Late May is time for a patriotic tiered tray theme to get us from Memorial Day to the Fourth of July. Because those two holidays are so close together, I don’t usually decorate individually for them but rather have some nods to each on a single tier tray.
This is the next edition in my series of tiered tray décor ideas for the entire year. See the links at the bottom of the post for other posts in this series.
This tier tray is one of my favorites because of how seamlessly it incorporates vintage items with craft items I have made. It’s easy to decorate a tray with all vintage items or all craft items, but to combine them is a little more challenging. This is especially true if the craft items you make are less “used” or weathered looking.
While you could just purchase a patriotic themed tiered tray décor set from your favorite Etsy shop, I think this way of assembling a tiered tray is much more personal. The full display is very patriotic and has a few special standout pieces.
For this display, I used my white farmhouse tray. It is a wooden tiered tray with a farmhouse white finish. I love this tray because it is a little taller than most trays and is rectangular. This gives you extra space for decorating.
In this patriotic tiered tray décor, I think I have successfully combined them in about equal measure. I have the crafted firecrackers, book stack and mini signs with the vintage tractor and mini trunk. Check out all the details below.
Vintage Items and Collectibles on my Patriotic Tiered Tray
This tray has a couple of tins on it. I love to buy tea in cute tins that I can then use for decorating. That’s where the light blue tin with the bears and bunting on it came from.
I also keep my eyes open at thrift and antique shops for tins that I might be able to use on tiered trays or other small decorating vignettes. The cute double decker bus came from one of my antiquing trips and makes a great addition to this tray.
I found the cute mini trunk in Hobby Lobby. It has an actual leather covering. I think it is just adorable and try to include it in my tiered trays often.
The little red tractor is another antique store find. It reminds me of summers on the farm when I was growing up.
I always think that these little things are a great way to add personality to tiered tray decorations.
Craft Items I Made for my Patriotic Tiered Tray
Since this is a patriotic tiered tray, it really needs some things that point strongly to freedom and the red, white, and blue. That’s where the craft items fill in well. For this tray, the craft items were super simple to make.
The mini signs and book stack were embellished with vinyl that I cut with my Cricut.
The cute signs were extra easy because I stuck to one color per sign. While layering vinyl in multiple colors looks great, it is a little challenging. These signs show that single color vinyl can be just as interesting when used appropriately. The sweet land of liberty sign is a wood block that is painted a classic red with white vinyl. For the sea to shining sea sign I stuck to my normal white with navy vinyl.
I added some extra interest to the book stack by painting them red, white, and blue rather than sticking with the normal antique white. Adding the little stars gave them a nice little detail.
Standing behind the red sign is one of my tinted mason jars filled with paper straws. This is always a perfect way to add some height to your tiered tray décor. There are so many pretty straws available that you can easily match them to any décor or holiday.
The final craft project was the cute firecrackers on the top shelf. I was amazed at how easily these came together. I didn’t even need svg files for them. I just used elements that are in Design Space. Here’s how to make them.
- Cut a piece of 2×2 scrap wood into the heights you want. I made mine 4”, 3-1/2”, and 3”. Any sizes will work, just make sure that they will fit on your tiered tray and vary the heights.
- Paint the firecrackers. I chose to do one red, one blue, and one white. I wanted to evoke the feeling of the flag so I decided to do the red one with white stripes and the blue one with white stars both made of vinyl that was cut on my Cricut.
- Open Design Space and start a new project.
- Measure your wood pieces. You need the height and the total circumference.
- Use a square to create a template for your firecracker that is sized to the measurements. Make sure to mark it as a template so that it doesn’t cut out. Duplicate the template and make one red and one blue. Adjust the size of one of the templates.
- For the stars, on the blue template:
- Use the star shape and make it smaller. Make this shape white.
- Duplicate the shape and scatter them on the template that you created. You can make a couple go over one end so that they wrap around and there isn’t a complete break on one edge.
- Select all of the stars and attach them so that they will cut together.
- For the stripes, on the red template:
- Use the rectangular shape and unlock the size handles to resize it to be long. Size it so that it will run the length of your template but give you room for several stripes in the height.
- Make the shape white.
- Duplicate the shape several times.
- Color one of the shapes black. You will use this one to assist with proper spacing.
- Start just under the top of your template and place a white stripe.
- Put the black stripe just under the white stripe.
- Place another white stripe below the black stripe.
- Move the black stripe to the bottom of the new stripe and place another white stripe below it.
- Continue this process until you have all the white stripes that you want.
- Delete the black stripe.
- Select all of the white stripes and attach them so that they will cut together.
- Cut your vinyl on your Cricut or other cutting machine.
- Weed your designs.
- Using transfer tape, move the designs to the appropriate wood pieces.
Add the Explosions
- Drill a hole in the top of each piece of wood that is about 1” deep and just slightly larger than the dowel of your cocktail pick.
- Use wire cutters to cut the dowels on the picks so that they are about 1-1/2” long below the foil.
- Put a dab of hot glue in the hole and insert the cocktail pick into it. You could also dip the cocktail pick in a clue skillet but be careful not to get too much glue on it or you’ll have a glob at the top.
- Trim off any excess hot glue once it becomes tacky but before it dries completely.
That’s it. Wasn’t that easy. You can now group your firecrackers together on your patriotic tiered tray or put them in separate locations.
Finishing Off Your Tiered Tray
I added a cute red farm truck that I recently found at Cracker Barrel. The final step was to add a little greenery. This is an easy way to provide some naturalness to the display and fill any empty spots.
Displaying Your Tiered Tray
As is common for me, my patriotic tiered tray sits in the corner of our kitchen table against the wall. This means that I only decorated the front side of the tray. In the back areas, I just filled in with some greenery so they weren’t blank. If you’re putting your tray out somewhere that both sides will be visible, be sure to adjust how you put things on the tray so that there are things to look at from all sides.
Be sure to send me pictures of your patriotic tiered trays. I always love seeing your inspiration. What other seasonal décor do you display during this time of year?