Do you have old envelopes lying around at home? Don’t throw them away – use them to encourage the child in your life to start stamp collecting! You can get your friends, family and coworkers involved by asking them to donate their stamped envelopes too.
Once you have gathered a few used envelopes with stamps on them, you’ll need to figure out how to remove stamps from envelopes. The real trick is learning how to remove a stamp without damaging it. The best way to safely get a used stamp off an envelope (or postcard) is to soak it off.
Here’s how to soak a stamp:
- Cut the stamp off the envelope, leaving about 1 cm of paper around the stamp.
- Fill a shallow dish with 2 to 3 cm of cold tap water.
- Float the stamp, face up, on the surface of the water.
- Wait 5 to 60 minutes until the border around the stamp looks soaked, then carefully lift it out using tongs.
- Put the stamp face down on some paper towel and use tongs to peel the paper off the stamp.
- Leave the stamp to dry face down on the paper towel –away from any heat sources that might curl the edges. Put another sheet of paper towel on it and a book to keep the stamp flat as it dries.
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Is the stamp on the envelope a self-adhesive stamp? Removing self-adhesive stamps is easier than you might think. You can still soak them off! They are made with a special lining on the back so that you can remove them. Make sure to use warm (lukewarm) water and soak the stamps a little longer. With a little patience, you can remove them.
If you don’t want to soak off a self-adhesive stamp, cut around it by about 1 cm and then display it with the backing still attached.
If you’re lucky enough to find a very old stamp, leave it on the paper to avoid damaging it.
Have you ever taken a stamp off an envelope? Do you have any tips or tricks for how to remove a stamp without damaging it that you can share with us?