Category Archives: Ephemera & Paper Collectibles

5 Tips to Look Out For When Shopping For Vintage Ephemera Online


Online shopping has opened a whole new world of convenience and ease to shoppers and that includes vintage ephemera shoppers as well.  There is a whole lot of shoppers that are looking for either mixed media collage kits for their personal art work or elements they can add to their hybrid scrapbooking kits.

Two of the great places that I really enjoy is Etsy and Ebay, for finding vintage paper ephemera  that is not readily available in my local thrift stores ( or would take up too much of my time to find) or craft store.  While all this is good news to both shoppers and sellers, there are a few caveats you should watch out for.

1.   Know Your Purpose for Buying Vintage Paper Goods

If you are buying to collect actual vintage ephemera to add to your collection from an online seller, then you are going to want to check the authenticity of the item being sold and the reputation of the seller or online shop.  Your reasons for buying will vastly differ from the vintage ephemera buyer that wants to use the items for collage, crafting or other personal use.

2.  Check the Reputation of the Seller

In general, you can check the reputation of the seller by checking the feedback on either Etsy or Ebay online stores.  A good seller usually has very good to excellent feedback.  Try to discount that isolated negative buyer’s feedback, if the rest of the written feedback is consistently positive.  Sometimes a lower number of feedback, means the person just started selling online and is working on their online reputation.  Back to the super negative buyer, there are some buyers almost no one can please. Continue reading 5 Tips to Look Out For When Shopping For Vintage Ephemera Online

4 Creative St. Patrick’s Day Holiday Decor Ideas With Vintage Flair


Nothing like another holiday, in order to give you an excuse for vintage holiday decorating.  What is the point of collecting vintage items if you can’t display them and use them for celebrations?  So, just wanted to acknowledge all the St. Patrick’s Day celebration that you see on the internet and other social media.  The other images I have included, provide ideas for displaying your vintage cutlery and tableware that is just lovely.

Here’s a round up of a few pins, I have collected on my “Holiday Decor” board on Pinterest that will spurcreative ideas  for Irish St. Patrick’s Day decor with a vintage feel and using some of the  free vintage postcards that are available on the Internet.

Source: via Dru on Pinterest

I think it’s the mercury glass  and chandelier print on the mantel that I like so much.  The sign has just the right touch of crafty diy feel mixed with a few formal decor items.

I really like the shabby chic(or distressed) decor in this next idea, and of course the vintage cutlery, green majolica and tablescape. The origiinal pinner is a self-confessed plate addict.

Source: Uploaded by user via Dru on Pinterest

This next pin includes the actual vintage postcards I found online to create my header image.  Here the pinner is using it to create a cute holiday home decor item.

This next idea, I really like and will probably use it with different holidays.  Just change the vintage cup color to your holiday color theme.

Source: via Dru on Pinterest

Hope  you like these pins and they inspire you to get you celebrating holidays with all your vintage collectibles.

Vintage Circus Collectibles – Collectibles Worthy of A Smile

vintage french clown

Clown figurines  and other vintage circus collectibles are a popular collecting area for many antique and vintage collectors.  Here’s a little history on the origin of clowns…Clowns have always been a part of many cultures, and the art of clowning has existed for many centuries.  Although clowns in the past, were usually found in the courts of kings and queens ( I imagine everybody needed a laugh from the important matters of state that were part of daily court life) clowns can be traced as far back as the courts of Pharoah.  A pygmy clown performed as a jester in the court of Pharaoh Dadkeri-Assi during Egypt’s Fifth Dynasty about 2500 B.C.  and court jesters have performed in China since 1818 B.C.

Continue reading Vintage Circus Collectibles – Collectibles Worthy of A Smile

Vintage Halloween Postcards: A Popular Halloween Ephemera Collectible


As the days get shorter and you feel the chill in the air, it’s not hard to notice that all around you the leaves begin to turn red and gold.  All these changes, usually signals that the fall season and all its wonderful holidays are quickly approaching and will soon be upon us.  And who can forget Halloween as you begin to prepare for all the treats you’ll be giving out to the ghouls and ghosts that will be appearing at your door!

This is the best time to get out those Halloween collectibles and that doesn’t mean that your vintage collecting can’t display your mix of vintage finds with your modern tastes.  However,  this type of  collecting is especially a challenge, when you are looking for vintage Halloween collectibles which is as rare a find as seeing the proverbial ghost!

