Swap-bot Time: July 14, 2020 2:54 pm

OCT: A Booklet of Artistamps #4

Launch gallery slideshow

OCT: A Booklet of Artistamps #4
Group:Zines, mail art & other cool stuff
Swap Coordinator:TangleCrafts (contact)
Swap categories: Mail Art 
Number of people in swap:9
Type:Type 3: Package or craft
Last day to signup/drop:October 2, 2011
Date items must be sent by:October 24, 2011
Number of swap partners:3

Pic above shows the Dandelion Smile stamp booklet I made for the last round of this swap

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, inspiration, medium etc)
  • whatever 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 – 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 – you could add lick'n'stick glue to the back, or (if working with paper) print/mount on self-adhesive label paper.
  • origin & currency – 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 – it's up to you!

Swap requirements

  • 3 swap partners = 3 stamp booklets sent & 3 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 3” x 4” (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!


TangleCrafts 08/29/2011 #

Sign-up & send-by dates brought forward by 1 week - hope this doesn't cause too many problems for anyone!

AmyMarie 10/24/2011 #

I arrived at the Post Office today after it had closed so the envelopes will have tomorrow postmarked on them.

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