Thrifted Christmas Decor You Never Thought Of

Save money and get creative with this list of 45 thrifted Christmas decor ideas you never thought of before now.

Saving Money On Christmas Decor

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And you want your holiday decor to reflect that. The problem? You have a limited budget and when you see what you like it’s always more than you can afford.

Thank goodness for thrift stores. They are a treasure trove of Christmas decor possibilities. With a little creativity and some basic DIY supplies you can easily upcycle preloved decorations to look like the higher end items you covet.

Let me give you a few ideas to get you started.

Top Tips For Finding The Best Thrifted Christmas Decor

Before we get into the list of ideas, let’s first look at some quick tips that will help ensure that your holiday thrift decor is successful. So the next time you head out to your local thrift shop keep these in mind:

Sure, I’m giving you a list of fabulous ideas to try but it’s worth mentioning because it is the crux of this blog piece. When shopping for home decor at thrift stores think outside of the box. Look at everyday items and try to see them in a new light.

Here are a few bonus examples that’ll give you an idea of what I mean:

  • Try using an old wooden ladder with flat boards laid across to display your Christmas village.
  • Shallow, paella pans make fabulous bases for Christmas tab top displays.
  • Spray paint a ceramic canister with tan spray paint. Add a stamp or stencil on a faux pottery mark and you have yourself an “old” crock to display mini Christmas trees or festive florals.

Personalize your thrifted Christmas decor to make it look more expensive. A few ways that you can achieve this are:

  • Change the colour to match your decor
  • Use your Cricut, stencils, or stamps to add personalize messages, images, initials and so much more to your thrifted finds.
  • Add embellishments that match your Christmas theme or decor style.
  • Spray paint the ornament toppers to match you holiday colours.

The nice thing about thrift shopping is that you can easily change things up to match your decor. There are some basic supplies that you should always have on hand for upcycling your thrifted treasures.

These include:
  • Chalk paint
  • Sand paper
  • Spray paint
  • Mod Podge
  • Screw driver
  • Wire clippers
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Paint brushes
  • Finishing wax
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Wood glue
  • Goo Gone

That being said, don’t rush out and get all of these things at once. Check your local dollar stores, shop for sales, and hey, it’s Christmas time so add them to your wish list.

Of course, these are just a few of the many Christmas thrifting tips that can improve your success of finding exactly what you like. But they are definitely a great start.

The List Of 45 Unexpected Thrifted Christmas Decor Ideas

One of the great things about thrift stores is that you can find all sorts of interesting items that can be reused and upcycled. This is especially true when it comes to Christmas decorating. Here are some ideas for how you can use thrift store items to create unique and festive Christmas decorations.

Let’s Talk Wreath

Yes, of course you can find awesome wreath forms and faux florals at the thrift store BUT we want to think outside the… stocking. Why not consider:

  • Turning an old picture frame into a holiday wreath by attaching evergreen branches, berries, or ornaments to the frame with wire or ribbon.
  • Making a festive wreath using an old belt, scarf. or a piece of fabric. Simply wrap around a foam wreath form and attach with hot glue. Decorate it how ever you like.
  • Using plastic fruits, over sized pine cones, and mini holiday figurines to decorate a front door wreath with. You can spray paint these, glitter them, or leave as is.
  • Use inexpensive costume jewellery to decorate a wreath with. This makes for a unique and elegant wreath. Paired with woolly pompoms pre-loved jewelry really shines.

Tree Bases Are Where It’s At

Tree skirts and collars can be super expensive. Even at your less expensive home decor stores these holiday staples can cost a small fortune. So why not give on of these ideas a try. Consider:

  • Using an old lampshade as a base for a tabletop Christmas tree. The drum shaped lampshades work really well for this look.
  • Repurposing old tablecloths, blankets, or pieces of fabric into a Christmas tree skirt by using the whole piece or by cutting holiday shapes out of them.
  • Looking for old wooden buckets these also make fantastic tree collars for your mini or table top trees.
  • Using large wicker baskets for a simple and beautiful base alternative. This is the perfect solution for a boho or romantic Christmas theme.

Advent Advantages

Advent count downs aren’t just for the kiddos. This holiday classic can make for beautiful holiday decor. But to get one that isn’t made of cardboard and filled with cheap chocolate maybe try:

  • Making your own Advent calendar using an old jewelry box or cigar box. Paint or decorate the box, then add numbered pockets on the inside to hold small treats or notes.
  • Paint a gaudy wooden Advent calendar with white chalk paint and then distress it. This is a fun way to give a stylish makeover to an old favourite.
  • Finding tiny Christmas items to mix up with chocolates and treats to add to your advent calendar.
  • Larger sized picture frames can be easily turned into an Advent calendar by stringing ribbon horizontally across an empty frame. Attach little bags, mittens, or envelopes with clips and fill with candy, tiny gifts, or holiday coupons.

Christmas Tree Twists

Give your Christmas tree a unique twist by decorating it with unexpected items. A few ideas include:

  • Giving your Christmas tree a vintage look by decorating it with old-fashioned cookie cutters, plastic fruits, and mini plastic toys from the kid’s section. (Yes, old wooden toys would look more authentic but they may contain lead.)
  • Using old pieces of jewelry to decorate an inexpensive Christmas tree topper. Or use these cheap little gems to create one of a kind ornaments.
  • Turning china tea cups into ornaments by hot gluing embellishments into the inside.

