Julie Kirk at Notes on Paper is currently running 'Going Postal' - a mail themed blogging extravaganza, with giveaways, lots of inspiring blog posts, and the chance to join in by writing your own post which Julie can link to a Pinterest board. So here's me joining in!
I bought a bumper pack of worldwide postage stamps from Ebay a couple of years ago, and have been working my way through it by adding the odd few to cards, scrapbook layouts, or altered art projects. I wanted to do something different with them this time, so I opted for a bracelet, for some philatelist ornamentation (!):
It's very basic, as my crafting time is limited right now, but if you would like to make your own here's what I did:
1. Cut a 1.5" deep strip off the bottom of an old cardboard tube, from inside a kitchen paper roll or similar. Cut a slit up one side - it will automatically open to be a larger gap:
2. Using PVA glue, slightly watered down (mod-podge or acrylic gel medium would work too), coat the outside of the cardboard tube with stamps, overlapping them so there's no cardboard showing through. Put the PVA on the back and the front of the stamps, smoothing them down as you go so there's no bubbles and to make sure the edges are coated. I folded some over the sides of the cardboard tube, and left some showing whole so that you can see the edging to the stamp.
3. Once the cardboard is all covered, leave it to dry, holding it in shape with something (I used tools that were within reach!):
4. Once the PVA was dry, I then put on a coat of sparkle mod-podge to give it a nice glittery finish (you could just use plain mod-podge or more PVA if you're not a glitter lover!):
5. And I left it to dry again in the same position as before.
That's it, ready to wear! You could maybe go fancy by painting the inside to give it a more finished look, or even lining it with felt to make it softer. My bracelet seems to be holding it's shape perfectly - the gap is big enough to push the bangle onto my wrist but small enough for it to stay on - the PVA and modge-podge stiffened the tube. But if yours needs help staying on your wrist you could attach ribbons to tie the gap together.
And then wear your stamps with philatelist pride:
I was also inspired by another blogger's idea for the theme - Kirsty Neale's post on DIY deco tape using security envelopes. You can see her post here. I've been making some of my own from envelopes I'd been collecting for their funky patterns:
I haven't used them on any projects yet but I'm itching to! I'm glad I have them cut and ready to use when called for. Have you looked inside the envelopes your bills arrive in? If not, check out the next one - free, funky, patterned paper is always a plus!