Patriotic Garland and Summer Styled Shelves

Add summer decor to built in shelves along with a stars and hearts garland made from a vintage cutter quilt piece.
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Welcome to the fourth day of the Bloggers Best Summer Home Tours, hosted by the sweet Kelly of The Tattered Pew. I enjoy scrolling each blogger's home to see how they are decorating for summer. There are so many different decor styles and I always come away inspired! I hope you do too! You'll find the complete lineup of tours at the bottom. If you hopped over here from Cindy of Cloches and Lavender, hello and welcome! I'm sure you enjoyed her summer decorating tips.

I'm Cindy too, and I'm passionate about all things home - decorating, DIYing, thrifting, but even more than that, I LOVE to show YOU how possible it is to create a cozy and inviting home, no matter your budget! I would be thrilled if you decided to join my DIY Beautify tribe, you can CLICK HERE to sign up ❤

Ideas for Summer Styled Shelves

Our living room is the most lived-in room of our home and I'm sharing some easy tips for styling your built in shelves for summer. If you don't have built-ins, you can still take away ideas for decorating floating shelves, bookshelves, even a hutch or cabinet!

We have a nice set of built-ins on only one side of our fireplace. It would have been nice to have another one, but I'll show you in a minute how I've decorated that open spot.

As you can see, there are 8 open spaces above and some closed storage below. To me, this built-in looks a little like a hutch (and if you know me, I LOVE to decorate hutches and china cabinets! Here's how I added Vintage Patriotic Style to my primitive pine hutch last year).

Rule of Thirds

While I'm honestly not a huge rule follower (hello lead foot!) 😃 there is just something that looks better when you decorate following this rule.

What is the Rule of Three in Decorating?

It's simple really. Items look better when you group them in thirds or odd numbers (think 3 or 5 similar items rather than just 1). But the other thing I like to do is use this "rule" to decorate in color triangles.

I need an example!

I'm a visual person and learn best by seeing. Just take a closer look at my decorated built-ins to see if you can spot these rules in play. I've used 3 blue mason jars, 3 blue fabric wrapped balls, 5 elements with wood or wicker, 3 black items.

The color comes into play here because I arranged the pieces in rough triangles. For example, rather than putting all the blue items into one cubby or shelf, I have arranged them so if you draw a line from one to the other, you create a triangle. It's not an even triangle with three equal sides but it keeps your eye moving from object to object.

See if you can spot these rules in the image below. Now remember, I am a rule-breaker too so I do what I like and what looks visually pleasing to my eye so if that means I have to break a rule here or there, I'm all in 😍.

Here's another example. Rather than placing the wicker picnic basket and the wicker pot with the topiary beside each other, I've offset them. This may sound crazy to you (or maybe it's a no-brainer), but try doing something similar when you're decorating your shelves! It really does make a difference when you can keep the eye moving!

Okay, enough yammering, here are a few close ups of the items on my shelves.

Baseballs and picnic baskets evoke summer. I found these at the thrift store. Stacks of red, white and blue towels add a patriotic feel without being commercial. If you can't find towels you like, consider purchasing a yard or two of blue check or red striped fabric and fold and stack them!

I love vintage finds so I added them here and there to fill up some of the empty spaces on the built-ins.

Greenery (real or faux) is a must when decorating shelves! It adds a freshness and liveliness. I collect vintage and antique white ironstone and love to incorporate it as decor around my home! What do you collect that you can display?

How to Offset a Single Built-in

Remember I said there's only one built-in in this room? The other side was just a blank wall and to me it felt uneven and awkward. I don't know why builders do strange things like this!

To add balance to the room, I used my tall white cottage dresser and hung two tobacco baskets on the wall above to draw your eye up. The large antique bread box is filled with quilts and throws that carry the patriotic theme in a subtle way. By the way, if you love cottage whites, you'll love seeing these 12 Dramatic White Paint Makeovers.

The small scrap fabric flags are a recent no-sew craft that were so fun to make. I especially love the little stained wood flagpoles! Keep reading for the link!

A thrifted stool and chair add weight to this side of the fireplace. I recently dry brushed an olive bucket with white paint and filled it with faux hydrangea stems in blue and white and daisies. A single piece of red striped ribbon tied around the handle instantly adds some Americana vibes.

For summer months, I like to use the blue check pillow covers on the sofa.

Here's another view with a peek at my Garden Themed Coffee Bar. Click the link to see more pictures and find out how to create floral artwork using dollar store frames.


DIY Patriotic Garland from Vintage Quilt Pieces

The stars and hearts garland you see were made using a piece of vintage quilt that I purchased on Etsy. In hindsight, I wish I would have left the quilted stars intact and found a way to use them on my bookshelves (I could have framed them or hung them from a DIY clothesline).

