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How to Make an Easy 4th of July Flag Centerpiece with Dollar Store Flags

A pint-sized flag centerpiece is a simple and cheap way to provide dramatic holiday decor around Independence Day or add a patriotic centerpiece for your mantle or dining table any time of year. This centerpiece takes 5 minutes to make and easily creates a dramatic and stylish centerpiece for an Americana themed party. See below for instructions.

Mini flag table centerpiece

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To create your own, simply arrange pint-size flags in a tall vase. For me, the 12″x18″ flags look best. This size american flag can be a little bit difficult to find, but it can often be found at dollar stores or big box stores in summer months, or purchased online. Unlike the tiny 4×6 replicas, the 12×18 flags have sufficient fabric to create a more elegant drape when displayed.

TIP: In my experience most small flags are treated with a stiffener. A more natural drape can be achieved if the stiffener is washed out and the flag dried (flat) before display. To wash, just fill a sink with cold soapy water, allow flags to soak for 3-5 minutes, then use a sink sprayer and cold water (to avoid color fading) to spray each flag individually before laying out to dry on a flat surface. There is no need to remove them from their wood dowels.

It may help to use miniature flags of different sizes, or opt for 6-7 identical flags, for consistency. You may choose to use floral foam to secure the flags in the vase, or allow them to fall freely.

If you are placing your flag centerpiece arrangement in an out of the way place- such as a bay window or mantle- letting the flags arrange themselves in the vase might work well, however if you are using your flag arrangement as a centerpiece or Independence Day party decorations, you may want to use floral foam to arrange your flags. The latter option, securing in floral foam, means that if guests bump your flags, the flags won’t shift in an unsightly way. For my arrangement, I allowed the flags to fall freely:


This photo shows the flag centerpiece I created one July for my home in MO. I used small American flags I’d purchased from garage sales and thrift stores and a ceramic vase painted with a mirror-finish metallic spray paint. This is an easy party decor item to make and particularly useful since it’s

  1. easy and quick,
  2. inexpensive
  3. appropriate decor for multiple events (Independence Day, flag day, memorial day, labor day, and events involving friends or family in public service careers) and
  4. has a big impact but stores in a tiny amount of space. 10 months of the year I used this vase to house faux greenery (a faux boxwood globe) but during the summer I’d swap the greenery for a “floral arrangement” with American flags instead of flowers.

Flag storage can be tricky, but these little flags stored nearly in a holiday closet rolled together into a tight, small bundle.

This was a decoration for my home in the summer season around the Fourth of July, but this decor would also be a low cost way to provide elegant party decor for a casual or semi-formal celebration for a veteran, military personnel celebrating a promotion or medal, or for the retirement party of an elected official or public service worker.

living room with branches on ceiling

Making a Dramatic Flag Centerpiece with Starch

For an even more dramatic centerpiece flag table arrangement, you can add a stiffener to your flags. Using the same method I use to make felt stiff for felt food crafts, you can dip your flag in a paste made from natural ingredients, then form your flat into the desired shape and let dry. After drying, the flag fabric should remain rigid in the position sculpted during drying. This method can be a fun way to make your flag centerpiece look like the flags are flapping or billowing, even though they are indoors. If only a slightly-more rigid look is desired, spray cornstarch can also be used to add body to the fabric without rigid stiffness.