Back in 2003 when we bought our house we knew we wanted to bring a little patriotic flair to the exterior of our home for the 4th of July holiday. While most homes in the area go the route of a flag, we opted to do something a little bit different in the form of buntings.
Even though Alex had his heart set on actual flag buntings -- those that have true embroidered stars and different color materials stitched together -- we came up empty handed through our early Internet searches. What we settled on was an inexpensive (and up close, a little cheap looking) screen printed buntings.
While we enjoyed them for the last several years, they'd started to fade after the beating sun of summers past. In addition, the light weight fabric often became tangled and flipped up on the window sills during strong winds. Alex ended up rigging up an elaborate manner of tethering the buntings to the house and added weighted washers. To say it was an annoyance is an understatement.
While in St. Michaels, Maryland this past weekend (do you notice an Eastern Shore theme this summer?), you can imagine our delightful surprise when, after eight years of looking, we came across actual flag buntings! We actually saw them hanging on the front of The Candleberry Shoppe store on Talbot Street in all their star spangled glory.
After passing the store a few times I suggested we should see if they had any for sale. Alex was skeptical, but we went in anyway. Unfortunately we learned that the three out front were the only three they currently had in stock, but they offered to sell us those. The only issue was they couldn't remember how much they had purchased them for and assured us if we came back the next day that they could give us a price, and the buntings.
That night we did a little internet research and found the same buntings on Amazon for only $19.99 each plus shipping, but there were only two in stock. Our next results found them for $24.99, including tax and shipping, from House-Impressions.com. So it seemed that somewhere in the realm of $24-$28 would be a good price.
Sunday afternoon on our way out of town we stopped back into the store in St. Michaels. We talked it over and we had a good idea of what the same buntings were going for online, but we really wanting to take them home that day. We walked in expecting to hear $35 or more per bunting, but I was thrilled when the owner told us they were $26.99 each. Then, imagine my excitement when the store's owner offered to give us 10% off because they had been hanging outside. I think you may know my penchant for a good bargain, and this was one for sure. We gladly took them on the spot, and were on our way home.
No sooner then we had unpacked the car, we excitedly turned our attention to hanging our new purchase. We hadn't put up our old buntings yet, and the 4th of July is only a week away, so we really had no time to spare.
Our old buntings were 36" wide, while these new ones are just 30", so we were a bit concerned they wouldn't look quite right. First step, Alex did a little modeling so that we could check the width.
Though they are a bit smaller, and may take a little getting used to, the size seems good and about equal to the width of the windows themselves.
Ready to get them hanging, we grabbed our trusty 3M removable sticky hooks. We've used the same style hooks to hang buntings and Christmas decorations for years, and they tend to work really well for this purpose. Alex cleaned off the window sill while I cut wire that would allow us to hang the buntings on the ledge. A few quick loops of the wire over the hook and we were well on our way.
We took a step back to look at the first floor to see how it looked.
So far, so good. We didn't have any time to waste, as it was starting to get dark and we wanted to be able to take some good photos to share with you today. After a few minutes of hanging out of the upstairs windows, our patriotic flair was in place.
What do you think? Too small or do they look ok to you? At any rate, this aged look is far more what we have wanted for years, and the additional weight in the fabric should keep these from blowing back up on the window sill during a light breeze like the old ones did.
I also feel like with the re-installation of the original shutters in the upstairs windows, the look will be better balanced.
This shot shows the heavier weight of the fabric and quality of construction quite nicely.
Readers from the United States: what sort of patriotic decor is going to appear on your house for the 4th of July holiday? And for our international readers, does decorating for holidays like this strike you as a little odd, or do you do you have a national holiday that's celebrated in the same way? Near and far, we'd love to hear how you celebrate the country you live in.
We added a few photos above, but here is an additional example or two that highlights my desire to get our original shutters back in the upstairs windows. Ahem...Alex, any day now.
And a final of the whole house. I still love how much the blue of the front door pops in the evening when the sun is on it.
Are you looking for other 4th of July decorating or entertaining ideas? If so, check out the holidays section of our projects page for cocktails, recipes, tablescapes, and more.