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16 Creative Ideas for Thrifty Christmas Decor

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Thrifty Finds Used as Christmas Decor

vintage white ironstone pitchers with pomegranates, holly, and red striped ribbon

Thrifty Vintage Christmas Decor Ideas

Finding treasures at thrift stores, yard sales, and estate sales is always a thrill for me. Sometimes the finds are few and far between, but when I find something I love it’s a happy day. Many of my finds make great Christmas decor and today I’m sharing some of my favorites. 

My Thrifty Style Team friends, led by Julie at Redhead Can Decorate, have teamed up and are sharing our favorite thrifty ideas and you can see all of them at the bottom of this post.

Each month the Thrifty Style Team shares projects and tips for decorating your home on a budget. (See all of mine here →Thrifty Style Team Challenges). And today I’m sharing some of my favorite thrifty Christmas decor ideas. Hopefully you can get some ideas to use in your own home. 

Thrift Store Dishes

White dishes are a classic and can be used any time of the year. I scored a whole collection of these
vintage white swirl dishes and have really enjoyed them on the table and in our antique hutch. 

vintage white ironstone dishes on Christmas table

Old Silverware

vintage silverware tied up with red velvet ribbon

Mismatched silverware pieces tied up with a piece of red velvet ribbon will add sparkly holiday vibes to your kitchen. Look for pieces with elegant details for a charming addition to a hutch or China cabinet.

White Platters

vintage white ironstone platters and pitcher in oak hutch with Christmas decor

For a dramatic display, white ironstone platters are perfect. Even if they’re chipped they still come home with me.  Mine have been found mostly at thrift stores and are a great backdrop for holiday

Little White Creamers and Gravy Pitchers

small white ironstone creamer with vintage silver and holly clippings

For small areas and filler between larger pieces, tuck some greenery and vintage silverware into
little white stoneware creamers and gravy pitchers. 

vintage mercury glass ornaments and little white stoneware creamer

Or top it with a colorful vintage ornament. These little gems are readily available and can also be used all year long.

Glass Candleholders

Christmas table with pomegranates, evergreen branches, vintage glass candle holders

Another item that’s easy to find is glass candleholders. The ones in the photos above actually belonged to my mother-in-law, but I’ve seen them in thrift stores as well. They make the table look so nice at the holidays. 

You can see the rest of this Christmas table decor here → Cozy Christmas Home Tour

If you don’t want to use them for their intended purpose you can always use them as stands for colorful vintage mercury glass ornaments!

Vintage Mercury Glass Christmas Ornaments

vintage mercury glass Christmas ornaments in a white ironstone bowl

One of my largest collections is my colorful vintage mercury glass ornaments. I’ve found them at yard sales and estate sales for bargain prices and love the bold colors and designs. 

They look beautiful in a dough bowl, on the tree, or any way you display them.

Discover more ways to decorate with colorful vintage Christmas ornaments here: Shiny Brites – Sources, History, & Creative Display Ideas

Vintage Throw Blankets and Textiles

vintage plaid throw blanket in basket underneath night stand

Vintage throw blankets are a fun thing to find at thrift stores too. If you do purchase these, I
recommend leaving them in your car on a hot day or, if possible, put them in the dryer on hot temperature. You don’t want to bring in any unwanted guests. 

More of this Christmas bedroom decor is here → Cozy Christmas Home Tour

vintage colorful granny square afghan blanket on white porch chair

I found the vintage granny square afghan quilt at a thrift store about 20 years ago and love the bold colors. Plus, it reminds me of my great-granny and aunts who made similar items with their own hands. If only I had some of theirs…

Vintage Thermoses

vintage red thermoses, blue wooden ice cream bucket, tree in old radio flyer wagon

Colorful old red thermoses make a fun Christmas decoration. I added these to my dad’s old
red radio flyer wagon last year. I also used an old ice cream bucket as my tree stand for more of a
vintage theme. It wasn’t a steal since I got it at an antique shop, but if you’re lucky you could find one at a bargain.

The rest of this porch decor can be seen here → Cozy Christmas Front Porch with Vintage Finds

Old books

old green books tied up with plaid ribbon

Old books have such pretty patina and colors. I like to put red and green ones out at
Christmas for an old fashioned look. 

