Christmas is one of those holidays where there’s always the question of whether to use modern-day decorations or try something different and classy and choose some vintage Christmas decorations instead.
Well, if you’re leaning towards a more vintage look, but have no idea where to start, we’d like to go ahead and present to you this article where we will be showcasing 25 different vintage Christmas ornaments that you can try making yourself.
Nothing beats a classic when it comes to Christmas, and that isn’t something that will be changing anytime soon.
We like listening to the same carols, we watch the same Christmas movie year after year, and we decorate the house the same way without feeling the need to change anything, so trying out vintage Christmas decorations is not out of the ordinary.
Best Vintage Christmas Ornaments to make 2021 Seem Classy
The list was created after extensive research was done over the Internet, especially social media platforms so that we can see exactly what everyone was making or talking about in 2021.
However, we also tried looking for vintage decorations that are also easy to make using everyday supplies and tools, because actual vintage ornaments can cost you upwards of tens or even hundreds of dollars, and that’s not something everybody can afford.
Without further ado, here are the best DIY vintage Christmas ornaments:
1. Vintage Christmas Decorations – Nutcracker
The first entry in our list of vintage Christmas decorations is the all-classic nutcracker, which is for many of us one of the few decorations/toys that they had while growing up.
Besides, making a nutcracker isn’t all that hard, since you only need some basic carpentry skills, some lacquer, paint, and a lot of imagination to make it look as unique and amazing as possible.
Sure enough, nutcrackers are practical tools that were first invented as tools that would crack open walnuts (go figures), and only later were they stylized to look like toys, or more precisely, the timeless soldier that’s there to serve.
Nutcrackers make for amazing Christmas ornaments because they invoke coziness and warmth, which is exactly what you want your home to feel like during the holiday season.
So if you think that a classic wooden nutcracker would look great on your Christmas tree, we suggest that you go ahead and try making one yourself!
2. Christmas Ornaments – Gingerbread Decorations
Gingerbread has been part of our cuisine for hundreds of years, regardless of what shape and color we decided on giving it, so it should come as second nature to include homemade gingerbread figurines as vintage Christmas decorations.
Baking the gingerbread is fairly easy since the recipe is pretty standard: mix flour, some spices, sugar, and then add some water to make some dough.
From there on out the options are vast since you can use it as a basis for all kinds of icing decorations, ranging from angels to Christmas trees to snowmen.
But if you want something that looks more elegant than whimsical, perhaps go with gingerbread houses instead!
Gingerbread house ornaments are amazing because they are simple yet classy enough to look good on your Christmas tree without being too loud about it, and they’re easy enough to find online in case you didn’t feel like baking them yourself.
Another big plus is that when Christmas is over, you can eat them instead of throwing them away, and next year you can make entirely new decorations using brand-new ideas.
3. Christmas Tree Ornaments – Gilded Pinecones
When people first started decorating their house for Christmas, they didn’t have any fancy shops to buy decorations from.
So, unless you were a blacksmith or a carpenter and had the time to make intricate wood or metal decorations, your only choice was to use whatever nature provided and then improvise from there.
That being said, there’s no better way of going back to the roots of Christmas than by using elements from nature as Christmas decorations, namely pinecones (which de took the liberty of painting in gold).
The best thing about gilded pinecones is that they take less than an hour to make, and you can do it without getting too messy or using any weird tools, so if you want to give them a shot we suggest that you read through the following steps:
- A bunch of pinecones (the more, the better)
- Acrylic paint in gold color
- Some yarn/string/wire (if you want to hang your decorations)
- Some lacquer spray (optional)
Here’s how to make the gilded pinecones:
- Take your pinecone and start painting it with gold acrylic paint.
- Let them dry for at least one hour before hanging them on your Christmas tree.
For those of you that want to spend even less time with the painting, we recommend that you get yourself a can of gold spray paint instead, and before it gets the chance to dry, go ahead and sprinkle some sparkling dust over them to make them even prettier.
4. Large Christmas Ornaments – Classic Christmas Table Centerpiece
If you’re the type that likes following up on traditions, then you know that a key moment during Christmas is the Christmas dinner where family and friends gather around and eat all sorts of goodies.
Well, Christmas dinner means that the table needs to look a certain way, and if you’re a fan of large Christmas ornaments, the best one you could try is a table centerpiece.
Fortunately enough, the is no standard for making table centerpieces, as long as it looks good, and it makes the Christmas meal feel more enjoyable.
In the example above we showcased, a table centerpiece made using white candles, dry oranges, pinecones, and cotton that are all wrapped up with a bot of wicker and placed on a sliced piece of wood.
Sure enough, you can make table centerpieces with a lot of other materials, like pine branches, quinces, gingerbread, flowers, etc, but there’s something about this particular design that will let everyone at the table know that it’s vintage, and it’s made by hand.
5. Vintage Ornaments – DIY Angel Tree Topper
Since Christmas is a holiday that has religious roots, most vintage ornaments have somewhat of a religious theme to them, and you’ll notice that many of them like showcasing angels.
Since angels are a common theme for vintage ornaments, we concluded that it was only natural that we include an angel-themed ornament on our list as well, and the one that stands out the most is an angel tree topper.
Admittedly, not everyone knows how to work with clay or ceramics, so we decided to go with an angel decoration that’s a bit more accessible: an angel made out of straws.
All you need is a handful of straws (the kind from plants, not the plastic ones), and some string to tie up the straws and give them the angelic shape.
For the head and the wings, get yourself some cotton balls and cover them up with some thin white fabric or paper, and with a little bit of patience and attention, you should end up with something like this.
This is definitely an unusual Christmas ornament, but we’re sure that it will look good on any tree out there, especially since it’s unique and hand-made by you.
6. Antique Christmas Ornaments – Vintage Lantern
The night before Christmas feels the most magical not because of the anticipation that Santa will come bearing gifts, but rather the atmosphere of knowing that everything is quiet, and the magical flickering of the light.
Well, if you want to enrich your Christmas light show with something that’s a bit more vintage-looking, you could try making your own DIY Christmas lanterns, and surprisingly enough, you’ll only need a handful of these:
- Empty beer or soda cans
- Golden paint
- A cutter
- Some votives (those small simple white candles)
Making the lanterns is equally simple, as long as you follow these instructions:
- Cut vertically down the length of each beer can, at about one inch apart
- Once the entire can is covered in cuts, press it down gently from above until the can become almost sphere-shaped
- Paint the cans with your gold paint (spray paint works best)
- Place a votive inside the beer can and light it up, and your lantern is done.
What’s neat about these DIY lanterns is that they look amazing once you light them up in the dark, and it also allows you to give a second life to all those beer and side cans you might have planned on recycling anyway.
7. Vintage Christmas Decorations 1950s – Decorative Toys
Back in the days, toys used to be very expensive, to the point where it was actually more lucrative to pick up carpentry, make them yourself, and do the paint job as well
That’s why you see the same kinds of toys in all vintage movies, and that’s why most of them were basically painted wooden sculptures, and that’s precisely what we recommend that you try out this Christmas if you want to go all vintage.
Because most of these vintage Christmas decorations from the 1950s were handmade, making them today is a lot easier since tools and supplies are easier to come by.
All you need is some wood, a saw, some sandpaper to give the finishing touch, some wood lacquer, paint, a bit of time, and a lot of imagination.
In the illustration above we showcased a wooden toy car, but you can try something else, like a sculpted reindeer, a small Santa figurine, or a minimalist Christmas tree made out of a large green painted cone.
The idea is simple, it’s easy to make, and you get a chance to gift your child something to play with that was made entirely out of your love and care.
