Vintage Illustrations of Breads, Cakes, and More Baked Goods

A rare 1917 Flour Company CookBook With IllustrationsI always feel like I’ve hit the motherload when I discover a vintage illustrated cookbook.

And it happened again this weekend when I found this awesome antique cookbook published back in 1917.

Now in the public domain, this cookbook is packed with vintage baking recipes you can whip at home and a few colored illustrations of rolls, bread loaves, cakes, biscuits, and more yummy baked goods pictured below.

Project Ideas For Vintage Baked Goods Illustrations

Need some creative inspiration? I was brainstorming different projects you could do with these illustrations and came up with the following ideas:

  • DIY ABC Flashcards: These make great images for the letters “B” (Bread or biscuits), “C” (cake), and “R” (rolls).
  • DIY Coloring Book: Create coloring books for homeschooling, summer learning, classrooms, and after school programs.
  • Printed Kitchen Fabric: Use these images to create printed towels, placemats, calendars, and more kitchen decor.
  • Books & Activities: Use these antique illustrations to create hidden picture books, matching games, and phonics exercises.
  • Mixed-Media Painting: Incorporate vintage images of bread and cakes into your culinary inspired paintings.

Fun Facts About The History of Bread

Cultures the world over have contributed their own unique recipes and methods for making bread. Here are some fascinating facts about the history of bread that you can use in your trivia games, lessons, flashcards, and more:

  • According to historians, people may have started baking bread more than 3,000 years ago!
  • Before bread, people would make “gruel”, which was simply water mixed with grains.
  • Eventually, people began cooking gruel and grain paste on hot rocks.
  • Yeast is what makes bread light and fluffy. Archaeologists have found that yeast has been used in breadmaking as far back as 300 B.C. when the Ancient Egyptians used it in their commercial bread market.
  • The first mechanical bread slicer was invented in 1917. Two years later, more than 90% of bread sold in markets and grocery stores were mechanically sliced in factories.

Vintage Illustrations of Elegant Table Settings

A vintage illustration of an elegant buffet setting from Mrs. Beeton's 1907 publication.

I’m back!

It’s been a while since my last FVI post, but I’m stoked to be back with more vintage images for your projects.

We’re in the middle of the holiday season, so I thought I’d revisit one of my favorite public domain resources, Mrs. Beeton’s Household management.

In it, you’ll find everything from old-fashioned food platters to fancy desserts.

However, one of my favorite sections is devoted purely to elegant table settings.

These versatile vintage illustrations are ideal for the following:

  • Tea party invitations
  • Birthday party invitations
  • Valentine’s Day collages
  • Holiday collages
  • Style websites
  • Printed fabric
  • Pinterest pages
  • Finger puppet theater sets and more!

These ideas are just the start.

How do these illustrations inspire you?

Antique Summer: Vintage Illustrations of Fresh Strawberries

I’m officially obsessed with summer now. Since yesterday, I’ve been on a quest to find and edit classic vintage images for your summer projects. I’m really lucky that so many awesome turn-of-the-century gardening catalogs and magazines featured vibrant illustrations of strawberries on their covers! With that being said, I grabbed my favorite free imaging editing tool, Pixlr, and went to work. I was able to create more vintage strawberry clipart by simply cutting up and editing these old antique gardening publications.

They’re ideal for DIY invitations, greeting cards, thank you notes, printed fabric, Etsy, and decoupage for old furniture. For more creative ideas, check out these strawberry-inspired projects!




Free Vintage Illustrations of Ice Cream Treats from a 1922 Trade Journal

Who wants ice cream for breakfast? I do! I found an old vintage Ice Cream trade journal from 1922, and it was packed with awesome antique advertisements for commercial Ice Cream Makers, advertising services for Ice Cream distributors, and various Ice Cream brands, flavors, sundaes, and cones. There were like 3 Neapolitan bar ads! Needless to say, I ran away with a fun, colorful collection of free vintage illustrations to share. I know it’s chilly in December, but I can never turn by back on ice cream. Ever. These vintage ice cream illustrations and advertisements can also be used to make unique ornaments for a cool ice cream themed Christmas tree, t-shirt designs, DIY bag designs, digital flyers, Etsy gifts, and more creative projects.

Vintage illustrations come with a story. Curious about the vintage ice cream industry and other facts about your favorite dessert? Learn more interesting facts and history below!

