Introduction: Rediscovering the Magic of Retro Christmas Tree Decoration

In the symphony of holiday decor, where trends come and go, there exists a timeless and nostalgic melody—the enchanting allure of retro Christmas decorations. Transporting us back to the mid-century charm of the ’50s and ’60s, these vintage-inspired ornaments and trinkets whisper tales of Christmases past, inviting us to rediscover the magic of a bygone era.

As we embark on this festive journey, we peel back the layers of time to explore the enduring appeal of retro holiday decor. In an age where traditions blend with modern aesthetics, there’s something uniquely captivating about infusing our Christmas trees with the vibrant hues, glimmering tinsel, and whimsical ornaments that defined an era of yuletide celebration.

This exploration is not merely a stroll down memory lane but a celebration—a revival of the magic that made mid-century Christmas decorations iconic. Join us as we delve into the color palettes, trinkets, and DIY delights that defined retro holiday charm, offering a guide to infuse your festive season with the timeless magic of yesteryear. Let’s rediscover the joy, the sparkle, and the unmistakable retro magic that makes every ornament tell a story and every decoration a piece of holiday history.

Tree Trinkets and Toppers

It sounds like you’re interested in tree trinkets and toppers, which are decorative ornaments or embellishments often used to adorn Christmas tree decorations. These items add a personal touch to your holiday decor and come in a wide variety of shapes, styles, and materials. Here are some popular types of tree trinkets and toppers:

  • Ornaments:
    • Traditional Balls: Classic round ornaments in various colors and finishes.
    • Themed Ornaments: Reflecting specific themes, such as animals, sports, or hobbies.
    • Personalized Ornaments: Customized with names, dates, or special messages.
    • Handcrafted Ornaments: Unique, artisan-made decorations.
  • Toppers:
    • Star: A traditional choice for tree toppers, symbolizing the Star of Bethlehem.
    • Angel: An angelic figure often placed at the top of the tree.
    • Bow: Large, decorative bows can serve as elegant tree toppers.
    • Santa Claus: A festive and whimsical choice for a tree topper.
  • DIY and Crafted Items:
    • Handmade Crafts: Personal creations such as paper snowflakes, felt ornaments, or salt dough creations.
    • Family Photos: Small picture frames with family photos can be used as unique ornaments.
  • Lights and Garland:
    • Light Strands: Decorative lights in various colors and styles.
    • Tinsel and Garland: Strands of metallic or decorative material that add sparkle.
  • Nature-inspired Decor:
    • Pinecones and Berries: Natural elements that bring an outdoor feel to your tree.
    • Wooden Ornaments: Rustic, wooden decorations for a cozy look.
  • Themed Collections:
    • Disney Characters: Ornaments featuring beloved Disney characters.
    • Glass or Crystal Ornaments: Elegant and reflective decorations.
  • Miniature Figurines:
    • Mini Santas, Snowmen, or Reindeer: Cute, small figurines to hang on branches.
  • Festive Ribbons:
    • Wired Ribbon: Can be shaped into bows or woven through the branches.

When decorating your Christmas tree, consider a cohesive theme or color scheme to create a harmonious look. Mixing and matching different types of trinkets and toppers can add visual interest and make your tree uniquely yours.

Stringing Along with Christmas Garland

Stringing Christmas garland is a wonderful way to add texture, color, and a festive touch to your Christmas tree and other areas of your home during the holiday season. Here are some tips and ideas for stringing along with Christmas garland:

