Vintage Glass Ornament Tree
What type of Balsam Hill tree do you have and how tall is it?
It is a Frosted Fraser Fir from Balsam Hill, and it is 6.5 feet tall.
What mix of ornaments did you use for this tree?
On my tree, I used primarily vintage glass ornaments, many of which are hand blown and have been collected over the years. Our town used to have a Kris Kringle shop where you could get ornaments from all over the world. I started by placing the solid color shiny ornaments first, tucking them inside the tree where they can reflect the lights. Next, I filled in any big holes or spaces with the larger decorative glass ornaments. I then finished off by placing the smaller hand blown ornaments around the tree. I have my favorites and those ornaments always get hung at eye level in the most viewed location. The clip-on glass bird ornaments with their feathery tails got added last and I tried to space them somewhat evenly apart. Finally, I draped glass bead garlands around the tree.
How many ornaments did you use to achieve this look?
I’m not sure exactly how many but I know I have over a hundred glass ornaments. I like the tree to appear as though it’s dripping with ornaments. They don’t all get placed on the tree; I display many of them in bowls or wire baskets around the house.
How much garland/ribbon did it take to cover the tree?
This year, I used 2 sizes of red glass bead garlands on the tree. They come in long pieces so when I get to the top of the tree, I cut the garland in half. I used about 4 strands of each size, for a total of 8. When you look at the tree, it appears there are 7 strands each on the tree. To drape the beads, I simply found branches that stick out and used those as the anchor points, letting the beads drape down between the branches. I also tried not to place them evenly apart, creating a little bit of an appealing haphazard look. I didn’t want it to look too perfect.
How did you decide on the decorating theme of your tree?
My theme was pretty easy, since I already had plenty of vintage glass ornaments collected from the Kris Kringle store, antique stores, and flea markets. I knew I wanted a vintage Christmas tree look. I debated using tinsel like they did in the 1950’s and 60’s but decided that might be a hazard for my kitties who like to bat at the bead garlands on the lower branches.
Is there a story on a signature ornament you’d like to share with us?
I have some pink oval-shaped glass ornaments on my tree that were handed down to me from my grandmother. This year I was actually able to find a few more just like them. My grandmother used to clip red cardinals on her tree, but they weren’t of the glass-blown variety. She was my inspiration for clipping the birds on the tree though.
Is there something different you did for this tree that you particularly like?
This is the first year I’ve used a frosted tree, and I love it! When I was little, our living room had a cathedral ceiling so my parents always bought the tallest tree that would fit. My dad would take it to someone to flock the entire tree so it was completely white. People thought it was fake, but it was a live tree. He’d bring it home and let it rest for a full day before decorating it, so the branches would fall into place after being wrapped up. Since that was back in the 60’s, my mother had elaborate glass ornaments in aqua and pink, many with beads draped on them. The tree was placed in a stand that rotated and played music. I loved sitting in the living room watching the tree slowly spin and listening to its carols over and over. It was magical. I wanted to capture that magic again with my own frosted tree. Of all the trees I’ve had over the years, this one is my favorite.