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Fun Vintage Halloween Diecuts

Updated on December 29, 2021
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Writing Nag is a pseudonym of blogger Patricia Biro. She writes about home and garden, finance, creative writing, and vintage collectibles.

Singing Moon Beistle Diecut

Vintage Beistle Singing Moon Diecut
Vintage Beistle Singing Moon Diecut | Source

Inexpensive Halloween decorations

Beistle Pkgd Halloween Cutouts 8.5 inches x 9.25 inches - 2 Packs of 4 Cutouts
Beistle Pkgd Halloween Cutouts 8.5 inches x 9.25 inches - 2 Packs of 4 Cutouts
For under $10.00 these vintage Halloween reproductions are a smart buy if you can't afford the originals. I used these in every window of the front porch, with spider webbing and mini pumpkins and gourds it was an easy inexpensive way to welcome trick-or-treaters!

Pumpkins, Black Cats, Witches and More

You might remember those charming, paper Halloween decorations that decorated your school or home. Did you know that these inexpensive paper decorations are now highly collectible? And maybe worth some money if you held on to them and are willing to part with them.

Diecuts, sometimes called die cuts or cutouts, are machine pressed out of stiff cardboard, paper pulp, or heavy card stock. Some diecuts are embossed, have moveable features and some include crepe paper additions. These vintage Halloween decorations were used to embellish store windows, schoolrooms, bulletin boards, front doors and were a fixture at school and home parties.

Some of the more popular companies that manufactured these unique paper novelties include Beistle, Dennison, Gibson, and Carrington (American companies), and many were German-made. From the turn of the 20th century through today, Halloween diecuts are as much a part of the holiday as candy corn, trick or treats, and costumes!

Popular Halloween themes include Jack-O-Lanterns, ghosts, witches with black cats, skeletons, black cat faces, pumpkins and black cats, haunted houses, owls, and more.

Some of the more collectible ones are dancing black cats, Jack O'Lanterns with jointed legs that dance, black cat jazz quartets, and grinning pumpkin faces. The more expensive ones are embossed, jointed, glittered, and include crepe paper honeycomb attachments. Because many of these vintage pieces of ephemera were not saved or taken care of, finding an antique one in pristine condition can be difficult.

Are we just nostalgic for the Halloweens of our past? Most likely. Collecting Halloween seems popular with people that grew up with fond memories of their favorite holiday. Most of us can remember the annual school parties, the trick or treating through the classrooms, or maybe the annual town costume parade that happened in many small American towns.

Diecuts weren't made to last a lifetime, they were inexpensive paper decorations that could be used for several years and then replaced. Very few thought these would become expensive collectible pieces. Each era brought changes to the style and look If you were a child of the 1970's you might remember that these decorations were updated with DayGlo paint! Halloween die cuts from the 1920s bring high prices for their rarity and their Art Deco style graphics. These colorful pieces were part of my childhood Halloween memories.

Vintage Halloween diecut Beistle Singing Moon

Photo Credit

Collecting Tips

If you are collecting Halloween diecuts there are certain things you should look for.

  • Look for tears, stains, missing pieces or creases. Especially if you're buying a Halloween diecut online. Because diecuts weren't made to last forever they were often not stored correctly.
  • Many diecuts were part of Halloween party sets. Vintage Halloween collectors look for party sets in mint condition in original packaging.
  • Condition is everything especially if you ever plan on selling your collection or part of your collection. Store your diecuts away from strong sunlight and moisture. A diecut exposed to strong sunlight will be faded and not have the brilliant colors that many collectible diecuts are know for.

Vintage Diecuts or Reproductions?

Because of the popularity of Beistle paper ephemera and Halloween images many Beistle style or reproductions are on the market. If you just love the look of Beistle and similar vintage Halloween decoration companies an inexpensive reproduction may be the answer. Most serious Halloween collectors only look for authentic mint vintage diecuts and will pay top price for mint condition and rare images.


The Price of Vintage Diecuts

It's hard to believe that some diecuts which originally sold for under $1.00 now sell between $20-$100. Rare and mint diecuts can sell for hundreds of dollars. Because these diecuts weren't made to last finding a rare vintage Halloween diecut with unique graphics is becoming increasingly harder to find.

Black Cat Die cut

Black Cat Die cut
Black Cat Die cut

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Patricia Biro


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