Because so much of my decor is white, they sort of get lost because there isn't enough contrast. I could outline each one with a blue or red sharpie or hand stitches, but it was a project that was meant to be super fast and easy and I don't feel like taking the time!

This is the piece that I purchased so you can see what I'm talking about. Oh well, it's done now and there's no going back! Just a good reminder to you (and me!) to give a project idea a few days to percolate rather than just jumping in and possibly ruining a vintage item!

Step One - trace shapes
I used a star and heart cookie cutter to trace my shapes and then cut them out.

Step Two - glue shapes to length of jute twine or ribbon
Next, I simply hot glued the shapes onto twine. I spaced them apart evenly and did a pattern of star, heart, star.

This sweet garland couldn't have been much easier to make! I attached a small garland to one of the cubbies in my bookshelf.

The longer garland was hung from the front of our mantel. I draped white doilies onto a piece of jute first, then hung the patriotic garland in front.

The garland made from a vintage quilt adds sweet summer charm to my home. It's subtle patriotic without being too bright.

You might enjoy reading how to make my  Primitive DIY Scrap Fabric Flags and see how I styled them in my studio along with the Patriotic Ribbon Wreath, Faux Farmhouse Clock and Deconstructed Stamped Bookstack I made.

Summer Entry

Our entry got a little pretty for summer too, with this whitewashed hanging basket that I hung on the front of a mirror. I love this trick for making a flower arrangement look fuller - the mirror reflects the flowers so you don't need as many and it is just so pretty! Red and white geraniums are a must for summer!

That's a lot of pictures so I'll stop now 😉 I hope to see you back here soon as I share more summer crafts and home decor ideas!


Pin to Save

Are you ready for more summer home tours?  Rachel of The Ponds Farmhouse, is next up on today's tour! Rachel's farmhouse style is so charming and I'm sure you will love seeing her summer bedroom! You can catch up on all the home tours below!

Bloggers' Best Summer Home Tours

This week I am joining some of my blogging friends for the Bloggers’ Best Summer Home Tours. Twenty eight talented and creative women will be opening their homes up for you to tour all week long. You can visit each summer home tour by clicking the links below.

Monday's Tours

The Tattered Pew // Worthing Court // StoneGable

My Wee Abode // Southern Home and Hospitality // My Thrift Store Addiction

Tuesday's Tours

She Gave It a Go // Cottage In The Mitten // Eleanor Rose Home

Peacock Ridge Farm // Bricks n' Blooms // Cottage On Bunker Hill

Wednesday's Tours

White Arrows Home // A Life Unfolding // Simply2Moms

WM Design House // White Lilac Farmhouse

Thursday's Tours

The Ponds Farmhouse // Thistle Key Lane // Open Doors Open Hearts

Robyn's French Nest // Cloches and Lavender // DIY Beautify

Friday's Tours

Pasha Is Home // My Family Thyme

Midwest Life and Style // Amy Sadler Designs

bringing beauty to the ordinary,


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  1. Cindy,
    I love your patriotic touches and the garland is adorable. Great tour.

  2. Absolutely love these patriotic touches! Summertime perfection!

  3. All your patriotic touches are perfect! From the garland to the baseballs, it all looks so good!

  4. Love your summer patriotic touches! Baseball is definately summer. Your cabinet is style perfection, love the blue mason jars. Pinned

  5. How fun to see your pretty shelves all decked out for summer! I'm loving your vintage quilt garland and the doilies too! Happy Summer Cindy!

  6. As much as I adore your garland, I'm not ready yet to cut up even the most tattered of quilts. But gaaahhhh, I want too! You've really turned this new home into your own and I love every inch of it. Your shelves look amazing. Great tour!

  7. Cindy, I'm a huge fan of salvaged quilt projects, so I adore your patriotic garland. Like you, I'm not typically a rule follower when it comes to decorating but I gravitate toward odd numbers in my vignette styling as well. It's a pleasure to tour your lovely home--pinned!

  8. Well Cindy I am leaving with so much patriotic decor inspiration! I love your quilts, baseballs and colorful accents. Love your style so much!

  9. Cindy, I love your home tour, it is absolutely gorgeous! The baseball touches are so adorable, love it!

    1. Thanks so much Anne, looks like we both used baseballs!

  10. How adorable are these garlands. I love the idea of using old quilts.

    1. Thank you Tammy, I really appreciate that! I'm always on the hunt for old quilts!

  11. Your home looks like you have been there forever, Cindy! Always love your vignettes and touches to your home!

  12. Oh my goodness! Everything looks so beautiful. I love the quilt garland. Such a great idea.

  13. The quilted garland looks amazing!


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