30 Classic Ornaments to Collect & How to Style Them

I’ve spent this week focused on decorating our home for the season ahead. I always enjoy this festive time of year… unboxing seasonal decor, carefully unwrapping ornaments I’ve collected and tucked into boxes over the years, and adding a few new ones to our collection every holiday. One of my friends recently asked how my collection seemed so cohesive, yet I change the look each year. I’m obviously not buying entirely new Christmas ornaments every holiday. I wanted to share how I’ve come to collect classic ornaments that make a great base for decor of any aesthetic! Click through for a fun roundup and my tips & tricks…

30 Classic Ornaments to Collect & How to Style Them - roomfortuesday.com

Obviously, every tree and holiday decor is unique to your personal aesthetic, but these are my favorite ornament picks if you’re going for a traditional and classic look. These make an excellent foundation for styling and filling, while leaving room for your personal touch… and they work with any aesthetic.

Tips for Creating a Cohesive Ornament Collection

My best tips for creating a cohesive ornament collection to build upon? Start slow and be intentional. I always buy 3-4 new ornaments each holiday season.

30 Classic Ornaments to Collect & How to Style Them - roomfortuesday.com
  1. Choose classic materials– opt for ornaments made of timeless materials… metal, glass, wood, velvet, etc.
  2. Be intentional– allow yourself a set number of ornaments every holiday… my number is four, so I’m very selective with the ones I choose to buy each season.
  3. Invest in quality– over the past decade, there are very few ornaments I’ve discarded… all of those were cheap, trendy, and impulse purchases that didn’t withstand the test of time.
  4. Select neutrals that make a good foundation– while you’re still building your base collection, choose neutrals you can expand upon. Once you have a great base, then you can begin to branch out. Some seasons, I’ll grab three neutrals and one eclectic or fun colored ornament.
  5. Consider scale & shape– depending on where you plan to style the ornaments or the height of your tree, you should take proportion into consideration. You’ll want a good variety for visual interest… some small options and some oversized options. Similarly, consider shape… some should be round, some oblong, etc.

Ornament Styling Ideas

30 Classic Ornaments to Collect & How to Style Them - roomfortuesday.com

Even if you don’t have a tree, ornaments can be styled in so many fun ways during the holidays! Here are some ideas to brainstorm and try…

  • Grouped together in a bowl– on the coffee table, counter, console, or sideboard.
  • Hanging from a light fixture– picture a delicate ornament hanging from the bottom of a sconce or chandelier.
  • Hanging from wreaths– dress up your wreath with a centered ornament and ribbon.
  • Contained in a hurricane or clear vase– for a sculptural look… try styling it on the mantel or built-ins!
  • Hanging from furniture hardware, a cabinet, or door knob(for non breakable ornaments), like tassels or bells.
  • Nestled into garland– occasionally, I’ll affix a few ornaments into a garland arrangement for added interest.
  • As gift toppers– small ornaments make the perfect gift topper for holiday packages.
  • Create a centerpiece– mix greenery and ornaments for an interesting centerpiece for a tablescape.
  • Obviously, on the tree– the classic way to style ornaments… I prefer a full look with lots of ornaments.
30 Classic Ornaments to Collect & How to Style Them - roomfortuesday.com

Tips for Styling Unique Seasonal Looks, Using the Same Ornaments Each Holiday

Like I mentioned in the intro, over the years I’ve acquired quite a large collection of ornaments. I also like to slightly switch my holiday look each year because I enjoy styling and it’s fun to play & experiment. For example, this year (as you’ll see next week)– I’m going with a brown palette and equestrian theme (I say that loosely). Last year, I opted for a blue palette… click here to see my 2022 holiday home tour, if you’re interested! All of that to say, I don’t buy new ornaments every year. I use what I have.

So how do I achieve totally different looks? It’s more about mixing in additional elements along with your ornaments…

  • Use ribbon to reinforce your color palette.
  • Choose a fun wrapping paper to nail drive home your aesthetic.
  • Incorporate textiles (pillows, blankets, throws, etc) to add stylistic interest.
  • Swap out your coffee table books or easy seasonal artwork that feels cohesive with the look you’re going for.
  • Enjoy seasonal fragrances (candles and diffusers) that bring you holiday joy… bonus points if the vessels work well stylistically.
30 Classic Ornaments to Collect & How to Style Them - roomfortuesday.com

Keep in mind, ornaments don’t define your entire holiday aesthetic… they’re only a small part in curating your seasonal style!