You can see the rest of our Christmas entry here → Cozy Christmas Home Tour

little green feather tree and vintage red books

Tie them with ribbon, twine, or stand them up. They look festive any way you display them.

Glass Bottles

old glass bottles with little vintage glass ornaments on top

Old glass medicine and extract bottles add sparkle to a shelf or table. For a merry look, top them with miniature glass ornaments. 

empty wine bottles with fairy lights

For a budget-friendly centerpiece or display, add wine bottle fairy lights to leftover bottles for an instant holiday look. No drilling required! See this super simple project here → DIY Bottle Luminaries

vintage glass bottles with evergreen branches

Or you can just use old bottles as a vase for branch clippings. 

Homemade Wreaths

evergreen wreath in old red radio flyer wagon

For a beautiful, budget-friendly wreath, attach clippings from evergreen bushes to a grapevine wreath. A hot glue gun and some pruning shears are the only tools you need for this little project.

white knit wreath with small house

Create a no-knit sweater wreath in a short time with just a low cost wreath form and
chunky yarn

The quick and easy tutorial for this wreath is here →  How to Make a no knit sweater wreath

snowman wreath with buffalo check scarf and black paper bowler hat

Give a thrift store wreath a makeover and a new life with paint, greenery, and ribbon.

See how I made this cute snowman wreath here → Easy DIY Snowman Wreath

Produce and Branch Clippings

pomegranates and evergreen clippings in wooden toolbox used as centerpiece

A few items from the produce department at the grocery store and some evergreen clippings can make a simple and affordable centerpiece. I put this one together in just a few minutes and you can see the rest of the table here → Cozy Christmas Table with Plaid and Natural Accents 

napkin ring made with twine, holly, and a tiny red Christmas ornament

Make a thrifty napkin ring with some twine and a sprig of holly. Add a tiny ornament for a bit of color and sparkle. You can see the rest of this holiday table here → Natural Rustic Christmas Table

wooden bowl with pomegranates and holly branches as Christmas table centerpiece

Cake Pedastal

cake stand with white plates, small green wreath, and Christmas ornaments

A thrifty cake stand is another fun place to decorate for Christmas. Stack some small plates, add a little wreath or greenery, and finish it off with a few ornaments. It has the same shape as a decorated cake!

Vintage Stoneware Crock

little Christmas tree in stoneware crock, old books, red and white striped ribbon

Thrifted planters, crocks, and utensil holders can be used as a Christmas tree stand for miniature and table top trees. My ironstone crock is the perfect size and has a nice, rustic quality to it. 

Vintage Silver Champagne Bucket

vintage silver champagne bucket used as tree stand for small tree

For a bit more of a glamorous look, use a thrifted champagne bucket as a tree stand. Add little ornaments for more sparkle and color. I found this silver champagne bucket last year at a thrift store and it was half price day so I got it for a steal!

Everyday Items

vintage red-handled scissors in a glass jar, red velvet ribbon, white stoneware pitcher

With a little creativity you can make almost any item look like Christmas decor. These
old red handled scissors came from an estate sale a couple of years ago. I added some candy canes, a spool of red velvet ribbon, and striped nakpins to a tiered tray for an instant Christmas look. Easy as pie!

thrifty christmas decor ideas

These are just a few of the ways I’ve used thrifted, gifted, or found items in my Christmas decor over the past few years. For my best estate sale shopping tips, go here → How to shop estate sales like a pro


  1. Thanks so much for ALL these amazing Christmas ideas in once place, Angie! My fave Christmas decor right now are bottle brush trees… sparkly ones! 😉 julie@myweeabode. com.

  2. My favorite decorations are the angel on my tree and the ornaments that are on my tree – they were my mom and grandmom’s.

  3. My favorite Christmas decor are paper items — handmade garland cut from old sheet music, a little village printed on cardstock and assembled, a collage of old Christmas cards. Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. My Favorite Christmas decorations are on a little thin tree that I have in my back room. It houses all the handmade ornaments that my now grown children made for me over the years at various chuch bazaars and in school. They hold so many memories for me! All precious! (maggie.disanto@yahoo.com)

  5. Red Wing ornaments my parents gave me each year. They are both deceased so each ornament holds a precious memory for me. I display them in my kitchen on a small tree in a vintage black and white enamelware coffee pot.

  6. My favorite Christmas decorations are mostly all ornaments. So many beautiful and even a couple really heartbreakingly bittersweet memories tied up in all of them. I love everything you have done in each picture here, and especially, I loooove the vintage thermoses paired with the red wagon.

  7. My favorite Christmas decorations are the handmade ones–a little felt angel, a hand drawn Nativity scene with a wire hanger, orange juice lids pierced in a heart-shape by my sons when they were 4 and 6 years old, wooden ornaments made by my woodworker son-in-law, crocheted snowflakes . . . Thanks for the giveaway, Angie!

  8. I love all the images here but am especially drawn to the pomegranates in the dough bowl- beautiful!Merry Christmas!

  9. I think that this year my favorite decoration is my Tree Farm candle from Antique Candle Co. I haven't even lit it yet, and it fills the air with the smells of a fresh tree farm. It is poured into a vintage red can with a lid. I love it. pd4tmartin@telus.net

  10. My favorite Christmas decoration is the paper angel my daughter made me when she was three years old. It’s been my tree topper every year since then for the past 41 years. It’s just not Christmas without it! I love vintage items as well.

  11. Hi!! How I love getting your posts in my mailbox!!! My favorite Christmas decorations are probably the ones from people I have loved but are no longer with me….and from my living family members, as well. How I cherish them!!

  12. My favorite Christmas decorations tiny heart ornaments for our fresh Christmas tree. Each year I look in antique and thrift stores to find one of these small ornaments. This year with COVID I was afraid to go thrifting. My sister made a heart ornament for me.

  13. Thanks so much for all the ideas. My favorite Christmas decoration is my collection of Santas. I probably have over 175.

  14. I have one Christmas decoration that stands out from the rest. It's a light-up ceramic house with Santa in the chimney. It was a gift from my grandmother who has since passed. I will cherish it forever! (acooley1976@gmail.com)

  15. A Nativity set we got when we were first married, going on 41 years and wooden shoes that I have collected over the years which represent my Dutch heritage.

  16. My favorite ornaments are the nativity set my Mom made in ceramics class, ornaments she and Dad used on their tree when they first married, and, of course, all the ones my daughters have given to me over the years. I enjoyed reading all about yours. {javamama48@gmail.com.

  17. I also use vintage thermoses (red, gray, green, plaid) for a Christmas display above my china hutcb, along with bottle brush trees, plaid lunch boxes, and a sleigh ride sign I made. It's my favorite vignette every year.
    Love yours in the wagon!

  18. My favorite Christmas decorations are my nativity sets and vintage ornaments. Thank you for the give away. Always enjoy your posts.

  19. I absolutely adore your decorating style! My favorite Christmas decorations are old timey looking things. Like hand sewn ornaments that are animals, lots of real greenery, vintage Christmas villages, etc.

  20. My favorite Christmas decorations are rustic country looking with things such as above with the wagon, trea lights in ball jars and tons of lights.

  21. My all-time favorite ornaments are some white ones I have with beautiful green holly leaves and red berries. My description doesn't do them justice. They make me so happy when I unpack them. Thank you for the giveaway!

  22. My favorite Christmas decorations are all the handmade ornaments I receive from friends from afar in ornament exchanges. Each one speaks to me as I’m in awe of the thought & time they put into creating it. I have a tree with just handmade. Thank you for the chance to try to win this. Haven’t started my shopping this would help.
    Sandi Allen

  23. All the decorations are beautiful and just my style! I especially like the sweater yarn wreath for it's symplicity and something I can accomplish quickly. Also the natural pine clippings and produce as a table centerpiece – we have a forest of pines and berries that I can use! Thank you for all your ideas!

  24. My favorite ornaments are the ones my mom gave me every year. A merry go round, a bear and some others. I treasure them, as she passed away in 2001. I sure miss her!

  25. When I was about 10, my parents visited Switzerland and Mom brought back a red musical bell that played Silent Night. It was always my favorite growing up and after I got married, she gave it to me. Every year when I bring it out, I wind it up and listen to the music just like Mom was right next to me, smiling. I still love that bell!
    duchick at gmail dot com

  26. Girl i just love all things vintage. You gave me several ideas that i wouldn't have ever thought of doing. Like the wagon with the thermos bottles…how cute and the white decor in a china cabinet with pops of ChrisTmas is to die for and i love just the simple use of old silverware wrapped with ribbon and a little touch of greenery would be the talk of my family members. I love the old style vintage ornaments to decorate with….

  27. I love antique ornaments. They are fragile, but we still have some very old glass ornaments that my parents had when they were children.

  28. I love all the decor that has been passed down from our family members & the ornaments that my kids have made. I have my great grandmother's putz church house and the star from my husband's grandmother's tree. And sooo many more. Oh and my Home Interior nativity set!! Thanks so much for the giveaway!! Merry Christmas to you & your family!!

  29. Thank you for sharing, alot of those ornaments reminded me of my youth. My favorite ornaments are those of angels. The other thing I love are the water globes.

  30. My favorite decorations are all the greenery with the green, red and silver ornaments. I also like all of my snowmen and rustic decor.

  31. I love simple Christmas decor in green and ivory and silver metal accents mixed with natural elements. I've collected old clear glass bottles, vintage silver trays, bowls and candlesticks and pieces of old cream ware. Everything is filled with pine and eucalyptus sprigs, pine cones, oranges, cinnamon sticks, pecans and walnuts. Lots of white fairy lights finish the look.

  32. Oh gosh so many great ideas. I may have to go investigate our local thrift stores.. I'd say my favorite decoration right now is a lighted small dinosaur holding a present. It's corny and silly and makes me smile

  33. I love white pitchers and have a small collection. At Christmas, I love all the beautiful ways to display them. I love the vintage ornaments you used around and in them in your china cabinet. I like to use gold garland with greenery to make the white pop. I will be searching for some of those ornaments. Wish I had the ones my Mom had for our tree growing up. Have a blessed Christmas and a peaceful New Year, Sharon

  34. My favorite is a feather tree, I found at an antique store, I put my mom's old Shiny Brite balls on it. I loved all your ideas and pinned them, have a Merry Christmas and thanks for the chance to win.

  35. I love your decor, so many cute ideas! I actually have a really old set of 3 snowmen in different sizes that light up. My precious Nana had these in her home as a child and I grew up each year being able to enjoy them and all of her other decor. I lost her in 2016 and I miss her more than anything in this world! starla.batesAT yahoo.com

  36. As always, I enjoyed every single picture that you shared. One of these days I'm going to visit you so that I see your home in person. (Nothing like someone inviting themselves to your home. Ha-ha!)

    1. Thank you, Paula. Yes, please come visit me!! I would absolutely love that. But I would have to clean up all of the messes that are just beyond the camera lens, lol. Seriously, any time, girlfriend!

  37. I follow your post and you have given me so many ideas.
    My favorite one for Christmas is the sweater wreath. I am on it this afternoon.
    I wish I knew how to add a picture of my house Numbers on a white painted silver tray.
    You inspire me
    Thank You So Much

  38. I'm still a little besotted with your white porcelain collection Angie and that no-knit sweater wreath is too cute. Anything that involves a teeny, tiny something always makes my heart do a happy dance.

  39. Love all these thrifty finds but I'm drooling over those white platters. I wish I had enough space for such a large collection. I would do that in a minute!

  40. These are some great ideas! I love using my everyday decor repurposed for Christmas, too. My favorite decoration is sentimental…my nativity set I've had since my kids (now young adults) were very little. Rebecca at ebmusser@hotmail.com

  41. Thanks for sharing all of your lovely and unique ideas, Angie. It is always a treat to see your creativity. Especially at Christmas.

  42. Oh I love all of your fun finds! I haven't been able to go thrifting this year and I so miss it. When all of this mess is there should be some awesome finds! I grew up with those plates with the ridges! Pinned!

  43. I love all of these ideas, Angie! We obviously love the same old things, and you have such a beautiful way of styling everything! Merry Christmas!

  44. Angie I loved this post with all your simple yet beautiful touches. I'm going to share this post in a Christmas round up this Thursday!

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