Vintage Stamps and how to find them

Categories   Wedding Inspiration

We (like most of you out there) are absolutely crazy for the graphic loveliness that vintage stamps add to any piece of mail. They just don’t make stamps like they used to, do they?

vintagestamps_1

If you’re thinking of using these beauties for your invites, remember that you’ll need a lot of them to add up to the 59 cents that most wedding invites cost to mail. If you’re using a calligrapher, perhaps consider telling her that you’ll need extra space along the top of your envelope to accommodate a whole row of stamps. And while you’re collecting them, remember to get as many high value stamps as possible. High value as in postage, not collectable-ness. Anything above 15 cents should be treated like gold. Seriously. Most vintage stamps are in the 3 – 8 cent range and if you do the math, you need A LOT of those little ones to add up to the correct postage.

Moving on: Color and layout combos are infinite when you have a big fat stack of stamps in your lap.

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So, where do you get them? The $64,000 question, right? Finding them isn’t as hard as it might seem. Here’s our best tip… find a local stamp store (it seems like every major and minor city should have at least one, sometimes it’s a stamp and coin shop), and ask to see face value vintage stamps. There are plenty of stamps that are old and cute, but have no value to collectors. Those are the ones you want. If you can find a good store, your vintage postage will cost exactly the same as regular postage. Unless of course you can’t control yourself and buy 3 times as many stamps as you actually need. Not that such a thing has ever happened to us.

If you can’t find a local shop, there’s always online options like Ebay, Champion Stamp, and as reader Kristy pointed out a few days ago, Kenmore Stamp Co.

Postage never expires, but you need to make sure you’re buying unused/uncanceled US stamps. If you do end up purchasing stamps online make sure you confirm that this is in fact what you’re buying.

Happy hunting!

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Social Love

Mo on May 14, 2009

You read my mind. Thank you!

Kate @Kids and Cocktails on May 14, 2009

I want the Alabama stamps!!! :)

Danielle on May 14, 2009

I did this for my wedding invites. I loved the way they turned out. I shopped on ebay for stamps. And yes it does take a lot of time and space on the envolope to place all the stamps on. But it was totally worth the effort!

Kathleen at Twig & Thistle on May 14, 2009

I LOVE everything about this post! Thanks for the lovely inspiration and the tips!

Ellie on May 14, 2009

Wow - I've seen this but only via pictures. I had no idea that 'vintage' stamps still worked - I wish that were the case in the UK!

fresh365 on May 14, 2009

Great post! I love the red ones. Now I just need to get married again...

The Perfect Palette on May 14, 2009

great post! Thanks for the tips!

Kristy R. on May 14, 2009

Great post & advice - especially to watch out for used stamps... I received my mint stamps from Kenmore and they are perfect - that Alabama lovely is my favorite!

Lindsey on May 14, 2009

like another reader said, you READ MY MIND! i was up all hours of the night last night looking for stamps. my wedding is march 2010 so i hope if i start now i'll be able to find enough stamps! THANKS!

flights of fancy on May 14, 2009

Great post! I too have been on the hunt for vintage stamps....thanks for the tips!!

Leigh on May 14, 2009

I've often wondered about this. I'm the annoying girl who goes to the post office and asks to see all of the pretty/interesting stamps while everyone else in line grumbles and secretly wishes I'd just grab the forever stamp and go!

Truly Smitten on May 15, 2009

Thanks for the lovely advice!

Secret Leaves on May 15, 2009

Mystic Stamp Company is another good source. : ) Sharon

Nichole @ ScrappyTime on May 15, 2009

These are all so pretty!

newlydomesticated on May 15, 2009

OMG, I have been waiting for someone to explain this. Martha Stewart Weddings always shows pretty envelopes with Greta Garbo and I'm always looking at my post office stamps and wondering how that came to be. Great advice!

