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Vintage Halloween Paper Mache Decorations

Updated on October 6, 2014

Vintage Papier Mache Lanterns and Decorations for Halloween

Paper mache lanterns and decorations were once a staple of the Halloween experience. Used also as candy containers, these painted paper items were cheap and very popular. Many of them were manufactured in Germany after WWI and important to America, much to the delight of millions of children.

One thing I really love about vintage Halloween paper mache decorations, and a fact that makes them highly collectible, is that they were not made to last for eighty years. They were made cheap, and meant to last just one season. The fact that any have lasted the course of time and the elements is remarkable.

Photo by deadguystuff used with permission

Vintage Table Centerpiece with Paper Mache Jack-o-Lanterns

Source

This festive table centerpiece is from a 1903 edition of Good Housekeeping.

It features a large pumpkin carved like a basked surrounded by small paper mache jack-o-lanterns, and bunches of chrysanthemums.

Read about what's in the basket.

Vintage Black Cat Paper Mache

Vintage Halloween imagery often includes a cat (most often a black cat). With the superstitious of a black cat crossing your path being bad luck, and the black cat being thought to be a witch's familiar, it is obvious why this would be a Halloween favorite.

The Black Cat on a Fence paper mache piece below was a very popular one. I just love how the paper insert gives the cat the evil green eyes, and the menacing teeth. Can you imagine how scary he must have been for little kids?

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Amazingly spooky black cat with evil green eyes and vicious red teeth.Inside the paper mache cat, a piece of paper would be taped that had the eyes and mouth design printed on it.Side view of the vintage Halloween black cat.This is the inside of the black cat.  There's nothing pretty about it - these were rough paper mache items.  The inside didn't matter.The bottom of the lantern.
Amazingly spooky black cat with evil green eyes and vicious red teeth.
Amazingly spooky black cat with evil green eyes and vicious red teeth.
Inside the paper mache cat, a piece of paper would be taped that had the eyes and mouth design printed on it.
Inside the paper mache cat, a piece of paper would be taped that had the eyes and mouth design printed on it.
Side view of the vintage Halloween black cat.
Side view of the vintage Halloween black cat.
This is the inside of the black cat.  There's nothing pretty about it - these were rough paper mache items.  The inside didn't matter.
This is the inside of the black cat. There's nothing pretty about it - these were rough paper mache items. The inside didn't matter.
The bottom of the lantern.
The bottom of the lantern.

Black cat photos by swissfin37 used with permission

What do YOU have?

Do you own any vintage paper mache Halloween decorations?

See results

Antique Halloween Devil Paper Mache

Antique Halloween Devil Paper Mache
Antique Halloween Devil Paper Mache | Source

Paper mache lanterns featuring devils are much more rare than pumpkins and black cats, and often they are older.

How to Make a Paper Mache Pumpkin or Jack 'O Lantern

If you love that old paper mache style, but don't have it in the budget to buy a vintage piece, then why not try your hand at making one of your own?

Check Out: Halloween Paper Mache Decorations and Props

Vintage Halloween Collectibles: An Identification & Price Guide

This book is the go-to book for Halloween collectibles. If you are beginning a collection or trying to value the Halloween memorabilia you already have, this book is a must have.

Vintage Halloween Collectibles: An Identification & Price Guide (Vintage Halloween Collectibles: Identification & Price Guide)
Vintage Halloween Collectibles: An Identification & Price Guide (Vintage Halloween Collectibles: Identification & Price Guide)

The photos in this book are absolutely beautiful, so even if you don't care about the prices, it's still great.

 

Vintage Halloween Noisemakers & Diecuts

That vintage Halloween style is just amazing, itsn't it? Some other great idea for Halloween decorations is to display some vintage Halloween noisemakers and diecuts, which usually feature some amazing images.

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    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      These paper mache decorations are AWESOME! If I started a collection - this would be it. Thanks for featuring the other lensmaster lens on how to make your own. I will probably buy a few and make a few. Blessed!

    • bechand profile image

      bechand 4 years ago

      I remember some fall decorations we had as a kid - not sure if halloween, I think more fall / thanksgiving - Pumpkin etc...

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L. B. 4 years ago from Covington, LA

      Oh, I really like these. I've never seen them before. Maybe humidity and hurricanes are the reason as I live in Louisiana.

    • kburns421 lm profile image

      kburns421 lm 4 years ago

      How interesting. I learn something new every day! I wonder why it is they lasted so long. At any rate, they make wonderful decorations.

    • EEWorkouts profile image

      EEWorkouts 4 years ago

      Those are really cool. Great lens! Happy Halloween

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 4 years ago

      These are wonderful, and very effective Halloween decorations compared to a lot of modern ones. I really like the texture of papier mache.

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 4 years ago

      I really love Vintage Halloween, especially the Papier Mache Lanterns, I actually try to make my own cause buying one just isn't in the budget these days. Very cool Lens 8-)

    • Ardyn25 profile image

      Ardyn25 4 years ago

      These are cool, I've never seen them before. Paper mache isn't easy to do, especially with detail. At least I never could! Very interesting lens. Thanks.

    • ninakreativa profile image

      ninakreativa 4 years ago

      Amazing lens, representing really artistic skills of making vintage Halloween paper mache.