Whimsical Vintage Illustration of a Fairy Grotto

Free vintage illustration of a fairy grotto

Hey!

I wanted to pop in quickly to share this awesome 19th-century illustration of a fairy grotto I found through the New York State Library.

I love this image. It sort of reminds me of The Last Unicorn, you know, that 80’s animation where the band America did the entire soundtrack with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Anyhoo.

This image was originally published in 1867 by Currier & Ives, a 19th-century American printmaking company. There isn’t too much information available about this artwork, but you can read more about it here.

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Free Vintage Children’s Book Illustrations of Fairies and Elves from 1918

There are neverending ideas for fairy and elf inspired projects. I love shining a light on awesome fairylore that’s available to the public, and fortunately, the public domain is packed with classic fairy stories and illustrations to use and modify for your children’s libraries, after school programs, paintings, Etsy products, reimagined fairy stories, and more creative projects. These vintage children’s book illustrations come from the Frances Jenkins Olcott classic, The Book of Elves and Fairies, and were illustrated by Milo Winter. Milo’s work here is considered a representation of The Golden Age of Children’s Book Illustration which spanned the late 19th century to the early 1940s. The book has around 50 different kinds of fairy stories and features titles like “The Boy who Found the Pot of Gold”, which tells the tale of a young boy who meets a Leprechaun for example. You’ll also find stories about winter fairies and more mythical seasonal creatures.

 

These images were curated from a digital copy of an original publication found in the public domain and edited by this site. These images are entirely free to use in your personal, commercial, and educational work without permission. Please give credit to FreeVintageIllustrations.com when posting these images on your blogs, websites, and social media pages.

Artists in the Public Domain: The Whimsical Illustrations of William Heath Robinson

I’m always on the look out for awesome public domain art to curate, so I check in to see who’re the latest artists to enter the public domain.  2015 has already brought William Heath Robinson into the mix.  I really love his imaginative illustrations and cartoons.  A beloved British illustrator, Robinson illustrated Hans Christen Andersen Fairytale books, publications and newspapers, books, and became known for a series of whimsical drawings of imaginative Contraptions.  With Robinson’s work in the public domain, this opens up a world of possibilities for fellow artists, teachers, designers, and anyone working on a creative project.

Who Was William Heath Robinson?

Fun Facts

  • Was born in 1872 to a family of artists
  • His father, Thomas, and both his brothers, Thomas Heath and Charles, all worked as illustrators
  • William Heath Robinson illustrated several classic children’s books, most notably ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream’, ‘Twelfth Night’, and Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytales.
  • He wrote three children’s books of his own, The Adventures of Uncle Lubin, Bill The Minder and Peter Quip in Search of a Friend.
  • He became particularly known for his contraptions and inventions illustrations
  • Learn more about Robinson’s life over at Wikipedia!

Public Domain Vintage Illustrations of Gnomes and Fairies!

It’s time to step into the land of make believe. Mr. Rogers had one on his show.  So gosh darn it, I’m going to create one of my own! There’s a lot of whimsical, fantasy themed vintage art in the public domain.  For this post, I thought I’d focus on Gnomes, fairies, and other magical beings that inhabit fairy lands.  Look out for more whimsical themed posts on fairy houses, mushrooms, and other woodland themes.

 

Throw a Fairy & Gnome Themed Party with these 5 Party Decor Ideas!

Whimsical gnome and fairy themed parties are seriously fun to plan.  Plus there are tons of fantastic free vintage images available to create unique goodie/party favor bags, tree ornaments and garlands, jewelry, decoupaged toy chests for gifts, birthday party t-shirts, and more.

Keep these 5 super creative ideas on hand the next time you’re stumped for party planning inspiration.

  1. Turn your favorite images above into iron-transfers for party t-shirts, hoodies, and sweatshirts.

  2. Print images out on adhesive paper to make quick and easy stickers for party favor bags, fairy-themed craft activities, invitations, and to/from stickers for presents.

  3. Use a simple online photo editor to turn your gnome images into black and white pages for a gnome-themed coloring books.  Makes a great alternative to party favor bags.

  4. Have a holiday birthday coming up?  Create cardstock holiday ornaments by simply cutting out and decorating your favorite gnome images above.

  5. Pick a compelling image above and print it out on plastic transfer sheets design for projectors.  Cover a portion of a wall with large white butcher paper.  Project your fairy or gnome image onto the covered portion of the wall to create a unique fairy tracing activity for your party!

This theme is just for kids either!  Yes, I totally support you channelling your inner elf, gnome, woodland fairy, and wizard.  These images serve has fantastic inspiration for cosplay ideas, Halloween costumes, masquerade balls, and theater productions too.