Tips to Framing Vintage Prints & Collections


Art work doesn’t have to be expensive to create beautiful spaces in your home, so give your walls character and charm by framing vintage prints, family keepsakes and collections.  Here are a few ideas to get you thinking outside the box and inspire you to frame something unique for your home! If you don’t already own these items, look at thrift stores, antique shops or your grandparents/parents’ attics.  Another man’s trash could be the treasure you are looking for!

I recently cleaned out my childhood closet at my parent’s house.  While other ten years olds were collecting scratch-n-sniff stickers, I had stamp collections.  I also loved Texas wildflowers, so I had a few flower identification books.  Upon finding these, I realized how these items would look great framed.  It inspired me to consider framing vintage prints, and think of other items that would make unique wall art.

How to Frame:

If it is flat enough to fit between a matte and glass, consider it wall art. I like to mount items on white matte board leaving about a 1-2 inch border of negative space. You can get matte board from the craft store and cut it to size of the frame opening.  I use ‘glue dots’ or double sided tape to hold the object in place.

You can also use frames the same size as your art object and place directly into the frame.  These framed recipes are actually reproductions, but how neat would it be to frame your grandmothers recipes to hang in your kitchen.

What to Frame:

Vintage papers and prints are easy and affordable to find at yard sales or thrift stores, and add a nostalgic feel to your home.

  • vintage art prints
  • calendar prints
  • maps
  • vintage hymnals or book pages
  • botanical or animal prints
  • vintage product labels
  • vintage posters or advertisements

Family keepsakes and childhood memorabilia are great items to personalize your home and display your family history and memories.

  • family photos or silhouettes
  • paper dolls
  • coloring books
  • handwritten recipes
  • handwritten letters
  • vintage educational prints

Don’t keep your paper collections stored in boxes! Show them off on your walls!

  • postage stamps
  • postage envelopes or postcards
  • records or cd covers
  • baseball or sports cards
  • foreign paper money
  • magazine covers

Where to frame:

Group items into similar collections, whether you group items that are the same material like a set of old postcards or by a theme that works with the room style.  You can create a gallery wall using similar frames  to create unity or add one unique piece of framed vintage art to a room to personalize your space.

Botanical images are great for spring and summer decor.

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