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 6 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 metallic coating — but those look pretty nice these days, too!
Above: Reader MrsErinD’s retro 60’s aluminum tree.
Where to find new reproduction aluminum Christmas trees
Alas, within the past decade there was a company out of North Dakota that sold wonderful looking aluminum Christmas trees, but it dropped out of site a few years ago.
Right now (holiday 2019), the only aluminum tree I can find made new is on Amazon (shown below in the selling widget).
Where to find authentic vintage aluminum Christmas trees
That leaves us with: Vintage. 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.
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But if you love vintage you might love this video — How to Make a Christmas ornament wreath — too:
Piece together a tree from vintage parts
Tip, including from readers: You can also buy Just Branches and Just Poles (or drill your own pole, although that likely will take skillz) and try to put together your own tree from parts. Yes: On ebay and other sites, some sellers harvest the branches and sell them.
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.
4. Facebook Marketplace:
One of my new favorite places to shop due to its ease of seeing photographs and changing location selections to cast a wider net.
… Is always worth checking. I use SearchTempest to widen my search — I think there are other such sites that help you do the same.
Don’t forget: You can also post a “wanted” ad — someone in your local area may have one on their basement or attic they are happy to get rid of. I got one of my aluminum trees — along with some vintage ornaments to go with — that way!
6. 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.
Particularly collectible aluminum Christmas trees:
While you’re on the hunt, why not look for rare aluminum Christmas trees — like Lori’s Evergleam Peacock tree. As you can see from the photo above, it stands flat on one plane, with the branches arrayed like the tale of a peacock. See more photos of Lori’s wonderful tree story here.
- We’ve also seen Stainless Steel Christmas trees!
- There are colored aluminum Christmas trees!
- And I have a small aluminum Christmas tree that is, like 180 degrees full — like an orange cut in half — that is meant to hang on a door like a wreath. I need to assemble it and get a photo up!
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.