  • Selecting Garland:
    • Choose garland that complements your overall Christmas decor theme. Options include traditional greenery, tinsel, bead garlands, ribbon garlands, or even homemade garlands.
  • Measuring and Cutting:
    • Measure the length of garland needed for your tree or other areas. It’s better to have a little extra than not enough.
    • Cut the garland into manageable lengths for easier handling.
  • Starting at the Top:
    • Begin stringing the garland from the top of the tree and work your way down. This ensures a more even distribution and a cohesive look.
  • Securing the Ends:
    • Tuck the ends of the garland securely into the branches to prevent them from drooping. You can also use ornament hooks or twist ties to secure them in place.
  • Layering Techniques:
    • If using multiple strands of garland, consider layering them for a lush, dimensional look. Start with one type of garland as the base and add complementary garlands on top.
  • Balancing Decorations:
    • Pay attention to the balance of decorations on your tree. Ensure that ornaments, lights, and garland are distributed evenly for a visually pleasing effect.
  • Mixing Materials:
    • Combine different types of garland to add visual interest. For example, mix traditional greenery garland with metallic or beaded garlands.
  • Adding Lights:
    • If your garland doesn’t have built-in lights, consider weaving string lights through the garland for added sparkle. This creates a warm and inviting glow.
  • Garland Beyond the Tree:
    • Don’t limit garland to just the Christmas tree. Consider using it to decorate stair railings, mantels, doorways, or windows for a cohesive holiday look throughout your home.
  • DIY Garland Ideas:
    • Get creative and make your own garland using materials like popcorn, cranberries, paper, or felt. This adds a personal touch to your holiday decor.
  • Theme-Based Garland:
    • Choose garland that fits a specific theme, such as a winter wonderland, rustic, or vintage theme. This helps tie your holiday decorations together.

Remember to have fun and let your creativity shine when stringing along with Christmas garland. It’s a versatile and festive decoration that can enhance the holiday spirit in any space.

DIY Retro Ornaments

Creating DIY retro ornaments is a fun and nostalgic way to add a personal touch to your Christmas tree. Here are some ideas for crafting your own retro-inspired ornaments:

  • Salt Dough Ornaments:
    • Make a simple salt dough using flour, salt, and water.
    • Roll out the dough and use cookie cutters to create retro-inspired shapes like stars, bells, or vintage ornaments.
    • Once baked and cooled, paint the ornaments in retro colors and add details with acrylic paint.
  • Vintage-Inspired Baubles:
    • Purchase clear glass or plastic ball ornaments.
    • Inside, place small retro items like tinsel, mini bottle brush trees, or even old-fashioned Christmas candies.
    • Secure the ornament top and add a ribbon for hanging.
  • Paper Ornaments:
    • Create accordion-folded paper ornaments in classic retro shapes like bells or globes.
    • Decorate the paper with markers, glitter, or cut-out shapes.
    • Connect multiple folded pieces together to form a 3D ornament.
  • Felt Ornaments:
    • Cut out retro-inspired shapes from colorful felt, such as classic cars, televisions, or mid-century modern furniture.
    • Stitch or glue the pieces together, adding details with embroidery floss or fabric paint.
  • Cassette Tape Ornaments:
    • Find old cassette tapes or buy blank ones for a retro touch.
    • Remove the tape from the cassette and wind it around a clear or colored ornament.
    • Secure the ends and add a ribbon for hanging.
  • Tinsel Wreaths:
    • Shape a small wreath form from wire or pipe cleaners.
    • Wrap metallic tinsel around the form, securing with hot glue.
    • Add a ribbon for hanging and embellish with small retro trinkets.
  • Mason Jar Lid Ornaments:
    • Use mason jar lids as the base for retro-inspired ornaments.
    • Paint the lids in vintage colors and add designs using stencils or freehand.
    • Glue a festive image or retro-themed cutout to the center, and attach a ribbon for hanging.
  • Aluminum Foil Ornaments:
    • Cut out retro shapes from aluminum foil.
    • Emboss the foil with patterns or textures using a blunt tool.
    • Color the ornaments with alcohol inks or permanent markers.
  • Miniature Record Ornaments:
    • Cut small circles from black felt to resemble vinyl records.
    • Use metallic paint or a silver pen to add grooves and details.
    • Attach a small ribbon loop to the top for hanging.
  • Vintage Fabric Ornaments:
    • Use scraps of vintage-inspired fabric to create simple stuffed ornaments.
    • Cut out retro shapes, sew them together (leaving an opening), stuff with fiberfill, and close the seam.
    • Add a loop for hanging.

Feel free to mix and match these ideas, and don’t hesitate to add your own creative flair to make these DIY retro ornaments uniquely yours. These handmade decorations will not only evoke a sense of nostalgia but also showcase your crafting skills and style.

