Easy China Cabinet Display Using Vintage Christmas Decorations

It’s that time of year again! Christmas is just around the corner and I’m already getting into the spirit. How about you? This year, I decided to create a fun China cabinet display using vintage Christmas decorations, like my favorite Santa mugs that I’ve collected over the years.

vintage santa mug on display in china cabinet

I think it’s really fun to see how my vintage milk glass pieces which are a staple in my China cabinet come together with all of the seasonal Christmas decorations to create an amazingly festive and unique display for the holidays. If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out these easy tips for creating a beautiful display using vintage decorations. Happy decorating!

Speaking of decorating, go check out my friend Angie with Postcards from the Ridge’s Ways to decorate for Christmas using Navy and Pink as well as Amy Sadler Designs Ways to Decorate with the Color Brown for Christmas for even more amazing inspiration!

china cabinet display centerpiece

China cabinets, also known as display cabinets, or China hutch are a great way to showcase your favorite heirlooms. It can be any size from pretty small on a tabletop all the way to really large taking up the entire wall in a living room or dining area. The one I am using came from Facebook Marketplace and was one of my favorite furniture makeovers. See the process HERE.

How to Create a China Cabinet Display Using Vintage Christmas Decorations

It’s such a simple way to add a touch of holiday cheer to any room in your home. And best of all, it only takes a few minutes to do. So if you’re looking for an easy way to spruce up your home for the holidays, why not try using some vintage Christmas decorations in your china cabinet? You might just be surprised at how lovely it looks.

Step One

Start by removing everything from the china cabinet and giving it a quick cleaning – this will give you a blank slate to work with. Then, take a look at your holiday decorations and see what would work well in the space. If you have any extra vintage Christmas ornaments, now is the time to use them. You can also incorporate other holiday décor items, such as faux candles, garlands, or even small bottle-brush Christmas trees like these.

Once you’ve gathered your Christmas decorations, it’s time to start styling. Don’t be afraid to experiment until you find something that you like. As you style, keep in mind the overall look that you want to achieve. After all, this is your chance to get creative and have fun with it.

Step Two

I started with a few doilies similar to those I used HERE. Simply drape them over the glass shelves of the China cabinet to provide a bit of texture.

Step Three

Then I pinned a little “MERRY” garland across the back side of the cabinet to add a pop of color. You could use vintage tinsel here or a handmade wood bead garland like the one I made here or a fun glittery Snowflake garland like this one!

Step Four

Next, I returned most of my original milk glass pieces back to their original place in the display cabinet.

milk glass vase with red lighted balls

Step Five

Now comes the fun part! Adding in all the vintage Christmas decorations! I started with my Vintage Santa mug collection. Placing the varying-sized mugs on each of the three shelves in my China hutch created height and little pops of red.

vintage santa mug

Step Six

For even more pops of green and red color, I added frosted vintage Christmas ornaments to some of the milk glass pieces and the silver platter tiered tray centerpiece.

milk glass with red vintage ornaments

It was super fun to tuck little bottle-brush Christmas trees into some of the Santa mugs. I also found some mini trees to set on the glass shelves.

tiny santa mug with bottle brush tree

Step Seven

It’s always a fun idea to add a couple of Christmas signs for interest. I added this “‘Tis the season” sign to the DIY centerpiece.

tis the season sign

If you don’t have any Christmas signs or shelf sitters, use vintage greeting cards! Place a tent card in your display case to greet your guests and add a pop of whimsy.

Merry Christmas greeting card

Don’t make the mistake of forgetting the bottom shelf of your China cabinet! I added some faux fir branches, red berries, vintage ornaments, and this “Better not pout” sign that I hand-stamped and painted a few years ago!

better not pout sign

Step Eight

Finally, I placed a few faux candy canes throughout the China cabinet here and there to add a touch of red and white to the display as well as more faux greenery picks and large pinecones to some of the milk glass pieces.

milk glass with pinecones and faux fir branches

Step Nine

Optionally, you can add lighting to your China cabinet display.

peering into lit china cabinet

I slapped three battery-operated puck lights to the top of my cabinet; however, fairy lights scattered on each shelf would look great for a holiday display like this one!

