Displaying Vintage Ornaments in a Frame

How to Display Vintage Ornaments in a Frame

From December 1st to December 23rd I’m sharing three Christmas projects per week, for Twelve Days of Christmas Projects.

Welcome to Day Eight!

You can find links to the other projects at this end of this post.

I have a collection of vintage glass ornaments that I never put on our tree because we have feline friends who like nothing better than to play with shiny hanging balls.

Who can blame them? Certainly not me.

Displaying vintage ornaments in a frame, safely hanging on a wall, is a great way to keep playful paws from getting at them.

Dressing up a chicken wire frame to display vintage ornaments

Way back in 2014 I used the above frame to display some vintage pink ornaments that did look a bit different than what I’m doing today.

To see how I created the barnboard chicken wire frame that I’m using, check out my framed pink ornament tree project here.

For this project I’m using stapled burlap on the back instead of the scraf that I used in that project.

You don’t need to have a barnboard frame. Chicken wire and burlap, or whatever other backing you’d like to use, can be added to any frame. And ribbon can be wrapped around any frame to Christmas it up for the holidays.

vintage ornaments, red ribbon, and ornament hangers for ornament display

I got the bag of vintage ornaments at a thrift store a few years ago for $2, and I’ve had that very long $1 thrifted red ribbon for years. I tend to use a bit of it here and there, but I still have tons of it. Even the unopened package of ornament hangers was thrifted for just 50 cents.

Lot of vintage glass ornaments to display in frame

The bag of ornaments are a real vintage mixture.

Some of the caps are marked Germany, and a few are marked Poland. Some of the cap marks I can’t make out, and some are unmarked.

They all appear to be hand painted, and I definitely have a few favorites that you’ll see later.

I wasn’t sure which ones I was going to use so I poured them all out of the bag so I could pull from them as I went.

Adding red ribbon to frame for vintage ornaments display

securing red ribbon on back of frame with duck tape

Here’s the back of the frame after I stapled on the burlap.

I added the pink duck tape because that’s what I had and I wanted to cover the staples. It also helps to keep the burlap in place. Since it won’t be seen it doesn’t matter what you use.

I’m wrapping the red ribbon around the frame to Christmas it up a bit. It will be easily removeable after the holiday season.

easily attach ribbon to frame by taping at back of frame

I cut pieces of the ribbon to go around the frame, and secured it on the back of the frame with that same pink duck tape.

adding red ribbon to barnboard frame to dress it up for Christmas

First I did the top and bottom.

barnboard frame with ribbon attached

And then I did the sides the exact same way, securing on the back with the tape.

Easy peasy.

Now comes the fun part.

Displaying vintage ornaments by hanging them on the chicken wire

Christmas tree trunk ornament and bottom row of vintage ornament display in a tree shape

I started with the vintage striped bell because I thought it kind of looked like a trunk.

And then I added a row of teardrop shaped ornaments. The hand painted snowman and skater are two of my very favorite ornaments.

Middle rows of vintage ornaments displayed as a tree in a chicken wire frame

I just mixed and matched the rows as I went in a way that looked good to me.

There’s no wrong here. It’s just about what makes you happy.

top rows of vintage ornament tree-shaped display on chicken wire frame

I didn’t have anything that I thought would make a good tree topper in this bag, so I went into my Christmas stash and found this sweet little teardrop ornament.

It’s makes a perfect tree topper.

Tree-shaped display of vintage ornaments

Safe and easy way to display vintage glass ornaments in a tree shape on a frame

The chicken wire can be a little finicky, and I had to hang a few of the ornaments on the burlap, but they are so light it really shouldn’t damage the burlap unless someone pulls on it.

You don’t have to do a tree shape. Do whatever shape works for you, or just randomly hang your vintage ornaments in a way that you love.

Don’t worry if there’s a little wonkiness happening. A little wonkine

Embrace the wonkiness. 🙂

Supplies needed to create this project

  • Frame
  • chicken wire
  • burlap
  • ribbon
  • tape
  • Vintage ornaments
  • ornament hangers

Easy way to dress up a frame for Christmas to display vintage ornaments

And here’s my framed vintage ornaments display.

By adding the ribbon onto the frame, from a distance it almost gives it a shadows box look, which I did not expect.

That was a happy creative accident. I love it when that happens.

I hope this project has inspired you to get some of your vintage ornaments out of their boxes and bags so you can safely enjoy them, while keeping them away from playful paws.

It would be greatly appreciated if you would pin this project to your favorite Pinterest board, and also share it with your friends.

DIY framed vintage ornaments alternative Christmas tree

Twelve Days of Christmas Project Links

DAY TWELVE: Quick & Easy Scarf Christmas Wreath

DAY ELEVEN: Repurposed Furniture Legs into Alternative Christmas Trees

DAY TEN: Easy Map Ornaments from Cosmetic Containers

DAY NINE: Vintage Cookie Cutter Christmas Ornaments

DAY EIGHT: Displaying Vintage Ornaments in a Frame

DAY SEVEN : Repurposed Playing Cards into DIY Christmas Tree

DAY SIX: DIY Christmas Wreath from Glittery Thrifted Finds

DAY FIVE: Easy DIY Stuffed Clear Plastic Ornaments

DAY FOUR: Easy DIY Christmas Gnomes

DAY THREE: Easy DIY Felt Poinsettia Wreath

DAY TWO: Easy Angel Ornaments from Tassels

DAY ONE: Repurposed Hand Fan Christmas Trees

Thanks so much for reading and until next time,

keep on keepin’ on!


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  1. When you said the ribbon made it look like a shadow box, I scrolled back up to see. WOW! It sure does! I’ve got an entire roll of 6 or 8 foot chicken wire (a project that never got started) and I’m certainly going to make a frame with it!! Your tree is so beautiful. Thanks for reminding me how great the frame is!

    1. Thanks very much Dona! That was really a happy accident. It’s always fun when that happens. 🙂

  2. What a great idea-I love this!

  3. got a chuckle from your comment about keeping the ornaments away from playful paws! We can’t have anything breakable around with our crew of cats….nothing is safe!!!! I’ll have to share some of the ornaments I made out of their canned cat food lids….unbreakable of course!

  4. Oh, do those ornaments bring back memories! We had a few of those exact ones growing up. Clever idea for displaying them.

    1. I’m so happy my ornaments brought back some nice memories for you Marie! They do for me too.