Mixing Vintage and New Items for Holiday Decor

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By mixing vintage and new items, you can create holiday décor that is both stylish and personal. Here are some tips you can use.

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If you are new to this blog: Welcome! My name is Anna and I share information on collecting antique/vintage items, refurbishing furniture and making small crafts/projects. The purpose of this blog is to share with you how to use creativity and antiques to make a soulful life. In addition to information here on the blog, you can also follow me on InstagramFacebook or Pinterest.

As someone who loves to collect vintage pieces and antique items, I always enjoy using these items to decorate for the holiday season. However, I also love many of the new holiday items that are being released by retailers!  The purpose of this post is for me to share some tips on how I combine vintage items with new items for holiday decor for a cohesive look.

Mixing Vintage and New Items for Holiday Decor

Mixing Vintage and New Items for the Holiday

Pick a Color Palette

Every year, we always decorate a little differently.  The first step in the process is to select a general color scheme.  I say “general” because there are occasions when I find something that doesn’t conform to the color palette and I will still incorporate it into my decor. Typically, I keep the colors limited to 3-5 options.  Defining your color palette is the easiest way to create a cohesive look when combing old and new decor.  

Then I go through my existing vintage and antique holiday decor and select those items that are consistent with the theme.  This year, we have opted for a neutral holiday theme with accents of gold and silver.  When I buy new pieces of holiday decor during this season, I try to ensure it fits with this color scheme.  

For example, I found these adorable 22 inch cream colored trees for $10 each, from Target, and I decided to incorporate them into my holiday decor this year. 

When you mix vintage and new items in the same color palette, it creates a cohesive look.  

Use Vintage Pieces in New Ways

To give your displays a little more character and patina, put little trees into a vintage containers. Think outside the box here and have some fun!  

Some ideas I used  include, a cast iron urn, a metal pitcher, and a piece of architectural salvage. Using small artificial trees is one of the easiest and best ways to decorate for the holiday season.

Here are some ideas for other vintage pieces you can use to hold an artificial trees:

  • An old tin like a large pretzel container
  • An old wooden ice cream bucket
  • A galvanized tub or bucket
  • Remnants of columns from architectural salvage
  • Trophy cups
  • Ironstone pitchers
  • Baskets
  • Candy jars
  • An old wooden crate

Using artificial trees is a great way to decorate for the holidays because you can set them in a wide variety of vintage containers. They don’t need water and you can use them again for future holidays. Also, they don’t take up much space when it’s time to store them away.

Mix Old and New Ornaments

I also generally keep my holiday ornaments to a consistent color palette.  I found these adorable cardboard houses and decided to add them to the decor for this year.   I have a variety of vintage ornaments that I like to use and these little houses were the perfect compliment.   During the 1950s and 1960s, cardboard houses, similar to these newer ornaments, were popular holiday decor and are sought after by collectors today.    These newer ornaments are much more affordable at $3 each than the authentic vintage homes. 

Mini Cardboard house ornaments

Mixing old and new ornaments is one of my favorite things to do because sometimes the cost of vintage ornaments is so high!  By using a combination of old and new, it ensures you have all the ornaments you need.  By gathering your old and new ornaments within your color palette, the collection will look intentional and cohesive. 

Mini cardboard house ornaments

It’s still early November so we haven’t set up our Christmas tree in the living room yet – but when we do, I will use a combination of vintage ornaments and new ornaments.  Usually our tree is the focal point for our holiday gatherings. 

Use Vintage Mirrors

Vintage mirrors are a great resource for combining older pieces with modern pieces.  You can layer vintage mirrors against a wall and place newer holiday items, like a wreath, in the front. Most recently, I used a vintage mirrors to hold mercury glass candles.  These candles are a great price at $15 each.  The mirror reflects both the mercury glass and the light from the candle to create a lovely effect. 

Using vintage mirrors for holiday decor

The wear, foxing and patina on the glass of vintage mirrors creates a beautiful effect.  The tinsel stars are new ornaments that I recently purchased for $3 each.  

Look for Inspiration

This year, I found the cutest set of colored bottle brush trees.  Remember when I said that I “generally” stay within a color palette?  Well, these little bottle brush trees were too cute to pass up and the price was good so I bought them. They inspired me.

