Chapter 17
Non-traditional Uses of Stamps

This chapter covers some “other” uses of stamps. It offers some possibilities as to what you can do with low-value stamps.  Depending on your geographic location, the types of stamps you have, whether you are artistic, some of these ideas may or may not interest you.

1. Frame some stamps. If you live in a place with lots of tourists, try framing blocks of 4 stamps and selling them. Many gift shops sell 12-cents worth of stamps for $25 or more just because they are attractively matted and framed. This is especially true if the stamps are somehow related to the tourist attraction, e.g., Roosevelt stamps sold near Roosevelt’s home in Warm Springs, Georgia.

2. Sell packets of stamps as souvenirs. Again, if you are near a tourist area, tourists like stamps. You’ll have to find a store willing to carry your “product.” You’ll also have to figure out a packaging scheme so people can see the stamps.

3. Sell stamped envelopes at a convenience store. Paste forty-four cents (or whatever the current rate is when you read this) on a stack of envelopes and sell them for fifty cents each at a convenience store. One store near here sells 500 every two weeks. Of course they buy their envelopes from the post office, but maybe you can undercut the post office.

4. Set up a “nickel” stamp box. Again if you have access to a store, set up a box and fill it with stamps. A nickel apiece. People will buy some of them. Split the proceeds with the store owner. If possible, try to find a store that sells another kind of collectible such as baseball cards or coins. (They may have already beat you to the idea!)

5. Paint a picture around a stamp. Use the stamp as part of the design of a painting you make.

6. Wallpaper a room or a wall. The very first stamp collector was a young lady in London. She placed an ad in the newspaper wanting to buy used postage stamps. Her purpose: to wallpaper her powder room. On a more practical level, a stamp wall at a school might be interesting.

7. Include stamps as part of pottery or decoupaged into paper weights, pencil holders, etc.. The National Postal Museum in Washington has two retail stores. In the display windows are a couple of interesting bowls covered with stamps and then glazed.

8. Use stamps as teaching tools. Stamps contain geography, art, history and lots of other things. Take some stamps to a school, let the kids have some stamps of their own and let them find out about them in the library. The possibilities are endless.

Those are just a few suggestions. If you are creative, I’m sure you’ll figure out many more!