Ice Cream History and Facts

  • Catherine Medici, of Italy’s famous Medici’s of the Renaissance, is often credited with introducing ice cream to French culture when she married Henri II. Though the claim is not documented.
  • American Ice Cream origins are often credited to Martha Washington, Thomas Jefferson for allegedly bringing Ice Cream from France to the U.S., and even former first lady, Dolly Madison.
  • The ancient Romans mixed crushed ice with berries
  • Many scholars believe that ice cream was most likely invented in China. There are even accounts of frozen milk as early as the 7th century! There are also additional written accounts of ice cream being served at a royal court function in the 14th century.
  • Word about ice cream might have spread through China, to the Middle East, and eventually to Italy. However, many scholars believe that the practice of freezing food itself was more likely spread from china than ice cream itself.
  • The earliest written accounts of ice cream in English culture comes from a 1671 account of a banquet with King Charles II.
  • English cuisine officially introduced ice cream and ice cream recipes around 1718
  • Ice cream hit the United States in the early 1700s, with accounts of ice cream being made and served amongst the colonies.
  • Early ice cream makers in the early 18th century were referred to as a cream machine for ice.



Free Vintage Public Domain Illustrations of Red Meat, Seafood, and Poultry Dishes

Now I’m hungry! I just finished combing through the turn-of-the-century cookbook, “Mrs. Beeton’s Household Management”. Published in 1907, this antique cookbook comes packed with some really amazing color illustration plates of dinners, desserts, and appetizers. I came away with a lot of material, so stay tuned for more upcoming posts from this book. First up, meat! This book has some rich and colorful illustrations of butcher meat, fancy meat dishes and meat pies, fish dishes, and poultry dishes like roasts and turkey. These images make wonderful materials for culinary-themed crafts, school projects, blog images, unique vintage crafts, and many more creative projects.

Culinary Themed Craft Ideas!

Ever been stumped on what to give your foodie or chef friend? Rather than chance it with an appliance they already have or a soup they might dislike, you can use free vintage illustrations of meat to create awesome DIY gifts instead. Even if you’re not the “crafty” type, cutting and pasting vintage illustrations is a quick and easy solution for greeting cards, decoupage boxes, scrapbooks, or memory boards. Try out some of these ideas with the illustrations above!

1. Screenprint a wooden cutting board

2. Screenprint on fabric to create unique napkins

3. Create a canvas print for the kitchen, dining room, or breakfast nook

4. Make cool greeting cards for Thanksgiving!

5. Decoupage a serving tray

6. Create a decoupaged wooden pantry box

7. Decoupage tin canisters that can be used to store spices and four

These images are in the public domain and may be used and modified for your personal and commercial projects without permission.

Free Vintage Thanksgiving Illustrations for all Your Festive Projects!

Thanksgiving is almost upon us, so here I am continuing the next wave of Thanksgiving themed posts! This time, I come armed with more antique free vintage Thanksgiving greetings, postcards, and book illustrations. These make great materials for Thanksgiving decoupage projects, napkin fabric prints, coasters, greeting cards, Zazzle projects, and placemats. Find more DIY Thanksgiving craft ideas below the gallery!

Thanksgiving Craft Ideas

With Thanksgiving on the brain, more and more ideas keep popping into my head. These are ideas that I’ve either tried before or would really like to but just can’t find the time (a.k.a I’m lazy.) These are all creative ways to incorporate free vintage illustrations into your crafts. Simply print out your favorite Thanksgiving images above to start working on these projects. Please try these at home!

1. Autumn floral bouquet inserts

2. Laminated Thanksgiving Placemats for the kids

3. Laminated Thanksgiving Placemats WITH dry-erase marker activities

4. Framed fabric prints for the kitchen

5. Decoupage a wooden box for a floral centerpiece

6. Create a Thanksgiving coloring book for the kids

7. Print out images on skrinky-dinks vellum to create unique Thanksgiving jewelry

8. Create your own Thanksgiving themed gift wrap

9. Create a classic framed print for house decoration

10. Print out and decorate Thanksgiving greeting cards

11. Invites for your Thanksgiving party


Free Public Domain Illustrations from a Vintage Children’s Cookbook (1905)

I had been on the hunt for a good vintage children’s cookbook to find more playful pictures of baking, food, and family.  I came across this children’s ‘First’ cookbook from 1905 published by an American flour company.  The following book illustrations are now out of copyright and would be useful for a variety of different personal and commercial projects, like Etsy products, greeting cards, blog images and social media content, decoupage, vintage kitchen decor, and DIY stationery.

Crafting with Vintage Cookbooks for Kids!

These charming illustrations inspire lots of ideas for culinary-themed crafting.  Here are a few more to consider.

  • Assemble these images to make your own custom gift wrap pattern online.
  • Make your own canvas prints online to turn these images into kitchen and breakfast nook decor
  • Create your own decoupage coaster set
  • Print out and laminate to create cute place mats for the kids at brunch