How to Make Easy DIY Vintage Ornaments with Architectural Salvage

by | DIY, Holidays

Have fun creating unique DIY vintage ornaments this Christmas with this easy architectural salvage tutorial! Use them for gifting and decor!

One step in my front door and you’d know my love for architectural salvage!  It’s always at the top of my list when I go vintage hunting.  Even when I know I don’t have a spot for a piece, I always take time to admire (and drool a little).  Something about the detail, craftsmanship, and history is always so fascinating to me.  

Of course, I love a good, original, chippy patina too!  When it came time for some fun Christmas projects, I knew I wanted to try to add some DIY vintage ornaments to our Christmas decor!

When we came across a pile of salvaged banister pieces a couple of years ago, I loved the natural, raw wood, detailed shape, and immediately knew what I wanted to do with them.  It took a year to finally get it done.  However, better late than never, right?!

For the past couple of years, we’ve enjoyed hanging them on the sweetest noble fir tree, found HERE.  I am loving the simple farmhouse Christmas view and the European farmhouse vibe of the more sparse Christmas tree with the light wood, handmade ornaments.

Also, I set some aside to use as package tie-ons too!  I love using ornaments to make gift packaging look extra thoughtful!  My daughter did some lovely calligraphy on them to turn a few of them into gift tags.  Then, we used some similar ones that we made with old white spindles to create personalized place settings with a vintage look.

There are so many possibilities for using these unique DIY vintage ornaments.  In fact, I’m on the hunt for some more salvage the next time we go to a market.  I have some other things I want to make with them for Christmas too!

How to Make Easy DIY Vintage Ornaments with Architectural Salvage

How do you make vintage style ornaments?

There are a lot of ways to make something look vintage, but whenever possible, I love to use actual old materials for our vintage DIY projects.  Starting this project with weathered wood and chippy patina made it so easy to create ornaments with vintage style.

Materials for DIY Ornaments:

DIY Vintage Ornament: Step One

How do you make homemade Christmas ornaments?

First, choose a vintage salvage piece that can be easily cut.  You could choose different shapes, sizes, and colors.  However, we found these old spindles to be incredibly easy!

In fact, the more chippy, the better in my vintage-loving opinion!  We made the chippy blue ones for resale at a market but I saved the natural wood for our own home!  The wood tones add warmth and a lot of character to this space.

DIY Vintage Ornament: Step Two

For step two, just mark your salvage piece to the desired length.  Remember, measure twice and cut once!

Next, cut your DIY ornaments.  I like to cut a few different sizes for some variety, but you can choose what you love and what works for your Christmas tree or project.

Another important thing to remember when working with architectural salvage pieces is to embrace the imperfections and uniqueness!  It doesn’t have to be too exact or perfect.  In fact, for a true vintage style, the uniqueness is what makes it really special!

How do you make small Christmas ornaments?

The great thing about this DIY vintage ornament idea is that you can make them as small or large as you need for your tree or decor.  If you want larger, chunky ornaments, hunt for some thick salvage pieces.  Small ornaments can easily be made with architectural salvage remnants and spindles, like THESE, THESE, or THESE!

DIY Vintage Ornament: Step Three

Next, screw an eye hook into the top of the ornament.  I like this set that has different colors of eye hooks so you can make them match your decor.

Another option would be to drill a hole through the spindle and thread ribbon or twine.

However, we thought the hook seemed a little easier to work with.  Then, we just tied them with vintage thread.  You could use any kind of thin string or ribbon, depending on the size of your eye hook

DIY Vintage Ornament: Step Four

Christmas ornaments are not just for a tree!  In fact, using ornaments throughout my decor is always fun and can offer some budget-friendly ways to make other things look special too.

For example, gather your DIY ornaments and tie a few on to packages for a thoughtful touch. (Plus, a little bonus gift!). My daughter did some calligraphy writing on a few of ours to double as a tie on and a gift tag.  They turned out so cute and since they were for family, we saved them to reuse this year too!  You can see a few other budget-friendly and easy ways to make your gift wrapping look extra special over on THIS post.

I also love to use DIY vintage ornaments on my Christmas tablescapes.  Ornaments are a great option for laying at each place setting or tying around a napkin as a DIY napkin ring.  We used the calligraphy idea to turn some ornaments into napkin rings that doubled as place cards.  Then, the guests could take them home as a little holiday gift too.

Your guests will love the thoughtful and unique party favor, especially with such a one-of-a-kind architectural salvage piece!

You can find some easy Christmas table decor DIY ideas, including two ways to use Christmas ornaments for place settings, over on THIS post!


Keep using your DIY vintage ornaments to use once Christmas is over!

After Christmas, you can use your ornaments too!  Small architectural salvage could still be used as napkin rings and place cards.  Simply pair them with your favorite spring table decor items!

For a fun bowl filler, just toss the DIY architectural salvage ornaments in a dough bowl for some simple, vintage vibes!

Tip: You could even add a little sprig of spring greenery, just to make sure no one recognizes your bowl filler as pretty DIY ornaments that used to be on your tree! ????

Are you inspired to have some Christmas DIY fun?

I hope so!  Besides, I’ve basically given you perfectly good excuse to hit up the fall and Christmas vintage markets in search of some fun architectural salvage pieces, right?!

These were really a lot of fun to make and now I enjoy using them each year.  A few spindles can turn into a lot of ornaments, so it can truly be a really budget-friendly way to create a large quantity of ornaments.  Christmas ornaments can tend to get really expensive.  If you’re just starting to build your Christmas collection, decorating a new tree, or switching styles, these DIY vintage ornaments can be great for your budget!

At the same time, I love the uniqueness.  Also, it’s just fun to use something that you have made yourself.  I hope you have a lot of fun with your own DIY vintage ornaments this season.

Whether they end up on your tree, your Christmas tablescape, or tied onto special packages, they will bring a special and thoughtful vintage look to your Christmas decor this year!

Every year, I have grand plans of creating some fun, seasonal DIY projects. This year, though, I’m committed to getting at least a few of them done!

One down so far!

I’d love for you to follow me on social media!  You can find my home decor inspiration on Instagram, Pinterestand Facebook!  











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