Day 1: Vintage Framed ABC’s
Antique . . .
Beautiful . . .
Charming . . .
Debonair . . .
Enchanting . . .
There are quite a few reasons I’m in love with these vintage ABC cards. For one, I think they look like a million bucks, and it turns out . . . I am right! A quick Ebay search in the hopes of sharing the love with you all led me to discover that these 1960 alphabet beauties sell for more than 30 bucks EACH on Ebay . . . and not even all of the letters are to be found! I had no idea that for the past four years I have been tacking up about $800 worth of yellowed cardstock. SCORE.
The second reason I love these ABC’s is worth even more to me than the 800 bucks I could turn around and sell them for on Etsy. You see, these were my ABC’s. The images on these cards are among my earliest memories and immediately come into my mind’s eye when I hear the alphabet song. I can still see my mom pointing to each letter along the ceiling of our homeschool room with her makeshift pointer stick . . . an American flag. And I can still hear my sisters singing along, turning to me and asking “next time won’t you sing with me?”
The third reason I love these cards is that they provide lessons in history as much as they provide a lesson on the alphabet. My son may otherwise have never known that milk used to be delivered in glass bottles by a man whose job was to bring fresh cold milk to your doorstep and shoot the breeze with you for a minute or two everyday. In fact, I myself may otherwise have never known this bit of dairy-culture trivia had I not had these already-vintage alphabet history lessons on the wall of my homeschool room. Two of the ABC cards are even slightly socially incorrect —like this pipe-smoking Father— and provide opportunities for . . . extracurricular education.
So when my mom asked me a few years ago if I wanted these ABC cards, I was thrilled! I proudly tacked them up in our son’s bedroom, each card bringing up long-forgotten tidbits of my childhood. At the risk of giving myself away as an embarrassingly sentimental person, I will tell you that I choked up (just a little) the first time I pointed to these ABC’s with my own makeshift-American-flag-pointer-stick and sang the alphabet song with our son. There is something deeply moving about passing on the cherished moments of our own childhoods with our children . . . and then daring to dream that they will someday do the same.
All these alphabet beauties have been lacking up until now were some proper frames. And now they are framed, hung, and more charming than ever.
~Vintage Framed Alphabet; easy as A, B, C~
A.) Find/order/print your cards
Don’t worry, you do NOT have to fork out $800 on Etsy to get this look! I’ve come up with a few ideas for you to deck your walls with alphabet joy for about 1/16th the cost.
- Buy 2 identical new or used ABC books on Amazon or Thriftbooks for a total of around $12 and cut out the images to place in the frames. I’ve included links for a few of my favorites!
*Because who doesn’t love Winnie-the-Pooh? The images in this ABC book are simply DARLING and would make absolutely perfect wall mounts!
*TOP PICK! And no it’s not all bunnies! This is a great all-around classic looking ABC book with all kinds of animals from alligators to . . . yes . . . bunnies! And the illustrations are by GARTH WILLIAMS. So I ordered a copy just because.
*For a child who loves Curious George or monkeys or just being silly, these colorful illustrations would make adorable ABC wall mounts in a charming, maybe even somewhat retro Homeschool Room.
*An ecclectic choice, but a beautiful one. These large, vibrant illustrations by Patricia Polacco would make a big statement in a Homeschool room. All goats and charm, these paintings are steeped in culture-rich beauty (Russian/Ukrainian American, but also resembles Pennsylvania Dutch/Amish, and many vintage European styles).
*For a boy who isn’t super interested in learning his ABC’s, these vroom-vroom vintage illustrations may just do the trick!
*These illustrations are sure to be a hit with any kid for learning their ABC’s. Grover is hilarious as he tries to twister and gumby his way through the alphabet. A super fun punch of color and humor for a Homeschool space.
2.) Order cards all ready to go or print them from Etsy! This will cost anywhere from about $7 to $50 depending on what you choose. Here are a few of my favorite options I searched out:
B.) Find, paint, or make your frames (or use the clothespin method!)
My husband offered to MAKE me 26 wooden frames. And he delivered. If that doesn’t sound fun to you (yeah . . . me either) than I suggest you go to some thrift stores or garage sales and buy plain, ordinary, ugly wooden picture frames of the same size and paint them all in the same color. Even different patterns or shapes of frames will look great if they are all painted the same or in a few complimenting shades. And used frames are usually like a buck a piece or less, so it should be pretty affordable. Otherwise, use the twine and wooden clothespin method, which is darling and very popular.
Of course you can always start a frame factory like we did. Ok . . . actually I had no part in this whatsoever.
C.) Hang your beautiful, vintage framed ABC’s
Just measure out where you want them—which is easy unless you suck at math like me—and get out a hammer and nails . . . or go nuts with a nail gun like my hubby did!
Well here they are!
I hope you DIY with us and create some ABC magic of your own for your Homeschool Space! I know I’m a nerd, but I’m seriously so in love with these! I just want to sit down with some freshly sharpened pencils at my son’s “Charlotte’s Web desk” and sing and copy me some ABC’s.
Subscribe below to follow the rest of our DIY Homeschool décor projects this week plus end-of-the-week room reveal!
Thanks for reading,
Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~