Skip to main content

4 charming ideas for vintage Christmas decor that will make you nostalgic

Christmas is an age-old holiday with plenty of unique traditions and gorgeous decorations. If you’re a vintage enthusiast, this is one of the best holidays to explore timeless decor pieces that honor the season and reflect past customs.

We’ve gathered four amazing vintage Christmas decor ideas to help you pull off a classic Christmas design. From DIY crafts to traditional Christmas decorations, we’ve found some of the best ways to implement a bit of antiquity into your holiday decor.

christmas nutcracker sitting on table with lights in the background

Nutcracker display

There is nothing more timeless and classic than the traditional nutcracker. Aside from the ballet performance, nutcrackers are a Christmas symbol of good luck who bring joy and wonder to your home during the holiday season. Classic nutcrackers feel authentic with their wooden material and often vintage paint patterns. To take advantage of this ageless Christmas decoration, we recommend creating a nutcracking station fit for the holiday:

  • Purchase one or more nutcrackers in whatever style or fashion you prefer.
  • Place them on a table adorned with Christmas elements like evergreen garland, pine cones, poinsettias, or Christmas-themed dishes.
  • Have a bowl of nuts close by and an additional dish to drop shells.

This station can be a fun place to enjoy your nutcrackers and have a traditional snack during the days leading up to Christmas.

DIY paper Christmas trees

Another vintage decor idea you can use this holiday season is DIY paper Christmas trees. Paper trees are a fun craft for people of all ages and add an element of sophistication to your design. Old or torn books are perfect for this craft. You can purchase some from a local thrift store, or if you’re averse to tearing book pages, download some printables online!

A simple way to make a paper tree is to take one piece of paper and wrap it into a cone. Then, simply tape the cone shape together and adhere a paper star on top. You can choose to paint Christmas bubs on the page or leave it blank for a classic and neutral look.

If you’re looking for something a bit more complex, you can cut your paper into squares.

  • Fold each square page into a triangle and tape, glue, or staple it in place.
  • Then, begin layering your folded triangles until you can create a cone-like tree shape. You may need to use quite a few papers depending on how big you want your DIY tree to be.
  • When you’re finished, connect the end pieces for a paper Christmas tree.
Christmas cards on display with holiday decor

Hand-painted signs

Hand-painted signs are another stunning vintage Christmas decor idea you can take advantage of this year. Purchase a wooden sign plaque from your local craft store and paint it white or red to match a classic Christmas color palette. Use stencils or freehand paint phrases like “Merry Christmas,” “Tis’ the season,” or any other holiday phrase you prefer to create the perfect Christmas sign.

You can also build your own sign with yardsticks. Cut them to size or glue them all together to create the shape you want. Attach a string or metal clip to the back if you’re going to hang your painted sign on the wall. Or, stand it up on a table or fireplace mantel.

Distressing paint and scrubs can also help make these signs appear more vintage and aged, creating the perfect rustic look for any classic Christmas setup.

Christmas card display

If you want to bring back an age-old tradition, a Christmas card display is the perfect idea. If your family and friends send you Christmas cards in the mail, use them as part of your decor. Purchase a metal Christmas cardholder in the shape of a tree or wreath to display your cards. Or, as a more cost-effective solution, simply display your cards on the table or mantel to add some additional Christmas decor.

Another traditional way to display Christmas cards is to place them on the tree. Nestle them between the branches and use them as ornamental decor for your tree. There are several ways to display Christmas cards, but the end result is always a stunning vintage look perfect for any home, no matter how you do it.

If you love traditional and vintage Christmas decor, these are a few of our favorite ideas. Take advantage of DIYing your Christmas decorations, whether that be a hand-painted sign or a paper tree. These crafts are fun for the family and have a vintage homey feeling to them once they’re finished and set up in your home. Also, hone in on tradition and utilize a nutcracker or card display in your design. Christmas is a fantastic time of year to celebrate the past with decor that feels cozy and sentimental.

