The History of Owl Decor Trends November 25 2016

Between 2009 and 2012 anyone walking into a home decor store would most likely see, perched on shelves and on table tops, flocks of owls. Or, to be more precise, parliaments of owls. From owls printed on throw pillows to drinking glasses, lamps, and figurines—owls were everywhere. You may have been asking yourself “Where did all these owls come from, how did this craze start? The origin of trends can be hard to define but looking back the owl trend origin begins way back in the 1970’s. Let’s look at some of the major events in the owl trend timeline…

vintage owl collection

Timeline of Owl Trends

The 1970's was unquestionably “The Decade of the Owl.”  The decade started by riding in on the wings of the 1960s environmental movement including its anti-pollution goals. The owl soared into the 70's as a symbol of nature, wisdom, and honesty.  Soon the owl began to pop up as a design element on kitschy home decor alongside the ubiquitous mushroom motif.  Lamps, figurines, planters, wall hangings, piggy banks, mugs, kitchen canisters – owls were everywhere.

Check out the timeline of owl trends from 1970 through 2012 in the slideshow below.

The Trend May Be Dead, but Owl Décor Lives On

Trends come and go, it’s the nature of trends after all. So it may be another dark period for owl decor in the shops, but that does not mean owl lovers have nowhere to turn. Whether you love the owls of the 1970s or the contemporary versions both can still be readily found in local décor shops, on Ebay, Etsy,, and many other online retailers (including right here on

Owl Salt and Pepper Shakers


vintage owl salt and pepper shakersOwl salt and pepper shakers come in a variety of materials, including plastic, glass, metal, and ceramic. Salt shakers originally became common after the Morton Salt Company introduced anti-caking agents in the 1920's. Since the 1950’s novelty salt and pepper shakers, including owls in every shape and size, have become increasingly popular. Some of the most popular vintage owl designs were made by Lego, Josef Originals, Napco, and Howard Holt. Today you can find a both vintage owl salt and pepper shakers as well as contemporary designs in stores, online, and at your local antique shop.  

Owl Banks

vintage owl bank on Vintage VirtueWhile the most famous type of collectible still bank is the piggy bank, which gets its name from the orange-colored clay called pygg, there are many more banks came in all sorts of shapes including owls. Novelty and cartoon style banks became popular in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Some very popular owl banks from the 1960’s featured brightly colored Mod and “hippie” style motifs and were made of paiper-mache. The majority of the owl banks in the 60’s and 70’s were made in Japan. These days you can find an eclectic mix of vintage, handmade, and mass produced owl banks on Etsy and Ebay.   

Owl Containers/Canisters

vintage owl coffee canisterAs owl themed items invaded homes in the 1970's there was no place left untouched including kitchen counters, bathroom vanities, and writing desks. Some of the most common owl containers from this time that can still be found are owl cookie jars, owl coffee canisters, and owl sugar and flour containers. Treasure Craft of California were the makers of a line of popular owl themed items in the 1970's that featured a rustic wood grain motif. Today the canisters from this range can be found ranging in price from $25 to $45 per piece. 

Vintage Owl Salt and Pepper Shakers on Vintage Virtue