Monday, January 6, 2014

Antique Postcards, Image Transfers and Furniture

When I went to Europe in December, I had a list of things that I wanted to find.

1. European Grain Linen
Didn't find any. The closest thing I brought back was antique liner fabric that had been turned into tea towels and table runners. I bought three of them to give as thank-you souvenirs to those who helped with my kids while I was gone. And, I kept one for myself.


2. Dough Bowls
I found tons of those. And they were cheap!!! Compared to the ones you find in the states, anyway. I bought one small one and have it for sale in the shop.

3. Furniture..
Which, I knew I wouldn't be able to bring home with me but I wanted to check styles and prices to see if it would even be a possibility to ship back in the future. 

4. Anything French

What I found in abundance was ephemera.

Stacks and stacks of awesome antique papers.


I bought over 100 antique postcards that date back from the late 1800's all the way to the 1950's. They are all in French or Dutch.


My eye was drawn particularly to the ones that had been written on.

I didn't know exactly what I was going to do with them, other than sell them in little sets. But, as I was going through them on the airplane, I was seeing these images transferred on dressers, desks, buffets and tables. 

I have a stencil with the stamped postage stamp that is used on furniture. But, how much better is using the real thing. An actual vintage postcard, with a real vintage stamp and a real handwritten letter...in another language!?

My first weekend back in the US, someone stopped by the shop and sold me a set of desks.


Not my favorite style, but the long flat surface on top was too perfect to transfer a postcard. After nearly three weeks away from a paint brush, I couldn't wait to tackle a project using what I brought back from Europe!

I painted the top in Old White and did the entire base in Louis Blue.


I used a lot of dark wax on it to give it that old, worn look of parchment paper.


I transferred the backside of one of my vintage postcards on the top.


I picked one that had some writing on it, but not too much. 


Straight dark wax was applied in some areas while a mix of clear and dark were added elsewhere to help blend the colors.



I could really go crazy with transferring all of the book images and postcard images on furniture. I'm trying to reign it in a bit, though. 

As I mentioned, I have sets of these vintage postcards for sale in the store. They come in a set of five for just $10. I will also be adding digital files of these images in my etsy store over the next couple of months so that they can be downloaded digitally and used for all sorts of projects. 

It all takes time, though. I will be sure to update facebook when those become available! 

If you are interested in learning how to do this image transfer process, Michelle E. Black our resident image transfer artist has a workshop coming up on January 25th and again in February. Check out our workshops page for more info!

How would you use these old postcards in your decorating?

17 comments:

  1. That desk looks amazing, good work! Old postcards are such a great insight into the past. A vintage postcard reminded us so strongly of Felicite of Flaubert's A Simple Heart, we bought it. Have a look at this lovely old postcard and lots more here http://www.normandythenandnow.com/a-simple-heart-at-pont-leveque

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