Classic Ornaments That Never Go Out of Style

Here are 30 of my favorite ornaments… all in classic neutrals, made of timeless materials. They also vary in price- so there’s something for any budget.

You can shop and see more by clicking on each ornament below!

Do you have any favorites from the collection? I’d love to hear! I actually own a lot of these, and you’ll notice many are from my Tuesday Made shop. My philosophy there has always been to provide timeless options that friends will love and use for many years to come. I love picturing families pulling out these ornaments I curate for the shop to create traditions year-after-year. That’s pretty special.

30 Classic Ornaments to Collect & How to Style Them - roomfortuesday.com

How to Incorporate Quirky Ornaments

Once your tree has been prepped and filled with the classic ornaments, you can begin to add your personal touch… more color, quirky items, sentimental pieces, handmade things, sentimental, and unique ornaments. Build your base, then take creative liberties! I love that no tree is perfect and all have interesting items to find. It’s representative of you and your family. Here are some tips for styling a tree with quirk, while keeping your holiday traditions intact…

  • Use quirky ornaments in moderation… this actually makes them feel more special because it’s fun to discover them within the tree! My “strange” ornaments are some of the ones I like best (handmade ornaments from nieces & nephews, weird animal ornaments, vintage ornaments, etc). My personal decorating rule is 70% classic and 30% unique.
  • Style them in their own special place… perhaps in a coffee table bowl or on a smaller countertop tree?
  • Strategically place the really weird ornaments… I’m not saying to hide them, but I’m saying- position it next to something that feels intentional and balanced.
  • Gives kids their own small tree to decorate… so many of my friends have tiny “bedroom trees” for their littles and it looks like such a fun tradition- and a great place to display their holiday artwork or handmade ornaments.
30 Classic Ornaments to Collect & How to Style Them - roomfortuesday.com

Ornament Storage

If you’re wondering where I keep all these ornaments in the off season- they live in my basement prop closet! I keep them in this handy ornament storage bag, but I really want to invest in this fancy five tray telescoping ornament storage system. I feel like if you’re spending the money on nice holiday decor, you should keep it safe. In the last twelve years, I’ve only broken two of my holiday ornaments! I feel like that’s pretty impressive.

30 Classic Ornaments to Collect & How to Style Them - roomfortuesday.com


Can you mix metals- like gold & silver ornaments on the same tree?

Absolutely! In fact, I’d encourage that. I always mix silver, brass, rose gold, and even copper. It’s easy to pull that off with holiday decor.

What is the average cost of “nice” ornaments?

This totally depends on the ornament and material. I’d say a “nice” ornament starts in the $8 ballpark and goes into the $100’s (yes, really). There are some seriously fancy crystal and designer ornaments floating around out there.

Is there a holiday decorating rule as to how many of the same ornament you should buy for a tree?

While I like repetition, I always hear designers say, “buy 10-12 of the same ornament.” Personally, I don’t agree with that design rule. I think ornaments can be impactful in lesser quantities and I never buy extras to account for breakage, as they often suggest. I think it’s more about how they’re styled. You can also buy a few of the same ornament in different sizes for a nice design impact.

How do you make inexpensive ornaments look higher end?

Use pretty ribbon to affix them to your tree (velvet, satin, silk, linen, etc) and style them alongside a few nicer ornaments. I’m all about mixing high & low! Some of my ornaments are higher-end and handmade, while others are mass produced and came from places like Target or Amazon.

30 Classic Ornaments to Collect & How to Style Them - roomfortuesday.com


Looking for more holiday decorating inspired posts? I’ll link some of my favorites for you below…

30 Classic Ornaments to Collect & How to Style Them - roomfortuesday.com

I hope you liked this one! Be sure to check out my annual holiday gift guide if you missed that on Monday. I got the post up a bit later than usual due to some technical difficulties. After a short break from this series, I’ve also got a new Facebook Marketplace Finds post coming on Friday for you! Be sure to check back for that. It has been a busy and fun week of decorating over here! Have you started yet?

