Whimsical Vintage Illustration of a Fairy Grotto

Free vintage illustration of a fairy grotto


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.


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.


Antique Illustrations of Houseplants From 1807

A free antique botanical illustration of a round-headed buddlea plant Enjoy this free vintage botanical illustration of a calla lily Vintage botanical illustration of a magnolia houseplant from 1807

Personally, I love having lots of houseplants around.

My dream home would basically be an inside porch with an indoor garden.

Aside from aesthetics, houseplants apparently have the following benefits according to iGrow.org too:

  • NASA studies show that houseplants “scrub indoor air pollutants” and may even decrease the amount of carbon monoxide in the air.
  • Houseplants actually recycle carbon monoxide through photosynthesis which helps us breathe better indoors.
  • Plants increase humidity in your home, 97% of their own moisture to be exact, which is especially helpful during those dry summer and winter seasons.
  • Studies show that surrounding yourself with houseplants improves your memory and can increase your knowledge retention by 20%!

Well, that’s awesome.

But what do I love more than houseplants?

Vintage botanical illustrations of houseplants!

And lucky for me, I found lots of colorful houseplant illustrations from this colored plate book from 1807. I picked out my favorites, cleaned them up with Pixlr, and posted them below for you to use.



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!




Beautiful Vintage Children’s Book Illustrations of Country Flowers

Happy Monday, Everyone! I hope the Easter Bunny was good to you this year. I miss Easter already, but the next awesome craft holiday on the horizon is Mothers Day, so I really wanted to curate a special collection of free illustrations, fun facts, craft tips, and gift ideas this year.

This is a free vintage illustration of country flowers and lilies from an antique public domain childrens book from 1857

Nothing says Mothers Day more than flowers, so I searched the public domain to find some hidden gems buried away in antique books and was stoked to find the illustrated children’s book, A little Girl’s Visit to a Country Garden.

Published in 1857, this mid-19th-century children’s story follows a young city girl as she travels through the countryside and visits a beautiful flower garden with her Mother. Along with its charming story, this public domain book is packed with vibrant multicolored flowers. I used Pixlr to brighten up the images more and really bring out those lush colors.

I used Pixlr to brighten up the images more and really bring out those lush colors. These vintage flower graphics would make ideal craft and digital material for Mothers Day DIY gifts, Pinterest marketing campaigns, e-greetings, newsletters, postcards, and more!


Vintage Floral Teacup Card for Mothers Day

Mothers Day Teacup of Flowers Greeting Card

There are so many lovely vintage style Mothers Day gifts online. This is a great way to avoid the madness of the mall and still send a beautiful and personalized gift to your Mother. I went on a search to find some really great flower-inspired Mothers Day gifts and found this charming vintage teacup greeting card!


Free Vintage Illustrations from Antique Easter Postcards

Wow! Easter is early this year. It totally snuck up on me. Just as I was wrapping up my Irish themed/St. Patrick’s Day posts, I have a brand new holiday to tackle. I love it and I cannot wait to show you the Free Easter illustrations that I have in store for today’s post and for the weeks ahead! I created the following images from my own collection of antique Easter postcards in the public domain. Two of the originals had more shimmering silver backgrounds, but after running them through Pixlr, I stumbled upon some cool purple and blue shades that were both unique and perfect for the season. I think these images would be great for Easter-themed blog posts, digital collage projects, Etsy Easter gifts, Pinterest boards, and a host of other creative projects.

These images were scanned and edited from my personal collection of antique holiday postcards. You may use these images for FREE for your website, blog, online media, product, and online educational project provided that you include a link back to FreeVintageIllustrations.com.


Vintage Public Domain Illustrations of Frogs and Toads

I was reminded the other day that Beatrix Potter’s artworks became part of the public domain back in December.  Immediately, I thought of Mr. Toad from Potter’s classic “The Wind in The Willows” and started searching for some of my favorite prints.  While curating, a flood of creative projects came to mind too, especially mixed-media projects like dioramas and outdoor patio decor.  Look for even more tips and ideas that you can do with vintage frog prints at the end of this post!

DIY Projects You Can Do With Public Domain Frog Illustrations

Looking for some outdoor decor inspiration or quick ideas for unique school supplies?  Bookmark this quick yet super creative list of ideas for frog & toad-related crafts.

  1. Choose your favorite images from the gallery above, and assemble a cool collage on the surface of an old coffee table, nightstand or patio table.  After gluing to the surface and allowing to dry, cover your collage with a sheet of glass to create a brand new vintage frog inspired table!
  2. Create your own DIY school supplies for your kids.  To create brand new notebooks:  Gather any unused lined paper from the previous school year, place them in 1 inch binders with clear plastic image slots, and add your favorite vintage frog images to create totally unique school supplies.
  3. You can also decoupage your favorite frog and toad images to old pencil cups, pencil and markers boxes, spiral notebooks, create DIY textbook covers, and even decorate magnetic locker storage accessories.



Free Vintage Children’s Books and Illustrations

There’s some really charming late 19th – 20th century children’s book prints out there.  I curated this latest gallery from a variety of public domain media databases, and I can only imagine all the other out-of-copyright children’s illustrations stashed in people’s basements, vintage stores, and garage sales.  Side note: I’m taking a trip to one of my favorite stops tomorrow, SCRAP Warehouse, to see if I can score some good vintage prints to upload!

This collection features a variety of unique and whimsical prints in the public domain, ranging from nursery rhyme illustrations to classic vintage “Wizard of Oz” prints.  Enjoy, and as usual, you can find some fresh arts n’ crafts ideas attached at the end of this post.


20 Art Projects You Can Make With Public Domain Children’s Books!

Typically, this is the part where I whip up a specific themed craft idea for you to try.  I get a ton of ideas, but I usually end up focusing on just one or two.  Not this time!  For this post, I was flooded with craft ideas.  Public domain children’s books are some of the best free artwork out there, so I wanted to create a big list of projects that you can bookmark and use all year round.  Free vintage children’s book art is ideal for birthdays and back to school, as well as holiday crafting, dioramas, and even high school and college projects.

  1. Create a chic decoupaged lunch box
  2. Make plant decorations for indoor window sill gardens
  3. Print out these illustrations and turn them into brand NEW pop-up books for kids
  4. Create black and white print-outs to make a DIY coloring book
  5. Make your own textbook covers
  6. Create DIY kid’s bedroom posters
  7. Print out and laminate these illustrations to make placemats
  8. Create paper birthday banners
  9. Make your own Christmas tree ornaments and garland
  10. Collage your favorite images on cardboard to make a picture frame
  11. Cut-out illustrations to make cool dioramas
  12. Create your own sets for puppet theater shows!
  13. Make your own vintage image jewelry
  14. Create a chic vintage style potted plant
  15. Collage and create your own jewelry box
  16. Use them for your school poster board project
  17. Make a beautiful handcrafted birthday card
  18. Make cool vintage style origami ornaments
  19. Use an x-acto knife to make precise cut-outs for name cards or to/from notes
  20. Create an iron-on or fabric print to make your own pillows!