Create the look of a vintage Christmas ornament
with a few simple materials. Easy enough for children to make. Elegant
enough to hang on the parlor tree.
This vintage Christmas ornament has all of the proper Victorian
ingredients: a romantic illustration, glitter highlights, and tinsel
fringe. But, while Victorian families probably went blind hand-coloring
and gluing on strands of pressed tin, you can make these reproductions
in a twinkle.
The secret ingredients are foamcore board and
tinsel garland. With a large piece of foamcore board and a single
garland, you can literally turn out dozens of these for your Christmas
tree, windows, and package decorations.
The other trick to these ornaments is printing two
illustrations for the front and back. We give them to you, ready to be
printed, but if you start making your own designs, start with two
identical copies of your image and "flip" one of them with your
Materials for Vintage Christmas Ornament
images (FREE PDF download).
- Matte photo paper, heavyweight.
- Foamcore board, 3/16" thick, about 4" square
per ornament (see Tips).
- Tinsel garland, 2" thick. We used gold garland,
but any coordinated color will
work (see Tips).
- Ribbon or fabric cord, 3/16" wide or less.
- Straight pin.
- Glitter glue. We used gold to highlight the
angel's glowing star.
- Craft glue.
- Craft knife (for cutting foamcore board) (see Tips).
- Self-healing cutting mat.
- Cut a 3" diameter circle
from foamcore board, using a craft knife. Cut a 12" length of ribbon.
Form the ribbon into a
loop with the ends overlapped. Push the straight pin through the
overlapped end. Dip the pin in glue and push it into the edge of the
foamcore circle. This is now the hanger at the top of your ornament.
- Print the two vintage
images on matte photo paper. Trim them carefully with small
scissors. Glue the foamcore circle in the center of the back
of one image, with the ribbon hanger at the top of the image.
Apply glue to the foamcore circle,
position the other trimmed image exactly over the reversed image and
press until the glue is dry (see Tips).
- Use gold or silver glitter glue (or craft glue
and sprinkle-on glitter) to decorate the image. We applied gold glitter
glue just on the angel's star. Let this dry completely.
- Cut a 9.5" length of tinsel garland (see
Tips). Apply craft
glue to the edge of the foamcore circle between the paper cutouts.
Starting at one side of the ribbon hanger at the top of the ornament,
push the tinsel garland between
the paper cutouts into the glue on the foamcore disk, circling
the foamcore, ending at the top. Let the glue
- Fluff up the tinsel garland and you are ready
to hang your vintage Christmas ornament. Make some more identical
ornaments, purchase other images, or rummage through your
vintage images and whip up a batch of instant antiques (see Tips)!
We have a Halloween
version of this design, so you can plan ahead. For more
Christmas cheer, take a look at our Christmas Chenille Dolls
- Foamcore board, or foam board, is a material
constructed of an inner layer of polystyrene foam sandwiched between
two layers of heavy paper. We used black (black paper on black foam)
but this project will work as well with any color. If you can't find
foamcore, you can use two layers of corrugated cardboard or those foam
meat trays from the grocery store.
- When cutting foamcore board, don't
use scissors because they will crush the edge as you
cut. Use a long-blade craft knife or a micro-saw.
- At Christmas, it is possible to find
tinsel garland in gold, silver, white, green and all sorts of colors.
We used some rather wispy gold garland from the Dollar Store.
- Cutting the right length of tinsel garland is
simple. Remember how to find the measurement of the
circumference of a circle by multiplying its diameter by the value of
pi? For a 3" diameter circle of foamcore, the circumference is 3" X
is about 9.5".
- When looking for other vintage images for for Vintage Christmas ornament, here are the qualities you want:
- well-defined shapes are the best, like
circles or other geometrics.
- avoid images with words, because when the
image is flipped on the back of the ornament, the words will be
reversed as well.
- if you find an irregular shaped picture you
like, trim it with the background into a circle or oval, or cut out the
figure and glue it to a geometric shaped background paper. Remember,
you can resize
from Vintage Christmas
to the Main