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  1. Good morning! Such a pretty, festive post for this November Wednesday. My brain is still on Thanksgiving, and I nearly had a stroke when someone mentioned last night that it’s in two weeks…not three! Anyway, personal panic aside, I do love looking at holiday ornaments! Your seasonal splendor is always topnotch. When you asked on IG, I guessed this year’s inspiration was a very Ralph Lauren Christmas. Sounds like I was right. Horses and deep brown; I can’t wait for the tour! I did have a good chuckle as I read your advice to add special fragrances…not me imagining stable-scented candles. Snort. Your selection of ornaments is enviable. I am also loving the new ones in the shop this year! The geometric drop one from the collage and the beaded finial set are SO gorgeous! And that cool plaid trio playing to your Scottish roots. Wink. I’m also partial to the star/snowflake examples in your roundup. Honestly, I could be dangerous if I started collecting ornaments again. (BTW, that tiered ornament storage system is bananas! In a good way.) For the moment, I’ll enjoy everyone else’s. Thanks for a festive start to my day, Sarah! Cheers to an amazing Wednesday!💜

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Hi Peggi! It feels odd to be skipping Thanksgiving this year. It definitely feels like I went straight from Halloween to Christmas, ha. Please go all out on my behalf so I can live vicariously through photos of your amazing tablescape and incredible vegan spread. I’m super excited to share the holiday tour next week though… I’m hoping to wrap up decorating this weekend. LOL to stable scented candles that actually sound appealing and nostalgic to me, haha. I realize it’s weird to embrace the smell of a horse barn, but I’ll admit- it does something for me. Yesss to the plaid ornaments and my Scottish heritage. I still need to deep dive and learn more. Hope you’re having such a good week! xox

  2. Good morning! While I have yet to start my holiday decorating, I find your tips to be spot on- I do all of these!! I work in numbers to help me vary the size and shape of my ornaments, using the visual weight of the tree as my guide. I typically do 3:6:3 (3 large at the bottom, 6 medium in the middle, 3 small at the top). This helps me know how many of one type to purchase, but also helps me mix my metals and shapes in a way my brain can understand. Unless it’s an eclectic ornament, I’m purchasing sets of 3 or 6. This has been key in keeping my ornament purchases minimal, and helps me know what I need more of. This year I purchased themed mini ornaments for my kids’ tabletop bedroom trees- Hobby Lobby has fun sets to choose from! That brings me to the “kid” ornaments: cartoon characters, etc. that I don’t necessarily love. I look at these as my kid’s starter sets- the ornaments that will grace their very first trees before they have the budget to buy their own. We don’t put all of these out- we let the kids choose their section of the tree and they get to decide which ones they love that year. But we add to their collection with one new ornament yearly. It’s a fun way to embrace their personalities. Last year Brooke asked me if she could have the ginger jar ornaments from your shop when she has her own house; my design loving heart almost burst at the seams. Aaron loves the beaded tassel ornaments. 😍 So yes, Sarah, the ornaments from your shop are some of the most special, and sentimental, to grace our tree each year, and ones that stand out in my children’s minds as “quintessential Christmas”. I have another storage recommendation I’ll send via dm. I purchased this last year, and have been blown away by the amount of storage, the quality and the portability. It doesn’t telescope, but it’s a fraction of the cost. Anyway, fun Christmas chat this morning! Thank you for sharing your tips. Xoxo

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Well, the rest of Instagram and myself are VERY early… so you’ll be right on time. I love that you also practice these tried & true tips or rules. I find them helpful for our home! I figured you had cute little bedroom trees for your kids… I bet they enjoy those so much. I really love that tradition. Emmett has been holing onto vintage looney tunes ornaments from his childhood that are hideous, but they’d be perfect for a kid tree. Ha! I could embrace decorating a colorful children’s tree with those, but there is no way they’re coming onto the big tree. Lol! I think your balance and traditions sound just right. Ok, now we’re both tearing up about sweet Brooke’s request on the special ginger jars. That made my whole month! I love to hear that your entire family enjoys them. Thank you so much for the storage DM- it’s in my cart :) Appreciate you!! xo

  3. When we first got married we combined my pastel satin balls from college and the beginning of a porcelain angel collection with my husband’s eclectic mix of family hand-me-downs and thrift store finds. It made for a fun tree and no one worried about breakage when the kids enthusiastically helped trim the tree (the porcelain angels are surprisingly sturdy). When we purged to down-size for retirement the kids claimed most of the heirlooms from their Grandmother along with some that we bought through their teenage years. I continued to collect the porcelain angels and have been gifted one larger and a few smaller angels as well as crosses from the same artist. Along with 2″ gold ribbon as garland the collection fills our new skinny tree! I’m on the hunt for the last two angels that sold out before I completed my collection (2018 & 2019 Margaret Furlong 3″ angels if anyone can help a girl out). I doubt much will be added to our Christmas decorating at this stage in our life – but I’m grateful to my sister for the original gift that led to an amazing collection.