Mid Century Kitsch and Characters

Mid-century kitsch and characters are often associated with the design and cultural elements of the mid-20th century, roughly spanning the 1940s to the 1960s. This period is known for its distinctive style, characterized by bold colors, geometric patterns, and a playful sense of nostalgia. Here are some ideas for incorporating mid-century kitsch and characters into your decor:

  • Retro Color Palette:
    • Embrace the vibrant and bold color palette of the mid-century era. Think aqua, pink, chartreuse, and mustard yellow.
    • Use these colors in your decor, whether it’s furniture, wall paint, or smaller accessories.
  • Atomic Age Patterns:
    • Incorporate atomic and geometric patterns into your decor. Look for wallpaper, upholstery, or textiles with starbursts, boomerangs, or other atomic-inspired shapes.
  • Tiki Culture:
    • Tiki culture gained popularity in the mid-century, influenced by the allure of the South Pacific.
    • Integrate tiki-inspired elements such as bamboo furniture, tiki mugs, and tropical prints.
  • Retro Furniture:
    • Opt for furniture with sleek lines, tapered legs, and bold upholstery patterns.
    • Look for iconic mid-century pieces like Eames chairs, Saarinen tables, or kidney-shaped coffee Table Centerpieces.
  • Vintage Advertising Art:
    • Decorate your space with reproductions or original vintage advertising art from the mid-century era. This could include ads for household products, travel posters, or retro illustrations.
  • Kitschy Collectibles:
    • Collect kitschy items like ceramic figurines, salt and pepper shakers, or vintage toys featuring popular characters from that time.
    • Think about characters like pink flamingos, poodles, or space-age aliens.
  • Retro Electronics:
    • Showcase mid-century electronics or replicas. Old radios, record players, and rotary phones can add a nostalgic touch to your space.
  • Pop Art:
    • Incorporate pop art elements into your decor. Think of bold and colorful artwork featuring comic book characters, like those by Roy Lichtenstein.
  • Space Age Decor:
    • Embrace the Space Age aesthetic with futuristic and space-themed decor items. Consider atomic-inspired lighting fixtures or metallic accents.
  • Retro Kitchenware:
    • Hunt for vintage kitchenware in bold colors and whimsical designs. Look for items like Pyrex bowls, colorful canisters, and retro glassware.
  • Cartoon Characters:
    • Integrate popular cartoon characters from the mid-century era into your decor. Classic Disney characters, Hanna-Barbera cartoons, or the Peanuts gang are great choices.
  • MCM Christmas Decor:
    • When decorating for Christmas, choose mid-century modern-inspired ornaments, tree toppers, and other festive items. Think aluminum trees, colorful glass ornaments, and retro-inspired holiday cards.

Remember to mix and match elements to create a personalized and cohesive mid-century kitsch theme. The key is to have fun and celebrate the playful and eclectic style of the mid-century era.


In conclusion, embracing the mid-century kitsch and characters style offers a delightful journey back to the design and cultural elements of the mid-20th century. This era, spanning the 1940s to the 1960s, is characterized by its vibrant color palette, atomic-age patterns, and playful nostalgia. By incorporating these elements into your decor, you can create a space that exudes the charm and whimsy of mid-century design.

From retro color schemes and atomic patterns to iconic furniture pieces and kitschy collectibles, there are numerous ways to infuse your home with mid-century flair. Tiki culture, vintage advertising art, and a nod to pop art contribute to the eclectic mix that defines this period. Whether it’s embracing the sleek lines of mid-century furniture, incorporating space-age decor, or featuring beloved cartoon characters of the time, the possibilities are as varied as they are exciting.

In the midst of this design journey, don’t forget the importance of personalization. Mix and match elements that resonate with your style and preferences, creating a space that feels uniquely yours. The mid-century kitsch and characters theme allow for creativity and self-expression, whether through vintage finds, DIY projects, or a combination of both.

As you bring together these elements in your home, you’re not just creating a visually appealing space but also paying homage to an era that celebrated innovation, optimism, and a sense of playfulness. Whether it’s a retro-inspired living room, a kitschy kitchen, or a mid-century Christmas wonderland, let the charm of this bygone era bring joy and character to your surroundings. In the end, it’s about enjoying the journey into the past and bringing the best of mid-century style into the present.