styling a patriotic mantel using vintage milk glass

Hi friends! Are you fond of vintage milk glass? I adore the Americana feels vintage milk glass always gives off. I love the look of white milk glass with American flags. It always looks so crisp and clean, but with a vintage vibe. This year I styled the living room mantel using some vintage milk glass pieces with patriotic vibes.

I’ve been sprinkling patriotic touches around the house as we get closer to the 4th of July holiday. I just created this flag decor if you missed it {a patriotic craft – how to make a ribbon flag}. I also have a couple more red, white and blue projects scheduled so make sure to check back.

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details of the patriotic vintage milk glass mantel styling

One side of the mantel is anchored by vintage milk glass vases spilling over with American flags. I used some of the Tommy Bahama burlap flags with twig poles I found last year at either Home Goods or Marshalls. The other flags I have accumulated from our town’s annual 4th of July parade.

The other side of the mantel is balanced out with a stack of books with a red mercury glass vase. As you know red is not a popular color around here, but this vase comes out to play around Valentine’s Day and the 4th of July. I don’t buy red, but for whatever reason this vase spoke to me. I filled it with blooms from the garden.

These are actually blooms from the cilantro herb plants. I know you should prune your herbs to avoid flowering, but our cilantro got out of hand quickly. This is how it looked in the garden so I gave the cilantro plants haircuts.

I loved the sweet flowers so much I added them to the red mercury glass vase. I’m not sure how long they will last in water, but I am enjoying them for now. If you’re new around here, you can read about our veggie garden here {prepping and planting the vegetable garden for the season}.

The book bundle is something I created a few years ago. I used a couple of the techniques I shared here {7 ways to decorate books}. I created naked books and stamped the spines. Originally I only tied them with twine, but this year I added some patriotic ribbons for a pop of color and interest.

The backdrop to the mantel always includes the gilded mirror and the gold frames. I move the frames around depending on the composition of the mantel styling.

don’t forget about the patriotic hearth

As I have mentioned in the past, I always try to bring the styling down from the mantel shelf and include the hearth. I simply added a stool piled high with some other patriotic touches. The stool is wrapped with an old flag.

A metal garden basket is propped on top of the stool with some decor accents. A stack of flags folded the proper way sit on one side of the basket as the focal point. These are all our old flags from the mailbox, which I save when they become tattered and torn. We fold them, and I simply store them in my patriotic bin, using them as decor accents during the summer months.

I also added my Pilea plant. This adds a touch of the organic, natural vibes I enjoy in my decor. It provides a dash of freshness.

There’s also a white milk glass bowl with 4th if July baubles to tie in with the mantel styling. The flags and the milk glass mirror each other from the mantel to the hearth making it a cohesive styling.

other summer mantel stylings inspiration

patriotic mantel
patriotic decorating details
easing into an effortless summer mantel

the patriotic vintage milk glass mantel look

“My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth.”

Abraham Lincoln

sharing @ between naps on the porch


  1. CoCo says:

    This mantel is so fun and festive MaryJo! I love all your flags and how you created so many pretty layers with the books and gold frames. I can’t get over the flowers are actually cilantro blooms. They look just like Queen Anne’s Lace! Hope your week has been amazing, CoCo

    1. Yes! That’s what I thought too CoCo. I love Queen Anne’s lace and this totally reminded me of it that’s why I was happy to plop it in a vase. 🙂 Thanks for the visit. XO- MaryJo

  2. Pam Richardson says:

    Mary Jo, I also love milk glass and the flags look fabulous displayed in your collection. The mantel is perfect for July 4th

    1. Thanks so much Pam! I appreciate your kind words. XO- MJ

  3. MaryJo,
    I love the use of the milk glass pieces….And I adore how you styled that sweet table!! So pretty!! Thanks so much for stopping by!!

    1. Thanks so much!!! I’m so glad you liked it. XO- MJ

  4. You have a pretty collection of milk glass and the flags look perfect displayed in them! Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty.

  5. Sarah says:

    I so enjoyed this post. Love the idea of using vintage milk glass filled with flags. My niece has my mom’s vintage milk glass collection. I’m going to share this idea with her, but unlike her Auntie, she isn’t much into holiday decorating.
    Happy Patriotic Summer!

  6. Cara says:

    Oh MaryJo, I do love the milk glass with the flags, wonderful idea! Now, you may chuckle, remember black thumb here, but I had no idea cilantro would grow flowers on it! Love how they look on your mantel. You always have such great ideas! Thank you for sharing with Whimsy Home Wednesday.

  7. Anna Price says:

    Oh my gosh! Can a girl have too many hand held flags? I think not! I love how you incorporated the milk glass into the display. Your mantel looks so festive and patriotic. It’s so nice to read a blog by someone else who also loves flags. Also, the fact that you try to include the hearth into your deco is so smart!

    1. Thanks Anna! That’s a big compliment coming from you since you know your flag facts. I so enjoyed your post on vintage flags. XO- MJ

  8. Amber says:

    Vintage milkglass with flags looks perfectly patriotic! I am happy to feature you at tonight’s AAH party!

    1. Thanks so much Amber! Totally made my day! Thanks for stopping by & letting me know. XO- MJ

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