adirondack pack on front door with greens

Vintage Adirondack Pack Basket – My Christmas Door 2021

I have been searching for a vintage Adirondack basket for years.  It’s been on my wishlist ever since I saw a reproduction in the pages of Ballard’s Designs catalog.  I clipped that picture and pinned it to my vision/idea board and there it stayed for what seemed like forever.  Well, it took me 3 years but I found one!

Adirondack hanging basket

One Saturday this past August, in the last hours of an estate sale, I hit the jackpot!  I found an Adirondack basket among other finds,  in near perfect condition and I got it for a song. Needless to say, I could not wait for Christmas to come this year.  This basket from my vision board was going to come to life!

The History of the Adirondack Backpack

I tried to do a little digging on the history of the Adirondack basket and I couldn’t find a definitive answer. This style of basket, pack baskets (large woven basket designed to be carried as a backpack.  Primarily for utilitarian purposes like traveling, hunting, and or gathering) is often attributed to native American people.  The truth is that you can find examples of this pack-style basket all over the world, for hundreds of years, each with its own twist.  The Adirondack pack style is adapted from the pack baskets used by native Americans in the region.  It has a definitive look with a cinch at the top and is typically made from ash  Other styles of pack baskets like the Maine pack baskets have a more rectangular shape. 

vintage adirondack basket 40s photo
I found this old photo from the 40's of an adirondack basket in action on a boys hunting trip.

I recorded a quick video showing you how I filled the basket.  It’s a large basket, a very large basket, and it takes a lot of greens to fill this basket.  So I filled the bottom of the basket with empty amazon boxes (tis the season). I bought a few different types of greens and berries.  I used Juniper, Magnolia. Fir tips and winter Ilex berries.  I layered the greens using mostly drippy cedar greens, but you can use whatever you want.  I love how it turned out. If you are looking for a unique way to dress up your door, I highly suggest a pack basket.  You can find vintage baskets on Etsy and eBay, but you can also find new baskets like this trapper Maine style basket on amazon on Ballard designs.

@vintage_bu_te_antiques Finally! Filled my antique adirondack basket with winter greens today. I am so behind this year with my decorating. #myvintagehome #antiquelover ♬ It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas - Michael Bublé
bells and adirondack basket

Truth is this basket deserved to be on display for more than one month! So, I decided to transform it from Christmas decor to Winter decor!  I removed the red berries and bow and added faux branches to fill it out and give it life. My favorite addition was the gold bells. Bells are a huge trend right now, and they were the perfect finishing touch for this winter Adirondack basket. I found my bells on amazon they were the perfect size for the basket and I love how it looks.

Christmas basket winter greens berries bells
My Christmas Door 2022
side profile adirondack basket front door

Update:  I thought that would update this post with a photo from my 2022 door.  This year I added the prettiest frayed edge velvet ribbon in cranberry red from amazon.  In case you are interested here are some links to the ribbon and bells.  I used a mixture of faux and real greens.  I recommend real berries, because the faux ones don’t do very well in the elements.  There is also a link to an new adirondack basket if you don’t want to hunt for a vintage one.



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Collecting Vintage Christmas Ornaments

I have a list of things I always look for when I am out picking. And Christmas is number one on my list. My love for vintage Christmas is so big, vintage Santa’s and hand-made stockings, oh and vintage Christmas cards! It’s always a magical day when I find vintage Christmas, but what I love most are antique glass ornaments.

Germany is famous for its glass ornaments, and many consider it the birthplace of glass ornaments, but Poland and Japan also made beautiful coveted glass ornaments.

During the early 1900’s America became the biggest importer of glass ornaments. At least it was until WWII, which resulted in a ban on German goods. With necessity being the mother of invention, a German immigrant named Max Eckardt used the Cornings E-Machine technology (used to make glass light bulbs) and perfected the production of glass Christmas ornaments. They were able to mass-produce glass ornaments, and Shiney Brite was born.

I don’t have a preference. German, Japanese, American, I just love the fragileness of the glass, the muted colors, and the crackle in the paint. Even though the colors may be muted, there is still so much life in these ornaments.  And nothing says Christmas like a silver bowl full of vintage red glass ornaments. The various shades, shapes and sizes. It’s one of my favorite things—each one unique, with its own patina.

To me nothing says Christmas like a silver bowl full of vintage red glass ornaments. All different shapes and shades.  It’s one of my favorite things—each one unique, with its unique patina.  

Over the last few years, I have opted for a bare tree with just lights.  I have found that I prefer to enjoy my ornaments in bowls and jars.  I can group colors and styles together, and I feel like they have more of an impact.

how to clean Vintage christmas ornaments?

I learned to be VERY carful when cleaning the ornaments.  Be sure to spot test.  

My advice, don’t use soap or cleaners.  Only use water and use it sparingly.  In the past I have accidentally washed all off the paint with dish soap.  If you do end up removing the paint, the beautiful mercury glass underneath was pretty lovely as well so it’s not a total loss.  

Not as bad as dropping a 70 year old ornament on the floor.  Which has happened way to too many times!!!!

My score of the year, are these lovely glass ornaments in pastel yellow and green; they are just so delicate and sweet.   Not traditional Christmas colors, but really beautiful.  I bought these back in August!  And while I didn’t forget about them, when I opened the box last week,  it was just as lovely as the first time.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of my collection.  Happy hunting!

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