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Retro Clip Art

Updated on January 11, 2015

Graphics and Images from the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

Retro images are big. Graphics that were once used in advertising and drawings for books and other illustrations during mid-century are now in style again.

Retro literally translates to "in the past." So, anything from as recent as 15 or 20 years ago can be considered retro, but I'm including retro clip art here from mostly the 1940s to the 1960s.

The lovely woman bowling shown here is from a 1940s printers book, according to Karen, The Graphics Fairy. I think she'd look great on an invitation to a bowling party or printed out and decoupaged onto a container for sports equipment. Use your imagination to use this fun Retro Clip Art.

Image Credit: The Graphics Fairy

Download Retro Clip Art

Please click the links to visit the Web sites provided here to download and print this Retro Clip Art.

Retro Objects

Retro wagons courtesy of Cathe at Just Something I Made.
Retro wagons courtesy of Cathe at Just Something I Made. | Source

More Retro Object Clip Art

Use fun retro clip art for invitations, decorations, scrapbooks and so much more.

Retro Fashion -- Clothes from Mid Century

Purple plaid dress clip art courtesy of Velma's Retro Clip Art and Images.See the link below to download it.
Purple plaid dress clip art courtesy of Velma's Retro Clip Art and Images. See the link below to download it.

Where to Find Original Retro Clip Art

Here are just a few places to find original retro clip art:

old books, magazines, newspapers, sewing patterns, and reference books like cookbooks, textbooks, and dictionaries.

Quiz Kids -- I think this image would make great placemats.

Quiz Kids -- I think this image would make great placemats.
Quiz Kids -- I think this image would make great placemats. | Source

Retro People Clip Art

A happy fifites housewife with milk courtesy of Velma's Retro Clip Art and Images.See the link below to download this retro clip art.
A happy fifites housewife with milk courtesy of Velma's Retro Clip Art and Images. See the link below to download this retro clip art.

Cartoon Clip Art - Line drawings of retro stuff

Astronaut boy cartoon/line drawing clip art. Courtesy of Velma's Retro Clip Art and Images. Visit the Web site to download this clip art (link below).
Astronaut boy cartoon/line drawing clip art. Courtesy of Velma's Retro Clip Art and Images. Visit the Web site to download this clip art (link below).

Original Retro Clip Art

Find original retro clip art in old school and church programs from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s.

Use Retro Clip Art in Crafts

I decoupaged this retro woman (an old dictionary page) onto a flameless candle. Photo Credit:  Peggy Hazelwood
I decoupaged this retro woman (an old dictionary page) onto a flameless candle. Photo Credit: Peggy Hazelwood | Source

Craft Supplies to Use with Retro Clip Art - Stock up and get crafting!

Decoupage a retro clip art image to so many things. Make retro dish towels, totes, and pillow with fabric transfer sheets. Make your own note cards with fun retro clip art.

Retro Tote Bag

Take a look at this cute retro tote bag from The Graphics Fairy! Isn't it great!

Make your own with some of the graphics shown here to create a bag all your own.

Visit Meg at Mega Crafty for instructions on making this fun bag. Meg also offers lots of fun retro graphics and another bag she made using 1950s atomic symbols.

Crafty tote courtesy of MegaCrafty.com and The Graphics Fairy.
Crafty tote courtesy of MegaCrafty.com and The Graphics Fairy.

Plain Totes for Crafting Your Unique Bag

Make retro tote bags for gift bags, party favors, or gifts.

More Clip Art

Anatomy Clip Art
The human body has all sorts of parts that lend themselves to crafts. For instance, who among us hasn't traced their hand to make a Thanksgiving turkey?

Circus Clip Art
As a child, I have to admit, I thought about joining the circus. I mean, I would get to hang around clowns and animals all day.

Clip Art for Teachers
This clip art for teachers includes a little something for everyone. Brighten your classroom and assignments with clip art! Some of the quaint vintage graph...

Floral Clip Art
When you want to dress up your newsletters or invitations or greeting cards, this floral clip art will add just the right touch.

Free Silhouette Clip Art
Silhouettes are images outlined and filled in with dark material, usually black, that are presented against a white or light background.

Free Transportation Clip Art
Free transportation clip art will get you there, for free! If you need images and graphics of cars, boats, airplanes, trains, bicycles.

Music Clip Art
Music clip art is as varied as the types of music. There is sheet music clip art, the ever-lovable animals making music, musical notes, and images...

Steampunk Clip Art
Steampunk clip art can make your craft projects and graphic design pop! The term "steampunk" came about in the 1980s and refers to design that is ...