Andrea on May 15, 2009

So, let's say you don't want to us so much space... you could design your own stamp and upload it the Post Office Website. Then you can get the exact color/feel you want, and still have room to write pretty. I think some people "design" their own stamp by uploading a picture of themselves, but if you did an original drawing/illustration, it could look really cool!

theblogsmaid on May 15, 2009

I love this idea! What a great, personalized touch, and such a great vintagey look. The other option is to get customizable image stamps, which is great if you don't want to take up so much room on the envelope. Or do both!

Chris:: c is for charmed on May 15, 2009

I love stamps - i wish i got my butt in gear to do this for our own invites! great post

p on May 17, 2009

does anyone know a good stamp (or stamp and coin) shop in the san francisco area?

Tenn Hens on May 18, 2009

What a fabulous post! I am obsessed with using old stamps for invitations - it makes such an impact. Even arranging current stamps in various increments in a pattern across the top makes a cool look.

Susan Lang on May 19, 2009

How cool. I was unaware of places to purchase vintage stamps. I always purchase decorative stamps at the post office when I send notes or mail bills. I think the envelope of the note from me deserves a little flair. First time visitor to your blog!

Jennifer on May 19, 2009

Those pictures are amazing! You can find cancelled postage stamps on Etsy ... you could use them as a border on the actual invite or since they wouldn't make it through the system!

Annie on May 25, 2009

I love all these wonderful stamps!! As a designer of custom wedding postage for brides, I found your post to be very inspiring --- loved viewing the photos of these stamps from yesterday. Thanks for the post!

Katy on May 25, 2009

LOVE love love the vintage stamp idea. I was putting off buying stamps because I don't like the new ones. What a great alternative! Thanks!

Randy on May 29, 2009

Great pictures! Old stamps are fun to collect and display. Thanks for the post!

Denise @ A Bun Can Dance on Jun 18, 2009

Oh absolutely delightful ! I want to remarry or hold a very special party indeed! Or maybe I'll just go buy some gorgeous vintage stamps to look at...... Thank you!

Taylor on Jul 7, 2009

Definitely doing this...there are some affordable lots of mint stamps on Ebay....it can get expensive pretty quick, though, (especially if your invites/mail is a bit heavy), so I think I will combine new/current stamps with some vintage!

Taylor on Jul 8, 2009

So after I commented last night I did some more research...if you aren't picky about color or postage amount, you can buy 'commemorative year sets' on Ebay for pretty cheap. It includes all the stamps made for that year--I really like 1969, which includes that pretty Alabama stamp! This guy's ebay store is great for this: CVA59.

lee on Jul 29, 2009

you can make your own at zazzle.com and put a vintage pic... I got stamps with a vintage picture from the 1900's of the reception site.

brideonashoestring on Aug 10, 2009

I am so glad you have this post. Lovely. Perfect for my for modern vintage glam wedding. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

adesignaffair on Aug 27, 2009

Thank you for this post!!!!

Nadia P on Nov 2, 2009

I know I'm a little late in the game with commenting on this post. I *love* this idea! Does anyone know what to search in order to find those flower 6 cent stamps in the first set of photos? The scott number perhaps? Thank you!!

emsbutler on Nov 7, 2009

If you live in the Boston area you can go to the Spellman stamp museum and browse through their selection of the vintage stamps that they sell. Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History 235 Wellesley Street at Regis College Weston MA 02493 USA phone: 781.768.8367

juel on Nov 12, 2009

I just saw those 6 cent flower stamps on ebay under the 1969 commemorative year set.

Sarah on Nov 20, 2009

Wow I LOVE this look. I'm planning on trying it for my own wedding if I can find enough stamps in the right colors.

Tenekia on Jan 19, 2010

I was so happy that I came across this post. I was able to find all the vintage stamps that I needed. I used them for my Save-the-Dates and everyone was commenting on how beautiful they were. It took about 2 hours just to arrange and affix stamps to only 20 envelopes. I tried to personalize the stamps to each recipient. I am using them for the wedding invitation as well. But, I think that I went overboard. I have about $200 in extra stamps. If anyone is interested in seeing what I have, please email me at tenekia54@aol.com.

