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Art:

Make Your Own Postage Stamps

 

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?

 

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Things to gather in advance:

 

Paper

Thin-line markers or colored pencils

Rubber stamps and ink pads

Ruler

Pencil

oz. unflavored gelatin

White corn syrup

Lemon or vanilla extract

Stove or burner

One-inch paintbrush

Scissors

 

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 8" x 11" paper. Inside each square, draw your design. You can erase the pencil lines if you wish.

 

When your art work is complete and dry, make this recipe for the "stickum" on the back:

 

oz. unflavored gelatin

1 T. cold water

3 T. boiling water

tsp. white corn syrup or sugar

tsp. lemon or vanilla extract

 

Put the 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 8" 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.

 

If you 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:

 

www.stamps.org/kids

 

www.bumperland.com/stamps.html

 

www.stamphelp.com

 

By Susan Darst Williams www.AfterSchoolTreats.com Art 02 2015

 

 

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