Ceramic Christmas Trees

Vintage Ceramic Christmas Tree via flickr There was a time when taking a ceramics class was quite in vogue among young housewives.  I remember in the 70’s when my mother took ceramics and brought home corn-shaped casserole dishes and frog pencil holders.

Tabletop ceramic Christmas trees were likely only made by those ladies with exceptional skill.  You can find vintage ceramic Christmas trees that date from the 1940s to the 1990s.  Some are admittedly hideous, others are very attractive and even magical. vintage green ceramic christmas tree via flickr

candle bulb inside vintage ceramic christmas tree Ceramic Christmas trees are decorated and painted by hand, and are often glazed.  They typically will feature glass jewels.  These glass jewels will glow when the tree is turned on, as they often are hollow with a light bulb inside.

I found mine at yard sales for less than $10.  You can definitely find them on ebay. Kristie Barnett's vintage ceramic christmas trees

The rarer and more collectible trees, which often date from the 1940s, are always attractively colored and glazed, and usually individually numbered. These can cost from $150 upwards.

vintage ceramic christmas tree

ceramic tree lights via ebay I’ve often thought of getting new bulbs for mine.  Maybe all in the same color, like pink.  You can still buy replacement bulbs for these Christmas trees online and on ebay.  You do need to make sure you get the right size though, as there are variations.  You can even get jeweled lights shaped like little birds.

If you’re feeling nostalgic, keep your eyes open for a vintage ceramic Christmas tree of your own!



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24 thoughts on “Ceramic Christmas Trees

  1. Pam Barnett says:

    I have my mom’s. It is white with plastic red birds. I treasure it. She made it, I think while they lived in Miami.

  2. Michelle L. says:

    Kristie, I have to chuckle every time you blog. I have a ceramic tree. I have the little elves. I have several pieces from “Home Interiors” from the 70’s. The thing is, I didn’t find all these “vintage” pieces at yard sales. I’m old enough that I was the original owner! You make me feel better about some of my “old stuff.”

  3. Faye Sasser says:

    So funny! Ours is green and is surrounded by white Christmas geese with red ribbons on their necks. After your article I just might have to make another trip back into the attic.

  4. Connie says:

    I have one that I bought at a garage sale. It’s green with white tips on the ends to signify snow?

    Anyhow I’ve been looking everywhere for crystal pegs to go into the little holes because I really want it to twinkle when I light it up.

    I’m going to paint the tree gold and leave the white tips and then paint the base gold as well. I think with crystal lights it will look very grand.

    I took a look and the one I have isn’t a collector piece at all which is why I feel comfortable painting it.

    Anyhow what do you all think? Paint it or leave it?

    PS: thanks for the info on ceramic trees because I thought it was the oddest thing lol

  5. kristiebarnett says:

    You can find tons of crystal pegs on ebay – just make sure you get the right size. They apparently make them in a few sizes. I think that if painting it will make you love it and use it, then go for it!

  6. Shannon says:

    My grandma always put her out for Christmas. I have her tree now and it is one piece that reminds me of her. I would love to find some replacement pegs.

  7. Bratt says:

    I am looking for a green ceramic tree n good condition. My wife has been wanting one but can’t find one she likes. About 20″- 24″.

    • whitney says:

      Brett, are you still looking for one? I am helping clean out an eldery aunt’s home and today we found a large one (maybe 2 feet) w/a pretty base like the one on the 1st green tree pictured above, but with red/white/green pattern – (they told me the base is cracked, I didn’t see it up close but overall the tree looked very good to me – I didn’t plug it in b/c the electricity in the home is already turned off, but I can def check that out)…I don’t know where you’re located, we’re in MO. We could ship it if you pay shipping & would want to do that. Let me know, and if you’re interested I can quote you a price if it’s still available when you reply. Thanks! Whitney
      [email protected]

        • Kristie Barnett says:

          I’m a collector, but these are not for sale. That’s crappy that you have had bad luck with ebay trees being broken in transit. The seller should cover the cost of that, you know. Anyway, I have bought the ones I have at local estate sales, yard sales in older neighborhoods, and antique malls. Maybe you can find some that way – good luck!

  8. elaine says:

    i am looking to buy a large ceramic tree. i have seen them on the web — 20 + inches. my problem is when i buy them off e-bay and they are shipped they come to me broken. i have wasted 100’s of dollars in my quest for a vintage tree. any suggestions would be appreciated

    • Jeff says:

      Look for a creamic shop in your area and make one yourself. The shops can be hard to find but worth the search and it would be a fun project.

    • Michelle says:

      I have been looking for one as well b/c my brother has my grandmom’s original one and it brings back such wonderful memories. I did see 13″ onces at Vermont Country Store’s catalog but when I went online to purchase they were already sold out. You might want to inquire with them to see where they get theirs.

    • Diane says:

      I make them and sell them on ebay, if your interested. My user name for ebay and etsy is ” bddodge” . I have shipped over 300 all over the place. I have been selling them on-line for 8 years now. They ship wonderful as long as they are packaged well.

  9. Patty says:

    Where do you find the lighted base? I have a green ceramic tree with the colored bulbs, but do not have the base with the light bulb so I can illunminate the tree.

  10. MS says:

    I found my husand’s grandmother’s ceramic tree. I don’t think she made it, but I do remember seeing it in her house. We received a box of her Christmas decorations after she passed away. Unfortunately, there is no bulb inside it to light up the tree… and I have NO idea what size bulb it would need.

  11. Tarah says:

    Looking for a ceramic tree w white tips resembling snow. Good condition no chips etc!
    Please let me know anyone as I am weary of purchasing online w a CC!
    I’m in canada (BC) and can purchase immediately! Looking for approx 18″

  12. Luann says:

    I just lost my grandmother 4 months ago and i have her ceramic tree u need to change the main bulb in the base of tree but cant get it off please help im u tests

  13. LindA pennock says:

    I have a peacock from the 70’s I just bought that is missing several bulbs, they are flat like button bulbs and I can’t find replacements anywhere . Can anyone help. It,s a gift and I would love to bring it back to life..

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