Dreams Resorts Weddings on Feb 6, 2010

A great post!

Danielle on Feb 19, 2010

As a childhood philatelist, this post made my day...So glad I found it and wish I had this idea!

Erin on Feb 25, 2010

just came across an etsy shop that sells vintaged stamps - Verdestudio http://www.etsy.com/shop/VerdeStudio

Tenekia on Mar 5, 2010

I just thought that I should give an update on the stamps that I have. If someone is doing an Americana themed wedding or a Fourth of July wedding, I have stamps for that. If you are looking for flowers, I have pink and red flowers. If there are any sports or skiing enthusiasts, I have the stamps for you.

Tenekia on Mar 5, 2010

I forgot another option. For all of the Boston or Massachusett brides, I have some stamps that you may interested in.

Rose on Mar 6, 2010

Lovely and gorgeous!

25th anniversary invitations on Apr 13, 2010

Thank you for these nice suggestions.

Kate Skogen on May 1, 2010

If you're not up for doing it yourself, I offer hand addressed envelopes with vintage postage stamps for your wedding, shower, or any other celebration! http://www.jetkatdesign.com/shop/

F @ http://sanebrideadvice.blogspot.com/ on May 18, 2010

Thanks for the great post! I wish I had seen it when I had sent my own invites... Love the detailed touch it adds to invitations

step up converter on Jun 11, 2010

i like that too

tiffany. on Jun 18, 2010

this is an amazing idea!!!

Jen on Jul 16, 2010

We went this route, and I love love LOVE our stamps! We used the VerdeStudio shop on Etsy where we were able to request and receive exactly what we needed for very little cost! Happy hunting! :) Jen

Gina on Jul 25, 2010

I used this idea to personalize my invites by using stamps that would have some meaning to the guests receiving the invite. For example, a couple that we invited lives in California. She is an architect and he is a scientist, they both love sports and they were recently engaged, he is part Japanese and she loves to travel. I then found a California stamp, an architecture and science stamps, an old Olympics stamp, a "LOVE" stamp, a cherry blossom stamp and a stamp with hot air balloons. Everyone noticed the stamps said something about them, so not only did they keep my invite, I got notes from everyone telling me how much they loved it! I of course then added those to my wedding scrapbook.

maura on Jul 30, 2010

i bought my vintage stamps from http://www.thepapernickel.com/. Holly was FANTASTIC. Extremely responsive and very cool with letting you know the stamp you just fell in love with costs $1.80 EACH :) (i heart baseball). Just wanted to share since she was great and my stamps are lovely

Jill on Aug 2, 2010

So pretty it's almost a shame to use them - but what is life if you don't share it.

Daniella on Sep 2, 2010

I have been looking for vintage stamps for my artwork and ran into your website with all your great tips! Thanks a bunch. I really didn't think there are so many places to find them!

melissa@keithpitts on Sep 8, 2010

Gorgeous! reminds me of being a kid when I collected stamps! Very nice detail!

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Christina (plus) Nathan on Sep 22, 2010

We used istock photo and bought a bunch of old stamps (and found lots on google for free), we also used a template on to make our own. We used them to brand our biz. Moo also has the perfect square stamps to print them on....Cheers!

Wedding Planners UK on Oct 15, 2010

I love this idea but some poor stamp collector somewhere is pulling their hair out at the thought! Wonderful accent to a vintage wedding!

sara on Dec 1, 2010

just bought a whole bunch of stamps for my save the dates and invites at www.usmintsheets.com -- the sheets listed by scott number in the 1000's are pretty cheap and pretty!

Albuquerque janitorial services on Dec 7, 2010

Thanks for the information on online stores. I hadn't heard of either one of them. Great information, and thanks!

