The charm and warmth of the past can be showcased in your home by decorating for Christmas vintage style. Years ago homes were decorated with warm, colorful, often handmade items. Ornaments and decorations were saved for generations. You may have a few boxes from the past that you want to display during the holiday season.
Planning your holiday decorations can be a yearlong process. First, you should think of a theme to use and then work on it throughout the year. Doing little bits at a time can result in a stress-free holiday and give you plenty of time to enjoy the season. I leave my decorations up for the whole month of December. Each day I feel the spirit of Christmas.
The most inspiring place to begin your decorating for an old-fashioned Christmas is at your local antique mall. All to yearlong you can find treasures for your home. Why wait until the last minute when this valuable resource is available every day. If you love to go to antique shops it is helpful to have things to look for. Kind of like a scavenger hunt. There will be many one of kind items and unique displays to get your creative juices flowing. Starting in early September the Christmas displays multiply – giving you even more choices.
Christmas Vintage Decorating Ideas
Start your journey by hunting for holiday vintage books. You will find children’s books that represent Christmas past. The artwork in vintage children’s books is amazing. The books were made before computers were invented so all of the artwork is hand illustrated like the “Christmas in Fairyland” book at the right. Place the books that you find throughout your home. Set them out on your end tables, bookshelves or have the artwork framed to hang on your walls. This makes a great beginning to bring the joy of Christmas Past into your home.
Old Fashioned Christmas Tree
Live trees were often used because most people could just go to their back forty and cut down the perfect tree. In the 50’s artificial trees became popular. You can find a variety of aluminum tinsel silver trees, plastic trees, and bottle brush trees. These trees didn’t look real but they were fun to have.
Vintage Christmas Tree Decorations
Vintage glass ornaments have been handed down for generations. They are shiny, bright and very breakable. One must take extra special care when hanging these bulbs. Most come with a wire hook that is inserted into the top. They also make excellent decorations to use as a wall hanging. Attach a ribbon to them and hang from a window sill.
Bird ornaments with clips on their feet can be hung on your tree or they can be used anywhere that the clip will hold. They would look especially elegant on your table centerpiece. The bird ornaments come in many materials – some are made out of glass and others are made out of fabric.
Tree lights came in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. Do a search for vintage tree lights on eBay. You will find a variety of lights that were used. If you find a style that you would like to use purchase a new retro version such as the Noma Bubble-Lites found on Amazon. that is made to resemble the original decorations. Old wiring can be dangerous.
Garland was often made from popcorn. This is a great activity for children. When I was young tinsel came in a package of individual strings. We spent hours adding each strand to the tree. Tinsel was very time-consuming and created a mess when we took the tree down.
Celebrate your vintage Christmas by using vintage wrapping paper and bows. Gift bags were not a thing of the past. Each present was wrapped with paper, ribbon and a homemade bow. Sometimes an ornament was placed on the package. Choose a few gifts that were popular years ago. Monopoly was invented 50 years ago. You find many vintage toys and gifts at an antique shop. Such as Lotto, Chinese Checkers, Shoot the Moon, Sorry. These games would be fun to play on Christmas Eve.
Create Stunning Vintage Centerpieces for your Table
Christmas Day is often celebrated with a family meal. Beautiful centerpieces can be created using vintage items. Use ornaments, wreaths, candle holders, figurines to create a collage of vintage items. Shiny glass ornaments can be added to a festive bowl or cake plate for a colorful effect. The possibility for your centerpiece is endless. Just choose things that would like nice together and then tie them all together with some greenery.
Present your dinner on a set of beautiful dishware. Vintage dinnerware comes in emerald-green, ruby-red or cobalt blue. Choose a pattern that you love and then start collecting the pieces. You may not find the whole set at once but they are items that can be collected throughout the year as you visit antique shops. Don’t be afraid to mix and match sets. Not everything has to be the same. These dishes can be used for other holidays also.
Families have the traditions for their Christmas Cookies. Make a collection of your families favorite Christmas cookies and give it out as a gift. Of course, I hope that you have the time to make some delicious vintage cookies and treats.
Creating Christmas Vintage Decorations
As you start to collect a variety of ornaments, figurines and other vintage items think of ways that you can make them into wall hangings or wreaths. Ornaments make excellent material to use for creating wreaths for our doors or centerpieces for our tables. At a fraction of the cost of a ready-made piece, you can easily make one of a kind decorations with the odds and ends you pick up throughout the year. A simple search on Pinterest will get your juices flowing.
Vintage Christmas Cards
Christmas cards make wonderful accents throughout the house. They can be set on tables, or hung on a wall. The artwork is always beautiful and brings warmth to the room. You can repurpose old cards by cutting out the picture and gluing it to a new card. There are ready-made plain cards that you can purchase and print from your computer.
Vintage Christmas Yard Decorations
Set a few decorations out in your yard for your neighbors to enjoy. Plastic Nativity Scenes, Santa’s, Candles and number of handcrafted wood decorations can be found. It was common in days past to do most of the handiwork yourself. Many people made their own decorations out of wood. Yard displays take a lot of space to store, so be sure you have enough storage space before purchasing. A friend of mine loved Christmas Decorating so much that he kept all his decorations displayed in the garage. When he pulled into his driveway and opened his garage door he was greeted by an array of lights and cheerful decorations. He celebrated Christmas every day.
I love the look of handcrafted items at Christmas time. As you rummage through antique malls and yard sales you will stumble upon unique items that were handcrafted. Often you can find lovely crotched items or homemade ornaments and wreaths.
The Polish Star Christmas Ornament is one of my favorites. They are fun to make and they make a great family activity.
For those who like to add a little humor to your decorating don’t forget to add the famous Christmas Story Leg Lamp. It may be hard to find a vintage one but reproductions can easily be found.
Vintage Elf on the Shelf
The Christmas Elf has been around for years. You will find them in Antique Shops. I don’t know for sure when the modern Elf started his shenanigans but for thirty years I put out a wreath that held a vintage elf. Last year when the grandchildren were visiting they were amazed that I had my very own Elf.
Decorating for Christmas Vintage style can be a great adventure. It needs to be done slowly over the year. As you go out and about visiting Antique Shops and Rummage Sales keep your eyes out for items that you can use. Ask your relatives if they have any old Christmas items that they no longer want or use. Gramma’s usually have a few boxes that haven’t been opened in years. Make this project an enjoyable one that your family and friends will remember for years to come. Remember to keep safety in mind. Old strings of Christmas Lights and be a safety hazard and the fun silver tinsel could cause problems with your pets.
Leave a comment below about your experience finding awesome Vintage Christmas Items at an Antique shop.
Thank You for stopping by and I wish a Very Merry Old Fashioned Christmas.