King Winter: Free Public Domain Christmas Book and Illustrations from 1859!

It’s the holiday season! And Free Vintage wishes you a warm and creative winter. Thanksgiving morning, while watching the Macy’s Day Parade, I got super excited about antique Christmas books. My archive nerd levels went off the charts. So to get the ball rolling on this season’s winter and Christmas-themed posts, I stumbled upon this great vintage find from 1859! I was searching around for more winter/snow themed books and illustrations and found this gem from the Library of Congress. It was originally published by Gustav W. Seitz in Hamberg. This very old version of Santa Claus tells the story of King Winter and his trusted assistant, Jack Frost. King Winter, the queen, and Jack Frost work together to first bring fresh and fluffy snow to the countryside before King Winter delivers presents to well-behaved children. I love these frosty vintage illustrations and this classic Christmas story. Since these illustrations are copyright-free and in the public domain, you can print them out and incorporate them into your holiday crafts, classroom, Children’s books, and Esty products!

Creative Crafting Ideas for Antique Book Illustrations

This classic story about Santa Claus and Jack frost can be easily reprinted and turned into festive homemade books at home. Simply print out this book on high-quality paper and put your excellent crafting skills to work! These illustrations make wonderful graphics on their own as well. You can dress up your homemade book by cutting and pasting even more book illustrations to create a dazzling collage for your book cover. The shape of these pages are also ideal for making Christmas themed bookmarks and decor for the classroom!

Need even more ideas? The creative possibilities are endless with antique Christmas books in the public domain. Copy and share the following list to inspire your next holiday craft project.

  • Make a Christmas paper cut-out banner or garland for the tree
  • Laminate antique book pages to make bookmarks and classic placemats
  • Create a large storyboard project with poster board
  • Decoupage on a plain wooden chest to create festive furniture and accents
  • Print and frame for easy Christmas themed wall art

 

 

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Vintage Illustrations from Twas’ the Night Before Christmas

And so it begins! It’s annual Christmas crafting time, and I can’t wait to start my series of antique holiday posts. This is FreeVintageillustration.com’s FIRST holiday season, so stay tuned for 1800’s German Christmas postcards, real Victorian holiday greetings, and more Christmas book illustrations like the ones below. And speaking of, there are so many wonderful vintage Christmas illustrations from antique children’s books. As one of the industry’s premiere illustrators, Jessie Willcox Smith illustrated an impressive number of Children’s books in the early 1900’s, like ‘Mother Goose’s Nursery Rhymes’, ‘A Child’s Garden of Versus’, ‘A Way to Wonderland’, and her popular ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas!’ I went through her version of Twas’ and selected my favorites which you can also use in your own Christmas projects.

Fun Facts about Jessie Willcox Smith!

Jessie Willcox smith was one of the most in-demand book illustrators of her time. Learn more about this amazing talent in the facts below.

  • Smith was born in 1863 and is considered an important figure from the “Golden Age” of American book and commercial illustration.
  • She Illustrated for Good Housekeeping and Ladies’ Home Journal for years
  • Illustrated the popular Mother Goose series from Good Housekeeping
  • Created all of Good Housekeeping Magazine’s covers from 1915 to 1933!
  • Smith illustrated more than 60 books
  • Enrolled in the Philidelphia School of Design for Women and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in 1885
  • Made one of the first advertisments for Ivory Soap

Get a Head Start on Christmas with FREE Vintage Inspired Clipart!

I have a few books packed with public domain vintage illustrations, and I finally got around to creating some new and FREE vintage-inspired clipart of my own to share.  It was also a good opportunity to play around with my free google play photo editing app, Fotor, which comes packed with great editing features like fairy dust, garden stickers, pixelate, magic brush, party balloon stickers, and more.

I know it’s only September, but I couldn’t help starting with the vintage Christmas illustrations first.  I used a variety of different Fotor editing features to jazz them up, like light pixelation, fairy dust, contrast, and balloon and flower stickers.  Use these in personal craft projects, share on social media, websites, or include in your own blog posts.

I put all my own modified Victorian clipart in the public domain. No permission or credit required.