by Rena Klingenberg.
This postage stamp jewelry tutorial is an easy way to preserve and enjoy gorgeous stamps.
You could even create a collage of several stamps instead of focusing on just one stamp as I’ve done.
- Postage stamps.
- Small pieces of scrapbooking paper (or other paper that contrasts nicely with your stamps).
- Thin cardboard that can be cut slightly larger than your postage stamps; I used a breakfast cereal box:
- Beads and wire or other findings for making dangles to hang on the bottom of your stamp component (I used briolette beads and 24-gauge black Artistic Wire).
- Jump rings and findings for turning your stamp component into earrings or a necklace.
- OPTIONAL: Eyelets to reinforce the holes punched in your stamp component.
- Scissors or paper cutter.
- Sharpie marker in a color similar to your scrapbooking paper.
- Small amount of Mod Podge, the glue / sealer for decoupage projects (be sure to read and follow the advice on the Mod Podge jar):
- A piece of waxed paper to protect the surface where you use the Mod Podge.
- Flat nose, chain nose, and round nose pliers.
- Wire cutting tool.
- Tool for making 2 holes in your Mod-Podged cardboard component (I used a punch-and-eyelet tool, but you could also use an ice pick, paper punch, etc.).
Postage Stamp Jewelry Tutorial:
These lovely stamps traveled to my house on an envelope from Canada a few years ago:
To remove them from the envelope, we’ll need to soak them face-down in an inch or two of water, to soften the glue that sticks them to the envelope:
CAUTION: When the stamps are wet, they can tear easily. So it’s important not to peel them off the envelope.
Instead, soak them until they’re practically falling off the envelope on their own.
Then you can VERY gently lift them off a little at a time, and place them face-down (so any residual glue doesn’t stick) on a paper towel to dry:
While the stamps are drying, cut your piece of cardboard into a size that’s a little larger than your stamp – and in any shape you like.
Here are my cardboard pieces:
And the other side of them:
Use your Sharpie marker to color the edges of your cardboard pieces, so the finished jewelry will have edges that match the rest of the piece:
Now measure and cut your scrapbooking paper.
Each piece of your cardboard needs 2 pieces of scrapbooking paper: One piece of paper to cover the front, and a second piece to cover the back.
Because postage stamps are the focal element in this jewelry project, I chose paper that looked like an old letter.
I knew the stamps would feel very much at home with it.
I just have to share this fact about the scrapbooking paper I used (which I found in my Mom’s paper scrap leftovers drawer):
It had already been cut up for previous paper projects, and the shape that was left happened to look exactly like a Scottie dog waiting for someone to shake his paw:
I love discoveries like that!
OK, now back to making jewelry.
Spread your waxed paper over the surface where you’ll be using the Mod Podge.
We’re going to work on the BACK side of your cardboard pieces first.
Place your cardboard pieces on the waxed paper. Have the scrapbooking paper that you’ll be putting on the back sides of these pieces waiting nearby.
Now use your finger to scoop up some Mod Podge and spread it all over the surface of one of your cardboard pieces.
Make sure the entire surface of the back is well covered with Mod Podge:
. . . and then quickly place your scrapbooking paper on top of the Mod Podge. Slide it around to center it, and press down on all surfaces, especially the edges.
If you have any paper hanging over the edges of your cardboard, trim it with scissors and then use your fingers to press the paper’s edges down securely.
Once the paper’s in place, scoop up another dab on Mod Podge on your finger and spread it completely over the top of the paper.
Then do the same with your other piece of cardboard:
Now use a hair-dryer on a low setting to make the Mod Podge dry faster.
Keep the dryer moving around, and don’t let the newly Mod Podged cardboards blow away or get too warm:
When they’re dry, they’ll look like this:
Now we’re going to work on the FRONT sides.
So once the back sides of your cardboard pieces are dry, turn them over so the front side faces up, and set them on a clean part of your waxed paper.
Now Mod Podge the remaining scrapbooking paper to the front sides of your cardboards.
After you spread Mod Podge over the top surface of the paper, carefully place your postage stamp where you’d like it to be.
Press down on all surfaces of the stamp – starting in the center and pressing outward from there, to prevent the stamp from wrinkling.
After the stamp is glued in place with Mod Podge, scoop up another dab of Mod Podge on your finger and use it to cover the entire front surface (including the stamp):
When this coat of Mod Podge is completely dry (you can speed it along with the hair-dryer), spread a small amount of Mod Podge along each Sharpie-colored edge of the cardboard.
When the edges have dried, spread a second coat over the entire front surface and let it dry completely.
Once both pieces of cardboard are completely dry, punch a hole in the top and bottom of each:
A view of the back after punching:
If you’re using eyelets, go ahead and insert them in the holes and crimp them in place:
Because the cardboard postage stamp component is so lightweight, it’s important to include some sort of dangle at the bottom to make it hang well instead of floating.
Make your bead dangles and use jump rings to attach them to the bottom hole in each of your postage stamp components:
If you’re making a necklace, add a jump ring plus a cord or chain in the top hole:
If you’re making earrings, add two jump rings and an earwire in each top hole:
Postage stamp jewelry is wonderfully light and comfortable – and very susceptible to compliments!