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure

Peggy Hazelwood is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. When you click on an ad and make a purchase, the author receives a small percentage of the sale.

How will you use your Retro Clip Art?

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    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      I've bought a lot of clip art. And this looks cool. Thank you for publishing this lens.

    • BrickExpert profile image

      BrickExpert 4 years ago

      I might incorporate these into graphic design projects.

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 5 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      I love these retro clip art ideas and can think of a lens on my darciefrench account where I could use some of them. Very cool!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      I always enjoy vintage commercial art like these retro images you've collected here. Fun to see.

    • microbio profile image

      microbio 5 years ago

      Amazing lens, love it :)

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 5 years ago

      Wonderful!

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 5 years ago

      Some great resources listed here. Thanks

    • profile image

      kathryn-gillespie 5 years ago

      I'm really Retro. Love the clip art. Nice lens!

    • Stacy Birch profile image

      Stacy Birch 5 years ago

      I'm from the 80s, but I really think this stuff is cute and cool.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I to back to the 50's, so I remember some of this stuff from those days...they just give a nice homespun feel that we can all have with your amazing collection of retro clip art....so its back with the old to make something new, fun!

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 5 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      This is a gorgeous collection of clip art. I may get booed, but I think the clothing from the mid fifties was much nicer than we wear now.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Love all things vintage... :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is useful for making cool , kitschy stuff! Thanks.

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      I love old ads and artwork! It is a challenge for me to incorporate it into art projects because I love it so much as is. :)

    • profile image

      antoniow 5 years ago

      Fantastic lens, great job! Squidlike

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 5 years ago

      I love retro! They remind me so much of good memories. Sundae ;-)

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 5 years ago

      I like to use retro clip art when writing about anything retro or vintage. This is the best collection of retro clip art I've seen - you KNOW I'm bookmarking it and sharing. :) Nice job! Thanks so much!!!

    • sunny saib profile image

      sunny saib 5 years ago

      don't know yet.. but i have seen great lenses with retro clip art complimenting them so so well..

    • RadaFrancis LM profile image

      RadaFrancis LM 5 years ago

      wow, I love all of the retro stuff you have on this lens!

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 5 years ago

      These are great for retro!

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      The Graphics Fairy is one of my favorite clip art links!

    • profile image

      sheezie77 5 years ago

      Very useful lens for me, thank you for sharing!

    • BlogsWriter profile image

      BlogsWriter 5 years ago

      I love things that are old, vintage and retro, they remind me of the old beautiful things.

    • profile image

      TerryNeal 5 years ago

      great source for images for my lens.

      I like it.

      Rebuild Toyota Prius Battery Guide

    • bossypants profile image

      bossypants 5 years ago from America's Dairyland

      From one retro chick to another -- nice lens! I prefer "retro" to "vintage." When I worked in a scrapbook store and they had the 1970s era stickers in the "vintage" section, I was a bit perturbed.

    • poldepc lm profile image

      poldepc lm 5 years ago

      this lens is cool...I think, I'm also already becoming a liitle bit retro...lol...But, retro is sexy, or not? thx for sharing...interesting to read

    • profile image

      marsha32 5 years ago

      This is really neat! I need some with items from the 1980s.

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 5 years ago

      P.S. Stop saying you're old.

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 5 years ago

      I already grabbed some of this for Squidoo lenses. Thanks so much. I'm bookmarking this, and "Squid Angel blessing" it too.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      I love the retro shirtwaist dresses. Sure wish my waist was that small. lol

    • cynthiannleighton profile image

      cynthiannleighton 5 years ago

      For smiles:-) I enjoyed your lens. Astro Boy's my favorite!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is going to be one of the best retro clip art

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 5 years ago

      Wow! You are certainly the queen of retro clip art! Now, if I could just get writing so I could use some of it...

    • kimark421 profile image

      kimark421 5 years ago

      These were great! As a child of the 60s, I LOVE retro. Thanks!

    • MBradley McCauley profile image

      MBradley McCauley 5 years ago

      Don't have a need at the moment but will be using it in various lenses and I know my It's All About Romance will use it when I do the short romantic stories, some of them go back in time. Thanks for a great lens. Learning a lot from the master lens makers.

    • DIY Mary profile image

      DIY Mary 5 years ago

      I love retro images. They're fun to use in posters, collages, and other artwork.

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 5 years ago from Maryland

      A lot of those retro fashions are coming back into style... I love the 50's housewife dresses! ;)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      these are so retro.

    • profile image

      glowchick 5 years ago

      Great lens~ I love the flameless candle with the decoupage dictionary page, very unique!