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      I absolutely love that, Cheryl! What a sweet tradition and beautiful way to decorate. I’m not going to lie, I went to look them up, thinking I’d locate them quickly, send you a link, and save the day. Haha! #1 : they’re stunning and really cool ornaments, and #2: those are not easy years to find! I spend 30 minutes looking with no luck. I’m sorry. Now I know to keep my eyes peeled though. What a cool collection!

  4. I’m feeling the holiday spirit Sarah with your gift guides and today your beautiful ornament roundup. I have an extensive ornament collection of all kinds and varieties so I try to change it up from year to year. I love your theme of a Ralph Lauren equestrian Christmas, I can’t wait to see ☺️ Sounds gorgeous.
    I absolutely love the etched mercury ornaments as well as the ginger jars and the faceted ornament set from your shop. You stock the most timeless and classic heirloom ornaments, it’s hard to pick favorites. Decorating with ornaments and sprinkling them everywhere makes for a very festive home and I love all your suggestions and ideas. Sounds like you are making headway on your holiday decorating, you’ve definitely inspired me to at least select a color palette. Happy decorating Sarah and have a very lovely Wednesday🎄

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Yay!! I’m so glad it’s shining through, Colleen! I also loved reading about your ornament collection. Switching it up each year is fun. I didn’t use any of my blue & white ornaments this year, but I bet they’ll be in the mix next time. Hope you’re having such a good week and Andrew is feeling better! xo

  5. Happy Wednesday Sarah! I was excited to read your post and learn all your tricks and pointers for holiday tree decorating. Your shop ornaments are beautiful. The greenery is also so pretty. You’ve done a great job curating things for the store and it shows.
    Every year I would buy a set of 6 or 12 (depending on size) of a new ornament. Unfortunately, since we live in a rental, we just don’t have the room for a full size tree so I have purchased 1 the past couple of years. I love adding ribbon to ornaments or very pretty ornament hangers. Recently at Target I saw gold tinsel. I bought some but on the fence on whether or not I want to decorate with it. My husband wanted his new business office to be modern so I am having fun looking for holiday decor that fits his personality and aesthetic.
    I love the ornament storage you included. I have tried several different versions. Instead of throwing away tissue paper after gifts are opened, I save and wrap my ornaments in them and place in plastic tubs. The large zip up bags have come in handy too for all the garland I use.
    Your creativity always amazes me and I cannot wait to see the equestrian them this year. I’ve been away a long time and look forward to reconnecting with you and friends on this blog. Speaking of, congratulations on all the hard work with your new blog. Just beautiful and well thought out. Have a great day!
    xoxo Danna

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Danna!! Hi, I’ve missed you and have been thinking about you! I hope you’re doing good. Thanks for your sweet words. So funny you’re thinking of using tinsel this year because I just styled tinsel on my tree today. That may be the first and last time I use it, haha! It’s stunning, but was so messy and finicky. I do love the way it looks though. How is the office coming along? So smart about reusing the packaging within totes- that’s a great idea. I’m very excited to photograph our house this weekend and share my annual holiday tour next week. Hope you have time to come back and check it out :) So good to hear from you! xoxo

  6. This is such a fun post! I’m looking forward to getting started on our Christmas decorating. I love your “candy” ornaments so much. Those are beyond cute! Last year I finally invested in ornament storage boxes and Christmas tree bags for everything. I got a lot on sale at the Coverstore. We have a walk-in floored attic so I kept all of the trees standing up and covered. I think the only non-fun part of the decorating is fluffing up the tree.

    1. Thank you for mentioning The Cover Store Brittany! I’ve never heard of them but I checked them out and I think I found a tree storage container that will be perfect for our tree! Have a fantastic day!

      1. Sarah Gibson says:

        Love to see this, Lauren… and thank you for sharing, Brittany!!

    2. Sarah Gibson says:

      I’m so happy you liked this one! I really want to find an artist to make us some hand blown candy ornaments for the Tuesday Made shop next year! I’ve got a year to source. Haha! If you know any glass blowing artists, send them my way. I totally agree that fluffing the tree is the worst. It always ruins your hands and leaves me all scratched up. I always try to rope Emmett into fluffing, ha.