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Decorating With Vintage Milk Glass

By Rachel

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Decorating with vintage milk glass is such a joy!

Nothing excites me more than eyeing a beautiful display of milk glass in an antique store. The milky white color just beckons you to come explore it!

I love decorating with milk glass. The simple white glass looks stunning against any backdrop, it’s super versatile, and each piece is unique.

But what is milk glass exactly and where did it come from? This blog post will give you a little background on milk glass, the different types that you can find, and how you can incorporate milk glass into your home as decor pieces!

Brief History of Milk Glass

This opaque glass originated in Venice in the 16th century.

Not only does it come in white but in pink, blue, yellow, and brown as well. The white color that is most loved today became popular during the Victorian era and the Victorians are the ones who coined the term ‘milk glass’.

Companies such as Westmoreland, Fenton, and Anchor Hocking are most noted for producing this popular glass, making it in abundance!

vintage enamelware and milk glass in a vignette

How can you tell if it’s actually vintage and not a reproduction?

As you are perusing milk glass and want to know if it is a genuine vintage piece, meaning 1960’s and prior, hold it up to the light and look for the “Ring of Fire” imprint. It is characterized by iridescent reds, blues and greens.

Here is what the “Ring of Fire” looks like.

If you see this characteristic present on a piece of milk glass, it is real and worth purchasing!

Milk Glass Ring of Fire

Types of Milk Glass and How To Decorate With Them

Below are some types of milk glass that you can find in antique and thrift stores as well as some ideas for how to use those pieces in your home.

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  1. Vases
    Large and small vases can be found for less than $10 and come in a variety of styles like hobnail or ‘Stars and Bars’. Cute vessels like these add a beautiful vintage touch to your home.
    Try clustering them on a kitchen or dining table for a pretty centerpiece or adding one with faux greenery in it to your bathroom counter!
    vintage milk glass and ironstone styled in a hutch for Fall
  2. Banana Stands
    The Victorians were known for wanting to have a dish for everything, hence a banana stand. You could use this type of milk glass for just that; to hold bananas or other fruits.  Banana stands are versatile for other purposes as well such as to hold keys on an entryway table or as a simple centerpiece on a table.
    a milk glass banana stand with gold faux Fall stems
  3. Pitchers
    Milk glass pitchers can be incorporated into your home in many different ways. You can use them as a vase to hold fresh flowers on the kitchen table, as a pen holder on a desk, as a kitchen utensil holder, or as a decorative piece on a shelf.
    vintage milk glass on Christmas mantel
  4. Cake Stands
    These are quite popular right now with milk glass collectors. You can find cake stands with wavy, lacy, and hobnail edges, making them versatile for all decor styles. Cake stands are good pieces for layering or adding height to shelf displays.
  5. Punch Bowls
    These were popular for parties in the 1960’s. They are a fun addition to any milk glass collection, especially if you can find a set that has all 12 cups intact.
  6. Cruets
    These little pieces were made to hold oil and vinegar during the Victorian era. I have a hobnail pourer in my collection that is one of my favorites. They make beautiful display pieces on a side table or countertop.
    vintage thrifted milk glass for mid-summer decor
  7. Plates
    Milk glass dinnerware was never produced, however, plates were used as either serving platters or as home decor. A pretty way to display milk glass plates is by creating a gallery wall using plate hangers and mixing in other colored antique plates such as Flow Blue or Jadeite!
  8. Covered Dishes
    These include decorative sugar bowls and candy dishes. These are also very versatile pieces for your  space. They can be used in the kitchen to hold spices or loose leaf teas. You can also utilize them as a holder for jewelry, such as to hold rings by the kitchen sink!
    a hobnail milk glass lidded dish with vintage green books

Milk glass, due to its white coloring, blends well with any style that you already have in your home.

vintage amber bottles used for a Fall shelf display

It’s vintage appearance pairs well with modern decor, therefore making it an all-around beautiful antique to have in your home. I hope this inspires you to seek out some milk glass of your own. Each piece is a treasure and will add cheer to your space.

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Leave me a comment! Do you love milk glass, too? I love hearing from you!

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a vintage milk glass banana stand on a mantel

If you are new here, I’m Rachel, the writer and content creator here at The Antiqued Journey. I’m so happy to have you! I encourage you to stop by the ‘about me’ page to get to know me a little more. Here on the blog, you will find loads of inspiration for decorating with vintage and antique decor, simple DIY crafts and many thrifting adventures. If that interests you, I invite you to sign up for my e-mail. You will receive a free digital download as a thank you!

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Hello I’m Rachel.

I’m so glad you are here! Old things are my jam. Antique malls and thrift stores are my happy places.

Here on the blog I love to share my excitement, knowledge, and ideas about all things antique and vintage. Let’s journey together!

If you like what I'm doing, feel free to buy me a coffee to show your support!

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    My hand poured holiday candles are ready!

    I hope you enjoy them as much as I love making them!