Farmhouse Christmas Tree Centerpieces

It’s almost time to start decorating for Christmas, right? Seems like most people start decorating shortly after Thanksgiving, so I wanted to share an idea today that I think you’ll enjoy: farmhouse Christmas tree centerpieces using vintage tins.

I’ve found that vintage tins like the ones you’ll see in the post–coffee, ricotta, salmon, etc.–have not been selling well for me lately. After giving it some thought, I wondered, “Wouldn’t they make perfect little Christmas tree bases??” And yes, they do!

Five farmhouse Christmas tree centerpieces in vintage and antique tins

Materials to Make Farmhouse Christmas Tree Centerpieces

vintage and antique maxwell house coffee tins


Step 1: Spray Paint “Snow” on the Trees

spray painting a faux christmas treeMost of the little trees that I picked up over the past couple of months for this project were a dark, uninteresting green. I decided to add some snow and tried two products.

Ultimately, it was the flat white spray paint (picked up at my local ACE franchise) that worked the best.

I gave the trees a few light coats spraying from the side, the bottom, and the top to get good coverage. In the end, it took quite a bit more paint than I expected to get the farmhouse look I wanted.

can of faux snow with an X through itThe first product that I tried, this snow-in-a-can, went on rather pale and it looked and felt like chalk. It took quite a while to dry and then when I touched a branch, the “snow” kind of crumbled and fell off the tree. I don’t recommend it for this project!

I wanted my trees to last for several holiday seasons, and I planned to sell some as well. I didn’t want potential buyers touching the trees only to have them “shed” their snow all over the place, LOL.

Step 2: Glue Paper to the Bottom of the Vintage Tins

glue gun and crumpled paperIn order to give your trees stability once you place them in the tins, you’ll want something for them to connect with.

placing hot glue inside the maxwell house tinFor my purposes I found that hot gluing some crumpled paper (newspaper, wrapping paper, shipping paper, etc.) to the bottom of the tin was the way to go. I used one large piece of shipping paper and pressed it tightly into place.

If I decide later that I want to sell the tins separately or use them for another project, the paper and hot glue will be relatively easy to remove.

Step 3: Glue Trees into the Tins

Base removed from faux treeIf the base of your tree doesn’t fit into your tin (as was the case with one of mine) then you can remove the base.

This process wasn’t too difficult for me, but if any of yours give you trouble, grab the metal “trunk” with a pair of pliers and give it a good yank.

Applying hot glue to the base of the faux Christmas treeApply hot glue to the bottom of your tree, whether it’s the original base or just the wire “trunk.”

insert base of faux tree into the paper inside the vintage tinTuck the base/trunk into the center of your crumpled paper and hold it there until the glue hardens.

Step 4: Fill in Gaps with Spanish Moss (optional)

fill in gaps around edges of christmas tree with spanish mossIf there’s a gap between the lower tree branches and the edge of the tin, allowing you to see some of the paper, you can fill in the gap with some Spanish moss or excelsior (as shown). Shredded paper or shredded cellophane in silver or gold would also work.

Step 5: Top Trees with Cardboard Starsthree cardboard starsWhile I wanted the trees to have a simple, farmhouse look, I felt they needed some sort of star to finish them off.

I made mine using a Sizzix Big Kick die cut machine (which I LOVE), using cardboard from a cereal box. Of course you can simply draw and cut your own stars from whatever material you have on hand, yellow cardstock or the tin lid of a disposable pan, for example.

top of faux Christmas tree with cardboard starGlue the star on with a good dab of hot glue; I glued one onto each the front and back of the tree.

vintage and antique tins with christmas trees in themAs I mentioned, I’ve been collecting these tins for a while now in anticipation of this project.

vintage tins with trees in themI love the deep red of the Folgers can, but I’m enamored with the almost coral-colored salmon tin, too. Those are the two that I took to the annual craft show I participate in at the nearby Shaker site.

I priced them at $18, but depending upon your location and the type of shop/sale you sell at, I could see them priced at $25-30 each.

The three remaining trees are nestled in a basket waiting to find their home on my dining table once Thanksgiving is over and all the Christmas decorations come out.

Farmhouse Christmas Tree Centerpieces in vintage and antique tinsAt the moment they grace my country cupboard located in my kitchen, later some will serve as a table centerpiece, but I could see them just as easily providing a vintage accent in other rooms of the house, whether singly or in a group.

I hope you have a blessed time this Thanksgiving with family and/or friends whether in person or via Zoom!

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Make Farmhouse Christmas Tree Centerpieces for the holidays

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  1. Stupid question, Diana, Did you try spraying snow on top of wet white paint? I love the texture of the fake snow but have only used it on windows! I love the idea of using tins as a tree base–I use vintage and vintage look tins to “wrap” Christmas gifts for family. It camouflages the usual things nicely (socks, candy, etc.) and discourages the cats from making soft nests from new clothes under the tree! Along with my cloth gift bags, it keeps this household a bit greener than filling the woodstove 4x with used wrapping paper!

    1. No, I didn’t give that a try, but it’s a good idea Kathy. You’re right about the texture–the paint alone is pretty flat. I’m all-aboard any kind of packaging that doesn’t mean more waste! A while back I shared gift bags that I made from 2-ply knit scarves–I reuse them every year 🙂

  2. I love your blog and I’ve learned a lot from you. Now I have to teach you something because I live in the south where Spanish moss is quite prevalent. I just want to let you know that the filler you pictured was excelsior not Spanish moss which is gray and much softer. I am referring to the project with the Christmas trees in old tins.

  3. Hi Diana. Had an idea. My tins are larger in circumference and not as tall.( cookie shape tins). I thought of putting 3 trees in one tin like a forest..i have some very old vintahe tins from Charlie’s dad.

    1. Great idea Bev–I bet they’ll look great in a cookie tin, and they’ll also be a little reminder of Charlie’s dad 🙂

  4. This gorgeous collection of mini Christmas trees in vintage tin skirts sure speaks to me! Love the vintage vibe and as a collection, WOW!

  5. Hi Diana! This is my first visit to your blog and I found you via Donna’s link party over at Funky Junk Interiors. I love this project and I will be collecting tins for my own trees for next year! Pinned 😊

    1. Thanks for visiting Cindy–it’s so nice to meet you! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks so much for the pin 🙂

  6. I love this idea! Actually I’ve been looking for good tins for this exact project, but so far have only found one (vintage bright red tobacco tin). Looks like I’m gonna have to start a collection! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm. xo Kathleen

    1. You’re on the right track with your red tobacco tin! Here’s to finding more in the new year 🙂 Thanks for throwing a great party Kathleen–

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