Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Vintage die cuts

I have a bunch of vintage die cuts from England and Germany. They are at least 25-30 years old, some definitely older. I don't know how common these things were, especially in North America, but I remember having these around when I was a kid.

They've been around since the 1800's and they are decorative paper. Initially they were decorations for diaries or journals and hugely popular in Europe. They were sold in sheets, where a number of small pictures were first printed on the paper and then the spaces between the pictures were cut out. The pictures were then held together by thin paper strips. This is why they often aren't perfectly cut.

Old skool LOL cats?
Picture from TIAS

These were often used in scrap books or scrap albums, not the likes we have today, but literally books that were put together to collect pretty pictures. These pictures would include these types of die cuts, but also clippings from newspapers and other paper snippets. In northern Europe especially these books were passed around to friends who would then use one page of the book to write a little note, often good wishes or a short poem, and decorate the page with a die cut. Typical topics for the die cuts were flowers, angels, children and babies as well as cute animals. If you're curious to find out more details (and know Finnish) check out kiiltokuvamaailma.

I've had these for a while and I've been trying to think of what to make out of them. I finally have (what I think are) some good ideas, so there's a lot of experimenting going on over here. I think these will look great on some of my new products. I have other vintage paper as well, so I'm trying out all sorts of things for the craft show.

Have you seen these types of die cuts before? Did you have (or still have) any?


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