I had so much fun making Halloween cards last year I thought I would do it again. Although I didn’t realize it, by sending Halloween cards I am reviving an old custom. In their heyday during the early part of the last century, postcards were sent for almost any occasion and Halloween was no exception. In her book, Halloween: Romantic Arts and Customs of Yesteryear, Diane Arkins shares some of her collection of vintage Halloween postcards. Jack-o-lanterns seem to be a favourite motif and most of them are more jolly than scary (although some of them are inadvertently creepy).
In keeping with the lighthearted spirit of old postcards, I went for the cute rather than frightening aspect of Halloween for my cards. My inspiration came from the internet but I tried to make it my own. Starting with fairly heavy paper from a large pad (11 x 17 inches or 28 x 43 cm), I folded the large sheet in quarters and trimmed it down to make cards (5 x 7 inches or 13 x 18 cm). I don’t have any information about the paper but the watermark indicates it is 25% cotton with the recycle logo (the pad doesn’t have any other markings).
I lightly sketched the design and then used watercolour to paint a foggy cloud. This paper actually wrinkled a lot from the watercolour so I had to iron it after the paint was dry and it still was a bit buckled. If I was doing it again I would use watercolour paper and then mount onto the card.
Next step was cutting out the ghost shape with an Exacto knife and taping tracing paper onto the back to give the ghost a ghostlier look. I did the lettering with a Sharpie pen and added silver highlights to bootiful with a silver marker.
The inside has a Happy Halloween message written using a Crayola marker and Sharpie on calligraphy parchment mounted on some orange paper. I am not proficient doing the Crayola calligraphy so I had to practice quite a bit first. It doesn’t really match the style of the outside of the card but that’s what happens when you don’t plan before you begin.
For the envelopes, I used my Japanese brush pen to write the names in script but I like to keep the address part as clear as possible so I used a Sharpie pen for that part. As a finishing touch, I added a watercolour pumpkin to the corner.
Here is a Halloween greeting from a vintage postcard that I am sending to all my readers:
With Hallowe’en candles burning bright
Beneath the moon’s bewitching light
May ghosts & goblins grant to you
That all your wishes shall come true
Happy Halloween Everyone!