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Victorian Tin Tinsel Christmas Tree Decoration

I decided to shake up last year’s aqua and white Christmas tree theme with some glimmer, so behold: my turquoise Victorian tin tinsel Christmas tree!  When I saw that tinsel trees, inspired by a nostalgic and liberal use of tinsel (not this kind, the kind you artfully throw at a tree), were trending on TikTok and Instagram, I remembered that I have a massive haul of handmade twisted tin tinsel:

Victorian Tin Tinsel Christmas Tree DecorationTin Tinsel Christmas Tree

Last year I put on a small amount, here and there, but my tree was so dense that they didn’t really hang nicely.  This year’s tree is much more sparse, so it was perfect for this!  I ended up hanging hundreds of pieces of tin tinsel – every last piece I had, and then also some shorter ones with a handy hook that my Mom gave me:

Victorian Tin Tinsel Review

Where is My Handmade Tin Tinsel From?

I worked as a historical re-eanactor (20-ish years ago).  During that time, I was also on a board of directors (vice president for a time) for a not-for-profit organization.  With a team of awesome folks, I organized a huge event for that organization and held part of it at the historical site where I worked.  The longer strands of tinsel on my tree were meant to be a take home gift for participants, but hardly anyone wanted it.  It had already been paid for, so I took it all home with me and have held onto it ever since.  The smaller, more delicate tinsel you can see on my tree can be purchased online here.  I also shared a tutorial for how to make Victorian tinsel!

Victorian Tin Tinsel on a Christmas Tree

Similar Tinsel Options:

Where to Find Victorian Tin Tinsel

What is Victorian Tinsel + Why is This Tinsel Metal?

Although we usually think of tinsel as the fine strands of PVC that come in packs, tinsel is said to have been invented in the 1600’s in Germany (also where the modern Christmas tree as we know it is also said to have originated).  Back then, tinsel was made from thin pieces of metal – originally silver (which tarnished)!  However, it seems that it wasn’t until the 19th Century that tinsel moved from decorating sculptures to adding shimmer to Christmas trees.  Once it caught on as Christmas tree decor, different iterations with different materials eventually followed – including ill-fated flammable and lead-based options.  This tin tinsel I have is often referred to as “Victorian Tinsel,” used in Victorian times to reflect the candlelight on Christmas trees – although my use of gobs of tinsel and a bevvy of ornaments is not historically accurate.  Tree then were more sparsely decorated, with homemade ornaments.  Some say that an a 1848 engraving of the royal family (Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their children) decorating a well appointed Christmas tree sparkled a surge in decorated trees and metal tinsel usage, and really made this whole tree decoration mainstream.  However, in my research of the history of tinsel and Christmas tree ornamentation, the use of tinsel at Christmastime, and when that actually began, is disputed as written mentions of it are scant.  We do know that it really caught on in the 1920’s – and grew in popularity into the 1960’s – once tinsel became the more inexpensive, and eventually plastic based, product we recognize as tinsel today.

Tinsel Covered Christmas Treediy felt gingerbread house ornaments

The Christmas Spider + Why We Hang Tinsel on Christmas Trees

You might remember that I make and sell handmade Christmas spider ornaments – and that every Christmas tree needs a spider.  The legend of the Christmas spider is a sweet little folk tale about spider webs shrouding a tree, but those webs eventually being turned to silver and gold (by sunlight or Kriss Kringle – depending on the story version), which is said to be why we hang tinsel – and a Christmas spider – on our trees.  A Christmas spider is a beautiful complement to tinsel on a Christmas tree, so check out the tutorial here.  Other reasons behind tinsel usage vary, depending on who you ask, from simply being something shiny to reflect candlelight, to it representing ice or representing the night sky over a Nativity scene.  I just enjoy the sparkle of this tin tinsel – and the nostalgic, vintage look which pairs so well with my handmade ornaments.

Christmas Spider and the History of TinselWhy We Put Tinsel on Our TreesChristmas Spider on a Tree

Speaking of my handmade ornaments, although I used a lot of the same ornaments I’ve been making over the years, I also added a few new DIY ornaments to my turquoise tinsel Christmas tree this year!  The felt gingerbread house ornaments are totally new, and the beaded felt heart ornaments and velvet and felt mushroom ornaments were made once my tree was already up last year, so they were a late addition you probably didn’t see.  Here’s a complete list of all of the DIY ornament tutorials pictured on my tree this year (click here to see ALL of my DIY ornament ideas):

DIY Ornaments:

DIY handmade ornament ideas for adults

diy felt polar bear ornament | diy beaded felt heart ornament | diy alcohol ink on glass ornament | diy alcohol ink inside glass ornament

DIY felt gingerbread house ornaments

diy felt gingerbread house ornament

Lake Inspired Christmas Tree Theme

diy agate slice ornament | diy felt fox ornament

DIY Christmas Tree Ornament Ideas

diy alcohol ink inside glass ornament

DIY beaded felt heart ornaments

diy beaded felt heart ornament

DIY velvet mushroom ornament

diy mushroom ornament

Ornaments I Purchased or Otherwise Had:

Below is a list of ornaments and other things I bought or already had – I’ve marked what’s new for this year with an asterisk.  (Find a curated list of my tree ornaments – or similar finds – right here).

Turquoise Christmas Tree ThemeTurquoise and Silver Christmas Tree ThemeVintage Tinsel Christmas Tree ThemeTurquoise Christmas Tree OrnamentsGlass Chicken OrnamentTiffany Blue Christmas Tree Theme

Aqua Blue Velvet Christmas Tree Ribbon

This year I treated myself to a few new purchases – and DIYs – but otherwise I made use of the same ornament collection I’ve been growing, thrifting, making, and grabbing items on sale when I can!  I did purchase new ribbon – and this aqua blue velvet ribbon is SO nice!  Two rolls covered the tree perfectly, and it doesn’t feel cheap or crinkly.  I love the soft color, which tends more toward blue than green.  It’s such beautiful quality, so if you’re looking for wired velvet ribbon for crafts or your Christmas tree, I really recommend it.

Turquoise Blue and Silver Christmas Tree ThemeTin TinselChristmas Tree with Handmade OrnamentsAqua Blue Velvet Tree Ribbon

Tin Tinsel Christmas Tree Photos

Below you will find some more photos of my turquoise and Victorian tin tinsel Christmas tree – let me know what you think in the comments!  There was a bit of a debate on Instagram as to whether I should do MORE tinsel.  I acquiesced and piled it all on, but you can see the before and after in that Reel.  I already had it, so I thought: “why not?”  It was a fun way to mix things up – although it does distract a little from the handmade ornaments I’ve carefully created.  And why I’m watching TV, I actually find this tinsel distracting 😉

Where to Buy Tin TinselWhere to Buy Metal TinselTurquoise Christmas Decorating Ideas Winter Wonderland Christmas Tree Theme Blue Christmas Tree Inspiration Handmade Christmas Ornaments How to Make Heirloom Quality Ornaments DIY heart shaped ornament DIY felt ornaments DIY beaded ornaments DIY felt ornament ideas Aqua ornaments inspiration


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