Design Tips

Decorating with White Ironstone {4 Fun and Fabulous Uses}

Design Tips

I love finding multiple uses for objects and one thing that I can find endless uses for is ironstone.  I only recently discovered ironstone, but as soon as I saw it, I was hooked!  Not only do the vintage pieces have history and character, but white ironstone can be used with any decorating style and any color scheme.  Win-win!

Ironstone, commonly known as ironstone china,  is a type of ceramic that uses the rock “ironstone” as a component in its manufacturing and was commonly used in the 19th century.  Some pieces can be quite pricey depending on the manufacturer, age, and condition, but you can also find some very affordable pieces.  Ironstone is also prone to staining and crazing and whether you like that look is personal preference.

Tidbits&Twine Ironstone Staining
{An example of staining. Image via Peeking Thru the Sunflowers}


Tidbits&Twine Ironstone Crazing
{An example of crazing. Image via Pinterest}



You can of course use the ironstone for its intended purpose, but when not in use as tableware, you can also use it for decorating!


4 Fun & Fabulous Uses for Ironstone

1. Vases

I recently purchased this soup tureen at the antiques faire.

{via Tidbits&Twine}

Unfortunately, I don’t enjoy cooking and will probably never use it for soup!  But I do love the idea of using a tureen as a vase/planter for flowers!  Wouldn’t these make beautiful centerpieces?

Tidbits&Twine Soup Tureen Vase
{via French Country Cottage}
{via Inspiration i vitt}


2. Displays/Collections

As you may know, a collection has much more impact when it’s grouped together, and ironstone is no exception!  There’s no need to hide pieces away in the kitchen cabinets or dining room storage when you can create a beautiful display on open shelves or even on a tabletop.  Use it alone or mix it with other textures for a bit of pop!

Tidbits&Twine White Ironstone Display
{via Frog Goes to Market}
Tidbits&Twine White Ironstone Display with wood and silver
{via Velvet & Linen}
{via Miss Mustard Seed}


3.  Plate Walls

Personally, I’m not a big fan of hanging delicate, fancy plates on the wall, but I do love the simplicity of ironstone plates on the wall!  Whether they are in pristine condition, or stained, crazed, and chipped, they can add interest and character to any wall.

Tidbits&Twine Ironstone Plate Wall
{via Decorating with China and Glass}
Tidbits&Twine Ironstone Plate Display
{via Cottage and Vine}


4.  Vignettes

Vignettes add so much interest to a space – like little scenes in a play or three-dimensional artwork – and individual pieces of ironstone can be worked into all types of vignettes.

Tidbits&Twine Ironstone Vignette
{via Honeycomb Creative Co.}
Tidbits&Twine Ironstone Urn Vigentte
{via Finding Home}
{via Miss Mustard Seed}


If you are fortunate to live in an area that has antique faires, you can get a great deal of some of these pieces.  But you can also find them at antique stores or even estate sales.  Otherwise, one of my favorite places to shop for ironstone is Etsy.  Here are a few of my favorite shops:

  • Discovered Vintage – Amber and Lynne have some great pieces in their store
  • 2nd Street Market  – Sandy currently has an amazing gravy dish for sale
  • Holly Lane Antiques – They have a large selection of pieces


Believe it or not, but I’m already working on my holiday tablescape and I’m incorporating several pieces of ironstone.  I’m having so much fun finding uses for the ironstone and can’t wait to share the finished look with you!


Tidbits&Twine - Signature




PS – To see more of my favorite pictures of ironstone, you can follow my Pinterest board!


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