8. 1950s Christmas – Decorations Using Old Photos
People love taking pictures, and people love hanging things on their walls that remind them of good times shared with loved ones.
Well, if you’re a fan of vintage items but aren’t quite sure what kind of ornament to make yet, we have an interesting item for you: ornaments that make use of your old vintage photos.
You can go ahead and make whatever you like, like a twine garland from which you hand your old family photos, or you can even take some blank Christmas globes and print out the family photos on them.
Whichever the case, the fact of the matter is that you’ll have a blast making these pictures, and if you decide to make them together with your family, it’s also an excellent opportunity to just sit back and remember all the good old days just by looking at them.
9. Old Fashioned Christmas Ornaments – Paper Angel
We mentioned earlier how a lot of early Christmas decorations involved using religious motifs, and that angels were a favorite, so we decided to add to our list of old-fashioned Christmas ornaments yet another angelic item: a DIY paper angel.
As you can probably tell from the picture above, you don’t need any particular supplies, nor do you need any extraordinary crafting skills to make.
In fact, here’s what you need:
- Some napkins
- A pair of scissor
- Paper or cardboard
- Some sparkly garland
- Cotton balls
To make the tine angels, just wrap the napkins up in a cone to make the bodies, use the scissors to cut out the wings, then glue them to the body.
You can then use the sprinkles and garland to decorate the angels (make their halo, decorate their dresses, etc), and finally attach a cotton ball at the top of the cone to act as the angel’s head.
10. Large Christmas Tree Ornaments – Wooden Snowmen
Everyone loves snowmen, but not everyone likes sitting outside in the cold, even when they’re properly dressed, so if you’re looking for some large Christmas tree ornaments that will allow you to enjoy the presence of a charming snowman inside the house, go ahead and try making one of these wooden snowmen made out of logs.
All you need are some logs, some nails, a carrot, a market to draw the various facial expressions, and some raggedy old clothes you don’t use anymore to dress them up in, and you’re done.
Simply place the logs one on top of the other (the thicker ones at the base, the thinner ones on top), nail them to each other so the snowman doesn’t fall apart, glue the carrot, draw the eyes and mouth, dress it up, and you’re done.
Alternatively, instead of big bulky wooden stumps, you could go ahead and use wood slices instead, and use a vertical wooden beam in the back to hold them in position.
This will also make the snowman much easier to carry back to where you plan on storing it once Christmas is over, and you won’t have to feel guilty about using up so much wood either.
More Amazing Vintage Christmas Ornaments to Try
When creating our list of best vintage Christmas decorations, we decided that it would be best if we separated the article into two sections:
- The first section contains 10 entries, and these are the most popular ones in 2021
- The second section contains the remaining 15 entries and contains entries that were very popular in 2020 and 2019
At first glance it may sound like the first 10 entries are trendier, and therefore better, but since we’re talking about vintage Christmas decorations, it might actually be a better idea to consider these 15 older ones instead.
11. DIY Vintage Christmas Ornaments Out of Jar Lids
If you’ve never made beautiful crafts out of upcycled jar lids before then we’re sorry to tell you that you’ve been missing out on something very cool indeed! In fact, this first design is an idea that actually is quite old-fashioned and traditional in many places. Check out how Hello Little Home made beautiful little winter scenes in side their jar lids and hung them on the tree like cheerful dioramas.
12. Sparkly Acorn Vintage Christmas Ornaments
Are you pretty taken with this whole idea of making some vintage looking Christmas pieces from unconventional supplies but you’re looking for a vintage idea that’s somehow also quite natural? In that case, this next idea from Curious and Catcat might just be the perfect one for you! They show you how they fully glittered actual acorns from the park nearby in order to make something that’s vintage and glam all at once.
13. Twine and Button Wreath Christmas Ornament
If you ask us, rustic-looking jute twine is an automatic marker of something that has a beautiful vintage style. That’s probably why we adored this lovely Christmas wreath ornament from One Crazy Mom so much!
