How To Decorate With Collections

In this post we will discuss how to decorate with collections and showcase a variety of collections to give you some quick ideas. Styling collections can be a fast decorating fix and should take no more than 20 minutes in most cases. Today I’m participating in the 20 Minute Decorating monthly series, so please scroll down for that. Fast decorating (and quick DIY) is my favorite way to go!

decorate with collections of vintage bottles

What exactly comprises “a collection”? It’s often said that if you have three or more common objects then you do indeed have a collection. I suppose so, but when I see a whole row of ironstone pitchers lined up on a shelf, or ten trophy cups, or in this case…a bunch of bottles then you know that the owner is serious!

styling collections of old bottles on a mantel

I’m a dedicated collector from way back. As a young girl my first flea market foray was with my aunt and I purchased a vintage glass perfume bottle with my piggybank savings. There were some truly fascinating finds at the market and it piqued my interest in all things tattered and worn. The rest was history and flash forward to my mid-thirties and back to the fleas I went with kids in tow. Later on came my antique mall selling days and eventually eBay and a super successful website of my own. While I don’t sell any longer I still love to decorate with collections and thought that I would share a few tricks of the trade and styling collections ideas in visuals.

How To Decorate With Collections

The power of multiple in display! You might enjoy this post for a bit more of the bottle idea – Using Bottles For Flowers…The Power Of Multiples In Display. Somehow there is strength and interest to the eye in displaying multiple pieces. I find it calming to view a line-up of similar objects both as someone who enjoys design and photography.

displaying collections of old bottles with flowers

These bottles are all vintage and most of them were dug up from the ground (not by me). It was commonplace in the past to bury bottles in your yard and no one really seems to be able to explain why. I find the character of these fascinating and although I did wash each one after purchasing at various flea markets I left the patina intact. A wonderful aspect of collecting is that you can do so over time…which I have done with bottles.

antique inkwell with flowers

For my mantel display I simply lined the bottles up in what I thought was pleasing to the eye, mixing shapes and colors. Styling collections randomly but using your eye or the eye of the camera does not have to be overthought. I think that the look is equally as effective with the wild flowers from my garden or without! As for bottles, they don’t need to be old. If you just keep your eyes wide open at what you’re already using, just save them when finished and spruce them up. Just take a look at THESE!

styling collections of vintage bottles

Please visit my friends who are sharing for our monthly 20 minute decorating series…

20 Minute Decorating series logo

Thistlewood Farm | 7 Simple Steps to Style a Hutch

Designthusiasm | Help-yourself Breakfast Barhelp yourself kitchen breakfast bar on the kitchen table

French Country Cottage | Simple Ideas to Decorate with Mirrors

French Country Cottage

On Sutton Place | Decorating with the Rule of Three

The Rule of Threes from On Sutton Place

Shabbyfufu | Decorating with Collections

collection of old bottles shabbyfufu

StoneGable | Easy Mason Jar Citronella Candle DIY


If this isn’t enough to get your creative juices flowing to decorate with collections, I have 20 more ideas for you below to ponder and figure out styling collections of your own!

Plants On A Winter Mantel – Cassie Bustamante 

Spring Mantel With Bottles – Charleston Crafted

Dining Room With Ginger Jars – Dimples & Tangles

Farmhouse Vintage Picnic Baskets – House Of Hawthornes

Styling Indoor Houseplants – Jessica Wellington Interiors

Simple Spring Centerpiece – Lovely Etc

Tablescape With Roses & Pitchers – Our Crafty Mom

Vintage Bottles Decoupage Dresser – Petal & Ply

Cupboard Displaying White Ironstone – Postcards From The Ridge

Display On DIY Build – Seeking Lavender Lane

Birdhouse Village – Sustain My Craft Habit

Repurposed Display Cabinet – The Boho Abode

Upcycled Hutch – The Honeycomb Home

Tulips & Tapers – This Is Our Bliss

Spring Home Display – Unskinny Boppy

Blue & White Jar Display – Whitney J Decor

Houseplant Display – House Of Hawthornes

Bookcase Styling – Petal & Ply

Pretty Plates – Such Pretty Things (Instagram)

American Turquoise Pottery – Jesse Lauzon (Instagram)


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  1. Love this post Janet, I’m a big fan of photos of collections and vignettes. That’s probably why I post so many! Your vintage bottle collection is magical, I have to start buying some!

    1. Thank you Catherine for stopping by! Bottles are definitely an inexpensive item to collect, so that’s a bonus.

  2. Love your bottle collection. The colors are beautiful.


    1. Thank you Cindy…I love glass, especially old glass!

  3. LOVE Love love your bottle collection!! It’s stunning on the mantel! It’s funny – I can’t remember the first time I went to an antique shop, but I certainly have embraced the concept now!

  4. Dee at the Carlton says:

    What a beautiful post – the glass displays are so beautiful, I think we forget that they are often works of art when collated together.
    I have a great love of blue & white too & your post is lovely ….

  5. Thank you so much for including my tablescape in this great collection! Your bottle collection is so pretty! 🙂

    1. Thank you Michelle for joining us!

  6. Hi Janet,
    I am an antique dealer in the midwest. I thought I would share some knowledge with you about why people find bottles buried in the ground. In the old days there wasn’t any dumps or places to take your non burnable trash. Things that could be burned where burned and the non burnables like cans and bottles were buried. This way, you didn’t have a trash heap exposed on your property.
    Now, people dig around at old home sites and find bottles buried in the ground.
    I hope this explains the reason you find bottles buried.

    1. Thank you Shelly for your expert input here!