Friday, April 9, 2010

Stick Em Up! - - Vintage Waterslide Decals

When I got into old cars I found that if you're working on a project car but continue to drive it, you can divert attention from rusty or worn chrome bumpers by slapping on some vintage bumper stickers.  I have used presidential election bumper stickers from the 1968 and  1972 campaigns - they always attract attention and put a smile on peoples' faces.

So I already was interested in accessorizing my old cars.  Picking up my 1962 Shasta camper put me on a slippery slope for hunting vintage accessories that would work with the Shasta.  In one of my frequent keyword searches on the auction site, I came across vintage water slide decals and thought, that's what the camper windows need! 

The first sticker on the Shasta was a vintage Disneyland decal. (BTW, we're planning to add liners behind the camper curtains at some point, so for now, please forgive the fabric design showing through and overlapping on the curtains.) 

I've added Washington DC and Pennsylvania decals, and I plan to add some more as I find them, and I'm also planning to use some vintage water slide automotive decals on the windows of my 1963 Comet wagon.  You see these on old suitcases a lot too.

I try to limit how much I'll spend, because some sellers want a lot for old stickers, and I found with the Pa. and Wash. DC decals that age can make them difficult to apply to a vertical glass surface.  Both decals are either missing a small piece or have a wave in them, but who needs perfection?  We're going for fake patina here.

Here are some decals I'll probably use on the Comet:


  1. Wonderful! I just found all the old water slide decals we got as kids when my folks too us to Las Vegas.

    For a while there I was hunting similar on eBay, but you are right, they charge a lot of money for some of those.

    Same with vintage travel labels. I have old suitcases and put a lot of them on those, but it took forever to find a "lot" of the right era and style I wanted. Best to buy in bunches, the cost is less expensive over-all.

    Also, I read somewhere that the vintage decal water-slides can be difficult if not impossible to use after so many years. Yours came out great!

  2. Neat-o! When you said water slide at first I was thinking pool accessories, but now I get it...duh! I remember them being sold in the Woolworth's back east. On my canned ham I have stickers from the places we've been in it. Only a few so far!

  3. It's funny that you can find vintage bumper stickers cheaper than these water decals. I'm going for era-correct for the camper and cars. So even if I don't drag the Shasta to Wyoming or the Grand Canyon, I think I'm morally OK to put a sticker on there 'cause I'VE been there. I just wish I could make my own. I bought some special paper that's supposed to work for making water decals, but my first effort with it is a major FAIL - I wanted to recreate the logo for an old ice chest I repainted, but the result I tested came out really bad. I'll post about the cooler one of these days, but I will say the same cooler appeared in the picnic episode of Mad Men...

  4. Very cool. I love getting the trailer all spiffed up for Summer!
    Don't forget everybody-Come to Zootsuitmama's blog and enter the Kitchen contest! All you gotta do is post a pix of your kitchen on your blog, let Zootsuitmama know about it by posting me a comment, and voila -youre entered! Zootsuitmama