Using vintage stamps can be a great way to personalize your invitations. They can reflect the theme of your wedding, the personality of the person receiving the invitation, or just be completely random! The process of aquiring, sorting and applying vintage stamps, though, can be quite time consuming. So before you dive into this extra wedding project, here are a few tips to consider.
1. Many vintage stamps are sold above face value, but you can also find some sold at their face value. It is important that you decide if you want to purchase only face value stamps or if you are willing to spend a little extra to get the "perfect" stamps.
2. You definitely want to start searching for your stamps in advance. Often your wedding planner can help you with this, but if you are on your own, it could take a while to accumulate enough stamps - remember a lot of vintage stamps are smaller values and wedding invitations generally run from $0.61 to over $1 each to mail! That's a lot of stamps! One way to avoid using excessive amounts of stamps on your invitations is to use one $0.44 to take up a large portion of the necessary postage...if your invitations cost over $1 to mail, this still leaves you with plenty of postage to fill with smaller denominations.
3. Ebay and Etsy are both good sources for vintage stamps. You can simply search for "vintage stamps," but be sure that you only purchase "unused" stamps. Collectors will sometimes sell and/or buy used or cancelled stamps because they may still have some value even though they are no longer in mint condition. Etsy seller Verde Studio specifically has tons of vintage stamps and can help make the process a lot easier by organizing your stamps for you.
4. Make sure you designate some time to separate the stamps into sets of your necessary postage. This can be very easy to do if you have many of the same stamps. While it's nice to give certain people a stamp that may be meaningful for them (an airplane to the pilot in the family, books to an avid reader, etc), it's much easier to figure out what stamps make your necessary combination of postage and create multiple piles of that stamp combo. Remember, you can always and and "extra" person stamp if you think someone would appreciate it. And as always, you should take one completed invitation to the post office and have it weighed to ensure that your invitations aren't returned to you.
5. The last step, which is often overlooked in terms of budgeting the proper amount of time, is adhering your stamps to your invitations. A lot of your vintage stamps will not be self adhesive - a modern luxury that we often overlook! You will need to be prepared to either lick many, many stamps...or you can use a glue stick to simplifiy this step.
All stamps featured on this post are available from Verde Studio. Good luck!