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A Quick and Easy Way to Display Your Postcards

Updated on May 26, 2017
SheilaMilne profile image

I have been collecting postcards all my life like my father before me. I now have many thousands of them, both vintage and modern.

Show Off Your Postcards

Yes, I have thousands and thousands of postcards and most of them are safely stored in albums or boxes and divided into themes or collections. But I wanted to find a way of showing off a few of the more individual ones, some that appeal to my eye but maybe don't fit into a specific collection.

This is one such idea that looked relatively simple to make, and it turned out to be simple and speedy, yet effective too.

I wouldn't for one minute suggest you use this method of displaying vintage, antique or otherwise precious postcards because you do have to put holes in them, but for any that are attractive but not too "special", it works a treat. While I was putting everything together, I did think it might make a pleasant way to display greetings cards too.

All photos in this article have been taken by me.

First Find Your Cards...

The great benefit of this project is that the cards you choose don't have to be the same shape or size which can be a problem in other projects. I chose postcards that had some fairly prominent red in them because I was using red ribbon, but anything goes! You can use a subject theme, a colour theme, or just choose images that you want on display.

The more I think about it, the more I realise that it could be a way of displaying any paper object you like, even some fabrics I suppose, but the only proviso is that you can put holes in the objects, in other words, nothing too precious.

It really is a very simple thing to do and I would say it took me no longer than about 30 minutes to put together once I had all the necessary supplies.

  1. Assemble the cards, a pencil, a ruler, a craft knife, and ribbon.
  2. Take the slimmest card in your set and mark points top and bottom at equal distances from the edge
  3. Line up the next cards with the first and make sure they are centred. Mark points, again top and bottom, in line with the points on the first card. This doesn't have to be so very accurate but you do want the ribbon to be running straight up and down.
  4. When all the cards are marked, use the craft knife to make a small slit in the card. I found it was helpful to wiggle the craft knife a little to make it easy to feed the ribbon through the hole. Not too much though, or it will be unsightly.
  5. Take the spool of ribbon and pull out a generous amount of ribbon. Start feeding it through the holes along one side - from the front to the back at the top of the card and from back to front at the bottom.
  6. When one side is finished, make sure there is enough extra to tie a bow or knot at the bottom and probably even more at the top. Cut the ribbon off and repeat for the second side.
  7. Adjust the cards so that they are roughly the same distance apart and then tie your bows top and bottom.

    And you're finished!

Making the Display

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Before you start, assemble everything that you need: postcards, ruler, pencil, craft knife......and some ribbon or string.Measure up the slimmest card to mark where the holes should be, top and bottom of the card.Align the other cards, again marking the spots where you want to put the holes.  On wider cards they will be further from the edges.You will feed two pieces or ribbon down through the holes, running along the reverse of the cards.Tie a knot or bow at the bottom and top, and there you have it!
Before you start, assemble everything that you need: postcards, ruler, pencil, craft knife...
Before you start, assemble everything that you need: postcards, ruler, pencil, craft knife...
...and some ribbon or string.
...and some ribbon or string.
Measure up the slimmest card to mark where the holes should be, top and bottom of the card.
Measure up the slimmest card to mark where the holes should be, top and bottom of the card.
Align the other cards, again marking the spots where you want to put the holes.  On wider cards they will be further from the edges.
Align the other cards, again marking the spots where you want to put the holes. On wider cards they will be further from the edges.
You will feed two pieces or ribbon down through the holes, running along the reverse of the cards.
You will feed two pieces or ribbon down through the holes, running along the reverse of the cards.
Tie a knot or bow at the bottom and top, and there you have it!
Tie a knot or bow at the bottom and top, and there you have it!

Choosing Ribbon

The only ribbon I had to hand was curling ribbon, and in the end it turned out to be ideal because it was stiff enough to feed straight through the slits made by the craft knife. I would suggest therefore that you choose a ribbon that isn't too wide or bulky, for ease of use.

Developing the Display

I can envisage filling a wall or part of a wall with displays like this of different lengths. I would choose themes for each separate display.

Curling or other fancy ribbon may not suit the theme but in this case you could use a plain tape or even transparent nylon thread. Transparent thread may produce an interesting effect of the postcards apparently floating.

eBay Always Has Plenty of Postcards on Offer

I find it very hard to "sacrifice" any type of correspondence if it was sent to me personally, so when I expand my display, I will be looking to eBay for small collections of colourful or pretty postcards to use.

In the past I've searched for cards of children which are often described as vintage. At 99 cents I don't think I'd mind I using them, even if they really are vintage cards, but they may of course only be vintage style. It's a decision that has to be made.

Further Ideas

I have been collecting ideas of how to store and display my collections for some time now. The last article outlines a whole series of storage and display ideas while the others give instructions for particular methods of display.

Do you think you might try this? - or do you have other suggestions on how to display paper ephemera?

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