Friday 21 November 2008

Gift Wrap Ideas # 4: Vintage Stamps

If you're attracted to the "brown paper packages tied up with string" look because you yearn for an old-fashioned Christmas, you can add an extra special retro feel to your parcels with some vintage stamps...

The simplest option, as always, is just to decorate your tags - you could use luggage tags or make your own like I did by sticking brown paper to scrap pieces of card:


 A single special stamp (I adore those little birds!) can be enough for a smaller parcel, but for larger tags try repeating the same stamp or using matching sets.

For some real crafty fun though, transform your plain brown paper package into a vintage-looking parcel:


Essential ingredients of this look are:
- lots of stamps, with added postmarks
- a piece of string, the older and more well used the better
- and a nice fake Agatha Christie style address written with a fountain pen. All your friends can be Lords, Ladies, Colonels, Majors, etc living in an assortment of invented English villages!

When you wrap your parcel, use double-sided tape if you can to give the illusion that it is the string alone which is holding your parcel together:


You can easily scale down this idea and make fake letter tags instead:


I used a small brown envelope with the flap glued down, but you could make your own using a small template like this one.

I'm a total stamp nerd so I had plenty of stamps on hand for this project, but you should be able to pick up a mixed bag of stamps pretty cheaply or you could just be very nice to any stamp collectors you know! (they usually have an abundance of Christmas stamps simply because of the sheer volume of Christmas cards people send).

Oh, and whatever you do don't try and actually post your parcels! Not without wrapping them in another layer and putting valid stamps on them first, anyway :)

Please feel free to borrow one or two photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to the original source, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial on your site. Thanks!

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Sonia / COZY MEMORIES said...

Oooooh I'm so loving this idea of yours ! Absolutely gorgeous & looking fabulous ! Great job ! The stamps are so pretty ! :) Thanks so much for sharing this idea ! Your creations are amazing ! Best wishes ! :)

Anonymous said...

Such a lovely, brilliant idea! Thank you so much for sharing it! You are so talented!

Anonymous said...

Kentshire? Sorry, but that just sounds so wrong. I wonder if it works the other way, what would a made up American town be called, Alabamaville maybe? Can I make a plea that you have a look in an atlas and choose real English villages, esp. if giving to anyone from the UK? Otherwise lovely blog and lovely idea :)

Bugs and Fishes said...

I am actually English you know - Kentshire is meant to be a joke! Like all the silly made up counties and villages in Agatha Christie novels and stories by PG Wodehouse :)

Lucky said...

gorgeous - i'm such a font and ephemera chick - this idea was made for me - thanks!!!

lu summers said...

what a great idea lupin, i love the idea making up the counties, and 'kentshire' is brilliant. i also like 'somersetshire' what about 'numptyland'? ;)

LPFish said...

I love these x
Great Lupin x
From KirstyFish
The Fish Pond
Wet area

nicedaydesigns said...

This wins over the leaves and wood effect wrapping, especially with the perfectly silly kentshire. Although since I'm Irish I may change it to something like ballyniturlough

Tweed Thoughts said...

Brilliant, fun idea!! I love the idea of being addressed as a Lord or Lady, too - fab :-)!

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing all your great ideas :) i just saw your feature in Craftier are an inspiration!

Mlle Miracle said...

This is a terrific idea! Where did you find these stamps, they are perfect for Christmas presents!!

tracychong said...

I can't get enough of your beautiful wrapping :)

yikes13a5 said...

I am impressed with Mayor N Reiter, a special person he must to have such an exalted position in such a fine town.

Bugs and Fishes said...

Curse you for reading my blog Mr Reiter! :P
You were meant to be a *Major* anyway, retired, bushy white moustache, limp acquired in an African campaign, possible secret drinking problem etc ;)

Anonymous said...

I LOVE brown paper packages tied with string. My friends always used to make fun of me for it lol!

Josie said...

Thankyou for linking to these again.

I'm feeling all inspired for my xmas packing.

Vesle Serena said...

OH! another great idea!!! I absolutely love this :D

Anonymous said...

Rather nice blog you've got here. Thank you for it. I like such themes and everything that is connected to them. I would like to read a bit more on that blog soon.

Joan Kuree