Thursday, October 21, 2010


Here's some cardboard Halloween decorations from (I'm guessing) the period ranging  from 1910-1950. Look at the surface detail! You'd expect something like this to be expensive,  but they weren't pricey at all, in fact they were sold at outlets like five and dime stores.

These die cuts (above) were imported from Germany. I didn't know the Germans celebrated Halloween the way we do. Were they going to all that trouble just to sell us decorations for our own version of the holiday? Fascinating! Maybe we could make supplies for other countries' holidays.

 Believe it or not, there was a time when everybody collected the greeting cards (above) they received. They were done so well that people couldn't bear to throw them away.

There used to be lots of decorations on black themes (above).

Today that's thought of as racist, but I wonder if part of the intent was to make the cutouts appealing to black buyers.

Halloween lamp covers (above) used to be popular.  The orange part is tissue paper so the light can get through.

Lots of decorations (above) were influenced by animated cartoons.

Here's (above) a decoration that looks like it was meant to double as a mask. It's great, but would have been even better if it had a raised surface.

Weird, psychological sculptures (above) used to be popular.  The face on this one is disturbingly realistic, as if to hint that some of the women you pass on the street could be witches.

Everybody has a relative like this (above): an earthy, jovial, gossipy, broad-faced woman with a heightened sense of life. Halloween is a great time to celebrate the wonder of human diversity. How boring Halloween decoration would be if all we saw were mean black cats and grinning pumpkins.

One more die cut (above). Sheesh!

Thanks to riptheskull for the great die cuts! See more at:


Rooniman said...

Those are some coll spooky cutouts there.

I'd love to have that Halloween lamp shade.

Zoran Taylor said...


Roberto Severino said...

Some of these were truly creepy to look at, which is the way Halloween is supposed to be. I wonder why a lot of this stuff fell out of popularity. It could easily still scare the kiddies just like it did half a century ago.

Please do a post on old Christmas decorations when the time comes, by the way, or maybe even do one about Easter. This post really had me thinking about this stuff.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

A comment just received on a previous post about mixing soda drinks in fast food restaurants. I can't wait to try this!:

Anon: I'm 11 a master in da soda biz so i want to show you my favorite slur (mixed drink) 20% orange fanta 20% sprite 30% coke (diet or regular) 10% lemon aid (put it first) 20% mountain Dew.

Roberto: Natch!

Lester Hunt said...

These are some great cutouts! As to mixing sodas: Eddie, you are such an overgrown kid!

Anonymous said...

I definitely want to read more soon. By the way, pretty good design that blog has, but how about changing it once in a few months?

pappy d said...

It's funny how the pasteboard is so much more charming than if these were vacu-formed plastic.