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Have a crafty Christmas! Retro holiday decor you can make with ideas from the ’60s

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Have a crafty Christmas! Retro holiday decor you can make (1964)
Looking for some authentic retro holiday decor?

Here, find out how to make some vintage Christmas crafts from 1964!

There’s a green burlap holiday wreath, some cute tabletop Christmas trees, homemade holiday candles, a festive garland, terrific topiary trees, plus a beautiful cardboard Christmas starburst craft. Take a look!

Retro holiday decor - Tabletop Christmas trees - Vintage craft decor

Retro holiday decor: Green burlap holiday wreath

It will last for years — and stay this pretty. It’s a wreath made of bright green burlap, fringed and decked with mobile beads that dance in the air. The big old-fashioned bow is tied like a little girl’s ribbon. For the very easy how-to on this, [see below].

Tabletop crown Christmas trees

They’re sheer fantasy, these “crown trees.” Fabulously fancy as they look, they’re amateur stuff to make when you use half spheres and tall, narrow cones of Styrofoam. For instructions on assembly and applying felt and sequins, plus sketches [see below].

Cardboard Christmas starburst craft

A starburst that uses things you usually throw away can be your most talked-about decoration. Save all cardboard tubes from paper towels, wax paper, and foil; then turn them into the base for this dazzling decor.

Retro holiday decor - Green burlap wreath craft and Cardboard starburst for Christmas


Retro holiday decor instructions: Green burlap holiday wreath

Use an old lampshade metal rim 12″ in diameter for wreath frame. Cut rim apart. (Or you can bend a wire hanger into a 12″ circle.)

Cut 12 one yard strips of bright green burlap, each 7″ wide. Fray 3″ on each side of strips for fringe, leaving a 1″ solid center. Mark, with red pencil, dots down center of the solid areas, 3/4″ apart.

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String fringed burlap strips on rim by thrusting rim through red dots. When all strips are strung, tape the cut rim together securely with masking tape.

Cut apart a string of Christmas bead garland. String beads individually on thin wire of different lengths, fasten to rim. They will dance in a breeze like little mobile lights.

Push burlap gathers together evenly on rim. Shake vigorously to fluff up fringe. Add bow at top. Sprinkle the wreath very generously with bright glitter. Some will fall, but enough will stick for sparkle.


It’s fun to make candles for holiday lights… fun for the entire family. But wear old clothes and spread newspapers! Use your prettiest fruit and pudding molds plus a few inexpensive ingredients.

Retro holiday decor you can make (1)

Make a garland that holds its pretty shape. Mount the greens on a coat hanger, and add ornaments. A sassy bow hides the center hook that lets you hang it on a door, over a door or a mantel. It’s 32 to 34 inches, tip to tip.

Three golden ideas that won’t break the budget nor take much skill to execute: The topiary at left is of natural greens, with “strawberry” guest-size soaps for trimming.

The gold topiary is made of gilded sweet-gum balls. The bird-in-nest, enchantingly nestled in your big Christmas tree, is a little fake bird from the dime store in an old real nest or a tiny basket, all gilded.

Retro holiday decor you can make (2)


Instructions: Crown Christmas trees

Make trees in assorted sizes, 20″ for the smallest to 32″ for the tallest. Styrofoam balls and cones are available in hobby shops and florists. Or you can make a tall, narrow cone out of heavy paper and use a child’s ball for the base (see sketch). Dowel stands are 5″ to 9″ high.

Cut a quarter circle of felt to fit around cone. Glue on with fabric adhesive. Felt “crown” on lower part of tree form is composed of 8 sections of a contrasting color. These cover part of the cone form and the base.

One end of each crown section is rounded, the other is cut in a long narrow point. Make one paper pattern for all sections. Cut 8 pieces. Glue these over rounded bottom of tree form up over lower part of cone, overlapping each other slightly.

Use colored glass-headed pins to hold a yarn outline around crown and to secure flower sequins. Top with finial.

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Retro holiday decor instructions: Cardboard Christmas starburst craft

The base of this fantastic decoration is made of tubes from paper toweling, aluminum foil, and wax paper.

You need 16 tubes, 16 2″ rubber or Styrofoam balls, heavy cardboard, one 6″ Styrofoam half-ball, six 36” dowels, brilliant yarn in several colors, harmonizing paper or fabric, gold braid or gold paper edging, masking tape, green bronze powder.

Use four tubes full length; out four 10″ long. Cut remaining eight 7″ long. Wrap full-length tubes and 10″ tubes with brilliant yarn in many colors.

Cover 7″ tubes with bright paper or fabric. Paint 2″ balls with green bronze paint made by mixing green bronze powder with a little varnish. Dry. Insert balls in one end of tubes.

Retro holiday decor - Vintage Christmas craft instructions

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2 Responses

  1. Good morning! Thank you very much for interesting information! I would like to make Crown trees. Would you help me? I don’t understand where can I find page 53?
    This phrase: Make one paper pattern for all sections,see page 53 for shape.

    1. Hi! Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have that page – and the magazine itself is boxed up and among hundreds of others. I hope to re-scan a few things one day, but for the moment, unfortunately, I don’t have access to anything that may be missing. I’m sorry!

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