I thought I would share how I remove postage stamps from their paper backing. These are intended for crafting only! I believe it is against postal law to re-use postage (and if not illegal it’s immoral). Apologies for the poor lighting in my kitchen
Firstly I cut my stamps off their envelopes and cut the paper close to the stamps. Like so:
Then I bring some water to a boil and carefully put a few in for a quick bath:
I use metal craft tweezers to take them out one at a time and carefully, carefully, c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y peal the paper away from the stamp.
Sometimes paper is left stuck to the stamp:
If it’s not too much or doesn’t show through on the front I will usually leave it. If it’s too much or too lumpy or whatever then I will put the stamp back in the water for a little longer and gently rub my thumb over the paper when it’s back out and cool enough to handle. Here is the blue paper backed stamp after a second try:
It is oh-so-satisfying when the paper falls off on it’s own but occasionally the stamp is stuck too well or I am impatient and this happens:
A tear and the stamp split from itself instead of the envelope
I do them in small batches and re-heat the water if it gets too cool. I suggest trying this on less desirable stamps first so you can get the feel of it before risking the prize stamps. Then set them out to dry! If any are curling I use my tweezers to hold them flat but mostly I don’t mind the curl because when they are dry and glued down to a project you’d never know it.
The end. Please don’t drink the stamp tea!
It never even occurred to me to try to separate stamps from the envelopes! Thanks for the info.
Also, that train stamp that failed looks familiar…
I see one I sent you!! I usually cut them close and the just stick them in my notebook. Maybe I’ll try separating them to craft with. Thanks for the tutorial!
I only learned to do this last year, before that I was a close clipper and pasted them as-is-er. But it’s nice to have options now They are a little more fragile/tend to tear this way so be careful! I have lost a few brave stamps to my sticker goo
Well, that’s a new take on the tea vs paint water issue!
Are these the sticker kind of stamps? I remember being told to use steam for the old kind, but I’ve never tried it.
I think they’re the sticker kind… I never really stopped to think about it! But I’m sure most are because I recognize them as being newer designs.
This is really useful information.
I love all of the stamps we get in swaps and happy mail! I save them as well. The worst is getting them off the bubble wrap envelopes!
I do something similar, except I have no patience so I put mine in a shallow bowl with water and microwave them to peel off.
Thanks for sharing this! I have some cool stamps I’ve gotten from people that my husband has claimed, and now I think he can find some good uses for decorating small items such as trinket boxes.
This is awesome! Earlier today I was looking at my pile of envelopes wondering what the best way to remove the stamps was. Now, I have a task for vacation!
And, I am trying to send my Happy Mail using some of my non-forever stamps because I have a stash of fun ones. I do probably need to get a few more smaller denomination stamps to make up the difference (I have some that are 37 cents). I do like that Happy Mail allows me to buy more cool stamps. I’m not a stamp collector, but I love cool stamps!
Such a wonderful idea to save the fabulous stamps, you have an incredible collection!