Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Faux postage in all it's glory

My personal stash of beauties!

All aspiring mail artist (such as myself) are always looking for ways to add more interest and originality to their mail art pieces. A great way to achieve this is through faux postage! It's not meant to trick the mail system at all, it is something placed alongside regular stamps. There's all kinds of faux postage like  postoids, which are rubber stamps of postage (handmade or store bought) or artistamps which are made by an individual. They can be digital, carved stamps, or any other media that you like!

I have been interested in the idea of adding some fake stamps to jazz up my postcards, but a quick internet search revealed that the cost of supplies would add up quick.

So today, I will be focusing on making low tech artistamps! The trickiest part is making the scalloped edge that most traditional stamps have. There are special scissors, punches, and stamps out there that can help you achieve this look, but I want to show you how to make faux postage with things you already have in your home!

You will need:
blank paper of your choice (I used old office stationary, printer paper would work well for the first few tries)
chunky black marker (I used a sharpie)
Skinny marker or pen (I used Le pen)
A ruler or straight edge
Things to decorate your stamps with like colored pencils and miniature stamps (especially if your mini drawings are as questionable as mine)

Optional: awesome tv show, movie, or music to watch or listen to

First thing I did was take my ruler and draw lines making a grid. I'm not a perfectionist so I made my boxes slightly different sizes. I recommend making your first lines around the edge of the page to make a border. Mine is very tiny, this will allow all of your stamps to have the perforated look.

To make the stamp look like it came from a perforated page, I needed to "perforate" it with a sharpie with dots along each line. I say dots but really they're more of ovals. Which is perfect because it allows for both stamps to be perforated along the same edge without extra work. This is the ideal time to watch a show or listen to music!
Your perforated page will look something like this. I realized afterwards that I made them bigger than I wanted hence the one plain line.

Okay so now we have a fully perforated sheet of blank stamps to work with! You've made it through the hardest part! Now we can decorate! I chose to use miniature stamps that I bought in a box set for $5 at Micheal's and now I'm tempted to go get the other sets just for this project! I recommend keeping your designs simple regardless of what medium you use. It is a small space and too much detail might look messy or overcrowded.

So I stamped a bunch of images on my sheet. Afterwards I added things like 10 c or 25 cents to make it more realistic as well as some borders. You can choose to color them in or leave them as is! I decided to cut them out and color them as needed.

These are perfect for collaging, crafts and mail art! I recommend looking at real stamps for inspiration here and on google. This is also a great site for information on faux postage that I reference from time to time.

I'd love to hear if you try this out at all! What tools did you have around to use?