10 Upcycled Christmas Decor Ideas

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy for more information.

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 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!

Photo of an old wood box with items in it and in front that were put aside to upcycle into new Christmas decor items.

Supplies You May Need

  • Scissors
  • A hot glue gun
  • Acrylic paint
  • Chalk paint
  • Spray paint
  • Wire ribbon
  • Twine
  • A wire clothes hanger
  • Mod Podge
  • E6000 adhesive
  • 28 gauge steel wire 
  • Greenery and holiday floral picks
  • Bells, ornaments, and other embellishments
  • Paint brushes, stencil brushes, or foam applicators
  • VinylStencil vinyl, and transfer tape
  • A cutting machine – I’m using a Cricut Maker

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 finds at 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. Decorative Gift Wrapping Kit

Turn an old tin into a handmade gift-wrapping kit to keep all of your supplies handy and in one place. These little kits are also great to sell or give as gifts. You can paint and decorate an old tin like I did or pick up a holiday tin at the dollar store.

DIY Gift Wrapping Kit in an upcycled rectangle tin shown open and filled with DIY gift tags, gift toppers, ribbon, wood cut outs and other gift wrapping supplies.
DIY Gift Wrapping Kit

I came up with this idea when I saw my son heading to the trash with this collectible tin. Of course, I added it to my holiday box to upcycle!

To transform the tin, I removed the plastic handle and gave it a quick coat of primer and then a coat of flat white spray paint. Next, I decorated the lid and inside lid of the tin with images from old Christmas cards and added compartments made from lightweight cardboard.


The items in this kit are mostly handmade from supplies that I had on hand. Add whatever you like to your kit. Here are a few ideas:

  • gift tags (I made mine from old Christmas cards)
  • gift toppers like bells, pine cones, greenery, wood cutouts, or small ornaments
  • twine and ribbon
  • a small pair of scissors
  • a roll of scotch tape
  • folded wrapping paper
  • holiday stickers
  • holiday rubber stamps
  • pens and markers


Related Post

Make these cute crafts for yourself, to give as gifts, or to sell at your next craft show. 


4. 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.

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

Here’s a closeup of my wreath in progress. I used wire and hot glue to secure the greenery, then I wrapped the base with white twine before adding the rocking horse.

Closeup of the base of my wreath with greenery secured with wire, hot glue and rope to cover.
Closeup of the wreath in process.

5. 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 visit. Some were pretty beat up. To give them new life, I spray-painted them a sparkly pink and used wire ribbon to string them together around a clear glass vase to make this fun holiday 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

6. Distressed Paperback Book Stack

Pick up a few paperback books at Dollar Tree and distressed 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.


Related Post

Grab a plastic milk jug to make this cute Christmas gnome.


7. 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

8. 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


Related Post

Learn how to make an inexpensive tall table riser using scrap wood and dollar store brackets!


9. Ribbon & Bells Wreath

I had two packages of large bells in my craft bin and decided to make a wreath out of them! This wreath looks complicated but it was really simple to make. Check out the how-tos and pictures below for more detail.

Finished wreath made with red bells and red and black check ribbon.
Ribbon & Bells Wreath

Supplies: A wire hanger, 40 mm bells from Dollar Tree (also here on Amazon), wire ribbon (mine is 2″ wide), pliers, and wire cutters.

My wreath is about 7 inches in diameter but you could certainly make a larger one. To make one, you’ll need to cut the ends off of a wire hanger and straighten it out. You will need about 12 inches of the wire hanger.

Begin by stringing your ribbon onto the hanger by pushing the hanger through the center of your ribbon. Next, add a bell.

String your wire ribbon on again leaving about 3 inches of ribbon between. Repeat in and over/under fashion as shown below until you have the wire hanger filled.

Photo bells and red check wire ribbon being strung onto a wire hanger to make a holiday wreath for a upcycled Christmas decor DIY.
String ribbon and bells onto the wire hanger in a ribbon candy (zig-zag) fashion.

Turn the ends of the hanger with pliers and link them together to finish. Form into a circle by hand and decorate your finished wreath with a bow or floral picks.

Closeup of the ends of a wire hanger turned and linked together at the end of the wreath.
Use pliers to turn both ends of the wire hanger under to link them.

10. 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.

11. Christmas Tree Ornament Box

Just adding one more! 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 ornaments that I’ve collected along the way and plan to sell it in my flea market booth. 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 – Wooden Christmas tree-shaped box picked up at the thrift store.
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.
Vertical photo with snippets of five out of ten upcycled Christmas Decor Ideas. Pin to you Pinterest boards to come back to later!




Shop Related Products

Watch A Video

Link to the full tutorial here –> DIY Mosaic Picture Frame Tray

Leave a Reply