Using Cancelled Postage Stamps


You may have noticed that I enjoy using cancelled postage stamps in my ATCs. One reason is because I always enjoy Upcycling and reusing old items, especially those things that most people just toss into the trash.

The second reason is because some postage stamps are tiny pieces of art themselves, and it is such a waste for them to be tossed away and forgotten. I swap with many international swappers, and the postage I receive from other countries is phenomenal! I especially love to use foreign postage in my artwork.

When using cancelled postage, it obviously calls for some type of collage technique. I often use colorful scrapbook paper as part of the background on a postage stamp ATC.


I also like to include pages from old, beat up books I find at yard sales. Vintage medical books and dictionaries are some of my favorites…


…As well as using foreign language text that international swappers generously share with me.


Pieces of maps are also a favorite background, especially when they represent the same country as the stamp. In this ATC below, I titled it “Planes, Trains and Automobiles;” therefore, I used three different stamps from different places. Since the theme was transportation, I thought a map was the most fitting background.


However, do not feel limited to just using paper. There are many other items and embellishments that can be added to the ATC for added interest.


One of my favorite things to do is actually draw part of the ATC along with a postage stamp. Sometimes I attempt to complete the picture that the stamp is a part of, such as in the first one below. Other times, I just draw a complimentary background, such as with Dr. Seuss.

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Overall, I think that using old postage in my ATCs is a fun, environmentally friendly way to to create ATCs, and the beautiful stamps are a great inspiration to me in my artwork.

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