Here's a really simple gift idea for someone who loves vintage ephemera (old paper). The idea is so simple, in fact, that I can't even believe I made a tutorial for it. But if it gets your antique paper collection out of the boxes in your basement, then maybe it will be worth it.
One of my favorite searches on eBay includes the names of my family members' hometowns. A few months ago, I did a search for Hammonton, NJ, which is the town where my mother and sister, Megan, live. Megan is married to Guy, a third-generation farmer who grew up in Hammonton. While searching on eBay, I came across a bundle of vintage labels for several different beers that were brewed and bottled in a factory in Hammonton.
My plan was to somehow display the labels in a frame and give it to Guy for his birthday. I didn't have time or money to spend on a custom matted frame, especially for someone who is not a blood relative. But I think it turned out nice enough that Megan would allow it to be hung inside their house, instead of being relegated to the garage or the bathroom at the farm.
Here are the supplies I used:
Vintage beer labels
You could also use postcards, Victorian calling cards, canned vegetable & fruit labels, flashcards, playing cards, or any other ephemera. You'll be attaching glue dots to the back of the paper, so don't use anything too valuable.
11x14 frame from a discount store
Mine had a cardboard mat that made it easier to attach the fabric. But you don't need a mat.
Alternatives to fabric: use wrapping paper or scrapbook paper. You don't want anything too busy or else it will distract from the labels.
Cut the piece of black fabric a few inches bigger than the mat.
Staple the fabric to the mat. If your frame doesn't have a mat, you can hot-glue the fabric to a piece of cardboard cut to the same size as the glass.
Line up the labels on the fabric:
I used double-sided glue dots to attach the labels to the fabric (one on each corner):
And that's it! It was hard to get a good photo because of the reflection of the glass, but I think you get the idea. From what I remember on the night of Guy's birthday party (details are a bit hazy), he said it was the best birthday present he ever got. Sorry, Meg.
These vintage soda bottle labels are my next project (for me to keep). I like the black background, but I might consider using a more colorful fabric. I'll let you know how that one goes...
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