Vintage Christmas Glass Ornaments and Illustrations

I have been on the hunt for some vintage glass Christmas ornaments for a while now. Not aggressively, but keeping my eyes pealed. And I haven’t had much luck – until a couple of weeks ago.

Walking through my local thrift store I noticed plastic bags stuffed with random holiday decor jumbled together and hanging on a wall. Fortunately a couple of things caught my eye and I looked closer. Someone must have just cleaned out grandma’s Christmas decorations and dropped them off. It looked like the undiscriminating thrift store worker had just grabbed random handfuls and stuffed them into plastic bags because mixed in with a lot of undesirable 80’s junk, were some beautiful vintage glass ornaments!

And there they were just piled up on a wall, waiting to get smashed. (Sadly, a couple already had.) I was so excited to rescue them and give them a loving home. (The random 80’s teddy bears in pioneer clothes and anthropomorphic snowballs that were mixed in will probably go right back to the thrift store.)

 There was another bag with these glass balls, etched with Santa driving a train.

Ornaments from this era remind me of grandma and my mom’s childhood.

Another plastic bag was full of gold, clear, and white beads – I think I got it for .99 cents.  I added them to a glass hurricane with some other ornaments from Target and I think it’s a start at least to something pretty. I may pick up a different glass container, but for now, it works.

On the way to the register, I also found a box of Shiny Brite glass balls in primary colors. I was totally excited. I think I got everything for around $10 and I think I totally lucked out. Now to decide what to do with them. If you’re now in the mood to find some of your own vintage glass ornaments, I just did a search on etsy and ebay and found a lot of good stuff at fairly reasonable prices.

I’ve hung a couple on the tree, but I’m a little tentative because of these cute chuckleheads who proudly “decorated” the tree for me earlier. (If I was totally awesome, I would have just left it like that all month.)

As I put up our tree, I was feeling so grateful to whoever invented ‘fake glass’ ornaments that don’t break. We’re still kind of at that stage at our house. So I’m looking for other ways to still admire my pretty, new, long-sought-after, vintage glass ornaments without having to worry they may never live to see another Christmas.

And speaking of vintage Christmas, I found something from my own childhood – a book of Christmas stories illustrated by one of my favorites: Richard Scarry. I even autographed the inside cover some time back in the day, probably around 1979 when my mom was taking care of a new baby and I was doing things like writing in books.

My copy was re-printed in the 1970’s, but the book and illustrations were originally printed in the 1950’s before Scarry’s Huckle Cat era. I love those the simple, graphic look of those tree houses.

Happy little hedgehog family.

As always, the details in Richard Scarry’s illustrations are so adorable.

I want the quilt that goat is sleeping with.

And I want this print in fabric!

And there you go. Goodies and critters and warm fuzzies from Christmas past.

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  • Reply
    December 6, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Thanks for the reminder that thrift shops are sometimes treasure troves! Beautiful ornaments you&#39;ve got there. :)<br /><br />And Richard Scarry! I have always loved his books and illustrations. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Blikken Doos
    December 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I really don&#39;t know you, but really just got over the top happy for those beautiful ornaments! Well done!

  • Reply
    December 6, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    beautiful, thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    December 6, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Those illustrations really are sweet. When you see them, don&#39;t you think of carefree, innocent times?

  • Reply
    December 6, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Those are beautiful! I have a small 4&#39; white tree (that I just got this year!) that I set up on a table and put only my vintage pretties on it. I think it showcases them nicely and I don&#39;t have to worry (as much) about anything happening to them. If you have local antique store/mall by you check there too. It&#39;s a bit more pricey but you can find some awesome good condition

  • Reply
    Brittany Weidlich
    December 6, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    That is awesome! I have also been on the look out for old vintage ornaments but no luck yet. Your ornaments are very pretty!<br /><br />Brittany

  • Reply
    December 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Wow, you just flooded my heart with sweet sweet memories. We had that book too, I wonder where it is!

  • Reply
    Sandy D
    December 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    I so remember growing up with those ornaments.The ones I have my eye out for are the glass balls they are no where to be seen.They would just be a reminder of my growing up years.

  • Reply
    December 6, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    That book is incredible, wish I had one. I absolutely love your boys&#39; tree decorating skills.

  • Reply
    Marci Warren-Elmer
    December 6, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    That is quite a score! I love the green indent one. I put my collection in huge glass containers. The only vintage ornaments that I hang on our tree came from my Grandma&#39;s Christmas stash. I have no idea why I feel the need to keep them separated.

  • Reply
    December 6, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    What a find! I think I&#39;d make them into a gorgeous wreath – all your pretties in one place and you can place it HIGH up away from those crazy boys. 😉

  • Reply
    December 6, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Hi Amy.<br />Your new to you glass ornaments are so pretty. What a score. I remember my grandparents tree too. I decorate my tree with many of their ornaments. :0)<br />It warms my heart to see them each year. Trish xo<br />

  • Reply
    December 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Ps. We love Richard Scary in our home and also have several books. :0)

  • Reply
    December 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Great find! I collect vintage glass ornaments, I find them at yard sales in the summer all the time. I love the Shiny Brites…the colors are so pretty and it seems like you can almost see through them. They just don&#39;t make them like that anymore!

  • Reply
    Chelsea V.
    December 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Beautiful! My Mom still has a ton from her childhood and she is not quite ready to pass them on to me yet 🙂 I&#39;ve also seen a lot on Etsy lately. Doesn&#39;t hold the same sentimental value but they are still really nostalgic and original!

