Stamp collecting was not something I thought about until my dad suggested I look over my grandpa's stash. Once I saw how colorful and interesting the old postage was, I immediately filled an envelope with my favorites. Then I started on a project to keep them from languishing in a drawer any longer.
This project is a very easy and inexpensive (free in my case) way of adding a little vintage color to your walls. The hardest part step is deciding which stamps to use, because there is an abundance of graphic, really good-looking options. Other than that, it's a matter of lining them up evenly.
Any philatelists out there, take heart: my dad had the collection appraised before deciding he would rather use and share it. If you haven't inherited a giant stash of stamps recently, look for them on Etsy, eBay, and Champion Stamp.
Vintage stamps (I used 16, but this will depend on the layout you prefer)
Kraft paper (optional)
Glue or tape (optional)
1. I started this project knowing which frame I wanted to use. You don't have to work in this order, but it helped me cut my background materials to size. I traced the board that was already inside the frame onto a reused piece of cardboard. Cut your kraft paper about an inch longer in width and height than your cardboard. If you want to eliminate a step, forgo the kraft paper and work directly on the cardboard. (I liked the look of my kraft paper better than the gray-ish cardboard.)
2. Pick your stamps and play with different layouts. A ruler can be helpful at this point to get things evenly spaced. As I worked on rows, I used the ruler as a guide below the stamps.
3. Once you've decided on placement, use the corner of a wet sponge or tissue to dampen the stamp's adhesive and quickly attach them to the kraft paper. If your stamps have been canceled, cut off any extra paper and dab glue on the back of the stamps.
4. If you worked directly on cardboard, frame your stamps and you're done. If not, start attaching the kraft paper to the cardboard. Here is what I did: laid the cardboard on top and in the middle of the kraft paper and marked diagonal lines between the corners of the paper and the cardboard. I cut along these lines (being careful not to overshoot). Then I tightly wrapped the kraft paper around the cardboard and attached it in the back with glue or tape. Last, of course, I put it in my frame.
Image: Kim Rinehimer