With the holiday season fast approaching, it won’t be long before it is time to put up the decorations. Other than a live Christmas tree, a retro aluminum tree — like reader BusyBhive’s tree, above, from our uploader Tinselmania: 73 vintage aluminum Christmas trees — is one of the most authentically vintage ways to decorate for the holidays. Golly, do we love our aluminum Christmas trees! Unless you are lucky enough to have one that’s been in the family for years, you’ll have to do a little searching to locate one of these tinsel beauties. I’ve scoured the internet and racked my brain to bring you this list of 9 places to find vintage and reproduction aluminum Christmas trees to add a little — no, a lotta! — sparkle to your holiday decor.
Please note, my list only includes real aluminum trees – not tinsel ones or ones made from plastic with some sort of tinsel coating.
Where to find new reproduction aluminum Christmas trees
This seems to be the best place online to find new reproduction aluminum Christmas trees. But you better act quickly. I emailed the company asking for more information and the sad story is — they have stopped production of these fantastic reproduction aluminum trees at their plant in Cooperstown, North Dakota. They will be selling off their remaining stock and once it is gone — it’s gone forever. There are two styles — the classic aluminum Christmas trees and slimline aluminum Christmas trees — which are each available in several sizes from four- to nine-feet tall. Yuletide Expressions also offers replacement parts for their trees and color wheels to help you achieve the complete retro holiday experience. Another fun treat –they seem to have found a vintage Alcoa guide to decorating your aluminum Christmas tree <– and they have made it available as a handy downloadable guide.
On Amazon, I could find just one genuine Aluminum Christmas tree available (shown above). Note, the reviews are mixed about quality issues, but, I don’t know of anywhere else you can still get true aluminum branches.
Where to find authentic vintage aluminum Christmas trees
There are — of course — a wealth of vintage aluminum Christmas trees to be had on Ebay. Many different styles, heights, colors and branch types — For example: Vintage Pom Poms, like reader Drew’s above, are hot hotter hottest. While there are still some bargains to be had on Ebay, be prepared to shell out some of the green stuff — some vintage trees can fetch several hundred dollars at auction.
A variety of vintage aluminum trees can also be found on etsy.com, and you bypass the frustrations of an auction. Once again, sizes, colors, styles and price points vary widely.Above: Reader modshawn found his gorgeous vintage hunka metal on etsy.
The hunt: Estate sales, yard sales, vintage shops, Craigslist & “Mom’s attic”
I can’t say for sure, but I’m guessing blogger Uncle Atom probably got his aluminum Christmas tree (above) from one of these sources. There are some real deals to be had on vintage aluminum Christmas trees — most likely you will find the best deals available when you are on the prowl at estate sales, yard sales, vintage shops, craigslist and everybody’s favorite — family attics and basements. The best time to do your aluminum tree hunting in the off season — when prices aren’t driven up by holiday demand and folks are doing their annual house purges.
Pam adds that, while she generally does not go to estate sales early (because she has way more than “enough” stuff already,) if you are on the hunt specifically for vintage Christmas, this might be a reason to get up early, grab a cuppa and get in line. Conversely, though, in the dead of summer, when folks just aren’t in the holiday mood, she often sees vintage Christmas decorations still available in the final hours of the sale at half-price, or better. Throw everything in a big box and ask very very nicely, “How much?” and you might be surprised by the price you are quoted to take the stuff off the estate sale organizer’s hands.
No matter where you find your vintage (or new) aluminum Christmas tree — REMEMBER — these types of trees were not made for electric lights. Remember: NOEL – NO Electric Lights on aluminum Christmas trees …. AND: Be aware that vintage products may contain various hazards, such as asbestos in flocking and fake snow and lead paint on old ornaments, etc. When dealing with old materials, get with a properly licensed professional to know what you are dealing with. Read more – Be Safe / Renovate Safe.