Fifty Nifty United States: DIY 4th of July Wall Art

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas… anyone else remember the Fifty Nifty United States song?! It’s funny those things you learn as a kid that stick with you!

Last year, in one of my clearance shopping extravaganza’s at Target, I came across the Hearth & Hand with Magnolia 50 state flashcards. As a big Fixer Upper (check out my viewing party here) and Joanna Gaines fan, I am often an extra sucker for anything from this line on clearance. Last year, I took a clearance Hearth & Hand basket and turned it into American flag that made perfect 4th of July decor. So, when I saw the state flashcards for $2.98, I tossed them into the cart and figured I’d find something to do with them!

Fast forward a year and the idea finally came to me! I grabbed a few supplies and made a DIY 4th of July art piece that displays our amazing 50 states over my mantel for a 4th of July inspired mantel. After last year’s mantel, I wasn’t sure I could top it, but I love how this year’s turned out!

4th of July mantel decorated with 50 state flashcards

What You Need

  • 50 State Flashacards (Buy or DIY it)

  • 5/8 inch x 48 inch Round Poplar Dowel

  • 1/2 inch Copper Caps

  • Black Ribbon (1/4 inch to 1/8 inch)

  • Mini Clothespins (50)

Now, you may not have these flashcards lying around. I get that not everyone is a clearance hoarder like me! A couple of options— you can hunt for the originals on eBay. Here’s a recent listing for the flashcards. I’ve also found another modern style of flashcard on Amazon. Finally, you can DIY it, by using state clipart and printing them on a 4x6 size on cardstock.

To start the project, peel off any stickers from your wood dowel. I grabbed mine at Menards for about $1.50, but you can also find these at a number of craft and hardware stores. While you are at the hardware store, pick up some copper caps in the plumbing section. Pop them onto the ends of the dowel to give it a more finished and modern look. The caps were a handful of change— super cheap!

Next, measure and cut 10 strips of black ribbon. I recommend using a thinner ribbon (mine was 1/4 inch). The length you need to cut will depend on your wall space and how closely you want to place the states. I cut my ribbon pieces to about 40 inches each. Tie each ribbon to the dowel, cutting off excess ribbon.

Hang your dowel by resting it onto two nails or use clear removable command hooks.

Finally, start hanging your flashcards with mini clothespins! You can find these at Walmart, craft stores, or even Dollar Tree! I love having them on-hand as they have come in handy for so many projects including a banner from one of my favorite 4th of July bar setups complete with a founding fathers theme. I hung my state flashcards in alphabetical order. It was fun to see, Minnesota (where I live) just happens to end up in the middle. But, you can put your home state in the middle, too!

DIY 50 state wall art takes shape as you add the state flashcards to ribbon with mini-clothespins.

The great part about this project is that you can always change out the flashcards to other things like photos, postcards, or other creations!

DIY 50 State Wall Art makes the perfect display for a 4th of July mantel.

I let the wall art be the star of the mantel, adding a few items that I already had around the house to finish the look, including some American flags, a plant, and a vintage law book. I also found a framed copper liberty bell at an antique shop for $10 and had to have it!


To add a little more red, white, and blue, I strung together some felt balls from Wooly Sheep Dots. They have so many fun colors and shapes you can buy for any occasion and they are based close by to me in Wisconsin!

4th of July mantel with DIY patriotic decorations

Happy 4th of July!

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I know sometimes it’s easiest to get supplies sent right to you. I’ve gathered everything you need available on Amazon.

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Create your own 4th of July wall art made of 50 state flashcards and just a few additional supplies. Click here for the tutorial and supply list! #4thofjuly #4thofjulycrafts #4thofjulydecor #manteldecorations #holidaymantels