Swap-bot Time: October 18, 2018 10:50 am

MAR: A Booklet of Artistamps #5

Launch gallery slideshow

MAR: A Booklet of Artistamps #5
Group:Zines, mail art & other cool stuff
Swap Coordinator:TangleCrafts (contact)
Swap categories: Mail Art 
Number of people in swap:5
Type:Type 3: Package or craft
Last day to signup/drop:February 17, 2014
Date items must be sent by:March 3, 2014
Number of swap partners:2

Pic above shows Unseen University Stamp Booklet, available from Ankh Morpork Post Office, via the Discworld Emporium (based on Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels)

A Booklet of Artistamps
I love creating artistamps, and I love the creativity of the booklets I have seen from earlier rounds of this swap, so yup - here it is again! The swap was originally inspired by this article, about the first booklets of (real) postage stamps issued in London, and how the design & manufacture of both stamps & booklets morphed over time.

Swap description
So for this swap, we will use the booklet format to present a small sheet or sheets of artistamps/faux postage. The booklet should contain:

  • a minimum of 6 artistamps (sender's choice whether these are multiples of the same design, or a mixed set)
  • a front cover
  • a back cover
  • a note on the design of the stamp/s (e.g. title, artist, design inspiration, medium etc)
    OR any additional information you think would be fun to include.

The original stamp booklets included paid advertisements, so why not get creative & design some faux ads, too! (N.B. This is just a suggestion & not a swap requirement!)

The artistamps themselves can be made using whatever technique you can successfully bind into booklet form. Printmaking & digital artwork lend themselves to reproduction, but you could equally make tiny paintings or collages, or even embroideries! Anything goes.

The idea of artistamps is that they look like real postage stamps, so things to think about are

  • perforations รขโ‚ฌโ€œ could be real (try a perforation blade on your paper trimmer, or try a tracing or pounce wheel, as recently discussed in the group forum) or faux, like the stamps themselves. Or you could trim with postage stamp edge scissors.
  • stickability รขโ‚ฌโ€œ you could add lick'n'stick glue to the back, or (if working with paper) print/mount on self-adhesive label paper.
  • origin & currency รขโ‚ฌโ€œ all stamps (actually, with the exception of UK stamps) include wording for the country they are from, and the price of the stamp. You could make something up, or 'adopt' an existing fictional land for which to issue postage stamps, or you could just omit these details รขโ‚ฌโ€œ it's up to you!

Swap requirements

  • 2 swap partners = 2 stamp booklets sent & 2 stamp booklets received.
  • Stamps should be handmade by you (rather than produced for you by one of the online services (eg Zazzle or Royal Mail Smilers), using any technique.
  • Traditional stamp booklets were pocket-sized, so make your artistamp booklet a maximum of A6/quarter-size (approx.).
  • If you took part in a previous round, please create a new booklet of artistamps!

The obvious bit
Late swaps & low ratings will all be checked before assigning partners. Contact me if you think there might be a problem.


  • Info about 'real' stamps : A is for Advertising, B is for Booklets
  • Mirkwood Designs has a masking template for hand-decorated sheets of Faux Postage as well as a Postage Stamp Envelope for storage.
  • The Olathe Post has lots of info about artistamps & also sells gummed, perforated, blank stamp paper (unfortunately, overseas shipping puts this outside of my budget :-( ).
  • The Discworld Emporium has a whole heap of faux philatelic goodness to inspire you, all based on the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett
  • Nick Bantock is artist & author of a series of books about Griffin & Sabine - the books are beautifully illustrated, and include 'real' letters in 'real' envelopes, embellished with 'real' faux postage & postal marks. My favourite of his, though, is Urgent, 2nd Class where he talks about his techniques and inspiration for creating his vast collection of faux ephemera. Fascinating!
  • The Local Post Collectors Society gives a rundown of various people who have gone the whole hog and actually operate their own faux postal services.
  • An online 'museum' of artistamps - browse for inspiration!


snout 01/29/2014 #

Regarding The Local Post Collectors, what's behind a local post? Is it mostly about a name and then stamps and such would be distributed from your creation or can there be more to it? I am always fascinated by the worlds within the world around us!

TangleCrafts 01/30/2014 #

I'd like to be able to tell you more, but I don't know much. I think the individual local posts vary dramatically from the amateur to the actually functional, such as The Isle of Pabay (which is pretty cool).

I did join the LPCS one year but there was a lot of in-fighting in group emails that were sent out and it was just all a bit odd. That was several years ago, though, so I do mean to try it again. It would be fun to be listed as an official 'local post', but the site doesn't really lay out the criteria so it's all a bit unclear.

The info about the individual Local Posts is interesting, though. :)

snout 02/ 1/2014 #

Interesting. I'm feeling kind of excited at the moment (as happens often about such things) and am wondering if perhaps we could have other 'local post' related swaps. Perhaps specially released stationary sets, carved stamps, and such.

And now my mind is drifting towards Bantock land...

TangleCrafts 02/ 2/2014 #

That would be cool. :) We've certainly had a DIY Post Office swap before (this one). And somebody once suggested a swap to design a PostMaster's badge. It would be nice to frame a series of related swaps.

TangleCrafts 02/ 2/2014 #

I've just investigated (to a very minor degree!) and there is a Wikipedia page about Local Posts - my inference is that officially, a Local Post is a functional entity, providing an actual service from outlying areas which aren't served by the 'real' post office. They create their own postage stamps but offer a real service.

I think the difference is that artistamps are a more whimsical creation, made for fun rather than functionality. I don't see any reason why a Local Post couldn't operate between your own home and the nearest real Post Office, though, so there could definitely be a crossover...

TangleCrafts 02/ 2/2014 #

The Olathe Post (website) offers an International Local Post Starter Set (for kids - grrr!). If you click through this link, it explains briefly the history of the Local Post, and on the 4th page is the list of 'starter set' contents which seems pretty comprehensive & could easily form the basis for a swap or series of swaps... :)

I'm going to add some thoughts on this to the officer's group!

snout 02/13/2014 #

~ Just added new thoughts to the perofration thread. ~

snout 02/13/2014 #
  • Or rather preforation thread

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