10 Upcycled Christmas Decor Ideas

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Square feature photo showing four photos, some are DIYs in process and some are finished DIYs for Upcycled Christmas Decor Ideas post.

Amazing upcycled Christmas decor ideas to transform ordinary items into beautiful one-of-a-kind handmade pieces!

It’s time to decorate for the holidays and this year I have a few thrifty upcycles to share with you. I hope these easy DIYs spark ideas and inspire you to create a few holiday trash-to-treasure decor pieces of your own.

The crafts below use supplies that I already had in my craft bins and a few thrifty finds that I’ve collected along the way. So let’s dive into my salvaged box of goodies and make a few things to decorate with for the holidays!

1. Vintage Chalkboard Christmas Sign – Free Stencil Cut File

You don’t really need a vintage chalkboard to make this cute sign. Any chalkboard will work for this DIY. Here are a few wood-framed chalkboards that I found on Amazon with similar proportions… 8.5″ x 12″ and 10″ x 14″.

Horizontal feature photo of a finished chalk painted vintage chalkboard that says K. Kringle Co. Cocoa & Confections.

To make this sign, you’ll need to use a cutting machine and you can Download the free 7″x 11″ SVG Stencil Art here. Feel free to size the stencil art in Cricut Design Space or Silhouette Studio as needed.

I recommend cutting the stencil out onto stencil vinyl and using transfer tape to place it onto your board. Then dab white chalk paint on with a stencil brush or foam applicator to fill in the design. Add a few decorations and you’re done.

2. Old Strainer Turned Holiday Wall Decoration

Vintage utensils are easy to find at most antique stores. If you come across a masher or strainer, especially one with a red or green handle, upcycle it into a beautiful holiday wall decoration. Just use hot glue to add a few floral picks, a bow, or any other embellishments you like.

Photo of a vintage strainer with a red handle turned into a holiday wall decor with poinsettia floral picks, red berries, pinecone and a small red bird sitting above.
Old Strainer Turned Holiday Wall Decoration

3. Holiday Wood Ring Wreath

This wood ring wreath was truly a trash-to-treasure project. I bought this rustic rocking horse and wood ring thing-a-ma-jig for $2 at the antique store last year. I think the wood ring is actually from an old chair but I thought it would make a great rustic base for a holiday wreath.

Here I used wire and hot glue to secure the greenery, then I wrapped the base with white twine to create a base to hot glue my rocking horse to.

Finished wood ring wreath with holiday greenery on each side and a rocking horse at the bottom.
Holiday Wood Ring Wreath

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4. Gingerbread Cookie Cutter Candle Holder

I’ve always been drawn to these cute gingerbread cookie cutters because my mom had them and we would make gingerbread cookies every Christmas with them.

Of course, I didn’t find all five at the same time. I collected them along the way on different trips to antique stores that I visited. Some were pretty beat up.

To give them a new life, I spray-painted them a sparkly pink and used wire ribbon to string them together around a clear glass vase to make a DIY candle holder.

Photo of a tall glass container with five gingerbread man cookie cutters tied around it with a red and white ribbon and a candle in the center.
Gingerbread Cookie Cutter Candle Holder

5. Distressed Paperback Book Stack

Pick up a few paperback books at Dollar Tree and distress them with chalk paint to make this beautiful holiday book stack!

Photo of a stack of three distressed books painted with white chalk paint and tied together with green twine, a red bell and a sprig of greenery. Words in black vinyl on the spine say 'let it snow' with a few snowflakes, also in black vinyl.
Distressed Paperback Book Stack

This cute stack of books is easy to make with just a few supplies. If you’d like to make them, you can check out the full tutorial here –> How to Distress Dollar Store Books with Chalk Paint.

6. Holiday Yardstick Magnets

Cut up an old yardstick and make these beautiful holiday magnets. Get all the details on this easy DIY here –> DIY Holiday Ruler Box Magnets.

Closeup photo of a holiday magnet made from nailing together pieces of a vintage yardstick and adding holiday miniatures to the inside. This one has a small red lantern with a bow and two small bottle brush trees.

7. Tart Tin Christmas Trees

Repurpose new or vintage tart tins to make these beautiful Christmas Trees. There’s also a Valentine’s Day version of this craft. Get all of the details and links to the supplies here –> How to Make Repurposed Tart Tin Trees.

Two DIY Christmas trees made out of tart tins and wood spools topped with a colorful bead.
Tart Tin Christmas Trees

8. Scrap Wood Stocking Holder – Free SVG File

This beautiful stocking holder is made from a 2×4 that I had in my garage. We don’t have a fireplace mantel to hang Christmas stockings on so this holder works perfectly for our family. If you’d like to make one, check out the complete tutorial and get the free art here –> DIY Farmhouse Wood Signs – Free SVG Files

Peace on Earth farmhouse wood sign made from a 2 x 4. Four hooks on the bottom of the stocking holding stockings. Top of the sign has a small deer and eight magenta, pink and cream colored brush trees.
DIY Farmhouse Stocking Holder

9. Christmas Card Holder

Make a beautiful Christmas card holder using inexpensive stretch canvases.

Photo of a finished Christmas Card holder displayed on the wall with a large red bow, gold frames and string lights to clip cards to.

Supplies: Two stretch canvases (mine are 11×14 size), a roll of wide wire ribbon (about 2.5 inches wide), 2-inch mending brackets, a screwdriver, a set of battery-powered string lights, a hot glue gun, acrylic paint, chip brush, and velcro (or another way to secure the string lights battery pack to the back of the frame).

To make the cardholder, start by removing the canvas from both frames. Use 2-inch mending brackets to secure your frames together at the back as shown below. You may need shorter screws than the ones that come with the brackets.

Photo of the back of my Christmas Card Holder showing velcro holding the battery pack to the back for the fairy lights and mending brackets with screws to hold the two frames together.

Next, paint your frame any color you like, then wrap your wire ribbon around the center and make a bow for the top. If you need help making a bow, check out this video from Julie’s Wreath Boutique. Use hot glue where needed.

String fairy lights horizontally to clip your cards onto. I secured the battery pack for the fairy lights by hot gluing velcro to the back and hid it along the bottom behind the ribbon. When selecting a spot for your battery pack, just make sure the on/off button is easy to get at.

Tip: Swap out one of your wall art frames for the season and you won’t even need to make a new hole in the wall to hang it.

10. Upcycle Christmas Tree Box

I found this wooden Christmas tree-shaped box at the thrift store for a couple of dollars. It was ugly but I thought it would make a cute ornament storage box. I filled it with vintage glass ornaments that I’ve collected along the way. This would be a great box to store and keep your most treasured ornaments safe. Here are before and after photos…

Before photo of a wooden box shaped like a Christmas Tree. It has a green tree on the front with a snowman and holly painted on the sides.
Before
After photo of a thrift store wooden Christmas tree shaped box painted with white chalk paint and gold ribbon strung across the top, filled with vintage ornaments.
After – Upcycle wooden Christmas tree-shaped box filled with vintage ornaments.

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Watch A Video

Link to the full tutorial here –> How to Make a Jingle Bell Wreath

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