While I was hunting for vintage ephemera to include in an upcoming New Year’s themed kit I came across a bunch of wonderful vintage New Year’s cards. I love designs from this era and thought it might be fun to put together a digital collection of these cards. Vintage ephemera adds something special to a scrapbook or art journal layout, looks great tucked into a pocket scrapping pocket, and I could also imagine printing these out as charmingly old-fashioned New Year’s cards to send to family and friends. Mostly I just thought they were cool, so I felt moved to clean them up and share them with you! You can find them at Pixel Scrapper – the full kit is available now and individual cards will become available each day between now and New Year’s Day.
Aren’t these fun? I love the mix of whimsy, sentimentality, and occasional outright weirdness that characterizes Victorian greeting cards. (Champagne-swigging babies? We’ve got ’em! Children being hatched from eggs? Yep, we have that, too.) There were way more cards than I could fit in the customary square preview, so at the end of this post I’ve included a preview that shows each card.
Several of these holiday cards are Norwegian and it seems clear that the Norwegians embraced a similar aesthetic during Victorian times (which of course to them weren’t “Victorian” at all; I believe these date from what is known as the Norwegian Neo-Romanticism period). I’ve included two versions of the Norwegian cards, one blank and one with the original Norwegian greeting. I included the originals because some of the lettering is wonderful and perhaps there are some Norwegian scrappers out there who would appreciate the chance to wish someone a vintage “Godt nytt år!”
The work required to digitally restore the cards was primarily technical, which provided a nice little break for the creative part of my brain. I love the look of ephemera when it’s a bit ragged and even grungy, so I left the worn paper edges on some of the cards, but for the most part my intention was to restore these cards to their original lovely appearance. I disappeared dirt and stains, retouched where parts of the image had been torn or worn away, smoothed away scanner artifacts, and often even found myself correcting errant specks and other printing errors from the original card designs. I also edited out the Norwegian greetings and year numbers in the case of cards that already had a specific year on them.
The cards are high resolution (300ppi) and sized for printing at their original paper size. They range in size from 8×5 to about 2×4, with most falling somewhere around 4×6. I’ve also included printable PDFs in the download to help streamline the printing process. For your inspirational enjoyment I’ve been collecting layouts that use vintage ephemera in creative ways, you can find some inspiration on Pinterest here. You can find the cards themselves at Pixel Scrapper. I hope you’re able to make use of these fun little treasures from the past, and as always, please let me know what you make!