But don’t despair one of the most accessible Halloween collectible that is available on Ebay and other auctions sites are vintage Halloween postcards or greeting cards and at reasonable prices.


Since the late 1800s, the year that marked the “golden age” of postcards there have been a variety of Halloween themed postcards that were sent to family and friends.  However, what makes them difficult to find is that the holiday was not celebrated to the extent it is today and many housewives’ threw out their Halloween decorations along with holiday greetings.

Around the turn of the century, postcards were a popular way of sending greetings to friends and family. It was a popular way of communicating with loved ones in the “snail mail”, pre-internet days. The most beautiful and most collected Halloween postcards were published by John O. Winsch of New York between the years of 1911 and 1915.  Winsch used rich inks and embossing on his cards, and sent them to Germany to be printed.  At the time, Winsch sold his postcards two for a nickel, while postcards in America were charging one cent.

Popular Vintage Postcard Designers

The most popular designers for postcards at the time were:

Ellen H. Clapsaddle – She was one America’s well known and  most prolific designer who created her designs  for Raphael Tuck and Sons, International Art Publishing Company, and Wolf Publishing Company, a subsidiary of Inter-Art that Clapsaddle launched herself.

H.B. Griggs – Griggs, using the signature H.B.G., published almost exclusively for Leubrie and Elkus of New York. So little is known about the identity of the designer, that it’s not even know if the designer was a man or a woman.

Gracie Debbie Drayton – She designed or made Halloween cards for Raphael Tuck and Sons showing the similar big-eyed chubby-cheeked kids , that she created for Campbell’s Kids branding.


Image Credit: Flickr – Creative Commons

Tips for Making Your Own Holiday Greetings for Valentine’s Day

Vintage Valentine Postcard

The winter holidays whizzed by and now many are contemplating what to do to get their loved ones for Valentine’s Day.  With so many online shop venues available, it’s getting a little easier to find vintage Valentine holiday greetings from the past or at least digital images you can download for your own projects.  You can also buy items that are handcrafted by others on sites such as Etsy for original Valentine greetings.

But maybe this year, you want to put a little extra time in making your own handcrafted Valentine greetings?  And why not? Doing it yourself can be such a sweet way of showing your thoughtfulness and there are many places you can get information or supply kits in order to shorten your production time.

As a matter of fact, usually popular women’s magazines such as Country Living and Martha Stewart’s Living are great resources for vintage handmade projects  that you can make for Valentine’s that include detailed product lists, supply sources as well as specific instructions.  They also provide quite a bit of ideas and templates in their online websites.  And of course, plenty of pictures to explain the step help as well.  The popular Pinterest is also another great resource for pictures and links to relevant  instructions on the original websites or blogs.

In addition, several do it yourself sites are popping up online with great information and tips for your own handcrafted projects, for example,  a great web resource to check out is Instructables.  Keep in mind though, at this site, you don’t have the high end photographers,Photoshopped photography and staging that you do at high end magazines but you do get quite a bit of great do it yourself ideas.  You can view most of the pictures and instructions online but you will need  to sign up for a membership in order to download their pdf instruction files.  In addition, you can also download  vintage digital images (as was done for this article) from sites like Flickr or Photobucket.  Many images that are made available on Flickr by individuals allow you to use the images for personal use and others include the copyright for personal and commercial use.

With these tips in mind  you will be well on your way to creating a very memorable project  that should bring a smile on your loved ones faces for Valentine’s Day.


Author’s Note:  The following pic is an example from Pinterest of how you can mix vintage postcard images with modern home decor.

8 Ways to Use Vintage Wallpaper in Your Creative Projects

Vintage Wallpaper

If you are looking for something unique or want to spend more on the gift itself instead of the wrapping , you ought to try  to wrap a gift with vintage wallpaper.  However, don’t stop there!  There are many uses for this wonderful paper product.

Use vintage graphic wallpaper and or vintage fabric to cover boxes or scrapbooks.  Often these paperboard boxes can be found in varying sizes at discount stores for a few dollars each. The image below is a digital image of vintage wallpaper, click on the image below to access the free digital paper assortment available at Free Pretty Things For You.


