40 DIY Old Fashioned Christmas Tree Garland Ideas

The holiday season is approaching, and you want to update your Christmas tree. Buuuuut you don’t have the budget for all new decorations. I have created a list of 40 DIY old fashioned Christmas tree garland ideas. These garland ideas are easy to create with your kids and a great way to give your tree that simple, vintage look.

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Why Make Your Own Christmas Tree Garland

I want to share the simple, vintage lifestyle message at Our Vintage Bungalow. After all, what could possibly be more vintage than homemade Christmas ornaments? Working on holiday crafts is an easy way to get into the holiday spirit and create lasting memories with your children. I have many happy childhood memories of holiday traditions like baking Christmas cookies and doing Christmas crafts. Younger children love 40 DIY old fashioned Christmas tree garland ideas, and they often make perfect gifts for Grandma (or other friends and family)!

Now, I’m not at all opposed to shopping in “real” stores, for Christmas decorations, but all too often that’s our first option. For this post, I really want to challenge you to think outside the big box stores (ahem, see what I did there?) and try to scrounge up as much as you can for these garlands without spending a penny!

ONLY shopping retail creates the problems of:

  • Hindering creativity
  • Not creating memories with our kids
  • Harming our desire for simplicity
  • Making us have to store tons of off-season decorations
  • Not giving us the satisfaction of making something unique
  • Costing money best used elsewhere
  • Teaching our kids to buy stuff, stuff and more stuff

By making something simple like these DIY Christmas tree garland ideas, you can

  • Open your (and your kids’) eyes to common items around you that are gorgeous in their simplicity.
  • Create peace in your heart by not running everywhere for the newest trend
  • Save money for items more important and necessary
  • Still have beautiful and “new” Christmas decorations
  • Learn yourself and teach crafting skills to your kids
  • Experiment without the worry of wasting money
  • Clear out the clutter of excess décor and use up some old craft supplies

Where To Get Supplies for These 40 DIY Old Fashioned Christmas Garland Ideas

I’ll be honest, many of these ideas require craft supplies. You can choose to purchase the supplies at a local craft store. But before you jump into the car or on your phone to buy all you need let me encourage you: STOP. There are plenty of other ways to resource these homemade decorations. Think about what you already have or maybe something you can source from nature. Be intentional about your choice and enjoy the calmness that intentionality brings.

  • Do you already have those craft supplies tucked in a closet or basement?
  • Can you choose a diy garland with items you can find in the woods or a friend’s yard?
  • Can you find supplies at an estate sale, garage sale or thrift store?

I hope this list sparks your creativity and brings the joy of simplicity and creativity to your home and Christmas tree this year. May you have the beauty of uniqueness rather than the hurry of the retail rat race this Christmas season.

DIY Old Fashioned Christmas Tree Garland Ideas

General supplies needed for all the DIY Christmas garland ideas:

Along with the above, a unique supply list will be included for each of the 40 DIY old fashioned Christmas tree garland ideas.

1.      Wooden Bead Garland from The Ginger Home

Photo Courtesy The Ginger Home


2.      Dried Orange Slices Garland from Cashmere and Plaid

Photo Courtesy Cashmere and Plaid


3.      Cranberry Garland from Yammie’s Noshery


4.      Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments from Farm Wife Crafts

Photo Courtesy of Farm Wife Crafts

Just string them together in a garland instead of individual ornaments.


5.      Pinecone Garland (painted and unpainted) from Lavender Homefront


6.      Family Photos Christmas Garland

Simply print off various family photos from old black and white to new colored. Get them around the 2 x 3 size. Punch a hole in the corner or attach them to string using small clothespins.


7.      Popcorn Garland from Zero Waste Nerd


8.      Cinnamon Apple Garland from The Magic Onions

This one is close to my heart. My mom made cinnamon apple garlands to sell at craft shows for years. I can still see ropes of apple slices hanging all over the kitchen. Those simple holiday decorations bring back so many good memories!


9.      Kraft Paper Garland in Christmas Shapes by Kenarry


10.  Tassel Christmas Tree Garland from The Beetique


11.  Pom Pom Garland

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Get pom poms, color and size of your choice and string together with needle and thread. Lots of tutorials I looked up made their own pompoms, but there’s just an amount of DIY I’m willing to do, and that seems like it would take a boat load of time.


12.  Salt Dough Garland from Hearth and Vine

Photo Courtesy of Hearth and Vine


13.  Felt Magnolia Leaves Garland from Alice and Lois

Photo Courtesy of Alice and Lois


14.  Red Berry Garland

Go for a nature hike (in a place you can forage items) and gather red berries on the stems. Little hands love to gather small items, and this is a great way to get the whole family involved! Talk about an inexpensive way to create Christmas memories. Tie berry clusters on string at regular intervals or clip to string with small clothespins. Optional: add them alongside dried orange or apple slices.