Michelle | My Personal Artist on Feb 26, 2011

I am so delighted to stumble upon your vintage stamps post. My grandfather was a philatelist (stamp collector). This post brings back such great memories of me sitting with him and searching and organizing his collection. My father now has his collection tucked away. Next time I visit I'll be sure to ask him to bring them out. Thank you for this post. ;)

michelle on Mar 25, 2011

http://www.etsy.com/shop/ThePostageService Christine has just about every vintage stamp known to man and in large quantities too. Haven't been able to find any lower prices either. Great seller.

prom gown on Mar 29, 2011

This article is wonderful. Now i fall in love.

Rachel F. on May 11, 2011

We used The Paper Nickel for the vintage stamps on our wedding invitations. She was a DREAM to work with, very quick and thorough with a huge selection. I highly recommend! http://thepapernickel.com/index.html

Kate Stancliffe on Sep 6, 2011

I am very late to this conversation, but have been wondering how to get vintage stamps in the United Kingdom that will work. Do any of you lovely people have any bright ideas?! I think the UK is very behind on beautiful wedding invite design!!!

groom wears on Sep 8, 2011

I have also a lot of old stamps. Collection is one of my hobby.

Frances on Oct 2, 2011

Treasurefox on Etsy has pre-packaged themed sets of vintage postage stamps that are great for all kinds of mailings not just weddings. If you need larger quantities for mailings then are listed in the store you can either get additional sets of the groups already in the store or contact Rich and he will put together a custom order based on your wedding themes. http://www.etsy.com/shop/treasurefox?ref=pr_shop_more&view_type=gallery

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Rebecca on Dec 28, 2011

Do know anyone that sells postal books (sleeves of .10 & 25 cent) for an antique postal machine that I just feel in love with and purchased today? Thank you for any help or direction you can provided. Happy New New, Rebecca (Philly, PA)

Sarah on Jan 30, 2012

This is a great summary of how to find those great vintage stamps for wedding invites! I've re-posted on my blog too! Thanks! http://www.icingonthepaper.com/blog/?p=106

samantha kramer (pack & post) on Feb 8, 2012

Hi there! If anyone is still on the hunt for vintage postage, I run a shop selling vintage stamps on Etsy called Pack and Post. I have pre-made sets (and grab bags) ready to purchase but I also welcome custom orders for weddings, parties, holidays, you name it! You can find my shop at www.packandpost.etsy.com xo Samantha

sunil kathe on Aug 9, 2012

Hi I wish to sell the postal stamps from my collection if interested Pl. mail me thank you.

Jennifer Larson on Aug 31, 2012

Absolutely gorgeous. I just got inspired to start a stamp collection!

emily on Jan 5, 2013

Wow this is really nice i have alot of these stamps im looking to get rid of them if anyone is interested then please contact me thanks

Lauren on Feb 24, 2013

If anyone has any tip for Canadian vintage stamps and where to find them (affordably) I would appreciate it! :)

philip on Jun 27, 2013

i have old stamp over 100 years and i have old over 50 years

Liz on Aug 4, 2013

Is there a stamp shop that sells face value vintage stamps in Los Angeles? Anyone know of one?

Dorothy Oz (LoveThePostage) on Sep 9, 2013

Hi Liz! I don't sell my vintage postage for face but you can find nice clean vintage postage for your wedding invites, christmas cards, save the dates or any other special correspondance in my Etsy shop, LoveThePostage. I welcome custom orders or you can choose from set sor grab bags of various postage that adds up to current postage rates. You can find my shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/LoveThePostage

lindsy on Sep 23, 2013

I need a 2009 stamp and a 2007 stamp for a baby book where can I find them

Discounted Stamp on Sep 25, 2013

This is an intresting blog that you have posted you shares a lot of thing about royal mail postage stamps, cheap postage stamps and used postage stamps .

Kol on Mar 1, 2016

I found a great source for vintage postage stamps. Face value. http://www.cruzcreate.com/ink/interview-with-murphs-stamps

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