By the early 20th century, materials were more readily available to make picture jigsaw puzzles – and the novelties were soon found in households across the country.
Vintage crafts & hobbies
Do you remember Shrinky Dinks? They were DIY crafts that could be made by coloring on a plastic sheet, cutting out the various shapes, and then shrinking them down using heat.
When you were a kid, there was nothing else like the joy of an old-fashioned treehouse or fort: a little getaway that you built (maybe with some help) that could be a clubhouse or castle or spaceship or simply a place for a little peace and quiet.
This easy-to-make vintage cardboard dollhouse is a project that can grow with your children! Here’s how you can make it – along with tips for cute ways to decorating the little play house.
Antique scrapbooks have been made for generations – each era having their own creative styles as well as unique subject matter. Here’s a look back at how and what people were scrapping long ago.
Creativity is not something you are either born with or not: it needs to be discovered, nurtured, and expressed for it to grow. Here are 12 tips from the 1980s that are just as helpful today as ever, plus a look at some creative visions from the past.
Back in the late sixties, a small company started selling these vintage Make-A-Plate kits, which were a huge hit with kids, parents and teachers. What better gift for mom or grandma than a one-of-a-kind melamine plate featuring a child’s artwork?
These vintage Rig-a-Jig toy sets were popular back in the fifties, and were sort of a hybrid of TInkertoys, Lego and an Erector Set. See how they worked, and what you could create with them, here!
From the 1950s: Dozens of bright ideas for your home with colorful oilcloth! Create many helpful things for around your home, because the coated fabric surface doesn’t spot or stain, stays color-fresh, wears and wears.
Put together a half dozen pieces of this DIY fun furniture for kids, and your child will have endless play ideas. Made from just one simple box construction, the pieces are great for pretend games, the right size to use as table and chairs.
For decades, artist Peter Hunt specialized in upcycling furniture and found objects by renewing them with colorful peasant designs. Here are examples of his work, and tips for how you can create your own folk-art painted furniture!
Artist Peter Hunt was known for his colorful peasant-style folk-art paint designs. He insisted that everyone – even people who couldn’t draw a straight line – could create these whimsical designs, using the simple techniques he explains here.
The basic concept hasn’t changed much in 100 years, but vintage Erector Sets like these are still popular, still inspiring creativity, and still being used to build everything from mini roller coasters to motorized robots.
These vintage zodiac cross-stitch designs could be used as-is, interspersed and contrasted with plain squares, or the designs adapted to many other uses — such as cross-stitch embroidery for table linens.
Find some elegantly vintage Easter egg crafts and artsy inspiration right here! The ideas may be old, but they’ll probably seem new to you.
How did these vintage Easter egg shrink-wrap decorating sleeves work? Find out here, and see a retro collection of Disney Easter decorations and other holiday designs!
Here’s a cute way to upcycle an old milk carton (or even a similar juice carton). See how you can build it with this craft idea from the 1960s!
Have you ever thought about using some of the millions of pine needles that fall off the trees to make something useful? Here are more than 20 vintage pine needle crafts & decor ideas!
With this easy vintage DIY puffy happy face pin project, it’s easy to put on a happy face, a funny face, or any kind of face you fancy with soft, cuddly cotton creatures!
These pretty and old-fashioned paper Christmas ornaments are so easy to make, kids and adults can work on them together! As a bonus, they’re very cheap to create. Get directions and diagrams here.
As long as antique & vintage buttons have adorned our clothing and shoes, people have been collecting them. Made from a multitude of materials – from metal to bone, wood to plastic – buttons are miniature pieces of everyday history.
This flip-over chair – in the original Hudson Valley version of the 1870s or a colorful adaptation – offers the fun of choosing between two seats with a quick flip of a finger.
This creative collection of ideas came from Crayola, the famous crayon maker, back in the 1950s. They suggest some simple old-fashioned ways for kids to have quiet fun at home with crayons and paper.
