Where To Find Vintage Stamps

As you probably know by now, I’m a big fan of using vintage stamps on milestone stationery like wedding invitations and baby announcements. I used vintage stamps for my own wedding invitations, moving announcements, and for Sophie’s birth announcements almost two (!!) years ago – and I’ve featured countless wedding invitations with beautiful vintage stamps over the years. Vintage stamps offer a wonderful opportunity to represent your personal style, whether chosen thematically or by color palette. And since unused postage never expires, there are endless options to suit everything from a formal black tie wedding to a casual backyard gathering. Some readers have asked for tips on where to find vintage stamps over the last few weeks, so today I thought I’d share my go-to sources!

Where to Find Vintage Stamps OSBP Where To Find Vintage Stamps

Photo by Union Photography from Allison and Mark’s wedding invitations

eBay

If you have the time to search for stamps yourself, eBay is a wonderful resource for finding vintage stamps! This is my personal go-to source, and I like to search for entire sheets of vintage stamps. You can start here, and you’ll find sheets of everything from 3¢ stamps to recently issued stamps. You can refine the results by adding keywords – like science, love, birds, etc. – but leave out the word “stamp” since you’re already searching by stamp sheets. This method can be super effective if you’re searching for thematic stamps, but you may run into a bit of trouble if you’re trying to group stamps based on a particular color palette.

The best way to search for vintage stamps on eBay is by identifying the Scott number of a particular stamp that you love, since many eBay stamp dealers will use only the Scott number in their listing. For example, a really pretty flower “Love” stamp is #1951, my favorite constellation stamp is #3945, and another favorite stamp with state birds and flowers is #1953.

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Photo by me from Sophie’s Constellation-Inspired Birth Announcements

Online Shops

There are a bunch of online vintage stamp shops that will curate a collection of stamps for you based on your theme or color palette – such a great option for busy couples or anyone feeling super overwhelmed by the whole process. There are probably a million more that I don’t know about, but here are a few of the shops on my radar:

Underwood Letterpress

Verde Studio

Pack and Post

TreasureFox

Vintage Postage Shop

Darling One

Love the Postage

A couple more online stamp shop options: Champion Stamps and US Mint Sheets. They don’t offer stamp curation, at least that I know of, but you can buy tons of vintage stamps here. Just browse by Scott number through pages and pages of vintage stamps to find what you like – just pay attention to the pricing, which may not be face value.

Antiquaria Vintage Stamps DIY Save the Date OSBP Where To Find Vintage Stamps

Photo by Antiquaria from this Vintage-Inspired DIY Save the Date Tutorial

Local stamp dealers, stamp club members, and stamp shows

If you can track down a local stamp dealer or stamp club, they will often have vintage postage that they are willing to part with for face value. I’m told they come by large piles of vintage stamps when they buy stamp collections – but many are considered “worthless” from a stamp collecting point of view. Seriously: just Google your city/area and “stamp club” and see what comes up. You can try emailing the club or see if they list upcoming stamp show dates and go talk to them in person.

 Where To Find Vintage Stamps

Photo by Paisley Quill from Brooks and Erin’s wedding invitations

Local stamp shops and antique stores

If there is a stamp and coin shop in your area, you’re in luck! Stop by and ask to see their face value stamps. Stamp museums also often sell vintage stamps; a fun detail I discovered during a visit to the National Postal Museum earlier this year. You can also try local antique shops – if they don’t have any in the shop they may still be able to connect you with a local dealer with an extra supply of face value stamps. I’ve also heard of some people stumbling onto affordable stamp collections at flea markets – just be sure that you’re buying unused/uncanceled stamps!

MSW Vintage Stamp Collections Wedding Envelopes Where To Find Vintage StampsMSW Vintage Stamps Wedding Invitation Envelopes Where To Find Vintage Stamps

Photos via Martha Stewart Weddings

A few tips for using vintage stamps:

While you’re searching and shopping for stamps, make sure that you have one stamp worth at least 15¢ (or more!). Most wedding invitations require a minimum of 70¢ postage at the current rate. The 3¢ and 8¢ stamps are beautiful, but you’ll need a 29¢ or 33¢ stamp somewhere in the mix to make up the difference.

Consider planning out your stamp arrangement ahead of time to make sure you leave room for an address – and to maximize visual impact. Some stamps look best in a straight row across the top of an envelope, while others look best in a puzzle piece arrangement in the corner. It all depends on the group of stamps you select!

Tell your stationer and/or calligrapher as soon as possible if you plan to incorporate vintage stamps into your wedding stationery. A calligrapher will definitely need to know so he or she can leave enough room at the top of the envelope for your stamps, and a large number of vintage stamps might affect a stationer’s idea to use a non-traditional envelope shape or layout.

