Everyone has that sentimental attachment to vintage toys from their youth. I can still smell Strawberry Shortcake blowing me kisses and excitement of getting a fresh box of crayons. Why not take a trip down memory lane one Christmas by using a collection of vintage toys as decorations. When I stumbled upon a dealer at a flea market selling things like a Barbie Fold n’ Fun House, Crayon Carrousels and Easy Bake Ovens in their original boxes I knew it was going to be a nostalgic noel at my house.
Collecting Vintage Toys
Full disclosure – I’ve collected vintage toys on and off for years. Dream Pets, Rushkin rubber face dolls and old Fisher Price toys were the kinds of things I already had around the house. In this picture the Dressy Bessy Doll, Panda radio and Raggedy Ann and Andy book were mine as a child. All the G.I. Joe belonged to my husband. Some of the things you need to recreate a look like this might already be lurking in your attic (or your parent’s attic). If not the flea market, eBay and thrift stores are your friend here.
Decorating For Kitchmas With Vintage Toys
They don’t call it Kitschmas for nothing – is there anything more kitschy than the neon colors of toys from the 70’s? Who else had that Rolly Polly Bear? The little Fisher Price radio was mine as a child! I usually style my vintage toy collection at the base of Christmas trees like Santa has already delivered!
DIY Gift Wrap That’s As Cute as All Those Old Toys!
Now what good does it do to style an adorable tree and then stick a bunch of gifts under it that totally ruin the vibe. Try a few of these ideas for DIY wrapping paper like the ones I painted above …
- 10 Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas – HGTV
- Creative and Colorful Gift Wrapping Ideas for the Holidays and Beyond
- Wrapping Paper Pinterest Board
Nobody Wants to See Your Christmas Tree Base
Ya’ll just as important as the star on top is the tree skirt at the bottom of your tree. Finish off that look for head to toe Kitschmas perfection. In a pinch if you don’t have a tree skirt (GASP) you could instead surround the base of your tree with vintage toys! Boom looks like Santa came through a time portal from 1970 and no ugly metal tree base!
Wanna make your own Kitschmas tree skirt?
- No-Sew Tree Skirt Ideas – DIY Network
- How to Make a No-Sew, Vintage Inspired, Felt Christmas Tree Skirt
Deck the Doll House Halls
Not all those vintage toys need to live underneath a Christmas tree as a prop. They’re your toys use your imagination! Fill old trucks with tiny faux packages or perhaps decorate the doll house halls!
Santa Can Hang Out With the Vintage Toys Too
Mix and match your Christmas decorations with your vintage toy collection. Twink from Rainbow Brite and Storm Shadow from GI Joe totally want to hang out with your vintage blow molds, Christmas elephant dolls and table top trees. The whole idea is to tug at those heart strings and get that feeling of Christmas morning circa 1980.
P.S. Wondering What a blow mold is? Check out this post: 10 Ways to Incorporate Vintage Blow Molds in Your Christmas Decor.
Matching the Vintage Toys To The Christmas Tree
Things can aesthetically go south quickly if color and theme wise your toys do not match the tree. Barbie in a caftan underneath a Victorian themed tree full of glass ornaments would be a bit of a Kitschmas nightmare. Keep this in mind when choosing toys.
Wanna See More of My Crazy Colorful Christmas Trees?
- Houzz – An Austin Stylists Technicolor Christmas Home
- HGTV – Take a Tour Through Jennifer Perkins Vintage Winter Wonderland
- Apartment Therapy – The Most Festive Christmas House We’ve Ever Seen
Where in the world do you put all this stuff?
I get asked this question almost daily during the holidays. Luckily my house has two attics and a lot of closets! Wanna see me in my attic? Check out this video Helpful Holiday Storage Ideas. One thing to remember is to keep things that are plush in bins with lids. If you attic is prone to critters you will thank me. Hard plastic toys like my vintage Fisher Price collection can go straight in the attic and just get dusted off at the holidays.
I threw this picture in of a ‘traditional’ style Christmas tree surrounded by vintage toys just to show you that yes I do in fact occasionally decorate green trees. Check out a few more green Christmas trees here!
Looking Good in Yellow
There is no way to half-ass Kitschmas. You need to either go big or go home and nothing sets off the highlights and Barbie’s blonde hair like a yellow Christmas tree. Check out more in my post: Yay for Decorating a Year Round Yellow Christmas Tree.
Put a Bow On It
Get those vintage toys into the holiday spirit quick by adding a few strategic bows here and there! I don’t know about you but Santa always mixed and matched wrapped and unwrapped gifts at my house.
Serving Silver Aluminum Christmas Tree Realness
If you really wanted to do Kitschmas up right you would get yourself a vintage silver aluminum Christmas tree or in my case this awesome reproduction tinsel Christmas tree.
P.S. Fun Fact: Benji the movie was filmed in my hometown of McKinney, TX. All the scenes in the backyard where the kids feed Benji is my childhood home.
I’m always keeping my eye out for more vintage toys to add to my collection. I only bust out these collections during the holidays so it’s extra fun every year to revisit all my goodies and relive my childhood. What were your favorite toys as a kid? Man what I’d do for that Barbie Perfume Factory or a set of Sea Wees.