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Vintage Putz Houses

Vintage Putz Houses

village of Christmas putz houses in wooden shelf

Explore the tradition of vintage putz houses and how to decorate with them.  

Vintage miniature Christmas houses, called “putz” houses, are a favorite Christmas collectible. The name comes from the German word putzen: to decorate or adorn. The first putz villages were made from natural elements like twigs, stones and leaves. Now, Christmas scenes have become an elaborate decoration, displaying an entire village of people enjoying winter.

village of putz houses with fake snow and cermaic bowls
Pair your putz houses with fake snow, bottle brush trees and other accessories to create a village or display the houses by themselves. Amanda tends to look for putz houses stamped with “Japan” or “Made in Japan” on the bottom, as they were handmade and some of the first widely-produced putz houses.

Collector and owner of Forest Knolls Vintage on Instagram, Amanda Upton has been growing her putz house collection for years. “One of my favorite childhood memories was setting up the old ceramic Christmas village with my sister and my mom and dad,” she says. “I loved adding the fake snow, the trees and seeing it all lit up.” 

bottlebrush trees and village of mid-sized putz houses

Most of her collection comes from estate and garage sales. When you find one putz house, there’s usually an entire collection hiding somewhere around. In her experience, most putz houses will range from $5 to $20 per piece, and they are usually more expensive in antiques stores. 

putz houses beneath Christmas tree
Putz houses were traditionally placed under the tree and set up in a nativity scene, but now they’re perfect to use all around the house. “Stick them on a shelf, tuck them onto the Christmas tree or set up your own little village,” Amanda says.

Putz houses are a traditional but versatile vintage Christmas décor item. Being relatively inexpensive and widely produced, they are one of the most accessible vintage collectibles, while still being fun and unique. The beautiful vintage style is eye-catching while also leaving room to accessorize and decorate to your own style.  

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village of putz houses and bottle brush trees
Produced in a variety of different colors and styles, you can mix and match vintage ceramic and cardboard putz houses. One of the best times to hunt for them is during the summer and spring, as they tend to be cheaper and less sought-after.

For more Christmas collectibles, read on about Collecting Vintage Christmas Ornaments. Of course, don’t forget to follow us on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest to get your daily dose of farmhouse inspiration! 

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