The perfect Christmas wall decorations for mid century modern home
Christmas trees and candles, ribbon, holly and mistletoe, as well as evergreen wreaths and garlands — these holiday decorating traditions never go out of style!
But, of course, something else was happening with decor in general during the 50s: mid-century modern home design trends.
It stands to reason that if you have invested in this bold, ultra-modern aesthetic, you’d want that same style conformity with your Christmas decorations. This made for some unique holiday decorating concepts that, like pastel bathrooms and atomic light fixtures, can only have originated in one unforgettable era.
As you can see in the vintage photos below, the characteristic mid century modern flair — represented by an abundance of color, clean lines and geometric patterns — translated perfectly in these examples of 1950s Christmas wall decorations.
A DIY golden Christmas tree on the wall (1958)
Golden metal pot-cleaners, each stretched and pulled into a flower-like shape, then centered with a bright red bauble, were used by designer Ouida to make this unusual wall tree.
To make Christmas wall decorations like this, cluster and tack the flowers to a plywood backing cut as a triangle. Tree-pot, stuffed with paper to give it form, is made of felt and gold braid. [We believe they used something like these metal scourers.]
Two retro wreath designs for over the fireplace (1957)
This lovely Madonna and wreath — made of the most commonplace materials — have all the refinement and beauty of a work of art. Use them over the fireplace, or on the buffet or console table.
If space in your home is limited, replace the traditional Christmas tree with wreaths, garlands, or wall sheaves. This foil and bauble beauty will be the center of attraction wherever it is placed.
Fancy retro wreath from the fifties with fake fruit
Simple stakes make these retro-style stars
Plant labels (sticks like these garden markers), made of wood and available at any nursery or garden supply store, are used to shape these smart wall decorations. Just paint the stakes and glue them when dry to a flat styrofoam or wooden disk.
Full-height window decoration (1950s)
Ceiling-height Christmas wall decorations like this one become the wall.
Vintage 1950s Christmas wall decorations
Creative retro metallic designs surround a doorway
Shiny blue glass globe ornaments (like these) accent the gold loops in these coordinating Christmas wall decorations.
S-links cut out gilt cardboard holiday decorations with round ornaments (1954)
Hanging Christmas wall decorations, retro-style
Vintage 1950s basket wreath
4 homemade Christmas wall decorations with 50s style
4: This three-dimensional star, cut from heavy paper or lightweight cardboard, is as much fun to make as it is beautiful to see. Its stark white loveliness makes a striking accent in a room done in strong, plain colors. For a more subtle effect, use a softer shade.
5: Another star with a completely different, stained-glass-window look is made of gold cardboard strips and foil-covered rings cut from mailing tubes. Be sure to hang this design where light will strike it at an angle. You’ll love the play of color it creates.
6: Inexpensive paper doilies make these lacy, elegant-looking balls that have been strung together to make a hanging ornament. They can be made in any size you want, sprayed any color you like, and used anywhere.
7: Just a change in placement of the cuts and folds used in the three-dimensional star will make this trimly tailored wall wreath. The two designs make an attractive pair of ornaments that will last for many seasons.
Cute paperfold sculpture Christmas wall decorations (1957)
Honeycomb Christmas wall decorations
These affordable honeycomb tissue paper Christmas decorations can be used in many different configurations — even only unfolded in half so they can lay flat against the wall. (Here, see some shapes and styles you can get today!)
Gold ornaments and Christmas wall decorations from the 50s
Pretty paper hanging lanterns you can make (1954)
Hanging lanterns, made entirely of paper and trimmed with shiny baubles, make impressive Christmas wall decorations.
Large-scale designs like this are important enough to be used alone in any room. Choose paper in colors to complement color plan of your own home.
DIY craft instructions
The cylinder for smaller lantern (left) is core from paper towels; for larger lantern (right), core from fabric rolls obtainable in yardage shops. Fins are lightweight cardboard; surface is paper-backed foil obtainable in artists’ and display supply stores.
Cut cylinder desired length. Punch opposite holes with ice pick about 44” from ends for wire for hanging lantern and suspending tree balls.
Cut fins to shape desired with 3/8″ flange (B) scored and bent at right angles. Cover A and B with foil using rubber cement on paper side. Cement cardboard surface of B to core. Use as many fins as required.
Another way to make fins: (right) make a narrow flange B down the center of cardboard. Score and fold to make two wings. Cut metallic paper slightly larger than pattern, paste to one side of cardboard. turning edges with paper. Place fins back to back; paste uncovered surfaces.
Garlands of festive flowers hung as vintage Christmas wall decorations
Yellow starburst holiday decorations over a midcentury modern fireplace
Light strands make this elegant Christmas tree-shaped decoration (1950s)
Golden Christmas decorations around a vintage fireplace (1950s)