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How to Frame Vintage Postcards

Today I’m going to show you an easy DIY art idea that vintage decor lovers will appreciate: how to frame vintage postcards!  These framed vintage postcards add a little nostalgia to my walls and have been so versatile – I’ll show you three different ways I’ve styled these framed post cards (in two different houses – three very different spaces)!

Postcard Frame Idea

Can Postcards Be Framed?

Postcards can definitely be framed – you can take them to a professional framer and have an entirely custom frame/mat designed, or you can use a store bought frame and simply have a custom mat cut (if needed).  There are options to buy postcard frames, which hopefully will be the right size for your postcard collection!  However, you can also get creative – you could mount them on a piece of matting and even raise them a little before placing in a frame.  But my favorite way to frame anything irregular is to use a floating frame.  Not only are floating frames affordable and easy to find, they really let the irregularity of old, worn postcards shine.

DIY Lake House Art Idea EASY

A Closer Look at My Antique Lake Superior Postcards:

I first found a set of vintage Lake Superior post cards when we lived in our first townhouse – far away from Lake Superior!  I had been missing the lake, having grown up in a town on its shores, so it felt like kismet that I found a set of 100 years old post cards.  You can see all of my antique postcards, unframed, in this post.  You can also find similar, vintage/antique Lake Superior postcards on Etsy (like this one).

DIY Lake House Art

One of these postcards had actually been sent, which I found to be so fascinating!

Antique Post Card

How to Frame Vintage Post Cards:

Although custom framing is always an option, framing vintage post cards can be a challenge because they can be an irregular size and you might not want to cover up any details with a mat.  Plus, the post cards may have writing/stamps on the back, which you may want to still be able to read/see from time to time.  My solution for both of these concerns was to frame my vintage post cards with inexpensive floating frames.  You can find them in so many styles/finishes but I chose a crisp, clean white because I love my white walls so much and white frames just disappear against white walls, letting the art pull the focus more.  I originally bought a stack of seven postcard frames, because that’s how many postcards I found, but I had an extra frame – which was so lucky, because I eventually found more postcards and a set of eight proved so much more useful (I used sets of four to flank my bed and fireplace when we moved).

How to Use Floating Frames

Here’s a closer look at how I framed vintage postcards with a floating frame.  Because I used white frames and white walls, the overall effect was really interesting and played up the “floating” look really nicely, but you can also find floating frames in different finishes – these gold floating frames would really complement the weathered postcards.

Antique Postcards Framed in Floating Frame

In the townhouse, we hung them up going up the stairwell, which was a really fun way to enjoy them!  First we cut out some templates to map out the placement:

How to Map Out Where to Hang Art

Here’s how the framed postcards looked:

Art for Stairwell Idea
Apologies for the blurry photos – I had a really old camera back then and the stairwell got no natural light!

How to Frame Antique Postcards

Framed Vintage Postcards

Antique Post Cards Collection

Since our days in the townhouse, we moved to a small home on the shores of Lake Superior – and took our collection of framed vintage post cards with us!  With a better camera – and better lighting overall – you can see more clearly how pretty these vintage postcards look framed in crisp white floating frames.  Here they are flanking our painted dark grey fireplace:

How to Display Vintage PostcardsAntique Post Cards Framed in Floating FramesVintage Postcards in Floating FramesHow to Frame Vintage Postcards for Art

Later, when we renovated the fireplace with a bump out for our TV, the post cards were displaced to the bedroom, where they looked beautiful on either side of the bed:

FRAMED VINTAGE POST CARDS Can Vintage Postcards Be Framed? YES! Here's how to frame vintage postcards. Vintage Postcard Collection How to Frame Vintage Postcards

How Do You Display Vintage Postcards?

In this post, I’ve shared three different spaces where we displayed our set of vintage postcards framed in floating frames.  But you could also custom frame vintage post cards, use mini clothespins to hang them on some twine inside a floating frame, gently affix them to a backer board and place inside a frame of your choosing for a similar “floating” look.  You can hang them in a grouping of similar postcards, like I have, or mix them into a gallery wall for a more eclectic approach.  You could even use magnets to hang them on a magnetic board for a more casual display.  There are so many ways to enjoy and display vintage post cards!  Framing vintage postcards was ultimately a very inexpensive DIY art project, but they added a subtle little touch of antique charm to our walls.  My style leans more mid-century modern, so the crisp white frames definitely helped modernize these framed vintage postcards.

