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An Old-Fashioned Christmas: Rustic and Vintage Christmas Décor

Celebrate with some nostalgic cheer this year

Published on: October 25, 2021


When you finally get home after rushing from place to place during the holiday season, you want your nest to be a peaceful, cozy haven. And what could be more restful than an old-fashioned Christmas? In days past, people decorated their homes with natural materials and simple designs. Slow down this season and deck the halls with these 12 rustic and vintage décor ideas.

A special Christmas star

This huge star will light up your home inside or out. Crafted from five yardsticks glued together into a star shape, it is both rustic and inexpensive! If you want it to hang outside, paint the wood with outdoor paint before adding the lights. For inside décor, you could paint, stain or even just leave the yardsticks unadorned. This is a great solution for decorating a large space without spending much. This thrifty idea is from the Little Bit Funky blog.


Rustic Christmas star decoration 

Cozy Christmas jar light

This lovely candle holder comes from the My Doyle Life blog. She placed fresh cranberries and some greenery in the bottom of a Mason jar, then filled it with water. A lit tea light candle looks beautiful floating on top. You could go in so many different directions with this design! For example, use clear flower vases instead of Mason jars for a more elegant look. Or, instead of cranberries, you could float slices of orange or lemon (cut cross-section slices through the whole fruit). Any way you create this floating candle, it will add a festive glow to your table. 


Rustic Christmas jar light

Homemade Christmas ornaments

Lindy at the Cottage Hill blog created these vintage ornaments using recycled CDs and old Christmas cards. These were meant to hang on the tree, but we think they would make a beautiful garland or even a festive table runner. If you don’t have a stash of Christmas cards, no problem! Cruise through the scrapbook section at your local craft store. There are plenty of vintage Christmas designs in scrapbook paper. After spray painting the non-printed side of the CDs in white, she simply cut the paper images to fit the CDs and then glued them on with white glue. A ribbon hanger was added with hot glue and the edge of the CD was embellished with fake snow. If you don’t want to use fake snow, glitter glue or a pretty cord will do. Hang your embellished CDs on a length of twine for a garland, or glue them flat to a wide ribbon and place down the center of your holiday table for a unique table runner.


Homemade Christmas ornaments

Holiday wreaths

Adrienne at Our Unexpected Journey blog made this natural yet elegant door décor. She used a large wooden letter purchased at a craft store as a base. This monogram makes a statement when embellished with holly berries and hung on the door with a burlap ribbon. You could cover your letter in red holly berries like Adrienne did, or use found greenery from your neighborhood.


Holiday front door wreaths

A festive banner

Create a banner in burlap with this easy tutorial from the Dukes and Duchesses blog. Randi cut burlap into triangles and sprayed each with a light layer of matte white spray paint. She then used vinyl stencils, Mod Podge and glitter for the letters. Each triangle hangs from twine with wooden clothespins, giving this banner a vintage touch. Create your own banner with your favorite Christmas quote in glitter to match your décor.



A shiny star

We love these faux galvanized stars from the Focal Point Styling blog. These could be hung around the room individually, strung onto wire or twine for a banner, or used as tree ornaments. Lynda used silver stars she bought at a party supply store as the base for this project, but you could use cardboard stars painted in silver spray paint as well. Either way, lightly sand the silver stars with fine-grit sandpaper to rough them up, then lightly mist with a bronze spray paint for an aged look. Lynda decorated hers with raised, metallic stickers and twine, but these would look rustically beautiful with or without the extra embellishments. Check out the blog post for a detailed tutorial.


Make your own Christmas star 

Christmas tree pillows

This burlap Christmas tree pillow will add a vintage touch to your holiday display. Use a sewing machine to make the easy “envelope” pillowcase from burlap, and then sew the felt trees on by hand. Felt is easy to work with because it doesn’t fray or require hemming. You could use different colors of felt and the silhouette of your choice. Try stars in yellow, a bell shape in red or a green wreath. Make a few pillows in various sizes and group them together on a couch or bench. The tutorial at the All in a Day blog includes a link to instructions for sewing the pillow case.



Christmas tree decorations

This cute snowman family was made from recycled wood. Tasha took wood pieces in three different sizes and painted each white. Scraps of Christmas fabric became hats and scarves and the features were painted on. Make this project uniquely yours by using what you have at home to make this easy outdoor décor. Try buttons for eyes or strips of felt for scarves. Fashion the hats from fabric in a snowflake pattern or a solid color. Check out Tasha’s easy-to-follow tutorial at the Lovely Little Snippets blog.


Christmas decorations homemade 

Christmas vases

Here’s another great idea from the Focal Point Styling blog. Recycle wine bottles to make these unique vases. Wrap clean, empty bottles in twine, securing the twine with dots of glue from a hot glue gun. Oversized jingle bells give these vases a festive touch. Group two or three together for a natural centerpiece or table display. Leave the bottles empty or add artificial branches with berries for color.  


 Handmade holiday decoration ideas

A cheerful basket 

This festive creation is simply a few birch logs and found greenery gathered in a round basket. White lights make it glow, and the chalkboard tag features a cheery message. You don’t have to use birch logs to create this natural décor. Use a basket you have and add branches that you find outside; ones with moss or lichen add texture and interest. You can buy strings of LED Christmas lights that use batteries and just tuck the battery pack in underneath the branches. Add the finishing touch by using a chalkboard tag as Kate at Chic on a Shoestring did, or simply tie a bow around the basket.


 Christmas baskets

Christmas tree cones

These fabric-covered cones are a thrifty DIY Christmas decoration. The cones are crafted from poster board, and then covered in fabric and trim. Make a few cones in varying heights and cover them with vintage Christmas print fabric. Scrapbook paper in an old-fashioned Christmas design or pattern would work for covering these cone-shaped trees as well. This post at the Creativity Exchange blog gives detailed instructions and has great, inspiring pictures.


Handmade Christmas tree cones 

Christmas stocking hooks

This stocking holder created from scrap wood spotlights the genius of Becky of the Beyond the Picket Fence blog. Many of us don’t have a fireplace, or if we do, the mantel is covered with other Christmas décor. This is the perfect solution! She used scrap wood, one piece per family member, and screwed them into a longer wood piece to hold them together. She then stained and decorated the wood. Hooks provide a place for hanging the stockings, and the whole piece hangs on the wall via heavy-duty D Rings.


Christmas stocking hooks

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in November 2013, and updated in October 2021.

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