  • Reply
    Melissa Corry
    December 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    I love your cute little autograph. My MIL collects Santa&#39;s and has so many beautiful glass ornaments of Santa that she has collected over the years. We try to make sure they are always towards the top of the tree 🙂

  • Reply
    December 6, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    OH how I love his illustrations. what a great find this book it and YES it would be fabulous in fabric!!

  • Reply
    Live a Colorful Life
    December 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    I just love this post. What beautiful ornaments. I can&#39;t decide which ones I like the best. My parents aren&#39;t doing as much decorating and I need to get some of the ornaments I remember from my childhood–my brother doesn&#39;t really care about them and my sister-in-law is from Taiwan so they rarely if ever decorate for Christmas. <br /><br />I have bunches of Richard Scarry books, but

  • Reply
    Live a Colorful Life
    December 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    P.S. I forgot to mention that the photographs of your ornaments are really cool.

  • Reply
    December 6, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    one idea for your vintage finds.. hang them on various lengths of ribbon and hang the in front of a window..

  • Reply
    December 6, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    I can&#39;t believe all the treasures you found. I have been on the hunt for vintage ornaments, with no luck. I am so envious of the ones you have found. Lucky day for you:)

  • Reply
    Katy Cameron
    December 6, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Well hunted down! And good luck finding a safe place for them to hand out :o)

  • Reply
    December 6, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    I remember those tree ornaments! I think it&#39;s a wonderful find, the kind I need to go looking for. Sort of nostalgic for me. Love the book. Such wonderful finds. Your boys look cute too.

  • Reply
    December 6, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    I really enjoyed seeing all the vintage things. When I see blog posts with vintage…it puts a big smile on my face because, I too must becoming vintage! These are things from my own childhood. =)<br /><br />hugZ,<br />annie

  • Reply
    vintage grey
    December 6, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Lucky day for you finding all those vintage pretties!! They definitely add such a special feel to your decorations!! xo Heather

  • Reply
    December 7, 2012 at 12:26 am

    Very nice. As we have in Poland 🙂

  • Reply
    Mariana Nortje
    December 7, 2012 at 12:46 am

    In SOuth Africa we mainly have handmade Christmas decorations, beaded by Zulu and Xhosa ladies and they are beautiful, but I also love the vintage ones that we had as children. I

  • Reply
    Pat V.
    December 7, 2012 at 12:56 am

    Oh, dear. I have some of these &quot;vintage&quot; ornaments on my tree — I bought them for my first tree in my first apartment. Does this mean I am also vintage? Hopefully better with age, like fine wine!

  • Reply
    December 7, 2012 at 1:09 am

    I remember some of those vintage ornaments on my tree growing up. They were my parents&#39; parents. Such fond memories. Thank you for the trip back to Memory Lane! 🙂

  • Reply
    December 7, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Very Nice Amy! I LOVE those little flocked/etched ornaments — I&#39;d love to find some of them too. It&#39;s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (did you break out into song reading that?) around your house!

  • Reply
    December 7, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Look at that tree. Too funny. I wonder what they would do if you left it? And I read a lot of Richard Scarry books to my kids as they were growing up. Good messages with a soft approach. Love the vintage pictures.

  • Reply
    December 7, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Thank so much for sharing pictures of the richard scarry book- the singing tree made my day!

  • Reply
    coastal gray
    December 7, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Good for you… Love those &quot;thrift stores&quot;… And Richard Scarry too….. Memories…..

  • Reply
    December 7, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    I have that Richard Scarry book! It was one of the ones that I kept when my Mom broke up her house. I also have &quot;Mr. Willoughby&#39;s Christmas Tree&quot;, it is another favorite. I have been collecting vintage porcelain Santas and Christmas knick knacks. They remind me of my childhood! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  • Reply
    ~Damita's Pretty Wrap~
    December 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    What a lucky day for you!! Love all those pretty vintage ornaments and finds! Happy Holidays! xx Holly

  • Reply
    December 7, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Ack! I love Richard Scarry so much! I so want this book! I&#39;ll have to keep my eyes open! 🙂

  • Reply
    December 7, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Oh my goodness, you really did score! I remember in the 80s, when I was a pre-teen, my mom had a bunch of ornaments saved from the 50s and 60s, which I thought were TERRIBLE! Now however, I think they are the most beautiful things ever and love seeing them every year on her tree.

  • Reply
    December 7, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Love your vintage finds! They remind me of my grandma&#39;s tree from when I was little. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Lucy @ Charm About You
    December 8, 2012 at 6:06 am

    Total bargain! I love the ornaments, so cool! There&#39;s no way we can have glass ones in our house, sticking to felt for now! The book is fabulous too, what great illustrations.<br />I also think the jar of beads looks really pretty!

  • Reply
    December 8, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Congrats on the great vintage ornament find!!!! And I agree with you on Richard Scarry!!!! I love Richard Scarry. This summer I even found some fabric with Busy Town complete with Huckle and Lowly! I love Richard Scarry too! Merry Christmas!

  • Reply
    December 9, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Sorry this comment is late but I got busy and fell behind on reading the blogs I follow. I have a few vintage ornaments that are actually survivors from my childhood. I&#39;ve been thinking that maybe I would put garland up over my bedroom windows and attach the ornaments to the garlands. Maybe you could try that – it would keep them up high, in a room the kids don&#39;t spend as much time in,

  • Reply
    December 30, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    Wow, google led me to your page. My mother passed away and I live out of town and was not there when much of her house and belongings were gone through. I am realizing several, precious to me Chrtmas items were sent off un wanted. The ornaments and this book!! Wow, I was not able to put the title to it but here it is! Thank you for the memories!

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