Friday, January 30, 2015

Vintage Valentine Decor with Tracie Claiborne of ScrapGals

Hello fellow vintage lovers! I'm here today to share with you one of my favorite vintage Valentines. I am blessed to have two fireplace mantels in my home which I enjoy decorating for every holiday. Second only to Christmas, my favorite is displaying my vintage Valentines. I adore illustrations from the first half of the 20th century so I collect Valentines from that era. Most of mine seem to date around the 1950's which I can tell based on the names written on the back! Patti, Paul, Edward, Violet, etc. are common names on Valentines I own. 


When displaying collections, I believe in grouping items closely together. The more you have of something, the more impact the collection makes. This year, I doubled my ribbons, using a felt heart garland I found in the $1 bin at Michael's years ago and a plain red grosgrain from my ribbon bin. I always use tiny clothespins to hang the Valentines and I save the cards that open to stand up on the mantel. 

About 1/3 of my Valentines do open and stand on their own. This card is very thin but it will stand open. By the way, I would love to meet Edward Reed and ask him how old he was when he gave this Valentine away, most likely to a girl in his elementary school. I miss these wonderful images which have now been replaced by the pop icon or kiddie character of the moment. When I was in school in the 1970's, we still had Valentines very much like this. I think the trend changed in the 1980's. 

This is one of my says, "I'd like to paint it on a sign that I'd like you for my Valentine." It is not signed but most of mine are. Some people might want unused Valentines but not me...I love to see the signatures on the back and wonder about the person who wrote their name so carefully. 

In my family, we always say to each other at Valentines, "I choo-choo-choose YOU to be my Valentine." so this card is especially sweet to me. I also like to say "Hi Toots!" I mean, really, who doesn't? :) 

It's amazing to me how many Valentines from this era open and have interactive elements. The illustrations, sayings and design were carefully thought out back then. I love that!

Some of them are so comical, can you imagine someone designing this card nowadays? It looks as though the child were about to be electrocuted! Plus, back then it was okay to say things like, "Yippee!" 

My collection is larger than the space of one mantel so when I was done decorating it, I still had a handful of lovelies to display somewhere and I remembered this shallow milk glass bowl in my den. Perfect! 

I love vintage ephemera and preserving these fragile pieces of the past! In fact, getting these out this year gives me the bug to buy more! I hope you enjoying seeing my collection. I co-host "The Scrap Gals Podcast" and this month we did a show all about documenting your collections. You can find a link to that plus more scrappy inspiration by visiting me at
 If you're looking to add to your own vintage Valentine collection, be sure to head over to JBS Mercantile.  We've got a few listed at the moment (see below) and Jenni has quite an assortment of new sweet finds that will be in the shop on our next Flea Market day, this Sunday, 2/1.

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Scrapthat said...

Oh gorgeous are THOSE??? I love them!
I don't usually decorate for Valentines but with my daughter getting old enough to get into the holidays I thought I SO should and this just convinced me!! Now if only I could find some around here TFS

hobbemom said...

Oh how cute...Love the Valentines. I found one in my hubby's family Bible that was sent to his mom from her cousin. I told her about it and she said she thought she was about 9 when she got it. She is 80 now!! I especially love it since I know who it was sent to. So cool.