How to Create a Vintage Christmas Display for Your Antique Booth

The festive season is a whirlwind of sparkle and cheer, and for antique booth owners, it presents a unique opportunity to create something both heartwarming and sale-boosting.

Vintage Christmas displays not only stir up nostalgic feelings among shoppers but can dramatically increase the visual appeal of your booth.

Whether you’re a seasoned vendor or new to the antique business, setting up a holiday display with a retro flair can differentiate your space and draw crowds.

Here’s how to transform your booth with the timeless charm of yesteryear’s Christmases.

Vintage Christmas Display Inspiration

Our Facebook group members have graciously shared their incredible booths. We had so many submissions I was able to create two videos. You can check them out here:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Some of the popular themes include:

  1. Traditional red and green color schemes
  2. Rustic and farmhouse displays with natural elements like pinecones, burlap, and wood
  3. Mid-century modern designs with shiny metallics and geometric shapes
  4. Victorian-inspired setups featuring delicate lace, pearls, and ornate details

Get inspired by these gorgeous vintage tabletop Christmas displays and start brainstorming brilliant ideas on how you can incorporate similar elements into your booth.

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Choosing the Right Pieces for Your Vintage Christmas Display

Once you have an idea of the overall theme and aesthetic you want to achieve, it’s time to start selecting specific items for your display.

The key is to choose pieces that not only fit within your chosen theme but also complement each other and create a cohesive look.

Here are some more ideas for vintage Christmas items to include in your display:

Step 1: Gather Your Vintage Holiday Collectibles

Begin by taking inventory of your holiday-themed vintage items. Look for anything from classic ornaments and tableware to old-fashioned toys and festive advertisements.

Plan your display around items that evoke the nostalgia of Christmas time from a bygone era. Some of the top vintage Christmas decor collectibles include:

Shiny Brite Ornaments

Ceramic Christmas trees

Vintage Santa figurines and artwork

Mantel Garland

Glass Finial Tree Toppers

Feather Trees

Vintage Glassware and Dinnerware

Vintage Milk Glass

Blow Molds

Foil Light Reflectors

Vintage Christmas Tree Skirts

Tinsel Christmas Tree

Vintage Putz Houses

Aluminum Tree

Vintage Cookie Cutters

Vanpein Multicolor Christmas Bubble Lights

Christmas Tins

Christmas Themed Matchbooks


Need sourcing help? Here are 10 incredible resources to find inventory for your next antique store or booth.

Step 2: Decide on Your Display Theme

One way to create an eye-catching Christmas display is to choose a specific theme and incorporate it throughout your booth.

You can go classic with a vintage-inspired display featuring old-fashioned ornaments, tinsel and garland, and plenty of red and green.

Or, you can get more specific with a theme centered on a particular era, like a 1960s-inspired display featuring retro toys, vintage goodies, and mid-century modern decorations. Or even pick a specific color. I love seeing pink-themed vintage Christmas displays!

While the vintage style itself is a theme, drilling down into more specific concepts can make your display more focused and attractive. Consider these themes:

  • Traditional 1950s Christmas: Think vibrant colors, aluminum Christmas trees, and tinsel galore.
  • Victorian-era elegance: Lace, pearls, and rich fabrics paired with muted ornaments reflect this era’s sophistication.
  • Rustic country holiday: Incorporate wooden crates, burlap, and hand-crafted décor inspired by simpler times.

Step 3: Design Your Layout

Brainstorming a visual layout before setting up is essential. You want to create a scene that tells a story and draws in onlookers. Make sure that:

  • Eye-catching items are at eye level: This will attract attention and potentially draw customers into your booth.
  • Layer items of varying heights: Use old crates or boxes to give height to the back of your display. Christmas villages can be showcased using elevation for a dimension-rich scene.
  • Create depth and interest with lights: Strand lights can be used strategically to illuminate the displays and add a cozy glow.

Step 4: Use Signage to Your Advantage

Signage offers a great opportunity to not only promote your products but also add to the overall theme of your display.

  • Feature descriptions and fun facts: Pair items with short, informative descriptions that provide historical context or fun facts about the item’s era.
  • Price tags: Make sure each item is priced with tags that match the vintage aesthetic.

Step 5: Market Your Display

Take photos of your vintage Christmas display and share them on social media platforms and your store’s website. Remember to post these:

  • Use hashtags: Hashtags like #VintageChristmas and #AntiqueChristmas can increase visibility amongst enthusiasts.
  • Promote ahead of time: Build excitement by giving sneak peeks during the setup process.

Which Vintage Ornaments Sell The Best in Antique Booths?

Vintage ornaments are a popular item in antique booths, but certain styles and designs tend to sell better than others.

