Look! The kids and I got crafty! I combined my love of bookmarks and my affection for foreign postage stamps and together we made these awesome (if I do say so myself) handmade postage stamp bookmarks! These would also make a lovely Mother's Day present (if it's not too weird to help make your own gift!) or a gift for teachers.
Sadly, the triumph of email over snail mail means fewer stamps to collect for crafts. Fortunately most people still send holiday cards in the traditional fashion, so after a few Christmases, you can amass a collection of stamps to use. Flea markets and junk stores are also good places to find old stamps. Often non-valuable stamps are sold by the bag-full.
I have a soft spot for foreign stamps. There is something so appealing about exoticness of the words and symbols on them. The bookmarks have a nostalgic element, too. If you have old letters from when you were a kid, it would be fun to make a bookmark out of them.
How to make Handmade Bookmarks from Postage Stamps:
Construction paper (preferably card stock) in any color
Old postage stamps
Note: You may be tempted to cover your bookmarks with Contact Paper. This is what I would have done in the past. Do not do use Contact Paper. Contact paper is made out of PVC vinyl which is a major source of phthalates. If you want to know why to keep phthalates out of the hands of kids, read this article about the dangers of the chemical from Healthy Child Healthy World. Yes, it may mean that your bookmark becomes worn over time. Embrace the aging process!
1. Cut card stock to the desired size of the finished bookmark.
2. Glue postage stamps to card stock. I love the glue sticks that go on purple and dry clear. The purple color makes it easy for kids to see where they've put the glue.
3. Resist the temptation to straighten the stamps your child has affixed haphazardly!
4. If the stamps are hanging over the edge (like ours) you can glue the bookmark to a slightly larger piece of colored card stock and trim. You can see we did this with dark blue paper.
5. Read a book! Mark your stopping place with your new bookmark!