Vintage Inspired Christmas Ornaments

vintage_xmas_10This week’s project is all about recycling memories from Christmas past!! So grab the glitter, bottle brush trees, tinsel, ribbon, and miniature trinkets and we’ll show you how it’s done.



The initial idea for this post was inspired by an ornament from my childhood.  It was similar to the beauty pictured above. The year would have been about 1972, and I remember gathering around our tiny kitchen table to make pretty Christmas things from tunafish cans.  Forty plus years later, those tunafish can ornaments still hang on my tree and still serve as a reminder of childhood magic.

vintage_xmas_1Snag your tunafish can and let’s get started!  You can either make yourself a tuna sandwich or open a can for your kitty’s dinner…..and you’re ready!


  • empty tunafish can (make sure there aren’t any rough metal edges that might cut you)
  • Ribbon (approximately 1″ in width)
  • Christmas scrapbook paper
  • cotton balls
  • tinsel
  • tiny plastic figurines and/or bottle brush trees or other Christmas trinkets
  • glue gun and glue sticks

Make sure your tunafish can is clean by washing it in warm soapy water. Tuna fish is not considered an inviting holiday smell!

Next, take your piece of scrapbook paper, place your can on it, trace it with a pencil, and cut it out. You may need to trim it just a tiny (very tiny) bit more so that it will fit inside the can. Secure it inside the can with your glue gun.

Now, you will decorate the outside edge of your ornament. Glittery or felt ribbons are perfect for the vintage look, but you can use whatever you think looks good. Cut it to size and glue it around the outside of the can. We also added some silver tinsel on the edge of the ribbon because vintage is all about the tinsel.

You’re ready to place your Christmas scene inside. You can pick up bottle brush trees at your local craft stores or you may have things in your Christmas stash from years past that might work too. If not, we have you covered. We came across the perfect site for finding tiny vintage Christmas treasures. It’s called Tiny Things Are Cute and you’re sure to find what you need here. You can also do a search on etsy. There are several etsy vendors who have similar things available to purchase.

Before you add your cute tiny figure, you will want to secure a few cotton balls to the bottom to imitate a snow effect. After we added our “snow” we glued down our ballerina, attached a piece of tinsel as a hanger, and placed it on the tree.



Above, I mentioned that vintage is all about the tinsel, but it could also be all about the glitter! We recently visited a local antique store and I was more than thrilled to find these reindeer. I was able to pick up three of them with the idea in mind to lather them in glitter! If you’re brave enough to deal with the mess… can make just about anything vintage by adding some glitter. Embrace the mess and just be prepared to vacuum it up well into the summer months. After all, what better way is there to SHINE!


  • objects of your choice
  • mod podge
  • paint brush
  • lots of glitter

You will want to do this in small sections at a time because the mod podge will dry fast and you want the glitter to stick.

Brush on a liberal amount of mod podge and quickly sprinkle with glitter. We used a spoon and placed a bowl underneath to catch the excess so that we could use it again.

Continue until your whole project is covered. Let it dry and then carefully place it in that perfect spot!

BELL JAR ORNAMENTSvintage_xmas_8You might recognize this ornament as something that has been a popular pin on Pinterest. We LOVED the look of these bell jar ornaments and decided to give them a try ourselves. They turned out just as adorable as we had hoped! You can find the complete instructions here. You won’t want to make just one, so have plenty of supplies on hand and be prepared to have a place for all of them.


A complete supply list and great instructions are posted on the linked site listed above…….so head over there to learn how to make these lovelies! The only thing that we had trouble finding on the supply list were the plastic wine glasses and we finally were able to pick them up in the cake decorating section of Michaels.


vintage_xmas_3These boxes were my favorite to make! I was able to pick up paper mache boxes in the dollar bin at Michaels, so that may or may not have influenced how thrilled I was with them.


  • paper mache boxes with lids
  • ribbon
  • Christmas scrapbook paper
  • mod podge
  • craft snow
  • glue gun and glue sticks
  • vintage embellishments and trinkets for toppers
  • large circle or scalloped circle punch (optional)


vintage_xmas_6Cut your scrapbook paper to fit around the bottom portion of your box. Glue it around with your glue gun.

Decorate the sides of the lid with glittery ribbon or tinsel by gluing it on too.

Now you’re ready for the top…the FUN part! I have a large scalloped circle punch, so I used that to punch a pretty piece of scrapbook paper for the top of the box. You can also cut a circle. Glue it to the top of the lid of your box.

Next, decide what Christmas trinkets you want to use on your box and where to place them. Glue them down with your glue gun.

Finish your box off with a little snow. I put a layer of mod podge and then sprinkled the snow on top of it. Just shake off the excess and you have a pretty vintage box!

vintage_xmas_4For the box pictured above, I decided to add a snowman that I made from paper clay. If you don’t have plastic trinkets, this is a great alternative. You can pick up paper clay at just about any craft store. I molded the clay around small rocks to make this little guy. The clay takes a couple of days to dry, so be prepared for the wait time. Then you can decorate your little snow person up however you want with paint and glitter.

He also makes a great addition to any of the ornaments in this tutorial.

GET BUSY MAKING SOME CHRISTMAS MEMORIES!!! The possibilities with these ideas are never ending and I promise you won’t want to stop with just one.

Don’t forget to let the kiddos join in because these times together are the things that magic Christmas memories are made of! These will be treasured for years to come. I promise! They might be around for another forty years!

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