Nativity Beauty

I love nativity scenes. I especially love unique and unexpected nativity sets. And the thrift store is the perfect place to find materials for creating these one of a kind beauties. Why not try:

  • Using wooden salt shakers and pepper mills in a larger and smaller size to create Mary and Joseph. Paint and shroud the shorter shaker in burlap as a veil. Tie the two shakers together and attach a mini baby Jesus made out of burlap and a wooden bead for the head.
  • Updating an old and worn nativity set with chalk paint to create a stone look. Or spray paint the set with a solid colour. You could even go metallic.

Christmas Art Printable!

Inspired by Kirkland Christmas, this holiday wall art is the perfect addition to any Christmas decor. Hang on the wall or display on your fireplace mantle.

Simply download the free printable, print and frame.

Get Lit

Candles are an essential part of any holiday decor but they too can cost a pretty penny. Plus, it’s Christmas! It’s time to really shine with some one of a kind candle decor.
Take a look at:

  • Using old hurricane lantern chimneys and a wooden crate to create a festive centerpiece. Simply fill the wood crate with white sand or Epson salt. Add the candles and top off each with a chimney. You can decorate if you wish or leave as is for a minimalist look.
  • Making your own Christmas candles using festive china cups or cermamic holiday mugs.
  • Decorating battery operated pillar candles with scrap fabric, jewellery, belt buckles, or flat ornaments.
  • Wrapping candles in pieces of leather taken from old leather purses or jackets.

It’s A Wrap

You put in so much time and effort choosing the right gift for the one’s you love. Why not elevate that gift with one of a kind wrapping by using:

  • Old maps make interesting wrapping paper and you can personalize it by marking the places that you’ve been together or using a map of a special holiday spot for the two of you.
  • Old lace table cloths can make pretty wrapping paper, sewed into gift bag, or cut up into strips and turned into a messy bow.
  • Vintage linens can be used to make embellished gift tags.
  • Wooden cigar boxes or jewellery boxes can do double duty as gift and decor. Personalize these to make it extra special.
  • Decorating with colorful or festive babushkas. These make for excellent bows and ribbons.

Centerpieces Galore

No holiday table is complete without a festive centerpiece. But to buy a brand new centerpiece can be expensive and they seldom have the exact look to match your decor. So why not try:

  • Filling old baskets with pretend wrapped gifts, holiday books, ornaments, and other decorations to create a festive centerpieces.
  • Spray painting porcelain or ceramic Christmas decor in all one solid colour. Line these down the center of the table for a charming display.
  • Placing cheese graters over candles that have been placed on a wooden or metal tray. Adorn with holiday greenery.
  • Collecting coloured glass in your favourite colour. Mix these up with candles and florals for an elegant tablescape.
  • Filling glass vases and candy jars with ornaments and arrange down the length of the table. Pair these with colour coordinated bottle brush tree and mini white Christmas village house.

Christmas Kitchen

Add some fun and festive flair to your kitchen with these Christmassy touches. You’ll be sure to feel the holiday spirit while you’re baking up a storm. Try:

  • Getting festive with your holiday table setting by using thrifted but beautiful mismatched china sets or vintage silverware as part of your place settings. Fancy.
  • Using festive fabrics from the thrift store to cut out Christmas shapes to embellish towels, oven mitts, or pot holders. Or use to add cute ruffles, poinsettias, or trim.
  • Chalk painting old water pitchers in simple white or red spray paint. Add faux Christmas greenery, berries, and pine cones for cute counter decor piece. The faux enamel works well.
  • Stenciling, painting, or using your Cricut to add festive images or messages to everyday kitchen tools and then hanging these up as Christmas wall decor.

Fabric Festivities

Fabrics are one of the easiest things to come by at the thrifts store. Here are a few easy ideas to incorporating them into your Christmas decorating. Consider:

  • Using an old flannel shirts or dresses to make fabric Christmas ornaments. Like I did with these old red and white pajamas.
  • Bringing some holiday cheer to your home with fun and festive Christmas pillows. Just like with the kitchen fabrics, use festive patterned or coloured fabrics to add festive cheer to throw pillows and blankets.
  • Using strips of fabric to create unique and colourful front door wreaths.
  • Turning sheets that are a simple white or cream colour into minimalist looking Christmas wall art.

Holiday The Lo

Every room should have a touch of Christmas spirit and this includes the bathroom. Use these simple and inexpensive ideas to decorate the loo. Try:

  • Giving your bathroom a holiday makeover with festive shower curtains, towels, or rugs. Again, simply add fabric cut outs, embellishments, ruffles, or trim to these to festify them. (Yes, that’s now a word. Change approved!)
  • Spray painting a Kleenex box cover with dark brown spray paint. This is to mimic wood. Paint over this with white chalk paint and distress. Using a stencil or your Cricut to write out a holiday message. Perfect for keeping those little nose clean all season long.
  • Combining crystal candle holders with lidded glass jars to create DIY apothecary jars that you can then use to display a holiday tableau.


Sometimes it’s nice to keep it simple and using double duty decor is definitely the easiest way to do achieve this. Here are some ideas:

  • Using your Cricut creating a winter message that can then be transferred into a wooden cutting board. Layer this with other winter themed elements and a candle.
  • Glass cake stands, or large lidded glass jars. when paired with pine cones look simply elegant.
  • Wicker waste paper baskets can be used to display winter greenery and giant scented pine cones.

Jenny’s Finishing Thoughts On Thrifted Christmas Decor

These are just a few ideas for how you can use thrift store items to create unique and festive Christmas decorations. With a little creativity, you can find all sorts of ways to upcycle thrift store items and give your home a one-of-a-kind holiday look.

Did you find this post helpful or inspirational? Save This Pin to your Thrifted Christmas Decor board on Pinterest.

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