3 Ways to score vintage-inspired ephemera for journaling and collage

If you like the idea of using vintage ephemera in your creations and maybe don’t have access to any where you are, I’m sharing 3 ways to score vintage-inspired ephemera for journaling and collage.

Why do people enjoy collecting and creating with vintage ephemera?

Well, vintage ephemera is paper treasure. It’s a way to get a glimpse into the past.

What makes it so appealing to work with? Often these papers have appealing typography and designs, provide interesting facts and illustrations, and can be quite valuable. On the practical side, ephemera is usually small, easily sent through the mail, and easy to store because it’s flat.

If you like the idea of using vintage ephemera in your creations and maybe don’t have access to any where you are, here’s what you can do about it.

My first tip is to look for and find papers in a “vintage style” around you.

For example, keep your paper-fodder eye open at the grocery store. Here are some examples.

  • Trader Joe’s flyer
  • D’arbo – jam labels, Late July – crackers
  • wine bottle labels

My second tip for getting a hold of vintage ephemera is to trade it.

There are so many art groups online. The biggest collection of groups I can think of is on Facebook. I don’t have any recommendations for specific groups. You’d have to do some research to see what’s the right fit for you. You also have to think about what you could potentially offer.

I created my own community, off of Facebook, and it’s called the Collage Art Collective. I’ve got a place inside where you can find others to trade papers with.

If you’re not interested in trying online groups, check your local community to see if any art groups meet. This could be through your library or community center.

You can also read more suggestions I’ve written in a blog post about where you can find vintage ephemera.

My third tip for acquiring vintage ephemera is to make your own.

“Wait a minute”, you might be thinking. “If I make it, doesn’t that mean it’s not vintage?” Yes, it does, but that’s ok because, you can make very creative pieces in a vintage style that will work just as well, if not better, than the real thing. Let me show you.

  • stamp on old textbook paper
  • stamp on tea bags or use them as an overlay
  • napkin stamping
  • inking
  • printing ephemera

a metal ring holds a stack of vintage scrap papers

I mentioned that making your own ephemera could be even better than the real thing. What do I mean by that? I say that because you can make adjustments or modifications for specific projects you’re working on.

I hope this gives you some ideas for acquiring your own ephemera. If you have any other suggestions or advice, let me know in the comments. 



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