Oh Vintage Bottlebrush Christmas Tree…

Dec 3, 2009 by

Vintage bottle brush trees add cheerful nostalgia to any room for Christmas.  My favorite antique bottle brush trees are the ones that still have their mercury ball ornaments intact, although they cost a pretty penny these days.  I’ve seen larger bottle brush trees with their mercury ornaments sell for upwards of $100, but with a bit of grease and DIY spirit, you can make your own!

At any craft or hobby store, you can purchase a bag of 10 – 15 green bottle brush trees for less than $10.  In a large bucket or sink, add warm water and two tablespoons of bleach.  Simply dip the trees in the water and let the bleach begin stripping the color until it is your desired hue.  For all white trees, simply leave them in the water until all of the color is gone.  You can also dye the bleached white trees any color, such as pink, red, or blue, with RIT dye (using this tutorial).

Now comes the fun part – decorating the trees!  For an “authentic” vintage touch, consider adding mercury ornaments (Papier Valise has vintage stock mercury glass beads that work nicely) and dusting the trees with touches of glitter.  Here are a few ideas for your inspiration!

1940s bottlebrush trees

These quintessential bottlebrush trees from the 1940s are both nostalgic and glamorous with their mercury glass ornaments (via Country Living).

vintage bottlebrush trees
Grouping antique bottlebrush trees together by color is a wonderful way to create a holiday theme, as seen in this lovely grouping from ALifeinFocusPhotography.

antique pink bottle brush trees

This grouping of charming vintage pink bottle brush trees from Cydneys Antiques caught my eye with how the ornament sizes were generously arranged.

bleached bottle brush trees

More color-grouped fun!  nellie loves vintage left the bottle brushes “as is” without glitter, embellishments, or dye, and they look simply charming.

antique bottle brush trees

Theresa Thompson created a nostalgic wonderland with her bottlebrush trees, cotton “snow” and the perfect Scottie!

repurposed christmas mantle decor

Although they are petite in nature, bottle brush trees – even in simple white – can make a lovely statement on your mantle.  (If someone knows the source of the above photo, please let me know!)

Have you caught the vintage bottlebrush bug yet?

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13 Comments

  1. Annie Pazoo

    Grace – this is a fantastic post! Thanks so much, Ann.

  2. I’ve caught the bug! These are so pretty! I had never seen them before in white – just green! The white makes me love them even more! You have some great selections here!

  3. Robin

    Love, love, love them. I have a whole collection in many different colors. They go around the ledge of the wainscoting in my mudroom.

  4. Love ‘em! I grew up with these little guys spread all over the house during the holidays. My mum collected them from thrift shops, estate sales, and friends. Her collection is quite impressive and she continues to display the gorgeously every year at this time.

  5. jen

    These are beautiful! I’ll have to save this for inspiration for next year. Hope you had a great Christmas!

  6. Hi!

    Wanted you to know I posted a link to this tutorial today on my blog, PaperFriendly.

    Nancy Ward
    paperFriendly
    http://www.nancywardcrafts.com

  7. I think that is an interesting point, it made me think a bit. Thanks for sparking my thinking cap. Sometimes I get so much in a rut that I just feel like a record.

  8. Thanks again for the blog. Awesome.

  9. oh yay! I love, love, love card catalogs! can’t wait to see what else you have in store! :)

  10. few creative repurposing bookshelf ideas, perfect for a kids or grown-up’s room too!

  11. But surprising, pretty good piece of writing, particular analytic outlook , hope to read from you once more .

  12. Perhaps this is one of the most interesting blogs that I have ever seen. Interesting article, Funny comment. Keep it up!
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  13. They would place on them with something and by something that signifies the boots can be put on with pants, shorts, skirts or even bikinis.

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