My family are collectors. We all have our thing and often times many things. These things may change over time but our need to collect does not. When I was young, I collected swanky swigs and troll dolls. These days, it’s ornaments, cameras and paper ephemera. This last lot casts a wide net and includes vintage Christmas cards. Over the years, I’ve picked them up here and there on various trips and at different antique stores and shows. Most recently, I came across a set of mechanical cards whlie visiting friends in Chicago. From the 1940s, these die cut cards have a part that moves – a little animation if you will. They don’t open like traditional cards, instead they have a greeting on the back and a little stand for display.
These cards are the inspiration for today’s project. I’ve scanned and scaled them down so we can turn them into playful ornaments.
Before we get started, check out the cards in action. Aren’t they fun?!
DIY vintage card ornaments
Not including time to print, a single card will take about 20 minutes to complete.
- Print outs of mechanical cards* (boy with scarf, girl on skis, drummer boy)
- Decorative paper
- Modge Podge
- Hole punch
- Foam brush
- X-acto knife
- Cutting mat
*These are scaled for 4×6 photo prints. I had mine printed on matte paper at my local drugstore.
Using Modge Podge, glue the decorative paper to the back of your vintage card print. Allow to dry for about 5 minutes.
Roughly trim off any extra decorative paper.
With your X-acto knife, cut along the outer edge of the vintage card and mechanical part.
Tip: Using an X-acto knife instead of scissors will give you a cleaner edge.
Punch holes where the white dot appears on both the card and mechanical piece.
Add another hole at the top, center of your card. This is where you’ll attach ribbon for hanging the ornament.
Attach the mechanical piece to the card using a brad.
Punch a hole in your ribbon. Fold it over and align the second half of your ribbon over the hole. Punch a second hole using the first as a guide. This will create a loop.
With a second brad, attach the ribbon loop to your ornament.
Trim off any excess ribbon.
Rat-a-tat-tat you just made a vintage card ornament!
Bonus! Here are the greetings from the back of the cards.
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