Vintage Christmas Cards – Room Scene

Recently I came across some family Christmas cards I had designed with the help of my father who owned a letterpress printing press and had cuts (think metal stamps on wooden blocks similar to rubber stamps on wood blocks) made of my drawings. The printing press held an 8×10-inch frame which held the cuts and metal type (letters). Paper was hand-fed into the press which had an electric motor connected with a leather belt which turned the press wheel. From about age 8 and on I earned pocket money running the press to add people’s names to their store-bought Christmas cards, “From the Desk of” notepads and other small print jobs from family and friends.

The five cards that I am sharing this week were created before the computer drawing program Auto-CAD was widely available to individuals. (I know we didn’t have access to digital type fonts that Apple computers offered around that time.) I used rulers, India ink pens and protractors to draw the pop-ups.

In 1985 I designed a pop-up room scene featuring a fireplace tabletop Christmas tree and a cat. I used rub-ons that were popular at the time to created graphics. All the straight lines were rub-ons as well as the letters on the garlands. I used a plastic drawing template for the circles and arcs. The cat was a sticker that had been reduced on a photocopier.

These postcards were hand-colored with watercolors and markers.

On the back of the postcard was the first of my CRX drawings that showed how the finished pop-up should look along with cutting and folding instructions.

I believe this was the last of the family designed Christmas cards as my father discovered Graphics3, a family-owned printing business in Jupiter, Florida that made 3D pop-up cards and began ordering from cards from them.

Here are other vintage Christmas cards:

  • Room Scene

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