How to Use Postage Stamps in Art

Written by elizabeth hannigan
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How to Use Postage Stamps in Art
You can use old stamps in collages. (Post stamp image by Svetlana Kashkina from

Stamp collectors consider postage stamps works of art. They keep them in collector's albums and try to preserve them in mint condition so that they can admire them forever. If you've amassed a collection of old postage stamps and they're not in great condition, however, use them to make new works of art. Postage stamps, with their tiny pictures and frilly edges, would make appropriate additions to a synthetic cubist collage. A synthetic cubist collage is comprised of pieces of old magazines, newspapers and other materials rearranged to make a new scene.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Postage stamps
  • Scissors
  • Paint
  • Collage paste with brush
  • Scrap materials such as magazines or wallpaper
  • Watercolour paper
  • Scratch paper
  • Pencil

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  1. 1

    Sketch out some ideas for your collage on your scratch paper. A synthetic cubist collage should be a scene you make with repurposed materials representing an actual space, a cafe or the interior of a house, for example. Display your postage stamps prominently: make the postage stamp represent a picture on a wall or use a floral postage stamp to represent flowers in a vase.

  2. 2

    Trim out shapes from all of your craft materials to represent the objects you want to depict in your collage. For example, cut out a chair shape from a magazine or cut out a table or window panes from a newspaper. Choose between using actual pictures of the things you want to represent or cutting out materials in the shape of things you want to represent.

  3. 3

    Paint a background onto your watercolour paper. Paint one solid colour, paint a background that represents three-dimensional space or collage the background instead of painting. Allow the paint to dry completely before proceeding.

  4. 4

    Place the cutouts and postage stamps in the appropriate spots on the watercolour paper. Rearrange as needed. Don't glue anything into place until you're satisfied because once you apply glue you can't move anything.

  5. 5

    Put a tiny dab of collage glue on the back of every piece you want to glue down to fix it into place. Once all the pieces are secure, apply a thin layer of collage glue to the surface of the entire picture. This will make your collage smooth.

Tips and warnings

  • Once you use a postage stamp in an artwork, you won't be able to use it for postage.
  • This project will damage a collector's stamp.

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