Santa Wreath from a Christmas Tray

Santa Wreath from a Christmas Tray

Funny story- throughout the past year, I found one Christmas tray after another. Some were 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, and round…so I wondered if I could upcycle him into a Santa wreath.

christmas trays

I had found all of my Christmas trays at various thrift stores. But I also spotted a very similar one at an antiques shop in Hickory, NC. Clearly, they are quite common!

christmas tray

Anyway, I had a clear vision of a project in my mind. I would center the Christmas tray underneath either some garland or a plain green wreath.

And when that was done, I’d decorate the wreath with vintage Christmas decorations!

This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. All blue, bold, and underlined text is a clickable link, either to a product or to a related post.

Upcycling a Christmas Tray

First things first, I used my power drill to create a small hole at the top of the Christmas tray. This would be where I would ultimately add a loop of ribbon for hanging once it became a Santa wreath.

hole in christmas tray

I figured it would be both easy and smart to do this first, before I decorated it! Then, using low-grit (rough) sandpaper, I gently sanded the flat rim of the tray.

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.

Next, it was time to wreath-ify my tray. 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.

garland to make a santa wreath

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

I used basic hot glue to attach the garland-wreath to the tray edge.

making a santa wreath

Decorating a Santa Wreath with Vintage Plastic Christmas Decorations

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

wreath hanging ribbon

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 plastic Christmas decorations.

vintage plastic christmas decorations

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 wreath. When I was finally satisfied, I hot glued them in place.

decorating a retro christmas wreath

When I was happy with all the retro decorations, it was ready to be hung up for display!

vintage christmas wreath

Santa Wreath from a Christmas Tray

Doesn’t that look fabulous? What a fun retro Christmas wreath- all by upcycling a plastic tray with vintage Christmas decorations.

santa wreath

I am absolutely in love with my Santa wreath! I’ve made several Christmas wreaths before and am just tickled to add this one to my collection. This repurposing project really did work out even better than I could have hoped.

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

And if you enjoyed this upcycling idea for vintage Christmas decorations, then you may also love this Boho Christmas tree I made for my Shiny Brite ornaments!

Boho Christmas tree from a bamboo wine rack

Plus, did you know that my first book, “Crafting with Flannel”, has an entire chapter of Christmas projects? You can purchase it online from Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble, and Walmart.

fabric christmas crackers from crafting with flannel

Craft on and Merry Kitschmas!


Want to be notified when I publish my next upcycling project tutorial?

Please subscribe here.

Join me on Social Media:

please follow sadie seasongoods on facebookplease follow sadie seasongoods on instagramfollow sadie seasongoods on pinterest





PIN ME!christmas tray as a santa wreath


Website | + posts

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.


  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.

  11. So cute! Another thing to add to my “Look for” list! I really enjoyed Christmas crafting for my church’s bazaar–and several people came up to me and told me how much they liked what I’d made!

Have a question or like what you see? Please let me know!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.