Mini bottle brush trees under cloche

When I purchased them, I wasn’t sure how I was going to use them.    Ultimately, I decided putting them under a glass cloche was an easy way to display them.  Having said that, you could put them in any glass container.  Wouldn’t they look cute in a vintage glass candy jar? They would also look cute piled up in an old ironstone compote.  

If you need some inspiration for your holiday decor, in addition to looking at what is available in stores, it’s always fun to search Pinterest or to scroll through Instagram.  You can search terms such as “vintage Christmas decor”. or “new and old Christmas decor” or even “vintage style holiday decor”. Believe me, there is a lot of inspiration out there!

Use Artificial Stems and an Old Container

Another tip for combining old and new items is to add artificial stems to a vintage vessel.  I used a vintage florist bucket and added these gold and silver stems.  

Mini Cardboard house ornaments

You could just as easily add these stems to a basket, old jar, or cast iron urn. You could also tuck them into any arrangement with real foliage or any natural elements you use in your home – such as a garland or wreath.  

I like to invest in artificial or faux stems because you can use them year after year. 

Decorate Vintage Furniture/ Antique Furniture

Another way to combine old and new is to decorate your existing vintage/antique furniture. We have a step back cupboard, an antique piece, from the mid 1800s and its fun to decorate it for the holidays.  

Mixing Vintage and New Items Holiday

I enjoy using newer items to decorate antique pieces of furniture. Here are some ideas for decorating furniture for the holidays:

  • Add a garland 
  • Add a wreath
  • Add some ornaments
  • Add stockings

A dining table is another piece of furniture that is fun to decorate with modern pieces.  For example, for your holiday table, you could mix vintage brass candlesticks with greenery and natural elements. Other “new and old” combinations include a vintage place setting with new napkin rings.  Vintage glassware with new flatware.  

For your coffee table, you could add a tray or a bowl of vintage mercury glass ornaments.  You could also have a stack of vintage holiday books and pair it with a new mercury glass candle.  The combination of old and new is really endless.  You just have to find what works best in your own home. 

Places to Find Vintage or Antique Holiday Decor

Another question that frequently comes up is – “where do you get your vintage holiday decor?” Although I have been steadily collecting items over the course of many years, here are some places where you can usually find vintage Christmas decor:

  • Thrift stores – if you stop by on a regular basis, you will come across some great vintage finds!
  • An antique store or antique shop, especially if you are collecting specific vintage items.
  • Antique malls, especially where they have multi-dealer spaces.
  • Ebay, especially if you are collecting specific vintage items.
  • Etsy, again great for specific collectibles. 
  • Flea markets.  I like to look for vintage Christmas items in the middle summer. 
  • Yard sales.  This is also a great place to find vintage decor during the summer months.

Finally, I have had friends and relatives give me vintage and antique holiday items because they were downsizing their homes or moving.  

Summary

Thanks for stopping by the blog today. I hope you are able to embrace the season and have fun decorating your home. Mixing vintage and new items for you holiday decor is one of the best ways to personalize your home.

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6 Comments

  1. Wow, Anna!!! Such amazing ideas…I’ve never thought of placing small bottlebrush trees INSIDE something…I love that idea and can totally try that!! I’m super excited for Christmas decorating this year…thanks for all of the fun ideas to try!!

  2. Great and inspiring ideas, thank you for sharing! The color scheme tip is one I’ll try to remember as I shop for new items- otherwise it’s so easy for me to go overboard while shopping for decor, and then struggle to put it all together in a cohesive way. I love all your mixing of white textures!

  3. Dying over the white trees, Anna, gah what a great find! I love all the metallic branches and the little houses you plan to use too. It’s going to be so gorgeous! Can’t wait to see more sweet friend. Big hugs, CoCo

  4. I love the idea of mixing the old with the new! Thanks for sharing such great tips! The white tree in the urn is so beautiful and I might try something like that in my dining room this year! Looking forward to seeing your tree this year!

  5. The little white trees are adorable! I love how you put some trees in ironstone pitchers. I’m looking at a special large ironstone pitcher from a dear friend (you!) right now and imagining a little tree in it! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂 Pinned!

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