How to Decorate a Vintage Christmas Tree

If you've just bought your very first vintage Christmas tree, or you want to make sure to preserve one that has been in your family for awhile, there are definitely some things to consider. The delicate aluminum tinsel can't hold the same weight as real evergreen trees or their contemporary artificial counterparts. So if you are looking for some tips on how to decorate a vintage Christmas tree, let's get right to what you need to know.

I'm going to assume upfront that your vintage Christmas tree happens to be aluminum as for most readers that's going to be exactly the type of tree you are looking to decorate.

Decorating a vintage aluminum Christmas tree calls for some care, especially if it is vintage. It's not like decorating a real tree or even your usual artificial tree. So here are a few tips for trimming your aluminum tree:

my vintage aluminum christmas tree
my vintage aluminum christmas tree

How to Decorate Your Vintage Christmas Tree

  1. Don't string lights - lights present a fire hazard with an aluminum tree and the branches are too delicate to hold them and could easily snap off of the wooden base of the tree, making them difficult to get back on it again as they usually take some of the wood with them. The aluminum is naturally sparkly anyway, and will look gorgeous in a room with some soft lighting.
  2. Get a color wheel - to enhance the sparkle of your tree safetly, pick up a Christmas color wheel. Usually made up with three or four lights of different colors, you can place this on the floor in front of your tree and watch the tree's colors change before your eyes as the lights revolve. If you can't find a color wheel, a halogen light set on the floor and pointed at the tree will make it sparkle nicely too. Just don't place it too close.
  3. Use lightweight ornaments - the tree branches themselves are often made of steel, but the "needles" are paper thin strips of aluminum and the tree trunk is usually made of wood, so you want to hang lightweight, individual ornaments gently. Avoid using garlands as they can damage the tinsel. And avoid anything that could potentially snap the branch off the tree as you will find that splinters of wood often come with it.

Decorating Ideas and Tips

If you are looking for more ideas about how to decorate a Christmas tree, be sure to check out some of these books on vintage Christmas decorating, trees and ornaments. They offer lots of fun ideas.

After Christmas is over be sure to pack up your tree carefully so it will be ready for next year. Most aluminum trees come with individual wrappers for each branch. It is a pretty good idea to use them for keeping the delicate branches protected while your tree is in storage.

Enjoy your Vintage Christmas!

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Comments 5 comments

carrie450 profile image

carrie450 5 years ago from Winnipeg, Canada

Very good pointers embitca. I'll keep these in mind, thanks

brandrocker profile image

brandrocker 5 years ago

Good idea. I highly recommend your to keep the tree for the next year.

gr82bme profile image

gr82bme 5 years ago from USA

We had one when I was young. I hated that thing!. I love real trees. Nice hub

momof4 5 years ago

Thanks for the ideas....I found an aluminum tree still in the wrappers and in the box and it had a base that revolves and plays music at a flea market for 35 bucks- I have two modern aluminum trees them.I PURCHASED A NEW COLOR WHEEL...SAFER THEN THE OLDER ONES...MERRY CHRISTMAS

katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

I remember my aunt having a tree like the one in the photo when I was a wee little girl. It took me back and brought me in to check out your great vintage Christmas tree ideas. Thanks and Happy Holidays :)

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