Monday, August 13, 2012

The cost of letterboxing: buying stamps vs making stamps

I think an argument can go either way as to the costs associated with participating in letterboxing.  For people who are really tight on money, or for families where the multiplication of each cost per person adds up, I can see why it might be a little concerning.

I'm in the camp that belives that letterboxing can be as expensive or as inexpensive as you want it to be.  For me, it's expensive because I spend quite a bit on carving materials, boxing materials, inks, and, well, gas money.  The pumps are what are killing me.

Nevertheless, despite being expensive, there are various aspects of it that I actually think are a great deal cheaper.

Take, for instance, my recent trip to Michael's to pick up some more ink.  As the inks are located right beside all of the commercial stamps, where I saw this:

My hand is there for size reference.
Look at this stamp... This one looks very familiar to me as last year, I made and used a similar base to make my Christmas cards. You can see my blog post about that and the images of it here.  I was out with friends at a card making gathering and hand-drew and carved this in about 10 minutes, 15 minutes tops.  I then used it to make about 30 cards, then gifted it to a fellow card maker.  For the materials I used, I suspect that I spent less than $5 to make.  I made the design exactly the way I wanted it, the exact size I needed, exactly the moment I wanted it.

This one, sold for $25 isn't as nice as mine, quite frankly, and mine was perfect for my needs.  Good grief.  Some of the stamps that you can buy are absolutely worth purchasing - if you need them.  I want to be as good a carver as I can possibly be, but I can never compete with a laser when reproducing certain types of images.  Nevertheless, I can't fathom some of the stamps they sell when they are so easily made on your own.

These are even worse: $30 for really basic images as you can see on the sides of these containers.
Please, if you're reading this and not already a carver, go to the dollar store, spend $2 on a pack of erasers and an exacto knife, and try it out.  You basically have $2 to lose, but plenty to gain. You have any troubles, just give me a call.  I just want what's best for you.

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