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Old Vintage Magazine Ads - So Many Uses Yet So Little Time

Updated on July 5, 2014

What Can You Do With Vintage Magazine Ads?

Vintage magazine advertising prints are tangible pieces of history. The hottest antique ads for collectors come from vintage magazines including Life, Look or Post. Just what is the appeal of these vintage magazine ads? This is a question with multiple answers since it depends on how a person intends to use them.

"Vintage" typically refers to items that are more than 25 years old, but there is some question about whether old advertising falls into that classification. A few collectors would tell you that vintage, when referring to collectible magazine ads requires that they be more than 50 years old. On the other hand, most collectors consider magazine ads to be of vintage, collectible classification when they are prior to the 1800's all the way up to the 1980s.

Old Vintage Magazine Ads and Their Significance

Something of significance you need to know is that magazine print ad campaigns from the 30's to the 60's were set up to only run one time. That is one of the factors that makes them so highly collectible to collectors. In essence, these vintage magazine ads are rare and they usually few and far between. These old magazine ads come in a variety of categories including car ads, soda (coke) ads, vacation ads, food ads, ads with recipes, food council ads, Bell telephone ads, Western Electric ads and other nostalgic advertising.

Historical and Nostalgic Significance

Historical and Nostalgic Significance

Vintage magazine ads carry historical and nostalgic significance for collectors. Some collectors choose to collect certain types like WWII advertisements. World War 2 print ads have value for several reasons. First it is because of the historical background of that war and because it holds many nostalgic memories to the folks of that era. History buffs are especially interested in these print ads.

Vintage Magazine Ads As Unique Gifts

Vintage magazine ads make wonderful and unique gift ideas. The idea behind gifting for some people is to find something that an older person can appreciate. Other reasons to use these old ads as gifts is if someone you know collects certain kinds of memorabilia, you can find an antique ad to match their taste.

Crafting With Vintage Ads

Crafting, creative and artistic folks like to use vintage magazine ads for their paper arts and crafts. Scrapbooking, decoupage, matting/framing, altered art, one of a kind (OOAK) and many other kinds of projects can creatively utilize this kind of ephemera (paper). Most prints are 10 x 13 in size making them just right for framing or scrap booking. 1950s advertising art is a very popular category crafting and art projects. Earlier Victorian print ads are also really popular among those who make shabby chic Victorian gift tags, cards and other paper crafts.

Vinrage Magazine Ads As Decorative Elements

Sometimes collectors or individuals appreciate the art work and history of these ads and like to display them on their walls like art. They do make great conversation pieces, especially with the reproductions of vintage ads out there. When vintagemagazine ads are properly cared for and handled they are more collectible and suitable for for matting and framing.

Vintage Magazine Ads - Original or Reproductions?

Believe it or not, it is more affordable to buy the original prints over reproductions. If you choose to search for them on auction sites like eBay or Etsy you will likely not pay more than $14.99 for any one ad depending on the size and the value of the brand or rarity. Most of the time you can save a lot of money using auction sites to pick up a real deal on these ad prints. There are those that are less than $4.99.

You can also find these ads in bulk for purchase to resell, gift or get creative with a craft project. No matter what, these collectibles can help you make a little money, allow you to create unique arts or crafts projects or use them as retro décor. When you are shopping for vintage magazine ads you need to read the description and make sure it says they are original, not reproductions of the ads.


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    • CeLestialCameo profile imageAUTHOR

      CeLeste Christopher 

      7 years ago from Madisonville, TN

      Thank you Marzime. That is an excellent idea for another hub in the near future.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Another awesome hub. Retro and Vintage, although old school, will never go out of style. They are originals and can never be duplicated. I wonder at times what it's going to be like in 50 years from now. If we are living in a Retro/ Vintage lifestyle and not know it? Life is full of change. That may be an idea for a future post in which I would love to read your thoughts :)


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