Their technique is clearly outlined and simple enough that even your kids will be able to help you out with this one.
14. Cookie Cutter Cinnamon Vintage Christmas Ornaments
If you’re going to put in all the time and effort it takes to make an old fashioned Christmas ornament from scratch, would you much rather make it something that people decades ago actually would have done, rather than something more new-fangled that you’d just styled to look quite vintage?
In that case, we think you simply must take a look at the way Clean & Scentsible used actual cookie cutters to make this lovely gingerbread man ornament that’s covered in real cinnamon!
15. Christmas Sheet Music Wreath – Antique Christmas Ornament
Do you come from the kind of household who loves music just about as much as they love crafting? Then we’d be willing to bet that you’ll get along quite magically indeed with this next idea from Lovely Etc!
They show you how to twirl little cones of printed sheet music and affix them in the centre, where their pointed ends meet, with a series of small silver bells. The finished product looks like a little Christmas wreath!
16. Vintage Christmas Decorations – Wood Slice Tree Ornaments
If you ask us, making any kind of wood slice project (of which there are fortunately many) adds an immediate sense of rustic and vintage atmosphere to any space. It’s natural, authentic, and always a fun process to do.
That’s why we loved these stunning hand-cut and drawn season’s greetings wood slice ornaments outlined step by simple step on The Simply Crafted Life.
17. Crochet Star Vintage Christmas Ornaments
When it comes to the kinds of crafts that you actually normally do outside of themed holiday pieces, are you a total yarn enthusiast with a big stash that you use for crochet and knitting projects all year round?
In that case, we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at how Darice made these gorgeous crochet stars! They’re simply enough to do that even beginners can handle them, and quick enough that you can probably churn out a whole batch of them in one night by the fire.
18. Clothespin Snowflake Christmas Tree Ornament
Just in case you’re still interested in doing a little bit of upcycling in your crafting process, but preferably of the kind that people might have done long enough ago that what they created would be considered vintage now, here’s a beautiful idea from Virginia Sweet Pea that you’ll have to make a trip to your laundry room for!
Check out their tutorial to see how these sparkling clothespin snowflake ornaments were made.
19. Vintage Christmas Ornaments – Glam Pinecones
Did we actually really pique your attention when we started talking about the idea of crafting with nature but neither the acorns nor the branch slices quite have you convinced? Then perhaps you’d prefer to gather some pinecones in your backyard instead and give these beautifully simple ornaments from Make It, Love It a try!
They show you how to attach a hanging loop at the top and affix a lovely ribbon tied in a bow to make something that is, once again, in an authentic vintage style.
20. Vintage Christmas Ornaments – Use Spindles
What’s even better than making something of your own new creation to look vintage, you ask? Well, we’d say it’s even better to find vintage things and give them a holiday makeover!
We’re completely obsessed, for example, with the way Lolly Jane thrifted some genuine old fashioned spindles like the kind wool workers would have used in decades past and then gave them a coat of paint to suit their holiday scheme and hung them up in bundles to complement a chalkboard holiday greeting.
21. Twiggy Snowflake – Vintage Christmas Ornament
Perhaps we’ve still got you thinking about just how much you’ve always loved making snowflake-shaped pieces in the past because you’ve always just loved their shape and intricacies, but you’re still searching for a project along those lines that looks just as vintage as you were picturing in your head?
In that case, we have a feeling you might get a kick out of the way U Create created this wonderfully vintage-looking snowflake out of simple twigs! The glitter layer they added for impact might just be our favorite part, though.
22. Vintage Salt Shaker Christmas Ornaments
Have we actually got you feeling totally enamoured with the idea of making some kind of lovely holiday decor out of vintage things, rather than making new things that look vintage, but you haven’t been able to find spindles like we suggested before?
In that case, we think perhaps you’ll have some better luck with these beautiful upcycled vintage salt shaker ornaments that are made to look as though they’re filled with snow! Get the full details for making some of your own on Duct Tape & Denim.
