Upcycling a Cookie Tray into Retro Christmas Decor and DIY Wreath

Upcycling a Cookie Tray into Retro Christmas Decor and DIY Wreath

Funny story- throughout the past year, I found one Christmas platter or cookie tray after another- some vintage-y, some less so. They were cheap and festive, so I bought several with no actual project ideas in mind. That is, until I found this kitschy Santa Claus tray. He had great vintage style, was round, and would make for a perfect Christmas wreath and retro Christmas decor.

Cookie tray or Christmas platter from the thrift store for upcycling into wreath idea

I had a clear vision in mind. I would center the food tray or cookie tray underneath some Christmas garland or a plain green wreath. And when that was done, I’d decorate the wreath with vintage Christmas decorations!!

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Upcycling a Cookie Tray into Retro Christmas Decor

First things first, I used my power drill to create a small hole at the top of the cookie tray or Christmas platter. This would be where I would ultimately add a loop of ribbon for hanging.

Then, using low-grit (rough) sandpaper, I gently sanded the flat rim of the tray.

Drilling a hole in a food tray or Christmas platter to repurpose as retro Christmas decor

Why sand it? To rough up the surface where I would adhere an evergreen wreath, making it a better surface for glue to adhere to.

BUT, finding the perfect faux Christmas wreath proved difficult. I tried 20”, 22”, 24” wreaths and so on- but it was a Goldilocks situation…too big, too small, etc.

FINALLY, I resorted to plain wreath-making garland so that I could size my “just right” wreath.

Covering the rim of a cookie tray with Christmas garland to create a holiday wreath

With wire cutters and my hot glue gun on standby, I created a perfectly (or near perfectly) sized “wreath” that framed the cookie tray. I used basic hot glue to attach the wreath to the tray edge.

Retro Christmas decorations with a food tray or cookie tray from the thrift store

Next, I threaded a loop of ribbon through the hole I had drilled. I wanted to make sure I didn’t cover up that hole once I decorated my retro Christmas wreath!

Wreath hanger with ribbon on a holiday wreath that is made from a cookie tray and Christmas garland

NOW for the fun decorating part. I was sure that I’d find all kinds of classic plastic Christmas “bits” while thrifting, but I came up short.

So, I turned to one of my favorite Instagram sellers, Vintage Junk in My Trunk, and purchased a huge box of vintage Christmas decorations.

Vintage Christmas decorations to use on a Christmas wreath that is made from a cookie tray

First, I “floofed” up my wreath garland, moving the little branches/arms around to create a relatively “flat” surface” for the vintage Christmas decorations.

Then, I arranged several of the retro Christmas decor bits on my DIY Christmas wreath. When I was finally satisfied, I hot glued them in place.

Decorating a Christmas wreath with vintage Christmas decorations on a food tray

Retro Christmas Decor by Upcycling a Food Tray / Cookie Tray into a DIY Wreath

Doesn’t that look fabulous? What a fun DIY Christmas wreath…all by upcycling a cookie tray with vintage Christmas decorations.

Cookie tray or Christmas platter as a holiday wreath and retro Christmas decor

I am absolutely in love with my retro Christmas decor. I’ve made several Christmas wreaths before and am just tickled to add this one to my collection!

Retro Christmas decor by upcycling a cookie tray with vintage Christmas decorations as a holiday wreath

It’s so kitschy that it’s not just a retro Christmas wreath…it’s a Kitschmas Wreath!

And if you enjoyed this upcycling idea for vintage Christmas decorations, then make sure you check out these small tabletop Christmas trees before you go!

Chambersticks that have been upcycled into a tabletop tree and Christmas candy bowl
Craft on and Merry Kitschmas!


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  1. Karen McGuire says

    Omygoodness – I was just looking at the exact. same. tray. that I have and wondering what to do with it. Now I know – how cute is this idea! Thank you very much for the inspiration!

  2. What a great upcycle idea! Love it!

  3. Tonia Fuller says

    Cute, cute idea. I have a few trays. You are an inspiration.

  4. You knocked this one out of the park! I really love that – I see those sort of trays all the time. You have inspired me once again – thanks!

  5. Cute wreath!

  6. this so reminds me of my childhood growing up in the late 60’s early 70’s, i love it thanks for the memories.

  7. Adorable, this turned out perfect!

  8. That’s fantastic! Love it 🙂

  9. Love this vintage Santa wreath!!! I’ve loved vintage all my life. When I was young, everything was about Santa Claus with the big beard and cherry cheeks; just like this tray. I’ll have to try and find some. I love this project. You are soooo talented and I love your blog site. Thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas.

  10. This turned out so cute! Very clever way to repurpose a Christmas tray.

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