Foiled by Foil

Book of Decorations coverAlcoa’s Book of Decorations : A Year-round Treasury of Easy-to-do Decorations for Holidays and Special Occasions
von Hagen

Submitter: I can’t decide what I love most about this book — there is just too much awesome awfulness to choose from! From “Conny of Alcoa” (is that like Saul of Tarsus?) perched on the edge of the table in her smart 50’s shirt dress to the scarlet-haired beauty dipping her foiled toes in the water on page 90, this book is a gem. Glue together foil boots to hold lingerie at Christmas! (And don’t forget to invite your guests to “snip nuts to learn their fortunes.”) Hang foil donuts on your front door to impress the neighbors! Mound crushed foil up and stack fruit on it! Dress your son up as a mind control-foiling (yuk-yuk) Pippi Longstocking for Halloween! (Although the aliens may have already gotten him — notice the childish attempt at a Vulcan salute)

Holly: Wow. These are really…something. What possible excuse could a library make for keeping this in their collection? 1959??


Book of Decorations back cover

Book of Decorations introduction

foil Christmas stockings

Christmas decorations from foil

Thanksgiving horn of plenty

foil wig

foil mermaid

Fun for a large party



  1. This may be the most horrible book cover I have ever seen. And the bathing beauty is pretty awful too. Evidently aluminum foil was a lot cheaper in 1959. I use it very sparingly these days because it is really expensive.

  2. This made me laugh so hard – Alcoa is an aluminum plant where my dad worked until he retired, and I can’t believe they made a (terrible!) craft book sneakily trying to get people to buy more foil to boost their sales. I can’t wait to tell him he somehow missed the boat on being a craft superstar!

    1. That’s what I was thinking. Good old Aluminum Company of America trying to get people to waste foil, and therefore buy more. I doubt this book convinced many people.

  3. notice the childish attempt at a Vulcan salute
    In 1959? If so, the book hides the secret of time travel. I’m there!

    But then, I once saw a stage melodrama (this is really true) whose plot revolved around an aluminum mine. In the last scene, the villain is led off swathed in aluminum foil, saying … well, what do stage villains always say?

  4. Aluminum foil must have been a lot stronger back then. Every time I try to fold some around a piece of food, it ends up tearing. Was aluminum foil new in 1959? My mom, who was born in the late 1920’s always called it “tin foil” so I’m assuming it was originally made of tin. And seriously, WTF is Conny of Alcoa’s “friend?”

  5. Ye quainte olde atomic age! 1959: I was born in 1958! I’m nearly 60!!! No wonder everything was cheaper and the foil was sturdier!!

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