Tuesday, July 5

a personal project

If you follow me on Twitter (which you should, because I post on there faaar more often than here), you probably already know that I'm getting married this fall. We had been having issues with our venue, though, so we needed to wait a while to send out any official notices for the wedding. Plus, I had about 382 ideas for what to do for a save the date mailing, and I needed to work out which was actually realistic-yet-pretty and in keeping with the handmade feel of the wedding we want to have.

Why hello, vintage postcards.

I contemplated typing up the information on my Electra cursive machine, and then also contemplated myself going mad from frustration, so that fantasy only lasted about twelve minutes. However, stamping could still give a vintage look in keeping with the gorgeous fronts without sacrificing my sanity. I had spotted this DIY stamp kit at Staples before for about $30 and looked up some other projects people had used it for. The font was in keeping with our aesthetic sensibilities, so we picked one up. I bought the vintage DC postcards in several eBay lots, sorted through them for the blank ones, and stacked them like so. Aren't they gorgeous? I almost didn't want to send them out.

I would've been perfectly happy framing these instead.

A close-up of amazingness.

And of course, being a huge postal nerd, I didn't want to use boring stamps. I've been amassing a small cache of DC-related stamps for about a year now in preparation for this moment. They didn't lend themselves to easily fitting onto pretty vintage cards, which caused some frustration, but they're SO nice.

It was worth it.

Where possible, the stamps match the fronts of the postcards. There are White House stamps on postcards of the White House, Jefferson stamps on postcards of the Jefferson Memorial, Smithsonian stamps on postcards of the Smithsonian. You get the idea. (See also: Melissa enjoys making things more difficult for herself.)

There are also some library stamps mixed in, but there's a reason for that (besides them going with the Library of Congress postcards).

And after only 125 handwritten addresses and 250+ vintage stamps licked, here is the finished project. The date itself wasn't stamped with the kit, but with a library date stamper I have.

Why yes, I AM the type of girl who has a library due date stamp. Thank you for noticing!

Did you know that if you are a regular at your post office and ask super nicely, the lady you talk to every time you buy stamps will graciously hand-cancel your vintage postcards to preserve the look you spend hours of work creating? True story.


annie said...

this is such a cute idea, i've been seeing vintage stamps used for wedding invitations and letters for awhile. i love using them too :) i love that you matched the stamps to correspond with the fronts of the postcards.

Sebastian Anthony said...

Wow, SO beautiful -- and fun, and cute, and in keeping with everything!

I hope they were well received :)

Jackie Flaherty said...

I love all the attention and detail and the PHOTOS! This is a great magazine story idea!

www.dakotaboo.com said...

Love vintage postcards/stamps - but what a great idea.

Melissa of {craftgasm} said...

@Annie Coming from a fellow postal geek and talented mail artist, that means a lot to me. :)

@Sebastian They were VERY well-received. We've even heard from some of our friends' parents (who did not receive one themselves) about how awesome they were, so they apparently made an impression. We were able to match some up to people's interests, too, which probably helped (a retired postal employee got the "new" post office postcard from the 1930's, a court clerk friend of ours got a postcard of the Supreme Court, an urban blogger friend got one with a streetcar on it, etc.).

@Jackie Are you trying to make me a contributor? ;)

Melissa of {craftgasm} said...

@dakotaboo I savesavesave them all the time, but convinced myself that sharing was a better way to use them rather than letting them just sit in boxes. :)

Anonymous said...

you should apply for a mailer's postmark so you can cancel the vintage stamps yourself but living in dc i wonder if it would be a hassle