If a particular stamp design is in high demand, some dealers will list the stamp at a price greater than face value. I’ve seen this happen to some of the pretty “Love” stamps frequently used on wedding invitations, so if you have your heart set on a particular stamp you might need to factor that cost into your stationery budget. I personally think it’s worth it to find the perfect stamp for the occasion, but the trick is to find stamps that collectors don’t care about yet make a visual impact when assembled as a small group on your envelope.

Those are my tips! Are any of you planning to use vintage stamps soon?

Envelope Inspiration: Calligraphy and Vintage Stamps

If you’re reading this blog, then hopefully you’re like me and LOVE a pretty envelope. Dress an envelope up with some beautiful calligraphy (or a well designed mailing label) and some colorful postage stamps and I’m a very happy lady. So I was thrilled when calligrapher Korie Lynn of The Weekend Type sent over some beautiful envelope inspiration from her collaboration with florist Jody Strom of The Moss & Rose and event planner Natalie Dawley of To Be Wed! Let’s get straight to the envelope eye candy…

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From Korie: Vintage stamps are the perfect way to continue the overall theme and color palette in an invitation suite. Using multigenerational postage allows you to create a storyline and always makes the envelope more interesting. Each vignette tells a color story: the backdrop, the floral combinations, the envelope, ink choices, calligraphy style, and the stamps. From Americana to English countryside to Garden glamour, Jody accented each envelope with flowers and foliage grown and selected from her personal garden.

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Thanks so much ladies!

Calligraphy: The Weekend Type

Floral Styling: The Moss & Rose

Styling: Two Be Wed

Photo Credits: Korie Lynn Photography

Urbanic Faves | Live in the Sunshine

Fire up the barbecues, dip your toes in the water, and find a hammock to nap in, it’s Summertime! We’re embracing the salt air over here at Urbanic and  have gathered up some of our favorite things from around the shop that capture the spirit of sunshine. Hoping that wherever you are, you’re wearing flip flops! xo – Audrey

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 1. Linda and Harriet notepads; 2. Fringe Studio soap dish set; 3. Salty Road salt water taffy; 4. Cardtorial wood cards; 5. Baggu coin purses; 6. Linnea’s Lights ocean candle; 7 Joanne Dugan summertime book 8. Fugu Fugu Press love card ; 9. Fringe Studio notebook; 10. Paddywax lantern candle; 11. Rifle Paper Co. phone case; 12. Orange Circle message in a bottle kit ; 13.Paddywax candle; 14. Sugar Paper anchor wrap

{images via their respective sources}

DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

We’re often (very often) asked about addressing options for wedding invitations. Many of our clients are DIY couples and it’s simply not in their budget to hire a professional or to pay for digital addressing. Believe us: even if you or a loved one are planning address them yourself, they can still be creative and cohesive with your invitation! It’s simply a matter of the right tools, methods, and a some practice! – Bailey and Emma of Antiquaria

Addressing Final 1 DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

Option One: DIY Pointed Pen Calligraphy. For someone that has a little experience already with a dip pen and ink or for someone with plenty of time to practice before the invitations need mailing, calligraphy addressing can actually be a great DIY option. One hundred years ago, everyone who wanted to write had to use a dip pen and ink. We’re certainly used to modern pens these days, but it’s inspiring to think that it can be done with practice! It takes years and years of practice to truly master the art – so don’t hold yourself to expectations of perfection for the project. Try playing with your unique hand writing and see what is most natural for you with the tools.

Blackand White Step1 DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

It’s really helpful to give yourself guidelines when writing with pen and ink (your focus will be more on the writing than keeping the lines straight). For a playful look, we drew them at a slant, leaving a ruler’s width between them. Three lines will suffice for most U.S. addresses but occasionally you’ll need four. Just count up how many 3 and 4 liners you need on your list and tackle all of the “ruling up” first.

BlackandWhite Step2 DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

Address each envelope on your guest list. Set aside to dry. This can take minutes to a day depending on the ink and weather, so don’t be too anxious. The last thing you want is to smear you hard work! We used our favorite white ink on these gorgeous black envelopes. It’s the loveliest and most opaque that we’ve found but it must be diluted quite a bit to use with a pointed pen and nib. Add (distilled) water with an eyedropper to the bottle. Stir the ink with the water until it reaches the consistency of heavy cream.

BlackandWhite Step3 DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

Once they’re all addressed, we added a fun little dashed line to further decorate and modernize the envelope. Use a T-square ruler and dash along the straight line with the white ink loaded into the dip pen. Let them all dry once more.

