Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Shabby Chic Vintage Valentine's Day Vignette

The first printed Valentine's Day cards made in the United States appeared around 1840.  By the middle of the 19th century and through the 20th century,  hearts and roses, Cupid with his bow and arrow were very popular to give to that special someone.  Luckily for collectors, many of these old Valentine's Cards were saved and can be found in relatively good condition even though they were made of paper and some over 100 years old.  In fact, the colors on the cards are usually still vivid and bright - I suppose because they have been stored away from light for all these years.

I remember fondly the Valentine's Days of my youth.  In the days leading up to Valentine's Day, our teacher would have us decorate shoe boxes that we brought from home to collect the cards we received.  And of course, you had to bring enough cards for the whole class so that you wouldn't leave anyone out and hurt their feelings.

Today, I created a little Valentine vignette using some of the cards that I've purchased here and thereed over the years to make my own little collection.  I have a small box full of them.   I tend to do most of my special occasion decorating in my dining room because I usually have a tablescape of some sort to go along with it.  I haven't finished the tablescape yet, but I wanted to share the little scene on my vintage marble-top buffet in one little corner of the room.

I took an vintage accordian style fold-up 72 inch ruler and spread it out to display my cards in

These are my little kissing cupid angels sitting on a box with a ruby & diamond heart pendant necklace that came out of my jewelry box.

I love these old lace cards - this one I believe is from the 1950's or slightly earlier

This old framed cross-stitch piece is from the late 1800's.

My antique oak marble top buffet.  Excuse the lamp cords showing through at the bottom.

I have a wide range of years - from Victorian romantic to 1950's cutsies.

If you move the little tab on this one, the horses head bobs up and down

This is an early 1900's postcard
This typewriter one dates itself, doesn't it?
I'll eventually get my tablescape done, but just wanted to show off my card collection first.  Do you still send your Sweetheart a Valentine's Day card or do you do e-cards?  Save those paper cards - they will be called vintage someday.

I'm joining Tablescape Thursday over at Between Naps on the Porch.  Run on over and see the beautiful tablescapes shown there.


  1. I remember those school Valentine cards days. Do they still do that are has it been banned, too?

    1. Yes, they still do it. I just retired last year after a career in an Elementary School and they still get just as excited about Valentine's Day cards as they did back then. Of course, over the years, they've become themed and portray whatever is popular among kids. I remember three or four years back, every little girl gave out Hannah Montana Valentine Cards and the boy's Spongebob.

  2. Over here Valentines were strictly for secret admirers only. (Still wonder about the ones To My Darling Husband or Wife)

    The old joke (which gets churned out every year - the old ones being the best) is "Why are you late for work today?" "Been busy opening my Valentine Day cards." or "The Postman is late today ... still struggling with the weight of the sack to my door."

    Yes I know its sad and I'm deluding myself but there you go.

    Love the Mabel Lucy Atwell style 1950s one!

    I need to pick your brain about how you make your photo appear accross the top of your page. I want mine to do that and spent ages tryign to make it ... do I have to go into photoshop first to stretch it?

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    1. Jane, every kid in America gets at least a sack full of Valentine cards - we're known for being excessive about things like that. We're also all about roses - the florists have a heyday this time of year.

      That little rosy cheeked 50's guy and gal are my favorite too. It could be one of Atwell's designs but it's not marked on the card.

  4. Hi Glenda. I like the new look of your blog! What a delightful little post. I love all your vintage Valentine's Day cards. They look so much better than the newer ones, don't they. I don't know whether you do Pinterest, but I have a board on there filled with vintage Christmas cards, and I love them. I really liked the little kissing cupids. How sweet! Gosh, I learnt to type on an old typewriter like that. It was like driving a double decker bus. You had to press down so hard on the keys! Good post my friend. Have a lovely weekend.

  5. WE used to make special holders for our Valentines cards, too...sometime a shoebox, sometimes a large folder made with art paper and decorated. We also brought cards for everyone. Precious memories...thanks for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay

  6. What a lovely display! I remember we used to call it Friendship Day as well, so that the singles wouldn't be left out, and everybody went home with a small gift.

  7. This is so wonderful! I remember my mother buying those little valentine's cards (the ones from the 50s...really, I'm not quite old enough to remember the Victorian ones!!!) and deciding who would get which one. Thank you for the trip down memory lane! Happy Valentine's Day!!


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