Editors' Recommendations

Amelia Wilson
Amelia Wilson (pen name Amelia J. Wilson) is a content writer in Greenwood, IN. She enjoys topics on productivity…
Unique housewarming gift ideas that you’ll want to keep for yourself
You'll love these housewarming gifts for the new homeowner in your life
Housewarming image

Typical housewarming gift ideas range the gamut from kitchen utensils to bath towels and cozy blankets — and while those are all great ideas for a new home, you may want to consider giving something a bit more surprising and unique. If you’re so over giving pots and pans as housewarming gifts, we have some awesome alternative ideas for you. Here are a few unique housewarming gift ideas that you may want to keep for yourself. 

Remote-controlled essential oil diffuser
For the zen new homeowner in your life, why not buy them a high-tech essential oil diffuser? These are ideal for enhancing the scent of any room in the house without the mess of a candle or incense. Plus, there are different kinds of diffusers to choose from. You can go with a small, simple one or one with lights, remote control features, and a speaker all in one. This is such a cool gift that you’ll likely be itching to buy one of your own.
Digital photo frame
A digital photo frame can be a nice addition to a new homeowner’s kitchen ledge, living room coffee table, or entryway end table. With this piece of tech, they can program multiple photos on the frame and display them as a slideshow. As far as offbeat gifts go, it’s a pretty simple one that any homeowner could use and enjoy for years to come.

Read more
French country decor that will wow any room
French country is making a comeback. Here's how to make it work for you
Interior country-style kitchen

French country design is one of those classic styles that never goes out of trend. It has so much history and stories behind it, and it stays in favor because it's stylish, comfortable, and also uber luxurious. There's a reason we see French country design in so many high-end hotels and restaurants all over the world! There are so many ways to bring French country decor into 2023 without it feeling too "shabby chic," which has fallen out of favor in recent years. Here's how you can make this style work for you.

Muted tones
French country uses gorgeous fabrics with provincial designs, and those can be achieved in furniture fabrics, curtains, and even on the walls. Muted tones like beige, gray, blue, and sage green can be added to wallpaper, pillows, and when selecting chair fabric. When thinking about the walls, choose softer tones in ivory, beige, or pale yellow to complement the muted tones in the rest of the space. Another option for wallpaper or pillows is toile — a staple in French country design.
Distressed, painted furnishings
Another trademark of the French country style comes with distressing. You can accomplish this with a large distressed couch bought at a vintage store or one made to look vintage (which is a more cost-effective option). Larger pieces of furniture offer a dramatic effect in a living room or kitchen. We love this ivory nailhead chesterfield design from Overstock. If you're not entirely sold on a large piece to invest in, consider decor like lamps, trays, or a small table. Then, once you commit, you can add larger pieces to the room.
Wrought iron
Wrought iron is another trademark of French decor, and there are plenty of options to introduce them into a room. You can find kitchen chairs, bar stools, cabinets, coffee tables, and headboards. You can keep the color in its natural state or paint it with gold or darker colors. In traditional French country, the wrought iron would be curved or designed in an interesting way rather than straight lines more common in industrial design. An ideal use of wrought iron would be with kitchen chairs, where a layer of muted, soft fabric can be added for dramatic effect. You can complement this with soft wood cabinets, wood beams, and muted granite countertops in light ivory.

Read more
Mudroom ideas: 3 things not to forget when making this room a convenient workspace
Consider these ideas for a makeover to your mudroom/laundry room
Laundry room with multifunctional storage unit

We spend more time than we'd like to admit in our laundry room or mudroom. When we get through our pile of dirty clothes, we look, and there's another pile waiting in the wings. Regardless of room size, there are three things every mudroom should have: a place to fold clothes, a place to dry clothes, and ample storage. If you have a small mudroom or laundry closet, there are things you can do to achieve each of these; all you need is a little imagination to make the most out of the space you do have.
Folding space

Having a dedicated spot to fold clothes when they come out of the laundry isn't just a nice-to-have thing, it's a lifesaver if you're doing laundry for an entire family and need to separate clothes into piles by person. If you don't have the space for a countertop or standing table, check out this collapsible folding table that you can put in place when you need to fold and then collapse it back down against the wall when you're done. There are a lot of options for sizes, so if this one is too long, there are options for shorter ones available.
Drying space

Read more