Vintage Stamps, Washi Tape & Stickers: Envelope Art

There are many ways to decorate a letter.  Do not overlook the “wow” factor a postage stamp provides to your beautifully decorated envelope!  Personally, I love adding vintage postage to the envelopes.  I view postage stamps as miniature works of art that are tied to history.  They bring attention to accomplishments, turning points and natural wonders as well as capturing the American experience.  I enjoy researching and learning the “back story” to the stamps I use.  For this letter I chose a 1981 20¢ Flag Over Supreme Court, the 1968 10¢ 50-Star Runway, a 1938 2¢ John Adams and the 1981 18¢ Flag Over Seacoast.  Vintage stamps can be ordered through various online dealers such as the Mystic Stamp Company (  What I like about this site is they provide an online U.S. Stamp Catalog with a visual index sort.  They also provide an online order form to receive a FREE 156-page catalog.  I thought it would be fun to share the descriptions I found on the Mystic Stamp Company website for the four stamps I used on this envelope. Here we go:

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Top Left:
1981 20¢ Flag Over Supreme Court
Issue Date: December 17, 1982
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Engraved
Perforations: 11
Color: Black, dark blue and red
Supreme Court
The powers and responsibilities of the Supreme Court are established in the U.S. Constitution. It is the highest court in the judicial branch of the federal government. The Supreme Court is the only court established by the Constitution. It has narrow original jurisdiction that is largely limited to cases involving ambassadors, public ministers, and states.

Top Right:
1968 10¢ 50-Star Runway
Issue Date: January 5, 1968
City: San Francisco, CA
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary press printing
Perforations: 11 X 10 ½
Color: Carmine
This stamp was issued to conform to the law, which raised airmail postage rates effective on January 7, 1968.

Bottom Left:
1938 2¢ John Adams
Presidential Series
Issue Date: June 3, 1938
First City: Washington, DC
Quantity Issued: 25,038,485,700
Printing Method: Rotary press
Perforations: 11 x 10 ½
Color: Rose carmine
Known affectionately as the “Prexies,” the 1938 Presidential series is a favorite among stamp collectors.
The series was issued in response to public clamoring for a new Regular Issue series. The series that was current at the time had been in use for more than a decade. President Franklin D. Roosevelt agreed, and a contest was staged. The public was asked to submit original designs for a new series picturing all deceased U.S. Presidents. Over 1,100 sketches were submitted, many from veteran stamp collectors. Elaine Rawlinson, who had little knowledge of stamps, won the contest and collected the $500 prize. Rawlinson was the first stamp designer since the Bureau of Engraving and Printing began producing U.S. stamps who was not a government employee.

Bottom Right:
1981 18¢ Flag Over Seacoast
Issue Date: April 24, 1981
City: Portland, ME
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Engraved
Perforations: 11
Color: Multicolored
Across the globe, national flags represent each country’s ideals. The flag that is most recognizable as a symbol of freedom and strong will is the American flag.

I love using different washi tape and stickers to decorate envelopes.  I had a lot of fun trimming out this one.

The Paper Studio has an awesome sticker pack called “Friendship Phrases” (#901108) –  which I love.

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