Saturday, May 21, 2011

Inspiration Post: Rethinking the Vintage Style


What is the first thought that comes to your mind?

Lace, maybe? Distressing? Buttons? Twine? Lots of layers? Pastel colors?

That style of vintage is stunning, but when you look at authentic vintage cards from the past century, they have few to no layers with bold colors and patterns. They look more like this...

Today I thought I'd share with you a few of my favorite authentic vintage cards from the 30s, 40s and 50s that I've collected and that have been inspiring me lately. I'll show you some observations I noticed about how cards used to be made and how they looked. I'll show you how you can view vintage in a whole new light! There are also a lot of Papertrey Ink supplies that would work perfectly to recreate the look of these cards.

Here's another example of a vintage card...

Many of the cards have a border or scallop design with an elegant font.

The shading is very airbrushed and soft.

Almost all of the cards are made from a thin weight of paper and were folded into fours (so the front and back were doubly thick). I was also surprised that almost every single card has an intricate 4-color pattern on the inside too.

The vintage cards also have lots of airbrushed colors with gradients and graduated colors. There is also some dry embossing.

The vintage cards also have a lot of cut outs and clever folding techniques. The star is cut out in the card below so you can see the message beneath.

There are cut outs around the circle here too...

This card very cleverly opens only half way, so you still see the scene below. The colors are really vibrant and set the tone.

This one reminds me of PTI's Poinsettia set and the airbrushing adds a soft look and feel.

And the airbrushing on this card provides a glow for the candle.

The gradient background is stunning on this card and creates a mood for the card.

Now here are some ways that the vintage cards can be recreated with Papertrey Ink products.

This shape reminds me of the Sending You die...

PTI Background Basics: Retro and Holly Jolly would work well to recreate this authentic art deco card.

This linear style reminds me of PTI's Text Boxed set and the lines look like the Faux Ribbon set. 

 PTI's Tiny Envelope die would be perfect with the newly released YOF Collection to recreate this card.

A couple more examples of vintage cards...


If you would like to see more vintage cards, this site has a lot of wonderful examples of vintage cards: Etsy also has some great examples of vintage cards too.

I hope you enjoyed looking at vintage in a slightly different way today! Just a reminder, this Monday I'll post the link so you can link up your Pals challenge for this month (to make a card for your mother with your hand coloring on it).

Thanks for stopping by! :)


  1. Awesome post Monica! Love all that inspiration. Those vintage cards remind me of my Grandma. I felt like I was walking down memory lane :)

  2. I love this post, Monica! I popped over here from you blog... such fabulous inspiration... makes me want to go tear the bows off my "vintage" cards. ;)

  3. A wonderful collection! I've a collection of my grandmother's cards - she never threw cards away - someone in the past treasured your cards enough to keep them safe too.

  4. The collection of your card is adorable it is tough to choose that which one is better amongst all.
    plastic discount card
    PVC cards


Thanks for commenting! :)