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25 Best Vintage Christmas Decorations for an Old-Fashioned Celebration

Cue the nostalgia. ✨

vintage christmas decorations
Getty Images

There's something about the holiday season that makes us want to feel nostalgic. Maybe you do that by baking your parent's favorite cookie recipe (Ree Drummond loves her mom's sugar cookies!), or by putting on Christmas songs that your family listened to on repeat when you were growing up. Or perhaps you turn to something like these vintage Christmas decorations as your nod to the past. With Christmas tree decorations like tinsel and shiny ornaments, as well as retro touches including plaid and bottlebrush trees, these ideas will certainly fill your home with old-fashioned charm.

If you like being crafty, there are a few DIY Christmas decorations that are great weekend projects. Make the paper candles to put on your tree, or turn vintage ornaments into a dazzling wreath to liven up your mantel. Go ahead and try your hand at rustic Christmas decorating ideas with the sweet Christmas signs you can DIY. You'll also find holiday favorites like gingerbread houses and nutcrackers, the latter of which Ree has a particular fondness for. "To me, seeing a nutcracker means the holidays have arrived," she says. Travel back in time this holiday season with these fun, retro Christmas decorations.

vintage christmas decorations  sign
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Vintage-Inspired Signs

Don't have a gorgeous vintage sign lying around? No problem: You can DIY your very own look-alike with this easy tutorial—you'll just need a vinyl cutting machine, some craft paint, and a palm sander.

Get the tutorial at Homeroad.


vintage christmas decorations reclaimed
Funk Junk Interiors
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Reclaimed Wood Christmas Tree

This "tree" is made of nothing more than reclaimed wood panels and some vintage finds. It's a fun way to showcase your creativity and your favorite time-worn treasures.

Get the tutorial at Funky Junk Interiors.

vintage christmas decorations crochet
Skip to My Lou
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Crochet Tree

Who says "vintage" has to mean sepia-toned, black and white, or rust-colored? Have fun with pops of color by following this blogger's lead.

Get the tutorial at Skip to My Lou.

bushel basket vintage christmas decorations
One Thousand Oaks
4 of 25
Bushel Basket Lid Wreath

Yup, this wreath is made up of nothing more than a bushel basket lid and some sophisticated-looking greens. It's that easy—and makes for such a big visual impact.

Get the tutorial at One Thousand Oaks.

vintage christmas decorations buttons
Live Laugh Rowe
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Button Ornaments

Got a vintage button collection? Turn it into art with the help of this fun tutorial, which involves pine branches (faux or real!) and twine.

Get the tutorial at Live Laugh Rowe.

red glass ornament christmas tree
Kevin J. Miyazaki
6 of 25
Shiny Brite Ornaments

In the 1940s, the company Shiny Brite opened in the U.S. to bring the popular hand-blown glass ornaments from Germany stateside. You're probably familiar with these glossy ornaments, which often featured intricate patterns.


a gingerbread replica of the pioneer woman mercantile
Kevin J. Miyazaki
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Gingerbread Houses

Gingerbread houses actually date all the way back to the 1500s when they became popular in Germany because of the story of Hansel and Gretel. While you can buy easy gingerbread house kits, check out this cookie version of The Mercantile from the store's very own executive pastry chef Virginia Fistrovich. It includes six pounds of dough and a gallon of icing!

paper candles on a christmas tree
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Paper Candles

Before we had string lights and electricity, people used to illuminate their trees with candles. Pay homage to this tradition by making these paper candles to put on your tree.

Get the tutorial at The House That Lars Built.

vintage ornament wreath
Inspired by Charm
9 of 25
Vintage Ornaments Wreath

If you want to use those Shiny Brite ornaments in other places of your home, make this attractive wreath to decorate your door or hang above your fireplace.

Get the tutorial at Inspired by Charm.

putz paper christmas houses
Inspired by Charm
10 of 25
Putz Cardboard Christmas Houses

The cardboard version of these German Christmas houses became a popular midcentury American tradition. If you don't want to set up a whole Christmas village, follow this blogger's lead and use them to dress up an otherwise overlooked space like a cupboard.

See more at Inspired by Charm.


nutcracker christmas display
PMQ for Two
11 of 25

Ree loves nutcrackers—she used to receive a nutcracker from her grandma every year. These guys grew in popularity after American soldiers in Germany would buy them at Christmas markets. But the Nutcracker ballet's 1954 New York City debut really cemented them as a holiday mainstay in the U.S. Find inspiration from this blogger on how to show off your prized possessions.