BlackandWhite Step4 DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

Erase the lines gently once everything is good and dry.

You can find more information about DIY calligraphy on our blog. You can also search for local calligraphy classes to get you started. The key to calligraphy is practice, practice, and more practice!

BlackandWhite FInal DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

Option Two: Brush Pen Lettering. Brush pens can be a great option for addressing without the mess of an actual brush and ink. A lot of them are actually felt tipped (like the ones in this tutorial) which makes controlling them much easier. This silver and gray design is lovely, soft and tonal. Play with the brush lettering a bit and find a style that’s comfortable for you. You can print or use cursive with them, so the options are endless!

Silver Step1 DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

Draw “ribbons” in the upper left and lower right corners. Then write the title(s) (i.e. Mr., Miss, Ms., or Mr. and Mrs.) in the upper left banner. Move to the lower right and write the zip code, spacing out each number with a small dot.

Silver Step2 DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

In the middle of the envelope, you’ll write the guest(s) name and address. We used a simple handwriting cursive. Because the brush pen gives the lines weight variation, it looks fancier than a ball point pen, which we love. One key to writing with a brush pen is to write on its point, as shown in the photo above. This will help keep the writing thin and legible. Center the address as much as you can, but the banners in the corners will help keep the design looking balanced even if it’s not perfect.

Silver FInal DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

Option Three: Mixed Pen Lettering. This design uses two different kinds of pens to achieve a very custom look. We again used a brush pen, this time in black, as well as a thin felt tipped pen for variation in line quality and so that we could make some text much smaller.

Java Step1 DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

Write your guests name fairly large across the envelope. Vary the size of lettering depending on the length of their name (you’ll get the hang of this with practice).

Java Step2 DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

Then, draw straight line down, using a T-square ruler a little right of center. You will use this line to left justify the address.

Java Step3 DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

With the vertical lines as your guide, print the street, city and state portion of the address using the felt tipped marker. Add the appropriate title(s) to the left hand side of the guests name.

Java Step4 DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

With the brush pen, add the guest’s zip code in large numbers below the address. Erase your vertical line and the envelope is done!

Java Final DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

Addressing Final 2 DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

Addressing options really are limitless. Play around with ideas until you find something that works for you and coordinates well with your invitation suite. It can help to experiment with addressing your own save the dates (usually they’re less formal) to determine if you want to tackle the process of addressing your wedding invitations.

Materials & Resources

Calligraphy Starter Kit

White Calligraphy Ink

Calligraphy Resources: Setting up your Tools,  Lower Case Alphabet by Bailey Rivera, Calligraphy Supplies

Brush and Felt Tipped Pens

For envelopes, we discuss many different envelope resources and options in a previous post, found here.

T-square Ruler

White Mechanical Pencil or Graphite Pencil

Photo Credits: Antiquaria for Oh So Beautiful Paper

How to Add Your Personal Touch to DIY Wedding Invitations

Over the years, we’ve put countless wedding invitation suites together. Whether they were for this DIY column, for a client or even for our own weddings, we’re always blown away by how different a design can look once a couple puts their own personal spin on the details. Today we’ll show you just how different one of our standard letterpress designs (our Old West Invitation) can look once we add in all of the special details that bring the suite together. Hopefully this column inspires you to think outside the box about your own invitations! Be sure to check out the bottom of the post where we share our favorite DIY resources! – Bailey and Emma of Antiquaria

triptic How to Add Your Personal Touch to DIY Wedding Invitations

Bespoke design services are certainly available and a very popular option right now. It stands to reason that couples want a suite that reflects their personal style and the special day that they are planning. While they’re a great option for some, many budgets just can’t accommodate the high prices that come along with the custom design process. It’s not the only option to get something that suits you and also your budget. DIY-ing components of your suite and putting everything together with friends and family can really help the bottom line.

Maybe you want a letterpress invitation but also a vintage postcard reply. That’s when using a rubber stamp on a portion of your wedding invitation suite can come in really handy. Want envelope liners but the high price tag of having them installed blows the budget? Find fun patterned wrapping paper or scrapbooking paper and do it yourself. It will definitely take some extra time and effort but in the end offers the same custom look. The options for customizing your suite are endless (really, they are) so we’ll show you three designs and outline what it took to achieve each look. We’ll also give you some of our go-to resources for the fun stuff so that you can find exactly what you might need!

