McGuffey’s Third Eclectic Reader is a classic vintage textbook with gorgeous old book pages, perfect for nursery and classroom decor. Antique textbook pages are also ideal for art/junk journals and numerous craft projects.
Antique textbook pages have a whimsical charm that you simply don’t find in modern textbooks. The fonts, illustrations, and layouts are completely different from anything available today. Vintage book pages are perfect for custom wall art. They’re also great for an extensive array of DIY projects, including but not limited to, art/junk journals, greeting cards, home decor, decoupage, scrapbooks, and Christmas ornaments.
It’s not a secret that I’m crazy about the aesthetic of old book pages. Ever since I published my original sets of hymns and dictionary pages, I haven’t stopped creating vintage printables. I released a book pages collection from McGuffey’s Second Eclectic Reader earlier this year. I have quite a few other book page sets available as well, including but not limited to, a Latin textbook, an algebra textbook, a spelling textbook, a French primer, dessert recipes, and Christmas cookies.
The McGuffey’s Third Eclectic Reader edition that I’m using for these printables is copyright 1879. McGuffey Readers are a graded primer series aimed at grade levels one through six. Between 1836 and 1960, there were approximately 120 million McGuffey Readers sold, which is comparable to the number of Bibles and Websters Dictionaries sold during this time period. They were used extensively in schools throughout the United States. Some modern homeschool curriculums still use modern versions of the readers. Wikipedia has a comprehensive article about McGuffey Readers if you’d like to learn more about them.
Currently, I own the second, third, fourth, and fifth eclectic readers. I already published McGuffey’s Second Eclectic Reader pages. I plan to publish pages from the fourth and fifth readers in the future.
I’m offering 26 full pages from McGuffey’s Third Eclectic Reader. I’m also providing sets of ATC size cards and journal tags that I created with the reader pages. Enjoy!
How to use vintage book pages
When you’re looking for vintage book pages, generally, you already know how you’re going to use them. If you’re looking for inspiration or simply want a few more ideas for your new textbook printables, consider one or more of the following projects.
- DIY wall decor. One of the most popular ways to use antique book pages is to make one-of-a-kind wall art. Old reader textbook pages are especially fitting for libraries, classrooms, nurseries, and kids’ bedrooms. However, there are so many additional possibilities for these pages. You can display them as is or overlay them with text and/or PNGs or transparent background images.
- Greeting cards. Vintage book pages make great backgrounds and decorative elements for lots of different types of greeting cards.
- Glass or bottle cap magnets, using the technique that I honed for my sheet music magnets tutorial.
- Pendant necklaces, using the above tutorial, swapping in pendant bails for magnets.
- Tile coasters. You can use the technique that I share in my vintage sheet music botanical coasters tutorial with any sort of vintage paper. Coasters are another project that works well with text and/or image overlays.
- Christmas ornaments. Antique book pages are beautiful components to feature in Christmas ornaments for your own tree, to give as gifts, and to sell on Etsy and at craft fairs.
- Art journals and other mixed media projects. Many people love to use vintage book pages for their art/junk journals and other mixed media art. They are gorgeous on their own or layered with stamps, ink, paint, and more.
- Scrapbooking. Antique book pages make perfect backgrounds and decorative components for both physical and digital scrapbooks. They’re also ideal for DIY scrapbook embellishments.
About the McGuffey’s Third Eclectic Reader pages
You may use the antique book pages, ATC cards, and journal tags for as many personal projects as you’d like, which includes classroom use. You may also use them for limited runs of commercial projects (5,000 items or less). Commercial use DOES NOT include made-to-order sites, such as Zazzle and Society6. Digital commercial items must be finished, flat products (i.e., not Photoshop files) consisting of your original content. You are not authorized to sell the McGuffey’s Reader pages, ATC cards, and journal tags, either as individual items or as part of larger collections.
Finally, please don’t distribute the download files. If family, friends, or co-workers would like their own book pages, ATC cards, or journal tags, please send them a link to this post, where they can download their own files. Thank you!
Full book pages
I’m offering 26 full pages from McGuffey’s Third Eclectic Reader. All of the pages are 2680 x 4230 pixels with 300 dpi resolution. The set includes a mix of full-text pages and pages with illustrations. There are phonics lessons, vocabulary lists, poems, prayers, letters, sentences, and short passages with lots of beautiful hand-drawn illustrations.
I’ve split the full book pages into five ZIP folders to give you large files in an easy-to-download format.
ATC-size digital collage sheet
I’ve created nine ATC size cards from the McGuffey’s Third Eclectic Reader book pages collection. I’m providing them on a single 8.5″ x 11″ page for easy printing.
Please note: It gets confusing having tons of white space in blog post images, which is why I’ve added a black outline around the preview image for the 8.5″ x 11″ page. The digital collage sheet download below doesn’t have a black border.
I’ve created 12 journal tags from the McGuffey’s Reader pages. In addition to art/junk journals and scrapbooks, they’re perfect for endless DIY projects. Each tag measures 2.5″ x 4.2″ (750 x 1250 pixels). The journal tags ZIP folder contains two 8.5″ x 11″ pages for easy printing.
Please note: Again, the above preview image has black outlines around the pages. The 8.5″ x 11″ page downloads below don’t have black borders.
Extracting and downloading the full ZIP folders
I’ve created ZIP folders for all of the vintage book pages content that I include in this post. Zipped folders allow me to offer high-resolution files for crisp, vivid printing and to protect said files against potential theft. Extracting and downloading the ZIP folders from Google Drive is a pretty simple process. Please note that it does take a little time for each folder to download in full, particularly the book page sets.
- When you click on the download link, select the Open with ZIP Extractor option at the top of the page.
- The folder will open in a new window. The files will download.
- Once the files have downloaded, click Extract Now.
- When the files have extracted and uploaded, click View Extracted Files.
- Double click the folder.
- To download, select the files you’d like to download. Click the three horizontal dots More Actions button. Choose Download.
I highly suggest moving your downloaded files out of your downloads folder and into your main photos folder. I also recommend creating a second copy of the files on an external hard drive or cloud storage drive. Label your folder “McGuffey’s Third Eclectic Reader Pages” or something similar, so you won’t have trouble finding them again in the future.
Now you’re ready to use your new vintage printables for wall art and numerous craft projects!
Printing antique book pages
When you use vintage book pages to create one-of-a-kind wall art and other home decor, my personal go-to paper for home printing is Finestra Art Paper. I choose Finestra time and time again because the paper features an acid-free, matte surface that dries ink quickly, producing crisp, vibrant images. I prefer the results that Finestra offers over regular printer paper, card stock, and presentation paper.
Finestra does not provide any compensation for me mentioning their product. They make the paper that I love and have used regularly over many years of creating art for blog posts and for my own home’s decor.
For all other DIY and journaling projects, I use white card stock. When you’re printing antique book pages for greeting cards, scrapbook embellishments, and mixed media art, it’s not as important that the images are really vibrant. When you’re making projects that involve several coats of diamond glaze or Mod Podge, such as pendant necklaces, glass magnets, and tiles coasters, you won’t be able to tell the difference in the finish of the paper you’ve used. As such, it makes sense to go with card stock, which is less expensive and still high-quality and very durable.
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I also have a collection of pages, ATC cards, and journal tags from McGuffey’s Second Eclectic Reader!