This carefree tie-on poncho is cut in just four identical pieces and put together with simple straight sewing. Best of all, it has a dozen uses, can be made in any number of different fabrics, and cut to any length you like.
Looking for a fun and creative holiday project that’s a little different? Check out these crafty and cute vintage Christmas decorations, based on ideas popular back in the sixties.
Having a retro party for the holidays? Here are lots of crazy kitschy vintage Christmas appetizers you may want to serve… at your own risk.
Old-fashioned orange pomander balls made with cloves first became popular around the 17th century, and have been in use ever since. Here’s how to make your own fragrant decoration!
Find out how to make these colorful Christmas decorations: Translucent Tissue paper stained glass art panels to make your rooms blaze with jewel-toned light.
Want some retro-style holiday decor? Find out how to make some vintage Christmas crafts from the ’60s: a burlap wreath, tabletop Christmas trees, a starburst decoration, papier mache ornaments and more.
From homemade ornaments to DIY candy crafts, this collection of retro Christmas trimmings and craft ideas will give you some new ideas for old-fashioned holiday fun!
You can make these super easy wax & tissue paper flowers for Christmas or any time of year! This vintage craft uses basic supplies, but creates a surprisingly beautiful result!
The melted plastic Halloween Jack O’Lantern decorations popular in the ’70s were ‘delightfully different’ and ‘captured the happy Halloween spirit.’
Remember apple head dolls – an early American craft with folk art roots that was popular again in the ’60s and ’70s? Find out how to make these shrunken apple dolls, and more about the art of dollmaking.
As long as there have been kids, there have been _bored_ kids. For parents in the ’60s, one magazine offered these great old-fashioned ways to have fun.
Here are some easy, clever & cute vintage pasta crafts that you can make, including a pineapple that would make a great centerpiece, and some pretty dried noodle trees.
These old-fashioned Dymo labelmakers were easy to use and affordable – which meant that these colorful plastic sticky labels used to be seen almost everywhere and on everything.
Back when cheap Halloween party decor was a distant dream, people had to make their Halloween decorations the old-fashioned way: by getting creative. Ghoul School 1919 is now in session!
Here’s a whole year’s worth of cute printable retro calendar icons that you can even print or save to use to make your own planner or calendar!
Billions of vintage stickers from the ’80s were collected by millions of kids – and appeared on everything from binders to books, cassette tapes to sticker collection albums.
Don’t toss your old metal cans – make them into something delightful, like these retro-style night lights with your own punched patterns!
These beautiful antique silhouettes were cut by hand by artist Eveline Maydell, whose portrait clients included many of society’s wealthiest men and women.
Take a look back at these creative handmade vintage quilts from the ’70s. These are the 51 prize winners out of almost 10,000 entries.
One little piece of felt, cut in a simple shape, a few quick stitches – and, presto! – a hat! Here are some simple vintage one-piece hats you can sew.
Want to make some simple retro ’50s style jewelry? If you’ve got the gift for DIY crafts, we have the how-to guide for you, direct from the fifties.
Here’s how to stencil a tray – transforming an inexpensive metal accessory into a family heirloom, with paint and these included vintage stenciling patterns.
These beautiful melted bead suncatchers can be embedded with foil, glass nuggets, marbles, shells, and more for countless interesting designs.
Bake an overnight bag for the Easter bunny, and something to put in it: An adorable retro-style salt dough Easter bread basket!
These sweet bandana baby clothes are wearing tops made from the kind of cotton scarves you can buy anywhere. Here’s how to make these outfits from 1977!
Based on one of the many traditional needlework crafts, these vintage needlepoint designs might just inspire you to get creative in all-new ways!
Try your hand at these traditional patterns for Americana quilts – the pride of America’s past, and adaptable for many uses today.
Here are a few authentic old-fashioned ways to make homemade soap, with directions from the olden days in Nebraska back in 1908!
Find out how to make some sweet vintage Easter egg crafts for spring – everything from bunny-decorated eggs to lacquered lace eggshells.