5 Ways to Refresh Vintage Holiday Decor

Vintage toy truck with a tiny Christmas tree and gifts

Vintage holiday decor is totally on trend this year, even inspiring many department stores and home brands alike to recreate retro-inspired items to be purchased new.

And while buying it new is fun, hunting for truly vintage pieces or using vintage pieces you already have to make your home as festive for the holidays as possible is even better.

Whether you acquired these pieces as heirlooms from family members or bought them at antique stores, vintage shows, garage sales, online, or at flea markets, they certainly have a sense of flair and charm to them.

Something that gives vintage holiday decor pieces even more character is when you refresh the items and put your own twist on them. Here are some ideas on how to do just that and to make your holiday home look more special than ever this season.

Make a Holiday Wreath

A wreath made from red Christmas ornaments

A quick search on sites like eBay or Etsy will yield a wide lot of vintage holiday ornaments in bright and shiny colors, differed shapes and sizes, and along many different themes.

These can be snatched up for low prices, making them the perfect piece of vintage holiday decor to buy to use in a craft. Consider using these baubles to create a festive wreath.

To complete this craft, you’ll need the ornaments, an 18-inch straw wreath form (or similar size), tinsel garland, pins, wire, and wire cutter. Start by using the wire to create loops for hanging the wreath. Then, wrap the wreath form with tinsel so that it is completely covered. Use the pins to secure the garland to the form.

Next, use the pins to secure the ornaments to the wreath on top of the tinsel, positioning the ornaments however they fit best. Start at the inside of the wreath so that the pinned ornaments sit on the table and work outward, completely filling the form with these baubles.

Once you’re done, your wreath will be ready for hanging with the loops you created, or you may want to hang it with festive ribbon.

Add Florals and Greenery

If you have vintage pieces that aren’t necessarily holiday themedsuch as vases or servewareit’s simple to refresh these pieces and simultaneously turn them into holiday decor with florals.

Whether they’re real or faux, simply fill these orbs with items like pine cones, moss, berries, evergreen clippings, holly, and succulents. These work well as centerpieces or for decorating a mantel. They also make unique hostess gifts!

Give It a Cleaning

If you have vintage holiday decor pieces that are looking a bit drab, they may just need a simple cleaning to look like new! Especially with brass figurines, it’s not uncommon for years of use to show their wear on that reindeer figurine or candlestick holder.

Clean these items by rinsing them thoroughly with warm water. If that’s not enough to get the job done, spread a thin layer of ketchup onto the item and let it sit for approximately an hour. Rinse the ketchup with hot, sudsy water and that should do the trick.

Make Your Decorations Sparkle

Gold glitter star and ornaments on top of a white Christmas tree

If your vintage pieces are looking a bit boring for your tastes, you can easily add some glimmer to them to make them more your style. Consider adding a coat of spray paint to these retro pieces or manually painting a layer of glitter onto certain parts of the pieces to make them look more fancy.

If you have any vintage bottle brush trees, consider dipping them in glitter on the top for a unique and festive look without covering the entirety of the piece.

Incorporate Them Differently

Many of us are guilty of styling our holiday decor pieces the same way year after year. For many, this is true with vintage holiday pieces as well. One way to refresh these pieces without even having to alter them is to just use them differently in your home!

Instead of hanging vintage ornaments on your tree, consider placing them in a hurricane vase with lights this year. Similarly, try pairing vintage figurines or accents with vintage books on a shelf or bookcase for a dynamic and varied look rather than placing accent items on their own.

Storing Your Vintage Decor Pieces

While these are all fun ways to refresh the look and feel of these vintage holiday decor items, it’s also important to store them correctly at the end of the season to ensure that you can continue to enjoy these pieces for years to come!

To do so, wrap big items in newspaper to prevent breaking, storing these items in labeled boxes or bins that close completely to keep them clean.

For vintage tree ornaments, use egg cartons to hold ornaments in individual spots, stacking them in a big box and closing it up completely when they’re away for the season. Ensure that you place all items in a dry area of your home to prevent moisture from entering your storage solutions.

Finally, always label your boxes and bins clearly so you know exactly what you’re pulling out of them once the next holiday season rolls around.