Vintage abécédaire bookplates {free download}

Abécédaire is the French word for alphabet sampler (whether stitched, printed on posters, or bound as a book). I have been thinking about how to incorporate a French abécédaire into favors for Jax’s birthday party. The theme I’ve been aiming for roughly revolves around 1950s Paris, inspired by Albert Lamorisse’s 1956 classic, The Red Balloon. Using free clipart from Retrographix and free fonts from, I designed these children’s bookplates, reminiscent of what young Pascal may have seen in books or on the walls of his école maternelle.


They were really easy to design in Adobe Illustrator, my design software of choice habit. You can print these on plain paper and use a glue stick to affix them to books, or print them on adhesive paper to create ready-to-stick bookplates. They would be a nice little addition to a baby gift {especially when giving a book, of course}. If you’re interested in making these, I’m happy to share! Just click on one of the following to download:

letter-size Adobe .pdf file

letter-size Adobe .ai file

You can open either of these files in Adobe Illustrator in order to add your child’s name, change the colors or fonts, really anything you would like to do with this base design. The fonts I used were SchoolHouse Printed A (no longer on, but this one is very similar), Valérie, and Book Antiqua.

If I had more time, I’d take on the task of creating a whole poster. In reality, it was much easier to pick up a sheet of this inexpensive French alphabet wrapping paper made by Cavillini {and use my French language skills to write more of my dissertation instead!}

4 thoughts on “Vintage abécédaire bookplates {free download}

  1. Thanks, gals. The adults in the house certainly are excited. I can’t believe how fast our babes are growing into little boys!

  2. I’m looking to make book plates to donate French books to an immersion school. Hope I can make these work. Just need to add a given by line.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.