23. Vintage Christmas Ornament Wreath
Now that we’ve started talking about using actual vintage things in your holiday crafting endeavors, have we actually got you feeling very enthusiastic indeed about the concept of thrifting vintage holiday pieces and putting those to good use?
In that case, we’d be willing to bet that you’ll adore the way Inspired By Charm gathered as many genuine vintage ornaments and Christmas baubles they could find and made them into this stunning, brightly colored wreath!
24. Looped Paper Snowflakes – Vintage Christmas Ornaments
Did we catch your attention with the idea of making ornaments from sheet music earlier because you just love working with paper, but you’ve actually always been more of a book worm than anything else?
Well, if you’ve ever come across vintage books before that were too damaged to read or missing pages, then here’s a beautiful way to repurpose them! Tifani Lyn shows you how these intricate-looking but surprisingly easy looped paper snowflakes were made from old book pages. You could also use strips from old newspapers if you prefer!
25. Vintage Christmas Decorations – Paper Acorns
Perhaps we’ve still got you thinking about how much you like the idea of pinecone ornaments but you’ve actually already got several of them hanging on your tree, so you’re looking for a slight variation on the idea, just to keep things interesting?
Well, if you do adore paper crafts like we mentioned previously then we’re pretty sure you’re going to love the way DIY Inspired made these lovely little pinecone shaped ornaments from layered and fan-folded paper in plaid and lace printed patterns that still lend that vintage look you’ve been aiming for from the start.
Why Choose DIY Christmas Ornaments
When it comes to deciding whether to buy the Christmas decorations or to make them yourself, it all comes down to what you personally want.
For example, if you’re a creative person and would love to make your own decorations, but lack inspiration or don’t know where to start from, having a look at the list of 25 different Christmas decoration ideas should be more than enough.
In any case, it will all boil down to your creativity anyway so there’s no real harm in trying out something new.
If you happen to have kids then they can also join the effort and together with their friends can try making some of these vintage ornaments.
What we already listed above are just a few reasons why going with Christmas decorations might turn out better than them from stores because let’s face it, there are times when you just can’t find what you’re looking for.
Vintage Ornaments vs. Classic Ornaments
Christmas decorations have had a long-lasting tradition enriching our homes and enhancing the magical feel of the holiday, and as far as whether to go vintage or modern is concerned, it’s just your personal choice.
What we’re trying to say here is that you can go with vintage decorations but still hang some modern-day ornaments on the tree, just like you could instead go the opposite way and not use any of those older Christmas ornaments at all.
However, if you do happen to want something truly different instead of having everything look the same as everyone else’s, then setting up a little corner for vintage Christmas decorations might be the way to go.
The last thing to mention would be that even though going all-vintage isn’t necessary because there are so many modern-day options available, experimenting with both styles might also help spice things up a bit too.
The thing to keep in mind though is that if you go for those from stores then there might be some restrictions depending on what company made them, or simply that they could be more expensive than regular ones.
In any case, both types will work just fine and no one will really care either way.
Best Vintage Christmas Ornaments: Conclusion
We’ve now reached the end of our article, and we hope that you managed to find at least 2 or 3 vintage Christmas decorations that you liked and would like to use in your own house.
Remember that this article is meant to be a source of inspiration and nothing else, so if your entries don’t end up looking like the ones in our pictures, there’s no need to worry, it’s all about trying and experimenting anyway.
All in all, remember that Christmas is a holiday that’s about coming together as a family and enjoying the time spent with them instead of worrying too much about everything else.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed this article and managed to find some inspiration out of it, or at least got confirmation that you’re not really missing anything by going vintage with your Christmas ornaments.
It’s now time for us to say goodbye but not before reminding you to please share this article on social networks if you found it interesting and don’t hesitate to leave a comment below because we always reply!