How to Make Vintage Inspired Embossed Trees

Layered paint gives a vintage distressed look to simple trees created from a dollar store embossed tile.

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Have you crafted with the dollar store embossed tiles? I recently shared oversized gingerbread men ornaments I made, and today I'm excited to show you how easy it is to make vintage inspired trees. These trees can be left out all winter and will add charming vintage style to your holiday decor.

I'm joining several talented bloggers who are each sharing their own DIY Christmas ornament or decor idea. You can find links to all the projects below my tutorial. Thank you to Jen of Tatertots and Jello for hosting this Christmas decor ideas hop!

How to make embossed tree decorations

First things first. Use my idea as inspiration but make it your own! Even if you only decorate with modern neutrals, these trees can be customized to your exact wishes!

Supplies used:

Paint the tile

If you want a vintage inspired, layered look like I've done, follow the steps below. Otherwise, paint the tile with any color you like that matches your holiday decor!

  1. Paint tile with 2 coats of the base color, which is green
  2. Paint with 2 coats of white
  3. Lightly sand to reveal base coat
  4. Brush on coffee stain (recipe below) and sprinkle with cinnamon
  5. Let dry and brush off excess cinnamon

Coffee Stain Recipe

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup instant coffee granules
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla
Add all ingredients to a lidded jar. Store in fridge. Shake before using (may heat in microwave to soften cinnamon)

As you can see in this before and after picture, the layers of paint, coffee stain and cinnamon give this embossed tile the look of a true antique!

Cut the tile into trees

I chose to cut the tiles into simple elongated triangles for my vintage inspired trees. I like the simplicity, but could also see these being beautiful with a more detailed tree shape!

Make trunk and base

I used antique drawer knobs for my tree bases. Whenever I redo furniture, I save the old knobs and handles for future projects and these came off my cottage white dresser. Keep reading for more tree base ideas!

I used a wood skewer and some wood beads in graduated sizes for the trunks of the trees. After wiping on some brown paint to stain them, I dry brushed with a little white paint.

Assemble trees

Hot glue the skewer into the hole in the drawer knob and make sure it's straight. Then, hot glue the skewer into the middle of the tree back. I did have to trim my skewers down a little bit.

Aren't they charming? I love the simplicity and the antique vibe that these embossed trees have! Keep reading for ideas for using up the scraps.

These vintage inspired trees couldn't be easier to make and they'll add sweet Christmas charm to any holiday vignette!

I think these cuties will stay out all winter.

What can I do with the scraps?

You will have tiles scraps leftover. Don't throw them away! I traced a star shaped cookie cutter and made star ornaments.

I used the gingerbread color tile scraps to cut out tiny gingerbread houses to hang from a greenery garland.  

What if I don't have old knobs?

No problem! You can still create a base for your tree. You want something sturdy that will keep it from falling over. Here are a couple additional ideas:

Have you made any Christmas ornaments using the dollar store vintage tiles? Let me know below!

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Be sure to visit the links below for additional Christmas ornaments and decor ideas!

She Gave It A Go | The Ultimate Garland Hanging Hack: Try This Curtain Rod Trick

Paint Me Pink | DIY Santa Ornaments

My Sweet Savannah | DIY Paper Christmas Trees

The Handmade Home | DIY Paw Print Ornaments

Le Cultivateur | DIY Mercury Glass Ornaments

Today's Creative Blog | DIY Anise Ornaments

The Happy Housie | Easy Christmas Ideas

Cuckoo For Design | DIY Mexican Ornaments

Craftberry Bush | DIY Vintage Bell Ornaments

Midwest Life And Style | Holiday Traditions: How To Make Easy Dried Orange Ornaments For Christmas

Eleanor Rose Home | How to Make Rustic DIY Farmhouse Christmas Ornaments

Lolly Jane | Faux Mercury Glass Ornaments

DIY Beautify | Vintage Inspired Embossed Tile Trees

Zevy Joy | DIY Dollar Store Christmas Ornament - Snowy Scene

Tatertots and Jello | DIY Faux Gingerbread Cookie Ornaments

bringing beauty to the ordinary,


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  1. Love your trees! How clever!

  2. Oh Cindy, these are lovely-pinned! Cheerfully, Brendt

  3. What a unique idea. Love them!

  4. What a cute idea! I’m going to try and make 2 triangles and attach the 2nd one on the back for a 360 view. Also, other ideas for a base are spools, wooden disks(thin or chunky) cut from your tree or pieces of branches, antique glass doorknobs, the list is endless! Thanks for sharing.

  5. So clever! I've gotta look for those metal tiles the next time I'm there!

  6. I adore your trees, Cindy. So cute and so clever! And I love how affordable this craft is too. Thank you for sharing. Pinned!

  7. Thanks for the reminder that I must find these dollar store tiles! Need this stat! Your trees are adorable, just like your other gems you made from these!

    1. Thanks Donna, I'm so glad you like them! Merry Christmas xx

  8. Always the most gorgeous DIY projects, Cindy! These tiles are so versatile! Don't forget to join us over at the Creatively Crafty Linky Party every Wednesday through Sunday
    Followed and Pinned!
    Creatively, Beth

  9. Brilliant - what a smart idea to use these tiles! I love how they turned out!


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