Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tutorial for Postage Stamp Trinket Boxes

On my Etsy site,, I sell these cute little boxes for jewelry and other treasures that are embellished with beautiful postage stamps. I first thought of making these when I used to work as a secretary opening mail, and I started keeping the pretty stamps that would come in on some of the mail. I was enamored by these beautiful, tiny works of art and wondered how to best display them.

I did one enormous project with them; decoupaging them to a large papier mache hat box in a patchwork fashion.I liked the way this turned out, and wanted to try other ways of highlight stamps, but in a more individual way.

So I realized that a smaller object could better highlight these little pieces of art, as could a more gallery-like arrangement of the stamps. So I made this next:
I picked a theme (Olympics, 1984) and now the stamps are better highlighted.

Here is how you do it. Start with a collection of stamps that you love. You can order large lots of them on eBay for a few bucks, ask your old Aunt Tilly if she has some squirreled away, or maybe you have a stash of them around already. Then you need a pretty little box to put them on. The little white cardboard boxes that costume jewelry come in are great, so are match boxes or any other little box you can nab. Prepare the box if you don't like the existing finish on it, by either painting it a color you like, or covering it with paper. You'll also need some pretty card stock to mount the stamps on. This provides a cohesive background. Almost like a set of matching frames for a series of prints in a gallery.As I mentioned before, you should pick a theme. This can be stamps of a similar color scheme, from a series, of the same person, from the same country, same size, or whatever catches your eye and brings them together. Then play with arranging them in the space of the top of the box. Cut the cardstock to fit on the lid, with a little border showing around it, arrange the stamps how you like them, then decopage everything in place.This one is my favorite that I still haven't sold. My theme was Queen Elizabeth, and I was so excited to find so many different, lovely stamps of her from several different countries.
These instructions are very basic, but it is just a starting point for many more ideas. Pick one beautiful stamp, and let it stand alone like I did here. Or use the patchwork effect of stamps as a background to prominently display a couple of interesting ones, like here. The possiblities are endless. And when you are done you will have a beautiful tiny art gallery that doubles as storage!

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