A few weeks ago I was in Totnes, walking back to the car park, when I passed an empty shop. The windows were papered inside with sheets of newspaper, which is not unusual, but the newspaper they had used was – copies of The Times from the mid to late Nineteenth Century. Next to them was a sign saying there were other old copies of The Times for sale for £1 an issue.
I promptly went back to the shop that was selling them. I came away with four newspapers, two from 1863 and two from 1882.
They’re fascinating to read, but my real interest was to use them in craft projects. I feel a bit bad cutting up such old newspapers, but they’re not rare and they were very cheap! You couldn’t have bought a modern replica or even a sheet of craft paper for that price.
They look like they have been bound at one point, so I suspect they might have been from a library or archive, perhaps one that now uses The Times online archive. The paper is much thicker than modern newsprint, but has a brittleness to it because of the age. It is also yellowed and smells old.
I’ve been pondering ways to use the papers in cards and other craft projects. It would be fun to use relevant text for projects, e.g. use the marriage announcements in a wedding card, or the birth notices for a new baby card. I’ve got a good stack to play with so they’ll no doubt pop up from time to time.
My first real effort is this thank you card, inspired by things people might have used old newspaper for. I folded the newspaper to look like a present and tied it with this lovely twine I got at a craft fair a couple of weeks ago.