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.

**Update**

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. 


Comments 28

Comments

Tiffany Washington
6/25/2012 at 11:19 AM
I've had my eye on this very thing for pur house and, next 4th of July, we will hopefully have some, too. Looks great, guys!
Wendy
6/25/2012
That would be lovely! I bet you might need more than three on your new house though. :-)
Threadbndr
6/25/2012 at 11:56 AM
Those look great. I have two flag brackets on THE Bungalow, and I proudly display both the US and USMC flags. I've thought about getting bunting, but my window ledge is so long (three joined windows) that it would look rather silly.
Wendy
6/25/2012
Maybe you could hang three in a row? Might look nice. This company also sells long hanging banners too (roughly a 1'x6' banner). Just a thought, but you can't go wrong with the flags. Happy 4th!
6/25/2012 at 12:42 PM
I think these look great!

We do Canada Day up here on July 1st, but people aren't nearly as patriotic as our neighbors to the south are.
Wendy
6/25/2012
You should start a new trend! I bet you could dream up some really cute Maple Leaf decorations! :-)
6/25/2012 at 1:59 PM
This is a really great idea! Might just have to steal it (although I'll need a few more buntings).

I don't typically decorate for specific holidays but I do enjoy switching out my stoop plants seasonally. Evergreens, a small tree & white twinkle lights for winter. Lilies & hyacinths this past spring. Coleus for the summer.
Wendy
6/25/2012
Steal away! We consider it to be good fortune in this case that we have only three windows, and they had only three buntings. :-)

I love admiring how people change up their doors and stoops with the change in season. Sounds lovely!
6/25/2012 at 2:35 PM
I think these are going to look SO GOOD! Do you have them out right now? Have I missed them? And, I feel so stupid - we've been decorating with (what I thought was) a flag bunting on our front railing for years - and it didn't even occur to me that it wasn't actually a flag bunting until now. But now, seeing yours, my bunting looks so ghetto. Oh well. Only you guys would know the difference between true flag buntings and the crappy non-flag knock-offs. Great find!
Wendy
6/25/2012
Hi Cara,

Yep, they're up there now. Just went up last night as it was getting dark. :-)

Your comment made me laugh. We've been hanging the "ghetto" version up the last eight years right along with you. Any efforts our street makes to be festive or improve their home gets an A+ is our book!
Nikki
6/25/2012 at 2:55 PM
I love the scale and old feel of these! Perfect!
Wendy
6/25/2012
Super! Thanks Nikki! :-)
6/25/2012 at 4:53 PM
Really nice touch guys!
Wendy
6/25/2012
Thanks so much John!
bu2fulday
6/25/2012 at 5:26 PM
I got one US VA Gov teacher who would love your old buntings for an upgrade over my plastic buntings :) Looks great!!!
Wendy
6/25/2012
:-) I'll let you know if we're looking for a new home for the old ones.
bfish
6/25/2012 at 11:13 PM
Your buntings are very attractive and look wide enough to me -- they aren't out-of-scale with your windows. I like the design too.

We're having a big July 4th neighborhood bash this year so I've been looking, for several months, at buntings and flags many places on-line. Then my husband recently spotted a Kohl's ad with all July 4th decorations @ 50% off. The nearest Kohl's only had 3 36" buntings and 1 48" one so we ventured to the next closest store (about 35 miles) and bought 3 more 48" ones. Our front porch columns are about 9' apart (making two sections to fill; one side of one being a house wall) so we'll put the longer ones up there and use the smaller ones on our outbuildings in the back yard where the party takes place.

The buntings are lightweight polyester but seem stiff enough that they won't blow around excessively or flip up, plus the stars are embroidered and the stripes are individually sewn -- nothing printed. Considering all of the prices I saw online, these were a very good deal at $8 for 36" and $12 for 48".

What I really wanted to do was buy 3 Revolutionary War-era replicated battle flags used by various locals in the original 13 colonies and hang them between the two columns, basically adding some color besides red, white and blue; displaying patriotic spirit relating to 1776; while creating a bit of a "curtain" on a large fron porch -- which the bunting won't really do. But the price of the bunting was right so the flags may be a later refinement.
Wendy
6/26/2012
Wow! Sounds like you scored an amazing deal for some really great festive decor. I bet your home will look magnificient, and I hope the neighborhood bash is a huge success.

Great idea about the flags too!
6/27/2012 at 7:13 PM
Hi Al and Wendy,

The house looks great with the bunting!! And I love the plantings around the tree out front!! While it probably would be overkill on your house, did you come across the bunting that hangs vertically (not even sure it is referred to as bunting in that form?) in your internet search? I've always wanted to check that out for a 7/4 theme house decoration.
Wendy
7/1/2012
Thanks Dave. We're really happy with how the plantings turned out as well. Such an improvement of the dirt pit that was there for years.

The shop we purchased the buntings from actually had the vertical buntings and they're really beautiful in person. We talked about hanging them behind the french doors but opted not to buy them this year. I'm sure they could look really great on your home!
7/4/2012 at 8:12 PM
Buntings that hang vertically are called "pull downs!"
7/4/2012 at 8:10 PM
Buntings that hang vertically are called "pull downs". They are ideal for hanging alternatively with pleated fan buntings or where there are columns. I have collected vintage buntings for years but don't use them for out of doors-they are simply too fragile. I have recently made my own version of buntings using recycled and new fabrics that compliment my decorating tastes and LOVE the results!

When it comes to American flags and buntings-more is better!

Happy Independence Day!
Alex
7/5/2012
It's very cool that you made your own. There's just something wonderfully nostalgic about buntings that I absolutely love. I'm not sure what it is, perhaps the look that goes along with photographs from baseball stadiums in the 1940s and 50s. It's such a classic and great look.
Dave Zachau
7/5/2012 at 9:30 AM
Thanks Hillary! I always wondered what that style of bunting was called.
Tori
7/14/2012 at 10:33 AM
Super cute!!
7/14/2012
Thanks!
6/28/2013 at 3:57 PM
What a great tip to hang your flag using a 3M hook and wire. If you don't mind, I'd love to pin that idea to The Home Depot's Red, White, and Blue Pinterest board!

Cheers,
Caroline
Senior Editor, homedepot.com
Wendy
6/28/2013
Hi Caroline, by all means pin away! Thanks for finding us, and Happy 4th of July.
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