Sunday, September 14, 2008

Save that envelope! Save that stamp!

Personalized stamps, such as those made by PhotoStamps, are becoming increasingly popular for weddings, bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, and other celebrations. The PhotoStamps website is a fountain of inspiration and information about personalizing your postage and ways to use these stamps. The stamps are a small indulgence, but remember that the price per sheet goes down the more sheets you order – that’s another reason to find lots of uses for them.

For weddings, for example, in addition to using them on your invitations and response cards, you can use them on save-the-date cards and thank you notes. Here’s another creative idea from PhotoStamps – take photos of your wedding party and turn them into customized stamps - give the stamps to your attendants as a token of appreciation for sharing your special day.

Once you start paying attention to these stamps, you’ll see them everywhere. My daughter was visiting her friend Sarah one recent afternoon. Sarah’s sister is having her Bat Mitzvah this year (along with many of her friends) so she is starting to get invitations to her friends’ celebrations. An envelope had arrived in the mail that day, and Sarah and her mother were trying to figure out who sent the invitation – they didn’t recognize the return address. But the envelope's stamp featured a photo of the guest of honor, which my sharp-eyed daughter noticed – she pointed it out and said, “you can see who it is.” Mystery solved!

Even if you don’t order custom postage, you may be able to find a stamp that fits your occasion. I’m working on a bar mitzvah invitation collage now for a boy who clearly cares a lot about baseball. The invitation has a personalized baseball-theme stamp with the date of the event. But for the response card, they are using the regular “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” stamp from the post office. So with a little detective work (find a post office that has a good selection of stamps and friendly clerks who don’t mind spending a few minutes while you browse the possibilities) you might find something that is almost the equivalent of custom postage, but without the custom cost.

Custom stamps make wonderful additions to Purple Raincoat invitation keepsake collages (see my earlier thoughts on this subject). Envelope linings also can be featured in the keepsakes - see my daughter's Silver invitation keepsake. There are more examples on the Purple Raincoat website (see Jill's Platinum keepsake in the Bat Mitzvah examples).

So when you get an invitation in the mail, don’t throw the envelope away – it might have something I can use it when I create a beautiful framed invitation keepsake for you. Have an invitation to an upcoming event? Ready to order? Hang onto that envelope, and contact us today – we can’t wait to get started on your one-of-a-kind gift.

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