cactus How to Add Your Personal Touch to DIY Wedding Invitations

Our first suite is a fun play on traditional western imagery. We brought in tonal shades of green with the envelopes and a cactus patterned paper. We used the letterpress wedding invitation as well as the coordinating reply card (our Old West Invitation and Old West Reply Card) to keep it simple. For this suite we splurged and used calligraphy addressing because it’s really the best way to get opaque white ink and to add more of a unique touch. Twine always looks great with western design, so we used a peach bakers twine over a belly band to tie the pieces together.

blush How to Add Your Personal Touch to DIY Wedding Invitations

For the second design, we wanted to illustrate just how pretty and feminine western design can be. We took the same Old West Invitation but paired it with pretty vintage postcard that featured a peach colored cactus flower and rubber stamped our reply info on the back. Adding in this imagery really helped us tie in the blush envelope and the coordinating chocolate and pink western liner. Of course, tying it together with a pretty Grecian Pink ribbon doesn’t hurt either. This suite was addressed using a digital addressing service. Just because you might not be able to afford a calligrapher doesn’t mean that you must resort to those tacky clear labels. There are many options for guest addressing with style selections to choose from.  There’s a good chance that you’ll be able to find something to coordinate with your suite.

navajo How to Add Your Personal Touch to DIY Wedding Invitations

By far the most pricey and customized design of the group, this suite includes custom art and a box mailer. We still used the same Old West invitation design but brought in luxe details like the navajo patterned response card and vintage arrowheads – all enclosed in a little gift box. Thinking “out of the box” can be really fun if you have the time and budget to bring in special details like these (even if they’re actually in a box). Custom guest address labels were used on this design in lieu of calligraphy. We knew the box would need a lot of postage, especially if using vintage postage stamps, but hand lettering and calligraphy needs quite a bit of room to execute. The label is printed out with both your guest address as well as your return address and wraps onto the back of the envelope (or box). It’s especially appropriate for the box mailers since it seals one side of the box shut.

We hope that your mind is a-buzz with ideas of how to make your own wedding invitations custom and unique to you! There are many options out there and it pays off to spend a little time adding some DIY touches your your own invitations.

Resources

Designs used in the tutorial: Old West Letterpress Invitation, Old West Letterpress Reply Card, Old West Coral Patterned Paper

About Envelopes: Adding colored envelopes is always a great option. Often invitation companies will give you a credit if you elect not to use the envelope that they provide with the invitations. Our favorite envelope sources are Paper Source, Paper Presentation and Envelopes.com. Between the three, they offer a wide selection of colors and styles for your to choose from. There are many others out there too if you spend the time to search around.

About Addressing Options

Calligraphy: It’s not for every budget, but calligraphy is a great options for many couples. If you have time, you can even try to learn for yourself with our tutorials and supply kit. Otherwise, calligraphers are plentiful both online and locally. If you’d prefer to work with a local calligrapher, the best way to find a talented and reputable person is currently to go through your local calligraphy guild. Using a local calligrapher can make your life easier and can be less expensive since you can avoid shipping things back and forth. They also tend to accommodate rush jobs more easily. Some calligraphers may not have websites…don’t let this deter you, they can easily email samples to show you their skills!

Digital Addressing Services: Envelopes.com offers addressing on their huge selection of envelopes. It’s a great option for a professional look without hiring a professional calligraphy to hand letter each envelope. Etsy also has many, many sellers that offer this service as well. These vendors do not necessarily stock the envelopes so you’ll need to use the ones provided or find your own.

Guest Address Labels: Etsy is another great source for this service as well. You can also ask your designer or stationer if they offer addressing options to coordinate with the design that you choose. They might offer one or all of the options through their shop.

Our Favorite DIY Supply Resources

Pattterned papers for DIY envelope liners and bellybands: Antiquaria, Paper SourcePaper Mojo

Vintage Postage:  Our favorites source is Verde Studio Vintage Stamps, don’t hesitate to contact Virginia at Verde Studio: she is brilliant at currating a custom mix of vintage postage to suite your needs. Other resources for vintage postage include: Champion Stamp Co.Ebay – USA unused stamps 1901-nowThe Paper Nickel

Ribbon: We love the soft look of rayon taylor’s ribbon available at Antiquaria, for a more organic look check out the gorgeous italian cotton ribbons at Angela LiguoriM&J Trimming has a full assortment of ribbons and trimming to choose from.

Bakers Twine: Baker’s twine now comes in a variety of colors. Here are two great sources: Antiquaria &  The Twinery

Anti­quaria is a mem­ber of the Designer Rolodex – you can see more of their beau­ti­ful work right here or visit the real wedding invitations gallery for more wedding invitation ideas!

Photo Credits: Antiquaria for Oh So Beautiful Paper