5 Great Sites for Free Vintage Ephemera and Downloadable Images

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If the search for good quality vintage decorative collectibles and other items is difficult,   it can be just as or even  more difficult to find high quality, free vintage ephemera images to use for your digital scrapbooking or DIY craft projects.   You can find yourself spending hours searching on Google, Flickr or Bing, just to find a good quality image and then to find out that the terms of use (TOU) limits you solely to your own personal  DIY crafts or the image can not be used for commercial purposes at all which includes, using the image online or on your web page or blog designs.

To some degree, I can understand the blog owner’s restrictions, too often unscrupulous blog visitors will download images and then repackage them as downloadable images, post them for resale on CDs, on their own websites, or sell them as digital collage sheets sold on Etsy or other online sites.  This is the dark side of having access to free authentic , vintage downloadable images.  For the most part, what these visitors fail to understand is that there are copyright laws that protect blog site owners and their  scanned photos or images.  On the bright side though, most vintage ephemera blog site owner’s  usually provide generous terms of use to their readers  because they know it improves web traffic and increased visits to their sites.  So there usually is a generous, kind community that develops around these blogs and sites.

I expect that this blog’s readers are above these concerns or practices, but even so that doesn’t change the fact that it is still difficult finding these images and blog owners with generous terms of use.

I just wanted to let you know about some of the better, free high quality vintage image resources that are available and I have found online.  By high quality images, I mean either downloadable images  saved as .jpegs or .png files at 72 dpi for use on the web or images at 300 dpi as pdf files which are suitable for printing.  Very often you might find free images but either the download sites are filled with computer bugs or excessive ads or the images are low resolution quality and require a lot of digital cleanup work.

So I compiled these sites as sites that provide great images and have generous terms of use.   At least a couple of these sites are owned by professional graphic designers, and they provide high resolution images in zipped files and downloadable sites that are safe and bug free.

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Graphics Fairy– this site has numerous , high-quality vintage images, digital papers, textures, and other embellishments often saved as either .jpg or .png files. According to her blog intro she has over 3,500 images and according to her own description she is a self-proclaimed Franco-phile.   So, if you are interested in French vintage images as well as other vintage images, this is the place to go.

Those marked as .png files are digital files that show the image with a transparent background so that you can overlay them on your digital projects.  She provides images as pdf files as well.  On occasion, she includes reverse images that are suitable for iron-on transfer.  She also has her own boards on Pinterest with free downloadable vintage resources that you can follow to access even more vintage images.

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Just Something I Made – A professional graphic designer, and often featured in Country Living and other magazines, her website has a host of vintage ephemera freebies as well as links to label companies who host her kitchen and home label design templates on pdf.  You can find a host of high-quality, vintage labels designed by Cathe Holden on Worldlabel and made available for free.

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The Vintage Moth– this site has an eclectic mixture of vintage ephemera and images. By eclectic, I mean the type of images that are not solely geared to home decor or Etsy syle type of images for tags and party decor.  The images are accessed via the right-click feature if you are using a PC or via your mouse if you are using a MAC.

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Sweetly Scrapped –  A blog with an eclectic mixture of vintage items, from postcards, photographs, vintage advertising, etc.  The navigation on this blog is a little difficult but there are a host of vintage images to select.

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Fuzzimo – a professional graphic designer who provides high-quality images of frames, backgrounds, etc., notebook paper and other vintage elements.  He provides an assortment of vintage items for professional graphic designers.   His site is not geared to vintage ephemera but he has elements that can work with digital scrapbooking designs or blog images.  He also has a flexible terms of use policy.  However, some of his free downloads to have commercial use restrictions.

Well, that’s the round-up.  I hope you enjoy these sites and they help you in your search for high quality vintage images for your DIY crafts or digital scrapbooking projects.

That’s the roundup of blogs or website, but I do want to mention that you don’t forget Flickr’s Creative Commons website or their Vintage Ephemera Swap Group.

However, if you want vintage ephemera images from this site you will need to pay attention to the license posted by each account as the licenses  vary per image.

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This also is not a permanent list, I’ll be adding new resources as I find them in my constant search for vintage images to use in my crafting projects.

Related Post:

What is Ephemera? Paper By Another Name

Image Credit:

The header image was created with vintage ephemera from The Graphics Fairy, The Vintage Moth and Microsoft images.

One thought on “5 Great Sites for Free Vintage Ephemera and Downloadable Images

  1. Hi – found you searching for copyright free images for commercial use. I wondered if you knew about our site: http://www.doverbooks.co.uk? There are several hundred sourcebooks of graphics on there – each contains hundreds of permission free and copyright free original images or designs. Tons of themes. best, Tim

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