An old drum, trumpet, violin, and vintage high school band photo found at a second-hand shop. That’s how this musical instrument Christmas and winter theme all began.

After discovering this long and narrow high school band photo while out Thrifting with the Gals a few weeks back at an antique shop, I came up with this idea to decorate with old musical instruments for the holidays.

How to Decorate with Old Musical Instruments

This framed photo was taken at the Twenty-First Annual Vermont Music Festival on May 6, 7, and 8, 1948, in Burlington, Vermont. It is a gathering of all the high school bands throughout our state of Vermont.

How cool is this?

How to Decorate with Old Musical Instruments

I hung the band photo over our two French doors that lead into our guest bedrooms, and just to the left are our built-in bookshelves. You may see them all decorated for this year’s holidays in the post, How to Decorate Bookshelves for a Vintage Christmas.

While staying in Maine a couple of weeks back, I picked up an old drum and trumpet while out antiquing at Sage Farms’ pop-up Christmas market. You may check it all out in the post: A Vintage Christmas Haul and 3 Holiday Wreaths.

I thought they would be perfect paired with an old violin that I already had at home.

And that is how our musical instrument-themed Christmas came to be.


I added a blue velvet bow to each instrument to make them look a little more Christmasy.

Keeping within my soft blue color theme for this holiday season, too.


Then, I decided to hang the trumpet and violin on each side of the bookcases using Command Strips so as not to put any holes into our newly painted shelving.

Trumpet and Drum

You may also enjoy the post, 32 Antique Christmas Decor Treasures to Look for in 2022.

And these 15+ Christmas and Holiday Thrift Store Makeovers.


Vintage music books and sheet music also partner well with old musical instruments.

Here, I leaned a large vintage music book and some smaller ones next to the drum.

Vintage Music Books

You could also roll up some sheet music and tie it with a ribbon, twine, or jute.

Trumpet and Drum

You want to miss all this Vintage Christmas Decor on Full Display—Chock-full of holiday inspiration.

Bookshelves with musical instruments

Which is your favorite old musical instrument?

I’d now love to find an old clarinet and flute to add to my collection.

And after Christmas, I’ll take the ribbons off and display them as part of my winter decor.

How to Decorate with Old Musical Instruments

You may also enjoy the 63+ Thrift Store Decor Ideas For The Best Vintage Home Look, Thrifting with the Gals end of the year round-up post.

I’m so glad you dropped by, and if you are new to my blog, welcome! I hope you enjoyed your visit with us here today at our Home in Vermont.

Be sure also to check out our Home in Coastal Maine, where we spend summers and weekends when we are craving a walk on the beach or a visit with old friends.

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How to Decorate with Old Musical Instruments

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Where can I buy old musical instruments?

You can find old musical instruments in second-hand shops, thrift stores, Goodwill, local schools, antique stores, flea markets, estate sales, and families with children who have outgrown their musical instruments. I have also found a few old musical instruments for you to shop online here too.

You may also want to check out the post, How to Vintage Shop Online.

This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.”


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  1. Cindy@CountyRoad407 says:

    This is one of my favorite posts! I stare at every nook and cranny on your bookcase and love it so much. The adorable accessories, the tattered books, the colors, the spacing, everything. It’s perfect. Already looking forward to seeing what you pick up next year!

    1. Thanks for following along Cindy, I always enjoy hearing from you!

  2. Greetings from Virginia!
    Your blog is so beautiful and well written that it is a treat to receive! I think everyone understands your need for freedom to create and share as it occurs naturally — rather than a firm deadline. I hope you have a lovely new year filled with all the things you love best! Blessings on you and yours, Mary

    1. Mary thank you so kindly. Yes, the freedom to create is exactly the idea, I’m happy you understand; it will be much more fun and relaxing. Sometimes I felt like I needed to get things done to meet deadlines like a newsletter. And we don’t need that in retirement do we, haha. Best to you my friend!

  3. That old photo is an awesome find! Love how you used it to launch your theme. I’ve always loved the musical decor theme. I’m drooling over that drum; would love to find one someday!

    1. Thank you Lora I’ve enjoyed decorating with them this year. Such a fun theme. Merry Christmas!

  4. Michele M. says:

    Well done, Ann! I love antique instruments – esp at Christmastime!

    Highly suggest checking out Craigslist from time to time – I am a flutist and have seen many very old ones on there from time to time.

    Good luck finding what you are looking for. I adore the drum – looks just like the one The Little Drummer Boy may have played for Baby Jesus. ♥

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  5. Ann
    What fun ideas. I love that old photo. So special that it’s from your area.

  6. What a lovely way to decorate for Christmas. I have a few old musical instrument ornaments. Both our kids are musicians. Our daughter is a pianist and now teaches from home so they have a beautiful music room with baby grand and antique pump organ which was her great great great grandmother’s. Years back we found a miniature clarinet about 4” long in a red velvet lined case in a Savannah antique store which is displayed in this room. It looks identical to a full instrument. That’s my favorite.

    1. Wow Pamela, how special. I’ve really enjoyed decorating with old instruments this year. That room of yours must be so inspiring! Happy Holidays!