I don’t think I am a very zesty collector, yet I used to collect some quite particular items. As most children in the eighties I collected bubble gums cards. I smile when I think now of all the gums you had to buy and chew and all the cards you needed to swap to get a decent collection of the Turbo cars cards, which were all the rage and a must-have for any socially aspiring school kid. We spent ages sitting on the pavement, chewing gums and playing car wars, until, as with all the crazes, it passed.
A few years later and rather by a coincidence I became a very passionate collector of hedgehogs. Fluffy hedgehogs, ceramic hedgehogs, metal hedgehogs – coming in all sizes and colours. Nowadays, they are all safely packed and stored away in a big box in my hometown and I know I will make use of this collection, just haven’t clearly figured out how, yet.
Another collection came up somewhat naturally – being a coffee drinker but not taking any sugar with my coffee I started to collect the little sugar packets. They are a sort of keepsake from places you go – local cafes, holiday destinations, museums, airports … I grab them into my handbag, bring home and store them in one of the big mason jars in the kitchen. So if there ever is a global disaster resulting in sugar shortage we could easily go on our supplies for a good few months.
I must admit I was never particularly into collecting stamps. Even though my father tried hard to get me into this very proper hobby and provided me with a decent start-up set, I hardly got excited about the seemingly valuable shop-bought series and found flipping the albums rather boring. I guess one of the biggest reasons was how careful you needed to be with your collection. No touching. No exposing. No interaction. For me, there was no charm in such an unpractical hobby. I much more preferred putting the kettle on and using the steam to get the “real” stamps from the back of the postcards.
Many years later, I was working for an international organization that received plenty of correspondence from all other the world. The stamps were too pretty to just dispose of them so I started, well, collecting them. I decided to turn the collection into a DIY project.Inspired by the Chapter of Winnie-the-Pooh where Eeyore has birthday and Pooh decides to present him with a “Useful Pot to put things in”, I decided to make a Useful Box to store things in.
All you need is:
1 good quality carton box or shoe box with a lid
9 to 12 stamps for each 10cm2 (150-200 stamps for a shoe box or 250-350 for a medium box as the one in the picture above)
PVA multipurpose adhesive
I must honestly say I do not bother with steaming anymore and instead try to carefully tear the stamps off the envelopes. Once you have your stamps ready, work on one side of the box at a time and arrange the stamps to make them fit. Then, apply the glue with a brush and stick your stamps. Repeat with all other sides and the lid. To finish off apply at least 2 layers of PVA diluted 1-1 with water to prime your box. Use to keep your accessories or collections in.
And you? Do you have any unusual collections? Please share in the comments below.