Holiday

A VINTAGE-INSPIRED CHRISTMAS TREE

DIY Christmas Art / 7th House on the Left

A few weeks ago, I Instagrammed this photo of the great and mighty tree of a thousand and one lights…

Actually, we’re not sure how many lights it has, but it sure did take Greg a good long time to string them all on. In addition to our tree in the living room, we decided to put up a second tree in the foyer.

This tree isn’t just any tree, though. It belonged in my grandparent’s home here in Virginia before they decided to downsize and move to Florida. No one can decorate for Christmas like my Grandma. Every year, that house looked like it belonged in a magazine. They had fresh magnolias and berries (that were cut from trees on their property) all over the house and Christmas touches with an incredible attention to detail in every room… it was perfection. They had three big Christmas trees, including this tall, skinny tree, affectionately dubbed “the junk tree”. Grandma’s version of a “junk tree” didn’t include much “junk” though, haha. If you know my Grandma, you just had a good chuckle. It had multicolored lights, faux poinsettias, and lots of colorful and memorable family ornaments. I’m determined to find a photo of it as she had it decorated back in the day. Maybe next year! 

When they moved out of their Virginia home, (I was about 16 at the time) they had an estate sale to sell the furniture they didn’t want to take with them to the new home in Florida. Long story short, the skinny tree was taken out of the estate sale and officially belonged to me. Even though I was just 16, I wanted to keep it for my house one day. Eleven years later, it’s out of my parent’s attic, and finally has a new home in my “one day when I have a house” house.

A few nights ago, I went through all the ornaments and couldn’t get over how many of them brought back so many memories. In order to wrap my brain around how best to decorate our new/old “junk tree”, I picked out a few of my favorites and set them out on the sofa table along with a bunch of random ornaments Greg and I’ve been collecting over the past few years. Since I was working with a lot of vintage ornaments and most of the ornaments I’ve been collecting happen to be of the nostalgic kind, that seemed like a perfect theme for this tree. It’s what we’re calling “fun vintage”.

After seeing our new vintage-inspired TV in the front yard, a friend gave us a collection of Christmas TV ornaments (you can see a few of them in the photo above). How perfect is that?! We love them so much that this is going to be one of our favorite kind of ornaments to keep our eyes out for every year.

To serve as a “background”, I started looking for some plain ball ornaments. I finally found these at Target for only $5 a box. I love the color combo of sea foam green, red, blue, green, white and pink. It’s not a color palette I’d ordinarily pick for everyday decor, but I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to have some fun.

With our newly assembled ornament collection in tow, it was time to decorate the tree. We started out by putting on almost all of the ball ornaments, followed by some vintage-inspired Martha Stewart ornaments, and finally, the special ornaments. And here’s how it turned out…

Pretty fun and vintage-ish, right? I’m not totally digging the tree topper for this particular tree, but it’s what we’re working with right now until we find a better one. For the tree skirt, we just used a piece of burlap left over from another project. I actually have another window open on my browser right now, searching for a tree topper and tree skirt on Etsy.

To me, the TV ornaments really bring everything together and brings home the whole “vintage fun” theme. Here are a few more detail shots just for fun….

If you’ve been reading for a while, you know we couldn’t have a vintage-inspired junk tree without a nod to I Love Lucy. I put this one at eye level just so we’d see it every time we walk by.

And who didn’t have one of these growing up…

My favorite part about this ornament is that it came with this inside…

A Christmas light sticks in the back of it to make the it look like the inside oven light is on and it’s even lightly scented to smell like cake batter, haha.

I found these Martha Stewart ornaments at Home Depot (on the left). The colors and shape are so indicative of what my mom says what she remembers seeing on my Great Grandma Henderson’s tree when she was a little girl. So, I had to have them. I picked up a set of six for only $6! Thank you, Martha.

And yet another ornament that resembles our new yard decoration for this year…

To balance out the tree and finish off the little corner vignette, we hung some DIY wall art – which we’ll be talking more about on Friday. It happens to be my favorite Christmas project yet!

We love the glow the lights put off – especially at night. So much so, we’ve even put the tree on a timer so we can enjoy it when we go to sleep. Here’s the view from our bed at night…

That’s my kind of night light! Now I’m kind of wishing it wouldn’t be weird to keep it up all year long. ; )

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31 Comments

  • Reply
    Casey @ Waffling
    December 13, 2012 at 10:35 am

    I LOVE this tree! and those balls you got at target are the perfect colours for a vintage inspired tree.

    We have 3 trees at my dads and the “family” one is all stuff like this- he has bought us decorations to add to it every year. It is my favourite to decorate!

  • Reply
    John @ Our Home from Scratch
    December 13, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Love those TV ornaments.. very classy tree!

  • Reply
    Brad @ Mr. Write Away
    December 13, 2012 at 10:40 am

    I love it. Especially the view from down the hall… it makes me want to move my tree!

  • Reply
    Karen
    December 13, 2012 at 10:45 am

    So, I’ve been reading your blog for a while, but never commented. This tree and these photos leave me no choice. I LOVE them! What gorgeous and fun tree! And the photos are stunning.

    Love the tree, love the blog. Merry Christmas!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      December 13, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      Thanks you so much!! : )

  • Reply
    my honest answer
    December 13, 2012 at 10:49 am

    New to the blog and just wanted to compliment your photography skills! Those pictures are fab, and I imagine that’s extra hard giving that you’re trying to photograph lights. Can’t wait to see what else you’re up to in 2013!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      December 13, 2012 at 10:55 am

      Thank you so much! I’m still learning my camera, so I really appreciate that, haha : )

  • Reply
    Tammie Barbee
    December 13, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Ashley, I have a huge, and I mean huge, “junk” tree. I probably have about 500 of these types of ornaments. They have no rhyme or reason, just have been collecting them for 32 years (many of them have memories and tell and story). My husband says that if we get any more ornaments, we’ll have to make a skylight to get a bigger tree. I have other trees that are themed and color coordinated, but will always have this tree. Wouldn’t have it any other way.
    Cherish it always

  • Reply
    Megan @ Rappsody in Rooms
    December 13, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Hey, embrace the Christmas tree all year round! I sure do! I just posted about our FOUR christmas trees in the house, one of which stays up all year round. 🙂

    • Reply
      Ashley
      December 13, 2012 at 10:56 am

      Oh my goodness! I’ll have to check it out : )

  • Reply
    becca @ sewLOVED
    December 13, 2012 at 11:19 am

    oh, i love it! we have a pre-lit tree and now i’m thinking that next year? we’re going to add even more lights to it. i love how it literally glows. and a lot of those decorations remind me of my grandparents. hmmm… maybe i ::need:: a second tree. i’m sure my husband won’t mind!

  • Reply
    Kenz @ Interiors By Kenz
    December 13, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Love love love the Easy Bake Oven ornament. Totes adorbs!

  • Reply
    Ashley
    December 13, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    I love it! Those tv ornaments were perfect to go with your theme. I love the I Love Lucy ornament my sister and I are both huge fans and were redheads so we share a bond with Lucille Ball – hahah. Great job!

  • Reply
    Ashley {GirlyObsessions}
    December 13, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Love your vintage ornaments tree!!! Being a huge Lucy fan, I have that same ornament, as well as the Vitameatavegamin one!!

  • Reply
    Lori H
    December 13, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    What a fun tree! It sparks many great memories 🙂

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    December 13, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    I really love the hallway tree! What a glow!

  • Reply
    Ivy
    December 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    I love the look of a lit up tree. Brings a coziness to the house. I really want to know the details behind the three framed pics next to the tree though. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      December 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      Thanks! That’s coming up on the blog tomorrow : )

  • Reply
    Jen
    December 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    You two! That tree is just lovely! I’m not much of a blog-comment-leaver, but this deserves an “I love that!!!” And the pictures next to the tree….I thoroughly enjoy them and look forward to hearing about them tomorrow. Also appreciate the photography. Love your blog!

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    December 13, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    What kind of timer do you have for your tree? I didn’t even know those existed! Sounds Awesome! 🙂

    • Reply
      Ashley
      December 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm

      We have a GE timer (this one is similar). It’s programmable and even has a dusk till dawn feature – which is nice for outdoor lights. Hope it helps!

  • Reply
    Sawyer K
    December 13, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    OMG! They could use your tree to guide in a space shuttle! lol Your tree makes me so happy(: I’ve seen that Easy-Bake Oven ornament before but didn’t know it was scented! If I could find one of those from STARBUCKS I’d hang it from the mirror of my car!

  • Reply
    Staci @ My Friend Staci
    December 14, 2012 at 3:11 am

    I have never heard of a “junk tree” before but I’m totally in love with it. Now I’ll either have to convince my mom to do one or head to her house and steal all the sentimental childhood ornaments for myself next year… You really pulled it all together with the Martha Stewart ornaments! Bravo!

  • Reply
    Lesley
    December 14, 2012 at 4:27 am

    OMG amazing ornaments! 🙂 so thematic, so unique. the vintage TVs are adorable. i wish i could re-create everything in my own home 🙂

  • Reply
    Melissa
    December 14, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Ashley, Is that a KitchenAid stand mixer ornament? I work for KitchenAid, but have never seen one of those and would love to get one! If that is what I saw in a couple of pics, could you tell me where you got it? I also love those ornaments from Martha’s line!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      December 14, 2012 at 10:27 am

      Hi Melissa! I got it at Target last year. I think I remember seeing it again this year though. Hope you find it!

  • Reply
    Mrs. Higgs
    December 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    For some reason I am compelled to tell you that I’m INSANELY jealous of your Easy-Bake ornament. INSANELY. JEALOUS. But really, it’s a lovely tree and I love your style, but jealous of that too. MERRY CHRISTMAS to you!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      December 14, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      Haha, thanks : ) Merry Christmas to you too!

  • Reply
    Jenna Carlson
    December 21, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I LOVE your tree. This is our first Christmas together, so we’re slowly building our tree with a very random array of ornaments. I guess I’ll sew stockings and a tree skirt next year 😉 great job!

  • Reply
    Erin @ The Great Indoors
    December 29, 2012 at 9:29 am

    It’s beautiful! I’m with you about keeping up the tree year-round. Maybe we should start the trend. 🙂

    Erin

  • Reply
    Janice Harbin
    March 23, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    Hi, I am enjoying your web site, so many things that I want to try. The industrial look bath room shelves. Your xmas tree is beautiful. I always have an Elvis tree now that my children are grown. I use most of all of my collectibles on it. Can’t wait for more from y’all Southaven, Miss. close to Memphis,Tn.

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