Star Embroidery on a Vintage Colander as a Patriotic Centerpiece

Star Embroidery on a Vintage Colander as a Patriotic Centerpiece

Not too long ago, I posted a photo on my Facebook page that garnered a LOT of attention- an embroidered flower on a vintage mesh strainer. It was gorgeous and unique, and I was immediately struck with an idea of my own. Why not do something similar with a vintage colander, the kind with a star design? And then use it as a patriotic centerpiece?

Vintage colander with metal stars

You can still find these old metal colanders at thrift stores from time to time. They are too lightweight to be upcycled into a hanging planter like I did here.

Enamel colander as a hanging porch planter

But what if I embroidered those stars? To use as a patriotic centerpiece?

Upcycling a vintage colander or metal strainer

Either way, I decided that it was worth experimenting with! And I had a sneaking suspicion that it was going to be incredibly festive and cute!

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Upcycling a Vintage Colander with Star Embroidery

First, I needed to paint it, should I use red, white, or blue?

I had all three colors in my spray paint stash, but the blue just spoke to me first. So, I gave it a glossy makeover in royal blue.

For my embroidery, I decided that plain white twine wasn’t good enough, so I purchased some baker’s twine instead. 

Bakers twine to do the star embroidery on a vintage colander

The red and white would set off PERFECTLY against the blue!

The star embroidery would be easy and straight forward, no matter how I went about doing it. But I ended up using a back stitch to get the full effect of the star pattern.

Star embroidery with baker's twine on a vintage colander

After watching a few episodes of a favorite TV show, I finished embroidering the entire colander! I absolutely love binge-watching TV when I have a needlework project to work on!

Upcycling a vintage colander as a patriotic centerpiece

Now I could further transform my vintage colander into a patriotic centerpiece and 4th of July table decorations!

Patriotic Centerpiece and 4th of July Decor

To bring my upcycling idea to life, I needed the perfect filler for my centerpiece. First, I thought about baseballs, but decided against it in the end. They were a touch too large to sit in the vintage colander.

After much deliberation (and I mean it, it was causing me anxiety!), I decided to use rattan balls to fill the vintage colander. I also spray painted them in red, white, and blue.

Metal strainer as patriotic home decor

Filling the vintage colander wasn’t enough, though.

It still needed something else. Something to add height and really pack a patriotic punch.

Star embroidery on a metal strainer for a patriotic centerpiece

FLAGS! It needed flags.

And some table flags (vintage or new) would be the perfect addition to my patriotic centerpiece in a vintage colander.

Table flags to go in a patriotic centerpiece

I had actually purchased these (from Etsy) for a now-defunct project that never came to fruition.

Lastly, I nestled the table flags in the collection of rattan balls, making sure they were secure and wouldn’t fall over.

Ready to see how my patriotic centerpiece turned out?

Star Embroidery on a Vintage Colander as a Patriotic Centerpiece

Ta-da! Everything came together perfectly.

Unique embroidery for patriotic home decor in a metal colander

It’s kind of amazing to think about what the colander looked like before. And, you see these at just about every antiques shop around!

Plus, wWhile this one would have continued to work just fine as a colander, I really LOVE it as a patriotic centerpiece.

And if you enjoyed this upcycling idea for Independence Day decor, then you’ll love this patriotic wreath I made with thrift store neckties in red, white, and blue!

diy patriotic wreath with cheap ties

And check out how I created this oversized American flag with junk I found on the side of the road!

american flag cross stitch on a cane side table

Craft on!


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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Super cute and clever. Craft queen strikes again!

  2. This is adorable! The perfect centerpiece for the 4th of July!

  3. How cute this is! I am continually amazed at your talent and creativity.


  4. You are so creative Sarah, this is so unique and different! Love it!

  5. An awesome idea – love the stars

  6. Very clever! I don’t recall ever seeing a star colander. Love patriotic things, and this one is a winner!

  7. Sarah this is so cute. I have an old stainless colander I never use. What a great idea. I’m checking my spray paint stash right now. Thanks for sharing at Your Inspired Design Link Party #39.

  8. Margaret Fretwell says

    This is such a great idea! I love it!

  9. chris aka monkey says

    sarah i am a real red,white and blue kinda gal and this is the most awesome original idea i have evr seen love, love it xx

  10. Very clever Sarah!! I love this!!

  11. I love anything in a star colander but you took it to a whole new level with the paint and stitching. Thank you so much for sharing at Vintage Charm.

  12. This idea is simply sweet and a true delight! Thank you for so faithfully joining us at Thoughts of Home on Thursday. You are a treasured friend.

  13. This is just too adorable. you think of such great ideas.

  14. Sarah, that’s just darling! Plus if it gets a little tired or old, I know you could repurpose it to something else! Thanks for sharing this with us at Throwback Thursday this week!


  15. Love this post!! I have the same colander so I really appreciate the Inspiration!!


  16. JaneEllen says

    No matter what your projects are always love what you do. Embroidering stars on colander is so clever and looks so great, really sets it off..
    Where do you find metal colanders with colors and stars? Have looked and looked with no luck.
    Happy weekend

  17. Sarah, Awesome. You amaze me every week with your creativity! Thanks for sharing your posts with us at Snickerdoodle Sunday! Pinned to share.

  18. Very creative and so festive!!

  19. I love this idea – I’m going to look for a colander like that! Would love to have you share on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY Party!

  20. divaofdiy says

    This is the cutest! Thank you for linking up to Talk DIY to Me this week! I absolutely love this project!

  21. Aww! This turned out so cute! LOVE it!

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for Recipes and Crafts:

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  22. Aaaaah this is too cute. And I knew I was saving my Memorial Day Parade flags for a reason. Now off to find myself a cute colander….

  23. I have that colander in my cabinet right now. I use it all the time, probably had it more than 35 years and still use it. I love what you did with yours! Will be sharing on social media. Thanks for partying with us at Merry Monday.

  24. Christine @ Must Love Home says

    Loved your Patriotic project!!You have been Pinned, Tweeted and Posted to Facebook! Your post will be featured this week at the Friday Favorites Link Party. The party goes LIVE on Thursdays at 7PM at I hope to see your there! Hugs – Christine at Must Love Home

  25. This is so awesome! Lovely patriotic inspiration! Thanks for sharing at the #InspriationSpotlight party! Shared

  26. This is great! Your crafts are always on point : )
    Thanks for sharing this on Peace, Love, Linkup! Stop on by tomorrow at 6 and share more great content! : )

  27. I would love to spend a day with you crafting. No doubt I would learn lots. Thanks for sharing your links at Celebrate Your Story.

  28. I love it! You come up with the best ideas for repurposing things. I’ll be featuring you tonight for “Best of the Weekend.”

  29. I am again blown away by your creativity. Super fun idea! Pinned.

  30. sammyapproves says

    This is so cute and creative. Thanks for joining the Family Joy linky party!

  31. Super Fun!

  32. Oh how fun! Perfect patriotic craft for the holiday’s. Love how you embroidered the stars with the twine.

  33. What a cute idea for the 4th . So creative

  34. I thrifted a second star colander when my 1973 vintage one lost its second leg and no longer balanced well to drain my spaghetti, etc. I love this idea. I have always loved red and white bakery twine (It came on bakery boxes only at my grandmother’s!). I always thought I would convert my broken one to a planter. Hmm…now, not so sure!

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