The State of Things: I love Americana Kitsch


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My favorite holiday is a toss-up. Every time one comes along I get caught up in the spirit of things and convince myself that this one is actually my favorite. So take it with a grain of salt when I tell you how much I love the 4th of July. I love it so much I’m committed to putting it in my top 3, maybe even top 2.

Around this time of year I find myself wanting to surround my house with classic Americana kitsch. Americana can come in many forms – tea-stained thirteen star flags, Coca-Cola memorabilia or even Normal Rockwell knick-knacks.

My favorite Americana items come in the form of vintage state handkerchiefs.

vintage state handkerchiefsvia

Clearly I’m not the only one. You can see on this website that some are selling for $80 a pop!

I’ve seen them made into pillows:

vintage state handkerchiefsvia

And modern reprints on dishtowels.


I’m not sure what it is about these sweet, nostalgic state-themed goodies that I enjoy so much.

There are also some kitschy embroidered pillows I’ve seen in a few stores – I always pick them up but never manage to talk myself into buying it!

vintage state handkerchiefs


This post was sparked by a recent item I stumbled upon, dinnerware from Sundance Catalog.

I wouldn’t mind picking out a few of these!

I wish you could mix and match states though,  they come in sets of 4.

They also have matching mugs! Although, who in their right mind needs more mugs? Aren’t we all swimming in them?

And while I’m sure everybody is really tied to their gas station shot glass collection, these glasses would be a nice upgrade.


Country Living has a great slideshow of vintage state collectors glasses – see it here!

When I was a kid I had to memorize a song that had all the state names in alphabetical order. To my shame I can only make it in the song to “Idaho”.

(I’m still not sure why this is need-to-know information. I also had to memorize all the Presidents in chronological order, I haven’t found that to be very useful either.)

I’m in a summer state of mind, how about you?

5 thoughts on “The State of Things: I love Americana Kitsch

  1. domingosaurus

    I particularly like the state glasses. Being a guy, I must admit the embroidered pillows don’t do much for me, but this post reminds me of those little license plates I used to collect when I was a kid. They came out of boxes of cereal, and it was supposedly possible to collect all 50 states. (I think I only had about 6 or 7 of them.)

    1. designlively Post author

      Haha! Yes I suppose the pillow are pretty “Grandma-chic”. I do remember those license plates! Maybe I’ll have to take a look around for those next!


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