Vintage Christmas 2018 - Photographic Memories

Vintage Christmas 2018

12.31.2018

Hello, friends! I'm thinking of decorating for Christmas this week and as usual in our house, this creates a domino effect of cleaning and this year, painting too! So we're getting that finished this weekend and then we' go get a tree.


You might remember from last year's post that I have about 5 Christmas tree themes that I rotate through every 5 years. I've made so much of all of the themes from a woven paper tree-skirt for "Paper Christmas" to silk-lined stockings for "Modern Christmas." All of it is fun and special since our children have contributed to the unique decorations each year too.


Five years ago, when our theme was "Modern Christmas," we got a tree with a crooked trunk and it fell over early one morning. Most of our ornaments were broken, as the front fell onto our hardwood floor with a crash that woke us up! I was disappointed then, but I'm looking forward to re-starting a new concept and I'm excited to say that it will be 1940s and 1950s Vintage Christmas! I'll be able to use some items left from "Modern Christmas" as it was sort of "Mid-Century Modern" Inspired but I'm on the hunt for information about how to make it a little more historical and eclectic than the old theme. 

I found this helpful site that gave me direction on what kind of tree might look best for the ornaments and style.

The Old House Guy: Your Ultimate Guide to Old & Historic Homes

Eventually, I hope to add screw-in candle-shaped lights and appropriate beading or garland and extend the items around my house from visits to auctions but this year, I'm starting with creating a collection of vintage ornaments. I found awesome sets on Etsy!

Tree Skirt:


I know what kind of tree-skirt I want. It is made of white cotton batting and has a gold or silver print around it. My grandma had one for years like this.  If only I would have kept that one - how special that would be! But I didn't have one this year. I'm fine with waiting until the right one comes along. For now, I used soft cotton base fabric and layered this textured silver wrap. I just wanted it to be neutral and soft-looking. It certainly isn't correct historically but I know I'll find one. This theme is fun because it will only get more exciting to find new/old items over the years.

Icicles and Ornaments


I found the most wonderful ornament collections on Etsy. I used a few different shops and found icicles as well, which is fitting, historically speaking. My husband never put icicles on a tree before. Our boys thought it was so much fun. I loved how much more movement and light it created on the tree throughout the season. The cats loved catching the icicles on the lower branches and we would find them throughout the house. It was funny!


The ornaments that I found are half Shiny Brite Ornaments and half Santa Land Ornaments. They have a wonderful aged patina and tons of charm!

Special Ornaments Still Fit In!

I'm excited about this special ornament fitting into this new theme. This was an ornament that I bought for my Grandma a few years ago to remind her of the years when they had real candles on their tree and kept a bucket of water nearby. When she passed away, I received it back and now I like to remember her when I see it.

Actual Vintage Manger Set!


This was the inspiration for my 1940s/1950s theme idea. My Great Aunt Clementine hand-painted these pre-made forms of clay in the 1950s. I have always loved and appreciated its history and familiarity in my own life, seeing it year after year as a child and now getting to use it with my own family. I'm zooming in close to an angel that hangs on a nail of the barn so you can see her hand-painting. I know I met Clemmie as a baby but wish we could know each other now - I think we would be fast friends! :)

I just noticed that my kitty, Benny, is sneaking up to photo-bomb this shot! Can you spot him? He was so curious on this day that I was moving my lights all around in the house! 

Our old handmade stockings work pretty well with the new theme!

2018 Kid-Made Ornaments

Kid-Made Wonderful:


This is the super special stuff! Each of the boys made an ornament at school. J made the silhouette ornament that is wooden. It is simple and I love the materials and what it captures about him. C made the popsicle stick tree with sequins. I feel the same about this. At home, we typically made ornaments too - for grandparent gifts. This year, I let the boys explore Pinterest and each picked out something that interested them. J chose the popsicle stick sled and C chose a clear glass ball that you pour acrylic paint into and let it swirl together. They did them quite independently and were very proud of what they chose and created. All of the ornaments are pretty simple and went so well with the tree theme. I like to pack them away and get these out every four years too. I won't always do this. Once we have enough for a tree of just hand-made ornaments, we'll have a second tree of just those things. That will be a few more years. For now, I get out the bin and nearly cry at how much they've grown in four years since we last saw the ornaments! I think I treasure them even more when I only see them every four years.

Outdoor Decorating:


I'm not much for outdoor decorating for the holidays. I hand-made this wreath from extra greens from where we purchased our tree. We put a few lights out on the bushes at the request of our youngest son's need for some magic. :)


If you love outdoor holiday decorating and you're seeking a vintage look, a company called U-Bild has a website with items they initially designed in the 1940s and they still sell that patterns and designs today. I found this information through this site: Retro RenovationU-Bild also has a site.

Getting Connected:


My business is about providing art opportunities in the community as well as portraiture photography work. If you would like to follow along, you can check out my last blog article or join my newsletter!

Join the Newsletter!

Powered by SmugMug Log In