Vintage Postcards as Art

Craft Ideas | DIY Project Ideas | Thrifted Home Decor Ideas | Travel

When was the last time you received a letter in the mail…just because?  And not because of an event or a birthday?

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Framing old postcards has been a lifelong habit of mine, but I especially love finding travel postcards of landmarks where I have personally visited. These gorgeous cards have been hanging in my office for years and offer a very sweet message from a grandpa in San Francisco to his family.

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Is letter writing a lost art?

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English: Vintage Postcard showing Post Road in...
English: Vintage Postcard showing Post Road in Fairfield, Connecticut (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Skyscraper district of Chicago, looki...
English: Skyscraper district of Chicago, looking west on Jackson Boulevard. Buildings left to right: Monadnock, Great Northern Theater & Hotel, Marquette Building, The Fair. Found in Hudson, L. (2004). Chicago skyscrapers in vintage postcards. Postcard history series. Charleston, SC: Arcadia, p. 61. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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11 Comments

  1. Great idea. Where do you find your vintage postcards? I’m always looking for ‘cards that have interesting writing on the back (I’d love to find some with an interesting story behind a boring photo) – and have a tough time of it.

    I used to write letters, don’t anymore, but think about it. My handwriting is so bad.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Bill, thanks for commenting! Many antique shops have a small section of postcards, but I find the bulk of them online. After vacation one year, I searched “Fisherman’s Wharf postcard” on eBay and picked some that were visually interesting to me, sometimes I find them in the exact spot where I was standing. It can be a fun and inexpensive hobby.

  2. Yes, I agree! I am a stickler for buying blank cards to write and send for all occasions. Nothing can replace a timeless, hand-written note :) Thank you for posting!

  3. Any demo’s on how to make the frames? Also, postcard writing is no where near dead! There’s websites devoted to sending postcards and arranging pen-pals, if you will. I love sending them and collecting them (once sent 44 in a week from Japan on a school trip!) and love what you did for them here. I’d almost rather use ones sent to me though, so I get that personal personal touch, not someone else’s personal touch. But still, these look great and I love the idea!

  4. Hi Ben! Thanks for commenting. The frame was something I bought 7 years ago, just a simple glass double pane, with the cards pressed in between. You’re lucky if you have “actual” postcards addressed to you personally. I have to buy other people’s postcards to frame :), but I agree, something more personal would be awesome. The appeal of the vintage postcard (for me) is seeing an image of an exact location where I was, but capturing that location from 50+ years earlier.

  5. Thanks for the shout out :) your postcard framing looks beautiful – where did you get those? love it. xx

    1. Natalie, I’ve had those old postcards in a box for years, just finally decided they were too pretty to hide. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Hello!
    I love this idea, my grandmother recently passed and as my family has been going through her things we have founds tons of old post cards like yours. They are such great reminders of what a beautiful life my gram had and all her travels. I would love to do something with them like you have done here, really neat how you have them! With the double pane glass did you have to put anything like double sided tape to make them stay in place? Or with a good frame they will stay in place? Thanks! What a great idea you have!

    1. Hi Jessica! I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother, I’ve lost all of mine too but was lucky enough to have all of them well into my 30’s. The double pane glass had nothing in them (just the glass) which presses them nicely together. Only once in the 10 years they’ve been there have I had to reposition the glass because one of the postcards started to slip. I wish I could come up with a better way to display BOTH sides, but for now, I love how it complements the colors in my office. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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