Framed Vintage Postcards

P.S. Don’t Forget to Pin for Later!

How to Frame Vintage Postcards



  1. Faith
    October 26, 2011 / 2:25 pm

    it looks great. what an awesome idea!

  2. La Maison Boheme
    October 26, 2011 / 2:34 pm

    Great idea. Love the overlapping corners.

  3. house no. 2
    October 26, 2011 / 2:43 pm

    tanya, you did it again! these are absolutely marvelous. i always say to my husband, you know harold, i wish we didn't have ONLY family photos. i mean, obviously they are the most important element of our home, however, i wish we had something else to display. i'd never thought of postcards. i did buy a few watercolours from a local artisan the other day. dammit. i should have bought enough to go up our our stairs are the exact same colour – honeyish. do you find it hard to pick paint colours that compliment it?

  4. Erica
    October 26, 2011 / 2:53 pm

    I love this! The postcards are such a great idea and I really like the look of the overlapping frames!

  5. Tanya @ Dans le Townhouse
    October 26, 2011 / 3:03 pm

    Thanks Ladies!Hi Ashlee (house no. 2). Almost all of our floors are maple hardwood, which is a little less honey-hued than in the photos. But I love the tone. Paired with our all white walls, the rooms look bright and crisp. I think they would also look good with pale greys, but I think darker colours might be harder to pair. I wimped out and went the easy route! 5 gallon buckets of white paint 🙂

  6. Shannon
    October 26, 2011 / 3:24 pm

    Love it! Looking good!!!!!!

  7. Jen @ RamblingRenovators
    October 26, 2011 / 3:37 pm

    Super cute! I like how you've run them all the way up. And good idea of your hubby's to overlap the edges – it really connects them.

  8. EJ @ Not A House, But A Home
    October 26, 2011 / 3:41 pm

    Looks great! I love how the frames mirror the steps in their placement

  9. house no. 2
    October 26, 2011 / 8:12 pm

    hi tanya, ours are maple hardwood as well. i have a feeling that crisp white may be the way for us to go. i just wish dirty little fingers wouldn't be destroying it constantly 🙂

  10. modern jane
    October 26, 2011 / 9:04 pm

    Very cool! Love the light too!

  11. Tanya @ Dans le Townhouse
    October 26, 2011 / 9:35 pm

    Hi Ashlee (house no. 2): white will look nice, and a magic eraser is super simple for chasing down smudges. But maybe a pale, pale soft grey might be nice for you? That won't be as high maintenance.

  12. Tanya @ Dans le Townhouse
    October 26, 2011 / 9:36 pm

    Thanks for the blogger award, Shannon!

  13. Dana@Mid2Mod
    October 27, 2011 / 8:17 am

    Looks great! I love the overlap too. It creates a really tight pattern. Pat hubby on the back for the good idea.

  14. Tanya @ Dans le Townhouse
    October 27, 2011 / 2:53 pm

    He sure is clever, isn't he?

  15. house no. 2
    October 28, 2011 / 11:45 pm

    tanya, i'm considering moonshine by ben moore. also, you got these frames at chapters, right? are they are on the chapters website? i can't find them.

  16. Tanya @ Dans le Townhouse
    October 29, 2011 / 1:46 am

    Hey Ashlee, I googled Benjamin Moore moonshine -what a pretty colour! I saw it paired alot with turquoise, is it a bit blue-y? Looks really crisp and fresh.You're making me want to re-paint my white!! With a different white. Lol.The frames are from Chapters, but I bought them instore. West Elm has some floating frames, too, but they were out of white last time I checked.You are super complimentary and so sweet – every comment you leave makes me beam 🙂

  17. Erin- Thanks I Made It
    November 3, 2011 / 4:10 am

    Wow! That's beautiful! I'm filing this idea away. : )

  18. Nic
    April 19, 2012 / 11:17 pm

    Hello,Found your blog from Remodelaholic. What size frames are these?

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 20, 2012 / 12:35 am

      Hi! Nice to meet you, thanks for stopping by. Great question!The inside of the frames are 14"x11". Measure from outside edge to outside edge, the measurement is 16"x13".Hope that helps!

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