Sunday, August 1, 2010

Can I make my own Stamp Album?

Let’s talk about making album pages. Stamp albums are expensive at best and sometimes certain countries or topics are not available. We all have a computer at our disposal (if not how are you reading this?) so why not use them to design and print album pages that fit our ideas. I personally use Microsoft Publisher for my pages. I will try to take you through the process step by step.

STEP 1: The design. I like a border around my page so I spent some time exploring the borders available within Publisher. Publisher contains a large number of borders but many are not suitable for our use. Let’s start our page. Open Publisher by clicking on the icon (it IS necessary that you have Publisher to complete this task). Choose a blank page, full page. You should now see a screen with a simple blank page. Pick the box tool from the left menu (the picture that looks like a box) and starting in the left top corner press the left mouse button and drag the box to the lower right corner. Don’t worry if the box isn’t the rite size, we can change the size later. With a frame now on the screen, right click the mouse. Tada we can now click Border. The choices are a line or border art. Pick border art. Don’t be shy, use a border to suit your mood, for fun pick ice-cream cones or palm trees. I personally like a little more sedate border but what the heck it’s your stamp page. I recommend that you place your border slightly to the right to allow for holes to be punched on the left side. (This is a good time to test print your page.) If all is well save the page and call it something like stamp-page.

STEP 2: The Page The hard part is finished so lets keep going. The whole idea is to use the page to mount stamps so let’s get out some stamps and a ruler. Pick the first stamp you want to place on the page and measure the stamp. I choose a US commemorative and it measured 1 inch high by 1.5 inches long. I recommend you leave a space between the stamp and the border so add .25 of an inch to the size. This make the stamp 1.25 inches high by 1.75 inches long. Back to our page and the box tool. At the bottom of the Publisher page there is a space that shows the size of the box we are drawing. Drag the box out until the size reads 1.75X 1.25 in. At this point we can once again change to a fancy border or use a simple line. The box we have drawn can be moved to anywhere on the page. We can also copy the box if we are going to mount more than one of the same size stamps. Continue to add stamp boxes until your happy with the layout of the page. Just remember that you’re going to add some text for explanation in the next section so leave some room.

STEP 3: Adding Text lets add some text to finish off the page. At the top we need some kind of title so ……. Pick the A on the left side and draw a good sized text box at the top of the page. Choose a font that suits your mood and a point size of about 25-30. Now type your title. Lets add an explanation of our stamps at the bottom using the same method only this time use a smaller font size.

Well that’s all there is to it. Your imagination is the only limiting factor so go wild and build a stamp album that you like. To add some punch to your page try importing pictures or maps. Should you own a color printer the new pages will look great with a color graphic. (Remember: the ink used with color printers will run if it gets wet) Remember this is your collection so have some fun.


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