Will 2018 be “Peak Retro Christmas” — I think maybe so

Retro Christmas crafting and decorating stories have been a staple of this blog and our community for 10+ years. And, as with all things midcentury, the mass market has been following along, a bit more every year. But this year — 2018 — mass market Kitschmas seems to be here bigger than ever. Leading me to hereby declare: The U.S.A. may now be at “Peak Retro” when it comes Christmas decorations being created for the mainstream market. Above: A shot from inside the Bethany Lowe wholesale 2018 Christmas catalog, which is chock full of retro.

Update, readers asked where to get these retail. I found them on Amazon via the links (affiliate links) below: 

I loved this retro wrapping paper at Homegoods — a mad mash of illustrated midcentury-inspired Christmas cards and gift tags, in all the right colors.

And more if you click the particular category!

Bethany Lowe ornaments — https://amzn.to/2PJKjz4

Bethany Lowe buildings — https://amzn.to/2PLajd9

Bethany Lowe figurines — https://amzn.to/2PL4Lzj

I went out for a few hours last week to scan local places for itsy ornaments for wreaths and putz houses, and golly, Retro surely must be the #1 theme this year. 

I just bought this box of classic reproductions from Kurt Adler on Amazon for my secret putz house project coming up soon — I *think* the weebits are the right size to fit the front yards of the putz houses. I’ve picked up these exact littles vintage over the years, but I need a bunch, stat.

shiny brite holiday wreathe from georgia peachez
The genius of Georgia Peachez, one of my idols.

What I’m seeing in stores:

Much of the retro Christmas decor that I saw in stores or am seeing online appears to be either (1) licensed reproductions like the lovely Kurt Adler* and Christopher Radko Shiny Brite* reproductions (*affiliate link), (2) similar-such facsimiles aka knock-offs taken straight from the past, or (3) manufactured items inspired by the work of crafters and artists who have been innovating with lovely ideas to upcycle and showcase authentic ephemera and ornaments in new and pleasing ways. 

christmas ornaments vintage
Some of my authentic vintage Christmas decorations — fascimiles of designs like these seem to abound in 2018.

Want to create your own upcycled creations — using vintage and/or new ornaments? It’s SO FUN to create your own heirloom! We have several detailed tutorials to help you on your way:

What do you think?
Are you seeing an Peak Retro Christmas in all your stores, too?

  1. Catherine H says:

    Can anyone order from the Bethany Lowe catalog you linked to in this edition of your Retro Renovation?

  2. tammyCA says:

    I just saw some retro decorations at the 99 cent store…bottle brush trees with some ball ornaments glued on like the old ones & some cute retro plastic reindeer ornaments in pink and in aqua.

  3. Lynn says:

    I agree—retro stuff is everywhere this year! It’s wonderful! Just wanted to say I got a wreath similar to the Bethany Lowe one at Old Time Pottery for $9.99. Hobby Lobby also has a decent-sized display of retro stuff. I am having trouble resisting!

  4. Kathryn Nowosielski says:

    Well, I’m kinda bummed. I’ve been making many of those ornaments (in the catalog) for years but, I guess they are made in China now.
    Tim Holtz has a set of Christmas box covers that you can make into little vignettes. I bought some and by golly I’ll make mine unique, ha!

  5. Tine says:

    Vintage glass ball tree ornaments can be found in abundance at church (rummage) sales. I have seen dozens of them left over at the end of the sales; no one takes them even for bag sale. Since they are not particularly desirable to the general public, they are always priced very low to move. I have thought that a church sale would be the best way to acquire a stash for wreath making. I have been tempted to get them, but storage is always the problem. Anyway, anyone wanting to put together a selection for crafting could check out the church sales in their area. It’s as much fun to pick through the kitsch at a church sale as it is in someone’s driveway.

  6. Laurie C says:

    Joann’s Fabrics has bottle-brush trees as well as a Christmasy Airstream, a retro red pickup truck hauling a Christmas tree, and an older model station wagon. They all work nicely with the Putz houses. Last year’s Airstreams were turquoise and pink; this year’s is red.

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