Guest Post: Vintage Children’s Books with Phantom Limb

Hi everyone!

When Beth asked me to write a guest post for her maternity leave, I jumped at the chance to share some of my vintage books with you.

I make artist journals from a variety of new and vintage papers — and I’m always on the hunt for interesting books to cut up and include in them. In thrift stores, I always make a beeline for the book section first. I’m mostly draw to children’s books from the 1950s-80s, with bold and colorful illustrations. Often these illustrations have a bit of humor in them, too.

Here’s a stack of books I recently hauled away from a local thrift shop.

Some of my favorite finds for bookmaking are vintage coloring books and school workbooks. The pages always yellow perfectly and have plenty of space to write around or alter. These three are pretty much going right to my stack cutter to be made into books.

I’ve also got a thing for vintage readers. These often have a variety of artists in them, so I look for artists that I have seen before or illustration styles I know to be popular. These can be a little harder for me to cut up, but there are so many of these out there that reusing them is better than letting them rot on a shelf. Here are the covers and some illustrations from the stack:

The last book I want to share is the “New Streets and Roads.” This is probably the 5th or 6th copy I’ve had of this particular book, and I’m always excited to find it. This is my favorite version of the cover – with and backward spine and a letterpress bike illustration on the cover. One day I hope to make myself a journal with this cover.

Have you found any fun vintage books lately? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.


Stephanie Tardy Duimstra is the owner and one woman show behind Phantom Limb, a handmade paper goods company. She writes about pretty paper on her new blog. Reware Vintage readers can take 10 percent off any order in the Phantom Limb shop through May 31, 2013, with the code REWARE.