Here are some of the top-selling vintage tree ornaments you should include in your display:

  • Shiny Brite Ornaments: These brightly colored glass ornaments were produced from the 1930s to the 1970s and are highly sought after by collectors. Their iconic atomic and space-age designs make them a must-have for any vintage Christmas display.
  • Mercury Glass Ornaments: These reflective, silver ornaments were first produced in the 1850s and continue to be popular today. Look for hand-painted designs or ones with intricate indentations to add variety to your display.
  • Figural Ornaments: Shaped like animals, people, or objects, these vintage ornaments are whimsical and eye-catching. Popular designs include Santa Claus, snowmen, and angels.
  • Flocked Ornaments: These textured ornaments were popular in the 1950s and feature a velvet-like coating that mimics snow. Look for brightly colored ones with detailed designs to add visual interest to your display.

Vintage Santa Mugs for Your Vintage Booth

Santa mugs are another popular item that can add a touch of nostalgia to your vintage booth.

These ceramic or porcelain mugs feature Santa’s face and are often designed to hold hot cocoa or eggnog. Look for mugs from the 1950s and 1960s, as they tend to be the most collectible.

You can also find modern versions made to look like vintage mugs, which can be a more affordable option for your display.

How to Tell if Santa Mug is Vintage

To ensure you’re purchasing a genuine vintage Santa mug, here are some things to look for:

  • Markings: Many vintage mugs will have a manufacturer’s mark on the bottom. Some popular brands to look for include Holt Howard and Napco.
  • Age: Look for mugs from the 1950s and 1960s, as these tend to be the most collectible.
  • Condition: Vintage mugs may have some wear and tear, but they should still be in good overall condition. Avoid purchasing a mug with significant chips or cracks.
  • Design: Classic vintage Santa mug designs often feature rosy cheeks, a jolly smile, and sometimes even a pipe or milk mustache. Look for these details when shopping for your display.

Modern Takes on Vintage Santa Mugs

If you’re unable to find or afford authentic vintage Santa mugs, don’t worry!

There are modern versions available that still capture the charm of the original designs. Here are some options to consider:

  • Reproduction Mugs: Many companies now make reproduction mugs with similar designs to vintage ones. While they may not have the same collectible value, they can still add a charming touch to your holiday display.
  • DIY Painted Mugs: Get creative and make your own vintage-inspired Santa mugs by painting designs onto plain white mugs. This is a fun and budget-friendly option for adding some holiday cheer to your home.
  • Printed Mugs: Look for mugs with vintage-inspired Santa designs that are printed rather than hand-painted. These can often be found at affordable prices and still add a festive touch to your display.

Vintage Christmas Decor In Your Antique Booth

In addition to Santa mugs, there are many other vintage Christmas and decorating ideas and items that can add a nostalgic touch to your antique booth during the holiday season.

Consider incorporating some of these ideas into your display:

  • Vintage Ornaments: Hang vintage glass ornaments on a small tree or use them to decorate garlands and wreaths. These delicate decorations are highly collectible and can add a touch of elegance to your booth.
  • Tinsel and Garland: Add some sparkle and shine with vintage tinsel and garland. These can be draped over shelves or hung from the ceiling to create a festive atmosphere.
  • Holiday Figurines: Vintage holiday figurines, such as snowmen, angels, and reindeer, are highly sought after by collectors and can add a playful touch to your display.
  • Christmas Lights: String vintage Christmas lights around your booth for a warm and inviting glow. Look for unique shapes, like candles or star-shaped bulbs, to make your display stand out.

How to Display Vintage Christmas Cards

Another way to add a touch of holiday nostalgia to your booth is by displaying a collection of vintage Christmas cards. Here are some ideas for incorporating these charming pieces into your display:

  • Framed Collage: Create a collage of vintage Christmas cards by framing them in various sizes and arranging them on a wall or table. This can be a great conversation starter and adds a unique touch to your booth.
  • Hanging Mobile: Create a hanging mobile display using vintage Christmas cards. Simply punch holes in the top of each card and string them together with ribbon or twine. Hang the mobile from the ceiling for a whimsical touch.
  • Card Tree: If you have a small tabletop tree, use clothespins to clip vintage Christmas cards onto the branches. This creates a festive and eye-catching centerpiece for your booth.
  • Card Wreath: Create a wreath using vintage Christmas cards by arranging them in a circle and securing them together with tape or glue. Hang the wreath on the wall or prop it up on a table for a unique holiday decoration.
  • Card Display: Purchase a card display like this one for an easy display option. Plus, you can use it year-round to display greeting cards as a small item that sell well. Learn more about smalls that sell here.


Creating a vintage Christmas display for your antique booth is a rewarding way to engage with customers and amplify your holiday sales.

By emphasizing nostalgia, the holidays, curating a cohesive theme, and adding special touches, you foster an environment where every visitor can find a piece of Christmas past to take home.

Remember, the goal is to make your booth not just a place to shop, but a delightful seasonal destination.

‘Tis the season for spreading joy and making sales, and your antique booth is the perfect stage for both.

A vintage holiday tabletop display is a ticket to capturing hearts and making Christmas memories—may your season be merry, bright, and bustling with business!

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Founder of Vintage Booth Pro and Vintage booth owner since 2021.

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