite an impressive collection of dishes.

I needed just a little something extra to really make my patriotic table pop. The Pioneer Woman line at Walmart came to the rescue! I bought a single lunch plate with a pretty floral on it, as well as two cereal bowls.

The items available in my store were limited, or I would surely have purchased the timeless floral and retro dot set because they are perfect for patriotic cottage decorating! I also fell in love with  this set of dishes online, with the red, white and blue florals!

The idea here is to mix old and new dishes together for a charming mismatched look. My blue and white dinner plates are all thrifted, as is the Dutch windmill pitcher I set on my DIY rustic wood pedestal as a simple patriotic centerpiece.

And after taking these pictures, I realized that I forgot all about the red dinner dishes with white polka dots that I bought from HomeGoods last Christmas. Those would have worked here as well.

The idea is to stay away from using decor that is too "theme-y" or it limits how and when you can use those items (and you have to be able to store them in the off seasons!).

These mismatched dishes are ones that I use everyday, and when I combine them with other red and blue and floral elements, they all work together to add patriotic flair to my cottage table!

I also tied a simple red and white striped ribbon around a potted plant for a centerpiece. Tucking a small decorative USA flag into the pot helps to set the patriotic theme and is the only thing that is truly tied to a theme on my cottage table.

What other everyday objects can you used for patriotic decor?

  • red and blue candles
  • vintage books with red/blue spines
  • ribbon
  • denim (I'll be sharing a patriotic denim garland with paper pinwheels soon!)
  • red and blue gingham, buffalo check, striped fabric, pillows, throws, etc
  • plants because a little green makes every other color pop
  • baskets

In a couple weeks I'll be sharing more patriotic decorating ideas in my home, as well as the sweetest mini garland with DIY paper pinwheels!

Make sure to visit the links below for many more patriotic decorating ideas that you can use in your own home!

Here's more Thrifty Style Team patriotic decor ideas

DIY Beautify - you are here 😍

Chaz' Crazy Creations -  Easy Patriotic Summer DIYs

Cottage on Bunker Hill -  DIY Patriotic Wood Crate Planter

2 Bees in a Pod -  Easy Patriotic Pinwheel Wreath

Lora B Create and Ponder -  DIY Lake Themed Patriotic Wreath

Our Crafty Mom -  10 Patriotic Home Decor Ideas

I Should be Mopping the Floor -  Patriotic Paper Chain Garland Printable

Cottage at the Crossroads -  Patriotic Mini Easel Place Cards

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  1. OMG Cindy, your patriotic centerpiece is beautiful. We love the advice that you offer - practical for all of us. We too love to mix and match dishes and fabrics for centerpieces and tablescapes. Your styling is fabulous!

  2. Your table is absolutely charming, Cindy! I love the mix and match of old and new and all the fun patterns together. Yes, that Pioneer Woman line is so always tempts me when I go to walmart;) Beautiful job on your tablescape!

  3. Using fat quarters as napkins is genius! I just love how you've mixed the old with the new. I love the colors in the new PW line. Last week, I really wanted the paper towel holder but I whipped out a can of spray paint instead!

    1. It is tempting to buy more pieces, it's all so pretty!

  4. Those plates and bowls are absolutely gorgeous! I used fat quarters for many different tables when I didn't know I was using fat quarters! Thanks for telling me lol ;)

  5. Cindy, your table looks so cozy and patriotic, even without the stars and stripes! I love the florals and stripes mixed together. And it's so smart to use things that aren't too season-specific. Love it!

    1. Thanks Angie, it was a fun challenge to see if colors alone could impart the theme!

  6. Cindy, I love the mix and match of plates and how you used raspberries as part of the color scheme! And I love your idea of using fat quarters as napkins - totally genius!

  7. As always, beautiful and creative ideas! I love your choices of mixing and matching. I have so much fun using polka dots, too. Thanks for the inspiration, my friend!

    1. Thanks Meegan, polka dots always make me smile! Hope your enjoying a great summer ;)

  8. Cindy this table of yours is my favorite!!! I kept looking at all of the details and I couldn’t figure out why I loved it SO much….finally figured out that the turquoise mason jars just make this table special! All the details are lovely and I pinned for inspiration!

    1. Thanks Kelly! The blue mason jars help all the other colors to really pop!

  9. Your table looks fantastic, and I love the napkin idea! Such a great centerpiece. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Cindy, I had to do a double take.-- that's drawer liner? It looks amazing! I absolutely love how you've mixed and matched all of these beautiful pieces to come up with one stunning table. Absolutely lovely. xoxo, Kristi

  11. What a warm and welcoming Patriotic Table Cindy! I absolutely love the pioneer woman dishes wishing you a happy fourth.


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