See more at PMQ for Two.

mod vintage tinsel christmas tree
Aww Sam
12 of 25
Tinsel Christmas Tree

Travel back in time to the '60s with this tinsel tree decorated with vintage ornaments. Tinsel used to be added to Christmas trees to reflect the light from candles on the branches. But tinsel used to be expensive and something that only wealthy families had. Luckily, it's easy to come by these days!

See more at Aww Sam.

ceramic christmas tree display
PMQ for Two
13 of 25
Ceramic Christmas Trees

Does it surprise anyone that these colorful tabletop trees rose to popularity in the '70s? Get some inspiration from this blogger who creates a retro theme by laying out her ceramic tree collection, along with a vintage ornament garland.

See more at PMQ for Two.

vintage inspired christmas tree
Just Destiny
14 of 25
Vintage-Inspired Tree

Give your living room a classic Christmas look by borrowing some of these decorating ideas. Use silver bells, lanterns, jingle bells, and burlap banners to feel like you've jumped into one of your favorite classic Christmas movies!

See more at Just Destiny.

popcorn cranberry garland
Jeffrey CoolidgeGetty Images
15 of 25
Popcorn-Cranberry Garland

Like many Christmas traditions, this one started in Germany in the 16th century before it was brought to Dutch settlements in Pennsylvania. Because many Americans made their own ornaments back in the 1800s, they often used fruit and nuts for decorations. They would sometimes dye the popcorn to add a colorful effect to the garland.


red buffalo plaid check sheets
Kevin J. Miyazaki
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Red Buffalo Check Bedding

Having guests stay for the holidays? Red buffalo check flannel bedding is a great way to make them feel super cozy. It'll create a subtle vintage look.

vintage red truck christmas pillow
Raggedy Bits
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Vintage Red Truck

Around Christmastime, you'll start to see these old-fashioned red trucks pop up everywhere. It looks just like the big red pickup truck that sits outside The Mercantile, the Drummond Ranch Power Wagon. Follow these steps to make this pillow to use among your retro decorations.

Get the tutorial at Raggedy Bits.

vintage christmas signs
Dream a Little Bigger
18 of 25
Vintage Christmas Signs

You don't have to head to an antique store or win an eBay auction to get these adorable vintage Christmas signs. Follow these steps to make your own antique-looking signs and hang them around your house this December.

Get the tutorial at Dream a Little Bigger.

retro red car mason jar snow globe
Mason Jar Crafts Love
19 of 25
Snow Globes

Snow globes became popular in the U.S. in the mid-20th century and have remained a popular holiday decoration. You can make your own snow globe, complete with a retro car carrying a Christmas tree home.

Get the tutorial at Mason Jar Crafts Love.

vintage wood sled christmas decoration
The Everyday Home
20 of 25
Wooden Sled

A wooden sled makes for a rustic vintage Christmas decoration, especially when adorned with a small wreath. A toboggan would also do the trick if you've got a bigger space to decorate.

See more at The Everyday Home.


vintage outdoor christmas decorations
Sugar & Cloth
21 of 25
Vintage Outdoor Christmas Decorations

This front door has everything a vintage lover could imagine: bottlebrush tree wreaths, a garland of giant retro lights, and stately golden nutcrackers.

See more at Sugar & Cloth.

bottle brush trees
Melissa KopkaGetty Images
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Bottlebrush Trees

You can find these trees that were created in the 1930s just about anywhere these days. They're great for using in Christmas crafts, sprucing up a Christmas village, or adding as an accent to your holiday decorations.

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Christmas Stockings

If you're not crafty, you can buy a set of vintage-looking stockings instead of making them yourself. These festive stockings will look gorgeous hanging above your fireplace along with the rest of your retro decorations.

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Mistletoe Kissing Ball

Before sprigs of mistletoe were placed above doorways, "kissing balls" came first. They were made of holly branches and leaves and were hung as a sign of good tidings for anyone who walked under it. In the 1800s, Christmas kissing balls with mistletoe became popular after Charles Dickens wrote about the plant.

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Vintage Christmas Lights
Now 26% off

Who doesn't remember the big colorful bulbs decorating the outside of your house and your tree as a kid? No retro Christmas will be complete without them.

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