Postage Stamps for Crafting


Here’s a funny thing: you virtually never read about crafts and crafting in stamp collector publications, and you rarely read about stamps for stamp collectors in craft publications. It’s almost as if stamp collectors and crafters existed in two different universes.

That may once have been the case, but it sure isn’t the case now. Back in the old days, postage stamps were collected, and the philatelic industry was happy to dictate very specific rules for doing so; obtain the stamp, identify it in a stamp catalogue, and mount it (preferably with a stamp mount, though sometimes stamp hinges were used) in your stamp album. One less empty space in your space album = good job!

Were stamps – real, actual postage stamps, not just pictures of stamps – ever used for crafting purposes back then? Probably, but I didn’t know about it, as I was residing in the stamp collector universe where such things were just not done, or at least not talked about.

Today, things are different. Want to buy stamps and put them in stamp albums? Hey, that’s what they’re there for. Want to purchase some attractive stamps for crafts? Great idea..

I’ve seen fascinating collages with postage stamps, either all USA or international. I’ve seen lampshades covered in stamps. If you search the internet, you’ll find amazingly creative uses of postage stamps – brooches, framed artwork, guitars and guitar cases covered in stamps, as well as clocks, boxes, stamps used in decoupage, etc.

Some folks assume that seeing postage stamps used in this manner might horrify an old-time stamp collector like myself. It doesn’t. In fact, I get a real kick out of it, and think that it’s great for philately as well.

Why?

Whether you’re a stamp collector placing stamps in your stamp album, or a crafter gluing stamps to a handbag, you see the same thing in postage stamps that I do. They’re little bits of history, and miniature works of art. Stamps from the United States remind me of my country’s history. Stamps from foreign lands – it could be France, or Fiji, or Japan, or Guadeloupe – momentarily whisk me away in my imagination to an exotic place.

I personally have only one rule for what you should do with your postage stamps, and it applies equally to the rare classic set from Great Britain or the recent colorful commemoratives from any country you can name: have fun with them!

 

 
 
 
 

 



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