  • Red berry clusters on stem
  • String

15.  Origami Star Garland from Girl About Townhouse

Photo Courtesy Girl About Townhouse


16.  Wood Slice Garland from Fynes Designs

This tutorial shows how to make a Merry Christmas garland, but you can design any words or draw Christmas pictures on the wood slices instead. Not super artsy? Use Christmas stamps or cut out photos of family and glue on the wood slices!


17.  Star Wool Felt Garland from On Sutton Place

Photo Courtesy On Sutton Place


18.  Christmas Tree Clothespin Garland from Raising Whasians

Photo Courtesy Raising Whasians


19.  Christmas Ball Garland from Priceless Life of Mine


20.  Book Page Gold Tipped Feather Garland from Life is a Party

Photo Courtesy Life is a Party


21.  Twig Ornament Garland from The DIY Dreamer

Photo Courtesy The DIY Dreamer

Simply turn tie these at various intervals along a string to make a garland.


22.  Clay Feathers or Christmas Shape Garland from 100 Layer Cake

Photo Courtesy 100 Layer Cake

Instead of making ornaments, tie these at regular intervals on a string.


23.  Bird Feather Garland

Find bird feathers from your nature hikes or get some in bulk. Tie together at regular intervals along a string for a Boho Christmas tree garland.


24.  Paper Snowflake Garland from In My Own Style


25.  Glitter Cardboard Christmas Garland

Trace Christmas cookie cutters on a piece of cardboard. Cut out with scissors or an Exacto knife. Rub with stick glue and sprinkle liberally with glitter. Poke hole through top with ice pick. String together, tying off at regular intervals.


26.  Christmas Wood Cutout Garland

Purchase various Christmas wood cutouts. Paint and tie off at regular intervals along a string.

27.  Song Book Page Garland from Sarah Joy Blog

Or Other Book Page Garland Option from Our Clover House

Photo Courtesy Our Clover House


28.  Vintage Christmas Postcard Garland

If you’ve collected vintage postcards, you may have a fun assortment of beautiful Christmas postcards! Clip them onto a string using small clothespins.


29.  Wood Spool of Thread Garland

Many estate sales or thrift stores are full of old craft supplies, including vintage wood spools of thread. Start gathering these when you find them. String them together to make a colorful vintage Christmas garland.


30.  Acorn Garland from Juise at Blogspot


31.  Sweet Gum Ball Garland from Monkey Flower Group

Photo Courtesy Monkey Flower Group


32.  Sea Shell Garland from Sand and Sisal

Just take this easy tutorial and make a long strand for your tree.

How to drill holes in shells from Completely Coastal


33.  Cotton Boll Garland

If you live in the Midwest, you may just be near a cotton field. Always, always ask permission from the farmer before just taking cotton, but stringing cotton bolls (the individual ball of cotton) would make a beautiful snowy garland! (You could also use regular, purchased cotton balls!)


34.  Snowy Pinecone Garland from A Pumpkin and a Princess

Tie your flocked pinecones or hot glue them on a string.


35.  Driftwood Garland from City Farmhouse


36.  Rag Ribbon Garland from A Wonderful Thought

Photo Courtesy A Wonderful Thought


  • Strips of cotton fabric in various colors
  • String

37.  Dried Flower or Greenery Garland from Cate Stihll

Photo Courtesy Cate Stihll


38.  Strips of Vintage Quilts Garland

You can find vintage quilts in poor condition (cutter quilts) very cheaply at estate or garage sales. There is even a an antique quilt dealer in a nearby antique mall that has a bin of cheap, low quality quilts. Cut into strips. Hem both sides and drape around your Christmas tree for a one-of-a-kind Christmas garland.


39.  Finger Crocheted Garland from Melanie K Hamm

Photo Courtesy Melanie K Hamm


40.  Burlap Chain Christmas Garland from Factory Direct Craft

Photo Courtesy Factory Direct Craft


41.  Eucalyptus Garland from Homey Oh My

Photo Courtesy Homey Oh My


42.  A Mix of the Above Ideas for a Unique Christmas Garland

Many of these ideas can be combined for so many unique Christmas garlands for your tree. Some combination ideas are:

  • Pinecones and cranberries
  • Felt leaves and pompoms
  • Cotton bolls and sweet gum balls
  • Christmas wood cutouts and family photos
  • Wooden beads and cinnamon ornaments

No matter your vintage decorating style, one (or several) of these DIY old-fashioned Christmas tree garland ideas may just be for you! They will add a unique beauty to your vintage Christmas decorations. They are also a wonderful way to be intentional about the seasonal décor you use (and buy).

Comment below and tell me one or two garlands that interest you this year!

Get 15 Free vintage Christmas postcards from 1900 – 1920’s to make a unique garland!

Pin for Later 40 DIY Old Fashioned Christmas Tree Garland Ideas


Our Vintage Bungalow

Howdy! I’m Tammy, and I’ve lived most of my life stretching a low decorating budget through garage sales and DIY renovation.

I am going to give you quick and easy tips on the beauty of reusing older items instead of spending tons of money on new. I’ll show you how I add vintage style that makes a your house feel like a cozy home (even with young kids, a practical husband and a big dog in tow). 

Read more about our journey HERE

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