How To Make New Christmas Ornaments Look Vintage

Do you love the look of patina that happens over time on vintage Christmas ornaments? If you’ve priced them at a vintage store, flea market or shopped on Etsy lately they can be expensive! Why not get the look for less and make your new Christmas ornaments look old! This easy tutorial will show you how.

make new Christmas ornaments look old

It’s no secret that I like patina and imperfection, except when it comes to those trendy ripped jeans! Sometimes vintage pieces can be a bit hard to find or overpriced. That’s when good old ingenuity can come into play and recreating a look yourself. When it comes to Christmas ornaments it’s so easy and takes just a couple of minutes per piece. There are so many ways you can use Christmas balls, so grab some and let’s get started making these new plastic Christmas ornaments look like their vintage counterparts!

new Christmas ornaments with vintage patina diy

How To Make New Christmas Ornaments Look Vintage

Grab yourself a handful of new Christmas ornaments. If you don’t have any, I’ve listed some that you can buy in bulk below. Scroll and tap on the links…

You’ll also need:

  • A bottle of acetone nail polish remover
  • Gloves to protect your hands
  • Soft cotton rag
  • Old toothbrush
  • Eye dropper
  • Dark wax – THIS  is my favorite furniture wax, hands down!

So easy…put your gloves on and dip a small part of your rag into some nail polish. Don’t use anything but straight acetone nail polish for this. Then just rub off a section of the painted finish. You’ll see it come off on your rag and the ornament should look more silver and dull.

new Christmas ornaments diy

For some additional texture, take a toothbrush and gently scrub the plastic.

diy tutorial shiny brite ornament look

Another way to remove some of the finish is by dripping the acetone on with an eyedropper. Hold the ornament by the hanger and let the acetone drip down. Turn it before it stops dripping to create some interesting patterns.

new Christmas ornaments with a vintage look

When you’ve finished a handful or so, take another small rag and apply dark furniture wax. Rub in and let it dry for a little while and then buff some of the wax off. Let the piece dry…it shouldn’t take long.

furniture wax on Christmas ornaments

That’s it…I told you that this was easy! Now you have a bunch of new Christmas ornaments that look vintage and can style them as you like! I put some in a gorgeous embossed vintage silver bowl that I have. The patina on the bowl is perfectly imperfect and now has a seasonal look to match.

I really got on a roll with these and decided to tie ribbon through a few and add to my bedroom mantel. What do you think?

new Christmas ornaments mantel

By the way, one of the reasons that I stopped using vintage Christmas ornaments is that they are glass. Inevitably I would drop some every year and what a pain to have them shatter! If this sounds like you…don’t despair. See what you can do with those broken glass ornaments in THIS POST!

new Christmas ornaments

Want to add a mercury glass look to your new Christmas ornaments, as opposed to distressing them? Check out THIS POST then…you’ll love it!

new Christmas ornaments


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  1. Did you mean acetone nail polish remover?

  2. Jane Stapp says:

    Do you mean acetone nail polish remover to strip some of the paint off the ornaments?

  3. Miche Ortega says:

    Ingenious! Thanks so much Janet.

    1. So fast…I lose patience with super involved projects so I try and bring fast easy ways to craft and decorate!

  4. This is brilliant, Janet! Love it!! And btw, I didn’t know there were plastic ornaments. 🤦‍♀️ How much easier that makes things!!

    1. Thank you my friend! Oh newbie…you’ll be hooked on plastic now, LOL!

  5. The vintage balls are expensive I checked Etsy this weekend. So thank you for this post this helps me save money and have fun.

    1. They sure are!! I shudder to recall how I used to use them up in making ornament wreaths for clients years ago and now don’t have that many left!

  6. Ginger Valdes says:

    Great ideas, Janet! I used to make “Mercury” glass ornaments with new glass ones. Pour a little ammonia inside an shake for a few seconds, then pour out and rinse. They really looked vintage!
    Happy December!

    1. That’s another fun thing to do as well Ginger! Happy holiday season!

  7. Thank you for the sharing the wax with us. It’s sometimes hard to find a good color. I’m was a whittler up until a few years ago when I got sick. I’m better now but haven’t got back into it. I do Santa’s of all kinds. Old and new
    Father Christmas, Belsnickle, and modern Santa. I paint them in all shades. I found out through trial and error that shoe polish is a great way to antique them or just use a clear wax to seal them, brush them with a polishing brush and they look great.im anxious to try your wax. Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Gerry! I’ve used shoe polish on projects to age them as well, especially old paper and wood projects. I do love the Briwax and hope you like it too. Happy Thanksgiving!