Preserving the Magic: How to Store Antique Ornaments When They're Not on the Christmas Tree

Antique ornaments carry with them a sense of history and nostalgia, making them cherished pieces of holiday decor. Whether passed down through generations or collected over time, these delicate treasures deserve the utmost care when they're not gracing your Christmas tree. Whether you have inherited antique ornaments or you have a robust collection of Old World Christmas ornaments, proper storage is key to ensuring these ornaments retain their beauty and value for years to come. Here are 8 steps for the safe storage of antique ornaments to preserve their magic.

1. Clean and Inspect

Before storing your antique ornaments, it's essential to give them a thorough cleaning and inspection. Use a soft brush or cloth to gently remove any dust or dirt that may have accumulated. Be cautious not to scrub too hard, as this could damage the delicate surfaces.

After cleaning, carefully inspect each ornament for any signs of damage, such as loose parts, cracks, or chipped paint. Address any issues before proceeding to ensure your ornaments are in their best possible condition for storage.

2. Gather Supplies

To store your antique ornaments safely, you'll need the right supplies. Start by collecting acid-free tissue paper, small individual boxes, bubble wrap, a storage container, and labels. The Acid-free tissue paper will help prevent the ornaments from deteriorating over time, and individual boxes will provide protection against potential impacts. Old World Christmas ornaments arrive safely packaged in a perfect box to safely store the ornament when it’s not on the tree. 

3. Individual Packaging

Wrap each ornament separately in acid-free tissue paper. This will prevent them from touching each other, which can lead to scratching or chipping. If an ornament has delicate parts, like protruding pieces or fragile paint, consider wrapping those areas with a bit of additional tissue paper or bubble wrap.

4. Protective Boxes

Place each wrapped ornament in its own small box. You can find ornament-specific storage boxes with dividers, or you can repurpose small gift boxes lined with tissue paper. The goal is to create a protective barrier around each ornament to prevent them from shifting and bumping into one another.

5. Layering

Once your ornaments are individually boxed, layer them carefully within a larger storage container. Place a soft padding, such as a towel or a layer of bubble wrap, at the bottom of the container to cushion the ornaments. Arrange the ornament boxes in layers, with a layer of padding in between each. This will further protect the ornaments from potential impacts.

6. Labeling

To make it easy to locate specific ornaments in the future, label each individual box with a brief description or a number corresponding to an inventory list. This step might seem small now, but it will save you a lot of time and hassle when you're ready to display the ornaments again.

7. Storage Environment

Choose a suitable storage location for your container of carefully packed antique ornaments. Avoid areas with extreme temperature fluctuations, high humidity, or direct sunlight. A cool, dry, and dark space, such as a closet or a basement shelf, is ideal for preserving the ornaments' integrity.

8. Regular Check-Ups

While your antique ornaments are in storage, it's a good idea to periodically check on them. This ensures that there are no issues arising, such as deterioration of the packaging materials or any signs of damage. If necessary, you can make adjustments to the storage conditions or rewrap ornaments that need extra protection.

By following these steps, you can store your beloved antique ornaments or your Old World Christmas ornament collection with the care and attention they deserve. Proper storage not only preserves their beauty but also allows you to continue the tradition of passing down these treasures to future generations, ensuring that the magic of the holidays remains alive and well.

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Written by

Rachael Mitchell

Rachael Mitchell is a freelance writer based in Seattle, Washington, and has over 15 years of writing experience. She’d never be able to pick just one favorite ornament, but narrowed it down to the S’more and Tennis Ball. She always looks forward to s’mores in the summer with friends and family adding gourmet ingredients, and played 4 years of college tennis in the mid-west.

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