French Industrial Ornaments

Friends! Look what I found in the barn. A box of old metals stencils in two different sizes. Plus some sort of metal flower that I am in love with. Treasure!

I know just what to do with the stencils — hang them on our tree! I’ll add silver cords and temporarily turn them into a set of French Industrial Christmas Ornaments.

Can’t wait to share pics! Also. Now I’m curious: what’s the most un-traditional ornament you hang?

P.S. — More industrial love here and here.

36 thoughts on “French Industrial Ornaments”

  1. Oh wow and wow! Who knew the old barn would be full of such treasure!!

    “the most un-traditional ornament you hang?”
    a large tin train. Not an ornament, but not quite a toy. Though really, I suppose I only put it on the tree one year and since then it has sat on a bookshelf. Somehow it didn’t ever get put away with the ornaments and moved into ‘every day decoration’…

  2. Our tree is all about untraditional ornaments. From the kids handmade stuff, to the corporate ornaments from my husband’s employer, to the handmade clothespin ornaments from my grandmother’s house (clothepins dressed as cowboys, clothespins dressed as grandmothers holding a plate of spaghetti, etc.), I hang it all on the tree. The piece de resistance is the huge sequined fish that someone gave me years ago. We hang that at the top in lieu of a star or angel. I wish I still had the “Oscar the Grouch” salt dough ornament I made when I was a child. It was basically a heavy lump of salt dough dyed green with food coloring with two cloves stuck in its “head” for eyes. We always had to hang it on a strong lower branch because it was so heavy.

  3. One of my mom’s traditions was to give each of the kids an ornament for Christmas that would then make a set they could use when they left home. Each kid’s ornament was of a certain type: my brother’s were all wood and mine were cute felt and sequin creations. My sister’s ornaments followed the most incredible theme – miniature Steiff animals! When it started, this wasn’t sure a splurge. Now, they are the best slowly-built collection!

  4. An old “subaru” key chain from my first set of car keys and the watch face of an old cheepo watch that I loved which stopped working. Every time we bring these things out I feel happy.

  5. I save corks from all the momentous days of our lives….. our engagement, wedding, New years eve 1999/2000, birth of our 2 boys, vacations, etc. I write the date and event in a sharpie and tie with a bow – they are all on our tree and I love them.

  6. A toy rocket ship is our tree-topper every year. Don’t you love shopping in your own house? That flower is probably a boss (an ornament that marks the intersection of the vaulting) from a cathedral or church.

  7. Ours is a Santa sitting in an outhouse reading his map. His horse is parked outside. May seem a bit rude for some, but it has meaning for us. I am a city girl and when my husband and I were first dating, we visited his best friend at his summer camp where an outhouse was in use . . . not a port-a-potty, an old-fashioned, moon-in-door- outhouse. Our kids love showing this one off to friends.

  8. Those stencils will make lovely ornamanets! Didn’t you post about the ceramic marker mugs? perhaps some plates are in order….We have a retro tin toy flying saucer as our tree topper.

  9. After my grandma died my mom turned her false teeth into an ornament and now they are hung on the tree every year… usually in the back if I can help it!

  10. Wow! What an incredible find! Our tree is a mish-mash of handmade ornaments (think drawings of Mario and Link on construction paper) and the store bought the kids get to pick out every year. The most “different” one this year is that our topper is an owl. He’s just perched up there, happy as can be!

  11. Wow! That is such a find . And the items are real and will generate memories. Love when that happens. Our most unusual ornaments currently are the bulbs from a broken Galileo thermometer. They were way too pretty to toss and they have found their perfect home on our tree. The little metal discs with the temperatures add such interest to to the bulbs that might be mistaken for a Christmas ornament without.

  12. When I first started teaching, my roommate and I got a tree, but didn’t have money for ornaments, so I brought home my students’ recent art projects… God’s Eyes. You know, those yarn projects made on a two-sticked thing? yep. My first adult Christmas tree was decorated with stolen (well, not really “stolen”, maybe “borrowed” since I returned them after the holiday) 3rd grade art. Now I hang one up every year, just as a reminder.

  13. We have roundels just like that on the panelling all around the gorgeous French house we are currently living in. It sets off our tree nicely! Just discovered your blog – we are living not too far from you just outside Paris and our youngest (of four!) is just ten days older than June. Funny what a small world it is in cyberspace!

  14. I lived in various apartments until I got married (at 38) so most years I had a little tree. My favorite unusual ornaments include: polaroid photos of my Christmas party, costume jewelry, cardboard bar coasters, and construction paper stars that I had my student aides make me when I taught school. I always used things that can be reused or recycled – saved space!

  15. An old scrubbie! My great grandmother used to make scrubbies (dish scouring balls made out of some kind of meshy material). We always loved them. So after she died, we kept one as a keepsake and every year it has a place of honor on our Christmas tree.

  16. What an awesome find! Looking forward to seeing how they turn out!

    My boyfriend collects Pez dispensers, so we hand some special “pez dispenser ornaments” on the tree.

  17. Those are so great!
    As for untraditional tree decorations, my three-year-old is in going through a phase of being very interested in participating in tree decorating. Almost every night after the kids are put to bed, my husband and I have found an odd item from around the house (eg. a tangerine, a walnut, a mushroom, a baby sock, tea bags, one of my bras) on the tree, thoughtfully placed there by Liam.

  18. We decided to hang all our old ski passes (we live in a ski town) on our tree this year. Good place to keep track of them all!

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