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DIY Vintage Wreath

DIY Vintage Wreath

Vintage Inspired tinsel wreath with Shiny Brite ornaments against a red background
Produced by Kris Christensen

Day 3: Tinsel Town

Nothing says “vintage holiday” like the glitter of tinsel and the glimmer of Shiny Brite ornaments. Although the origins of silvered glass baubles and tinsel both date back over 100 years, the Shiny Brite brand and the trend of tinsel as an alternative to evergreen branches have their hey-day rooted in the mid century era. This vintage wreath combines the two for a retro-chic decoration that is sure to make your front door merry this Christmas!

The best part about this craft is that it’s so easy to customize for your own decor! Choose your own color palette and feature baubles in any theme for a finished product that fits your unique holiday style. Want to make your own? Here’s how!

How to Make Your Own Vintage-Inspired Wreath

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What You’ll Need:

  • Wreath form. Make sure to measure the space where you intend to hang the wreath before purchasing the foundation for your project. You’ll want to make sure that the size of your wreath is a good fit for it’s intended display spot. I chose a wire form, similar to this one. You can also find tinsel wreath forms with more naturally-shaped branches like these and skip ahead a few steps in the process.
  • Tinsel Garland. Vintage tinsel was made with foil, unlike today’s PVC or mylar versions, and develops a gorgeous smoky golden patina over time. This version by Smile Mercantile is the inspiration for the color of my wreath, and I incorporated this fine tinsel into it to add some variety to the wreath’s texture. However, I recommend starting with around 50-75 ft of the thickest and fluffiest tinsel you can find. The density of “needles” on your tinsel and size of your wreath form will also factor.
  • Shiny Brite Ornaments. Thankfully, these old fashioned ornaments are still produced today! I used this garland, these reflector ball ornaments, these Santa and Snowmen figures, and the centerpiece is this Santa Claus reflector ornament. You can find these at The Jolly Christmas Shop.
  • Optional: Spray paint. I wanted that smokey golden patina found on vintage tinsel to be recreated on the inexpensive tinsel I purchased. To do this, I purchased Rust-Oleum’s Universal spray paint in Flat Antique Nickel and Champaign Mist.
  • Hot Glue Gun. To secure ornaments to the wreath.
Supplies needed to create your own vintage wreath for Christmas
Gather all your supplies together before you start so you have everything ready for when you need it. These Shiny Brite ornaments from The Jolly Christmas Shop make the perfect accessories for a vintage-inspired wreath.

What You’ll Do:

Tinsel Wreath Form
Three layers of tinsel around the wreath form give the ornaments enough plush to nestle into.

Step 1: Wrap Your Wreath

If you’ve purchased a wreath form with branches made of tinsel, skip ahead to step 3.

Start by wrapping the tinsel around the frame. You’ll want to keep the tension loose enough that the garland doesn’t loose its fluffiness and securely enough that it doesn’t move around on the frame. I like the look of ornaments nestled in among the tinsel, so I wrapped my tinsel in three layers to achieve a suitable bulk.

Tip: To avoid getting your tinsel in a tangle, cut pieces in 10 foot lengths. You can tie these together from end to end as you go.

Spray paint is an easy way to instantly age your tinsel.

Step 2: Antique The Tinsel

This step is optional, and you can skip it if you like the look of your tinsel as-is. I felt the mirror finish of modern tinsel would look out of place among my vintage Christmas decorations, and I love the patina of the authentic product.

Once I had secured the wrapped garland around my wreath, I took it out to my spray paint station. Here, I misted the whole thing first in Rust-Oleum’s Universal spray paint in Flat Antique Nickel to dull the shininess and give it that vintage smoky color, and then I used Champaign Mist to give it just the right touch of gold.

I recommend wearing a mask while spray painting to avoid inhaling air-born paint particles

vintage wreath decorated for Christmas with Shiny Brite garland
Once you’re pleased with the garland’s placement, secure it with hot glue so the beaded strand doesn’t wiggle out of place.

Step 3: Add the Garlands

A string of glass Shiny Brite baubles is the perfect touch for adding color to the piece. The smaller size of these beads compliments the larger balls I’ll add later.

I also wrapped a smaller, finer tinsel garland around the form at this point. I color-matched the two tinsel garlands well enough that they blend together, but smaller version adds textural variety and extra fluff (always a good thing in my book!)

The proper placement of each ornament can take a while to feel out. I ended up removing the two balls at the bottom between the Santa and snowman figures in order to make space for the ribbon in step 5.

Step 4: Arrange Your Ornaments

For this step, I’m glad I opted for ornaments of different shapes to help me decide where to place each piece. Once I’d positioned the four figural baubles along the circle, I had an easy time deciding where to place the balls. These are secured with hot glue to make sure they don’t fall down.

See Also
Upcycled window frames are perfect for DIY projects.

Tip: Hot glue is a more permanent fixative, so you’ll want to be confident in your arrangement before committing to it. While you’re just trying things out, use double stick tape to temporarily hold a ball in place.

Step 5: Add A Bow

The right ribbon makes the wreath, in my opinion, and this deep green specimen beautifully enhances the other green elements and contrasts with the red hues in the space.

Vintage Inspired tinsel wreath with Shiny Brite ornaments against a red background

Step 6: The Finishing Touch

The final touch is this Santa Claus figure! Hanging down from the center, he closes the negative space in the center of this vintage inspired wreath.

paper chain garland hung across a mantel.
If you signed up for the 7 Days of Christmas Crafts newsletter, this paper chain garland printable will be in your inbox! Printable illustrations by Lauren Rebbeck.

If you didn’t catch yesterday’s post on upcycled wrapping paper ideas, check it out here.

Want a sneak peek at what’s ahead in our 7 Days of Christmas Crafts? Take a look at our checklist below. And if you haven’t already, sign up for our 7 Days of Christmas Crafts newsletters to receive all our printables! And don’t forget to follow our FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest for some fresh flea market inspiration!

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