Upcycling Ideas for Christmas Decor

Upcycling Ideas for Christmas Decor

It’s definitely that time of year again: the stores are filling up with holiday trimmings and Christmas songs are playing everywhere. And while there’s no shortage of Christmas decor to choose from at the big box stores, making your own decor is always in style. Especially if you’re thrifty like me and prefer upcycling or repurposing something from a thrift store or that you already have. Here are some delightfully festive upcycled Christmas decor ideas to spark your creativity.

Christmas Decor with Ornament Boxes

Vintage ornament boxes as thrifty Christmas decor

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Once your vintage ornaments are hung on the tree, the empty boxes might be festive enough to use as Christmas decor, as well. Stacked like a Christmas tree so you can appreciate the graphics printed on the sides, it’s a fun and unexpected way to decorate for the holidays.

DIY Candy Canes for the Porch

diy candy cane decorations

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Perfect for holiday porch decor, these oversized DIY candy canes started as a thrift store find. Or perhaps you or a loved one used one of these for a bit and now no longer need it. Either way, with this “sweet” makeover, you’ll be decorating your porch in no time.

Cola Crate Ornament Display

Wooden bottle crate as a wooden ornament stand

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

A vintage soda crate with large enough openings is the perfect thing for displaying some of your most prized ornaments. And here’s a bonus- you can use the crate to store the ornaments throughout the rest of the year, too!

Decorative Cooler

Faking a Skotch Kooler for plaid Christmas Decor

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

If you remember the iconic Skotch Kooler from a few decades ago, then you might understand the inspiration behind this upcycle. A plain red cooler from the thrift store got a festive plaid makeover (similar to Skotch) to incorporate with other Christmas plaid elements for a fun, rustic display.

Wine Rack Christmas Tree

Boho Christmas tree from a bamboo wine rack

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Not all wine racks are triangle-shaped. But if you thrift one that is, well…it’s bound to become a funky little Christmas tree, right? Not only is it an easy makeover, but it’s also a great way to display some of your favorite or most unique ornaments, too.

Vintage Toy Trucks as Christmas Decor

christmas red truck

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

An old toy truck from your childhood (or even a newer one) is such a great piece of potential Christmas decor! You can outfit it with mini wreaths or little LED light strands. Or in this case, fill up the bed with fresh-cut (bottlebrush) trees. No matter how you decorate it, your little truck was meant to be used at Christmastime.

Patchwork Plaid Wreath

Plaid Christmas wreath from recycled flannel shirts

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

One of the coziest wreaths you can make for the winter holidays is one that involves plaid flannel shirts like this. The red and green make it Christmas-y, but you could just as easily focus on blue, white, and green for a winter version, as well.

Charlie Brown Tree

Upcycled version of a Charlie Brown Christmas tree

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

The Charlie Brown Christmas tree is iconic, isn’t it? And this version is not only easy to make, but started as a most unexpected thing: A banana holder from the thrift store! Such a great way to upcycle one of those things and a conversation piece in your holiday decor, for sure.

Christmas Decor with Old Postcards

Displaying vintage Christmas postcards in a rotating photo frame

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Victorian-era Christmas postcards are like little pieces of art with their delightful graphics and festive greetings. Which means they’re perfect as Christmas decor, either framed like this or displayed in other ways. Plus, they’re small and flat which makes them incredibly easy to store throughout the rest of the year.

Christmas Cloche

Winter Christmas scene under a cheese dome

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Have an old cheese board and dome tucked in the back of your cupboard? Or perhaps you spotted one at the thrift store the other day. Either way, they are the perfect thing for upcycling into Christmas or winter scenes, like this little ice skating pond.

Vintage Sled Decor

Wooden sled decor with sweater mittens

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

An old sled isn’t the preferred way to glide down a snowy hill anymore. But it sure is cute when propped up on your front porch during the holiday season! You can decorate it with all sorts of things: a wreath, a pair of skates, or even mittens like these (which were made from a thrift store sweater!).

Unusual Ornament Displays

displaying ornaments on unusual items

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Pretty bottles and brass candlesticks- old or new- aren’t normally considered something to use as Christmas decor. But they’re the perfect base to display a few of your favorite (or perhaps most delicate) ornaments. Imagine a Christmas mantel filled with these ornament-topped pieces…wouldn’t that be absolutely stunning?

Tabletop Trees

chamberstick as a christmas candy dish

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Chambersticks- those candlesticks you can carry like Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol”- aren’t exactly trendy home decor these days. But they are absolutely perfect for upcycling into a base for a tabletop Christmas tree…which you can then fill with candy like these.

Playful Holiday Wreath

Retro Christmas wreath from a Christmas cookie tray

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

This Christmas wreath has a retro feel, thanks to the vintage decorations and old fashioned Santa graphic in the center. But the best part is that it was made by upcycling a plastic tray from the thrift store.

Christmas Decor with Wooden Tennis Rackets

Christmas cross stitch on the heads of vintage tennis rackets

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Traditional cross-stitch is intimidating (and hard on the eyes). But oversized cross stitch with chunky yarn on a tennis racket head? Quick, easy, and satisfying for a cross-stitch newbie. Not only is it a quirky way to repurpose that old racket that you no longer use, but cross-stitch is an ideal “indoor” craft project when it’s cold and blustery outside.

Waterless Snow Globes

DIY waterless snow globe in a vintage glass jar

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Waterless snow globes are the easiest snow globes to make, and they really are just as cute! And while you can use new jars and decorations from the craft store, I’m partial to old jars and vintage decorative bits like theseBut even a plain spaghetti sauce jar from your recycle bin would be perfect for this project, too. Talk about keeping it thrifty.

Upcycling Ideas for Christmas Decor

upcycle ideas for christmas decor

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Are you ready to go thrift shopping yet? Or perhaps a good rummage around in your closet or garage? There are so many adorable and clever ways to repurpose your forgotten “stuff” into Christmas decor. I hope you found inspiration in this collection- Happy Holidays and Happy Crafting!

Craft on!


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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.

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