Make Your Own Postage
Today's snack, since we're going to
be talking about postage stamps, which you lick, we should have something that
you lick - how about a fruit ice bar or popsicle?
Things to gather in
Thin-line markers or colored pencils
Rubber stamps and ink pads
¼ oz. unflavored gelatin
White corn syrup
Lemon or vanilla extract
Stove or burner
One of the
most popular hobbies in the word is stamp collecting. The first postage stamp
dates to Great Britain in 1840, and countless billions of stamps have been
printed all over the world since then, showing everything from flowers to
heroes to scientific advancements.
Postage stamps are actually an art
form. Many of them are extremely beautiful, like miniature paintings. It is a
great honor to have your design selected to go onto a postage stamp, or to have
a stamp issued that is in your honor. Presidents, movie stars, astronauts and
other famous people often get that honor, and their faces wind up in the stamp
collecting albums of people all around the world.
Stamps are not only a popular
hobby, attracting as many as 20 million people in the United States alone, but
also provide an unusual source of money for small, Third World countries. They
print up far more postage stamps than their own populations need because stamp
collectors from all over the world will buy the extras and trade them among
themselves. That brings in a source of money to that small country that it
couldn't get otherwise, so it's a win-win.
You can make your own postage stamp,
or other kind of stickers! First, take your time and think of a design you'd
like to draw or paint. Or perhaps you'd like to use rubber stamps and ink pads.
You could use thin-line markers or colored pencils, too.
Now use a ruler and light pencil
to mark off a number of squares on a piece of 8½" x 11" paper. Inside each
square, draw your design. You can erase the pencil lines if you wish.
art work is complete and dry, make this recipe for the "stickum" on the back:
1 T. cold
white corn syrup or sugar
lemon or vanilla extract
cold water in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin on top. Let stand for five
minutes. Add the boiling water. Stir 'til dissolved. Add the syrup or sugar,
and the extract. Stir well.
With a 1-inch brush, brush the gum
thinly on the back of your prepared 8½" x 11" paper. Make sure to put the
artwork face down. If the page curls up as it dries, weigh the corners down
with a stack of coins or other heavy object.
Once the "stickum" has completely dried,
press it under a stack of heavy books so that the page will lay flat. Cut out
your stickers or stamps, moisten and apply wherever you want them.
make too much "stickum," note that it will keep in the refrigerator in a sealed
jar for months. When you're ready to use it again, reheat in a pan on the
stove. In the meantime, just don't forget what it is and eat it! Though if you
do, you'll be OK. The ingredients are all edible.
NOTE: you CANNOT
use your own homemade stamps to mail a letter! Just enjoy them for fun. The
Post Office won't like it if you tried to do that!
For more about stamp collecting: