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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

You've Got Mail!

One of our favorite things to hunt for in antique shops is vintage postcards.  They beautifully capture days gone by, often depicting places we know and love today in the light of the past.  Think Palm Springs at the height of its glory days, with bright green palm trees, vivid blue water, and stylishly dressed women.  Or New York all lit up at Christmas, with shoppers braving the falling snow.

Most antique stores sort vintage postcards by city, state, genre, etc.  It is so fun to sift through them and see the obscure places that have such fabulous postcards!  Of course our favorites are ones that have been written on and mailed- each one so unique and special, even though we'll never know "Aunt Margaret" or "Sister."  You can usually find them for $2-$3 each, which makes them perfect to collect! 

Vintage postcards are perfect to use in home decor.  They are inexpensive, easily attainable (check out ebay and etsy), and beautiful to frame. 

Try mixing them with other art on floating shelves.
Elle Decor

Or hanging a framed postcard from the back of a bookshelf.
Martha Stewart Living

Or hanging them vertically to add height to a console table.
Apartment Therapy

Or grouped with other vintage objects on a shelf.
Apartment Therapy

MoS Washington has a fantastic collection of vintage Florida postcards.

She even scanned the little alligator, enlarged the image, and framed it!

I recently purchased some vintage illustrated postcards depicting interiors in Washington, DC, from the Capitol to the White House.  They remind me of the year I spent as a Congressional Page, and although they are from 1912, they depict the Capitol exactly as I remember every detail of it, from Statuary Hall to the House Floor to the Republican Cloakroom. 

I did a very inexpensive DIY framing job on these.  I bought ready-made frames with white mats at ikea, with the opening just larger than the 4x6 postcards.  I then bought some light blue acid-free craft paper at an art store near my house and attached the postcards to the blue craft paper.  The frames were originally white, but a quick coat of gold spray paint really made them look so much better on my "Macadamia" walls.

Here is the whole grouping of 7 postcards, hung over my piano.  They are special, pretty, and the group works well for a large space.  My (upright) piano is on a very long wall, and it has been such a struggle for me to figure out what to hang on that wall.  I think this is a winner!

Try searching on eBay and Etsy for vintage postcards from your favorite places! 
The Assembly Inn at Montreat

The Grove Park Inn in Asheville


Palm Springs


New York



Pemberley said...

What a great idea and love what you did with those Ikea frames. I found some antique vegetable seed packets (empty) and stuck those in frames and hung them in my kitchen. With post cards the possibilities are endless!

StylishCRPTBGR said...

I absolutely love the old postcards! Such a cool idea!

StylishCRPTBGR said...

I absolutely love the old postcards! Such a cool idea!

LindsB said...

I have a ton of old postcards like this. I have a few framed but I need to frame some more- I LOVE your gold frames here, they look professionally done.

Dayka (Life +Style) said...

love the spray job on the frames. the post cards are beautiful as well--great idea.

Kelly Green said...

these look great - love what you have to the frames! very clever! KG

goheels83 said...

MoS Charlotte the postcards are AMAZING! In person they are even better! Fantastic job :) :)


What a fun post. I've been collecting postcards for years. :)

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