Step Ten

After the inside of the China hutch is decorated with vintage decorations, it’s time to add a few home decor pieces to the top. Try something like this farmhouse book stack, an oversized Santa-themed mug with faux birch or faux fir branches, and some vintage thermoses.

farmhouse book stack christmas

Try using different textures and heights while popping in a bit of faux greenery here and there.

oversized santa mug

Once everything is in place, take a step back and enjoy your handiwork. Your China cabinet display will be sure to impress your guests and get everyone into the holiday spirit.

side view of china cabinet display

So get creative and have fun with it – after all, that’s what the holidays are all about. Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays!

china cabinet display

Here are a few more tips for creating a festive china cabinet display:

  • Gather inspo
  • Clean first
  • Start small
  • Choose a color scheme
  • Incorporate old and new pieces
  • Add lighting

If you’re looking for a way to bring some holiday cheer into your home this year, why not try decorating your china cabinet? It’s a great way to show off your holiday decorations and make them part of your everyday décor. Plus, it’s a great way to use up those extra Christmas decorations that you have lying around.

celebrate Christmas home tour image

Sand Dollar Lane  //  2 Bees in a Pod  //  At Home with Kristy  //  Exquisitely Unremarkable
  Our Crafty Mom  //  Hearth and Vine

Zucchini Sisters  //  Postcards from the Ridge  //  Southern Crush at Home  //  Amy Sadler Designs
 Pasha is Home  //  Simple Nature Decor

Worthing Court  //  The Tattered Pew  //  Cottage in the Mitten  //  DIY Beautify
Thistle Key Lane  //  At Lane and High  //  Feet Under My Table

White Arrows Home // Aratari at Home // White Lilac Farmhouse
Cottage on Bunker Hill // Bricks ‘n Blooms

My Family Thyme  //  Southern Home and Hospitality  //  Songbird //  Shiplap and Shells
Chalking Up Success  //  Pure Happy Home


  1. Melanie – we love your hutch styling. There is so much vintage goodness…especially the Santa mugs. So cute to display them with mini bottlebrush trees. Thanks for sharing your wonderful tips. Merry Christmas!

    1. southerncrush says:

      You’re so welcome, thank you so much for stopping by and checking it out! You always inspire me, too! Merry Christmas!

  2. Melanie, I love the way you decorated your China cabinet for Christmas. Adding cards is a great tip and I love the ribbon wrapped around the books!

    1. southerncrush says:

      Ha! I’m glad you loved it! You’re awesome my friend! Thank you for putting together this fun blog tour full of inspo!

  3. There is nothing like vintage for Christmas, Some of those vintage treasures I grew up with, especially that thermo. Enjoyed reading your beautiful post.

    1. southerncrush says:

      Awe, me too! Thank you for stopping by for a little nostalgia!

  4. What a great idea. I never thought about decorating my china closet. It’s a great place for holiday collectibles too. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. southerncrush says:

      You’re so welcome! I’m glad it inspired you! Thank you for stopping by my friend!

  5. There’s nothing like a vintage Christmas! Beautiful!

    1. southerncrush says:

      Thank you my sweet friend! I love all of your Christmas inspiration as well ~ you’re a decorating genius!

  6. What a darling way to display your vintage Christmas decorations. I did something like this last year on a smaller scale, but I’m loving the idea of a china cabinet display. Thanks for the inspiration Melanie!

    1. southerncrush says:

      Ooh I bet it was amazing! Thank you for stopping by ~ I appreciate you!

  7. So many fun collectibles! It all looks darling displayed together in your china cabinet!

    1. southerncrush says:

      Awe thank you so much my sweet friend! I loved your red and white decor, too!

  8. I love that you decorated the inside of your hutch. I’m inspired to do that here! and I love those stacked books with the ribbon and green hat. Adorable! Loved hopping with you!

    1. southerncrush says:

      Awe, I loved hopping with you, too! Thank you so much for stopping by and checking it out! You’re the absolute best!

  9. Mel, I love vintage especially at Christmas! Yours looks great!

    1. southerncrush says:

      Thank you so much my friend! I appreciate you stopping by! Merry Christmas!

  10. Love how you decorated the inside of your hutch! What cute ideas! Merry Christmas!

    1. southerncrush says:

      Thank you my friend! I appreciate it! Merry Christmas to you as well!

  11. I love how you’ve decorated your hutch with all of your darling vintage Christmas pieces, Melanie! And loved all of your tips on styling too! So much fun doing this hop with you!

    1. southerncrush says:

      You’re so sweet! Thank you so much and I had fun with you, too!

  12. I’m just loving how you displayed your beautiful vintage holiday decor in your china hutch, Melanie! Your milk glass and Santa mugs are the best. Merry Christmas!

    1. southerncrush says:

      Awe! Thank you so much! Merry Christmas to you and your family, too!

  13. Melanie, I love mixing old and new too. Vintage items are so much fun especially using during the holidays. I love what you did with your cabinet. Love your Santa mugs too.

    1. southerncrush says:

      Thank you so much! I appreciate you taking the time to stop by! Happy Holidays!

  14. Your china cabinet is simply gorgeous! I really love the Santa mugs, they bring back a bit of my childhood. I wish I still had them. 🙂

    1. southerncrush says:

      Awe thank you so much Wendy! I love them, too! Thanks for stopping by!

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