Vintage Wallpaper Ideas

  • You can also use vintage wallpaper as giftwrap.  Whenever you go thrift store shopping keep your eyes out for wallpaper rolls.  Rolls frequently surface at flea markets, thrift stores and on eBay.  Wrapping presents with wallpaper, which is usually a little stiffer, can be challenging. In order to achieve crisp corners and creases, I suggest you invest in a bone folder tool which can help you achieve crisp, straight creases.
  • Search online for specialty shops that sell vintage wrapping paper.  Expect to pay higher prices as many of the wallpapers sold are discontinued patterns.
  • Use new wallpaper that has a vintage pattern.  Look for these remnants at decorating stores or ask friends or neighbors if they have leftovers from recent home renovations.
  • Even small remnants of wallpaper can be used with any scrapbooking project you may have.
  • Consider giving a favorite crafter friend several rolls of pretty wallpaper as a gift, which can be used to cover boxes, to line drawers, or to paper the inside of a cupboard.
  • If you have a roll of wallpaper that has very little paper left or you want to use sparingly, consider investing in a few rolls of Brown Kraft paper.  You know the kind of paper that is often used to cover packages you will be sending through snail mail, this paper can serve has a paper base for your gift and then you can use contrasting vintage wallpaper strips or trim to finish the project.
  • If you can’t bear to part with your beautiful paper, consider color photocopying the pattern and use it to wrap a small gift.  Many do-it-yourself office/print shops, such as Kinko’s or Staples, will color photocopy a single page 17” x 11” for under a dollar.

As with most vintage things, you won’t be able to go to your nearest Walmart  or Target to  pick up these items.  However, there are many e-shops on Rublyane, Tias and of course, Ebay that sell vintage wallpaper.  A recent addition to the handcrafted and vintage online shops is Etsy.  Many of the vendors on Etsy have made your search for vintage wallpaper easier as they provide scanned digital wallpaper available for printing at 300 dpi or digital wallpaper images at 72 dpi for online digital scrapbooking.  Prices will vary per vendor.

Esty Vintage Wallpaper Shops

Now more than ever, you will be able to find a whole lot of options for your vintage wallpaper needs.Try using the term “vintage wallpaper” or “ephemera” as your major keyword for your search.  Good luck and happy hunting!


Image Credit Flickr by studioreb

What Is Ephemera? Paper By Another Name

Vintage Halloween Postcard

Ephemera is a beautiful word for what some people depending on who you ask would call plain old paper.  According to Webster’s dictionary, ephemera is defined as “something of no lasting significance” or “collectibles (as posters, broadsides, and tickets) not intended to have lasting value”.  Since paper items are easily torn, mangled and susceptible to sun and humidity they don’t often survive the ravages of time.  Yet exactly some of those authentic old papers are bringing in big prices on Ebay and other similar auction sites.  Take Barnum & Bailey original posters for example, (you know the colorful posters that the company would post on fences and walls to let townspeople know that the circus was coming into town) a c.1898 Barnum & Bailey Coney Island poster sold for $700.00 on Ebay.

And  the word ephemera has extended itself to include all manner of paper items including:  postcards, vintage costume jewelry advertisements, fashion ads,  famous concert and opera tickets, sheet music and turn-of-the-century stock certificates which are all highly collectible.  A Clapsaddle Halloween postcard depicting a young African-american boy holding a pumpkin sold for $290.00 and seven 1946-1952 Miriam Haskell costume jewelry ads sold for $122.50 on Ebay.

If you are interested in this type of collecting or you just need this type of material for your altered art or digital scrapbooking projects, you  can search completed listings on Ebay for these items and find out the going current prices.  In fact, there are even greater valuations for paper items especially if you were related to some historical person or someone famous and can prove the provenance, the history of ownership of a valued object or work, of the item.  Television shows like “The Antique Roadshow” and others often feature great stories about people finding valuable paper treasures in a dumpster or at a garage sale for a few dollars.  While these stories are more the exception rather than the rule, it pays to think twice about throwing out those circa 1950s fashion magazines or any other paper item you might find when cleaning out the garage.

You will get better prices if the condition of the item is “like new” although some yellowing is acceptable; however, even greater damage, tears or spotting are acceptable to some altered art designers it just depends what the final use of the paper will be.

You could find a local dealer who might give you a fair price for the item or try selling it on Ebay yourself.  It just might be worth your while and put a little extra paper, the green kind, in your pocket!


Image Credit: Flickr by riptheskull