New Stamp: Bookplate Edition

It has been harder and harder to find lovely bookplates lately. My local independent bookstores don’t carry bookplates, and Barnes & Noble has two bland designs that look like the adhesive would peel away after a year. 
Years ago I had bookplates with dragons, a cat and a girl curled up together in front of a fire, a tree whose roots grew into a book. 
I got a gift card for Christmas, and I decided to use part of it to buy a personalized bookplate stamp. After searching through Etsy, I landed on Asspocket Productions. There were so many designs I liked, girls sitting beneath trees reading, gorgeous flowers draping over elegant fonts. I had three designs I was trying to choose from, but I kept looking. And that’s when I found the perfect stamp. 
New stamp!!
The stamp arrived in the mail a week or so ago, but I’ve been in a crazy job transition period. I unwrapped the stamp and put it in my desk drawer to keep it safe from my cats, who have a penchant for gnawing on pretty much anything that will fit between their jaws. It wasn’t until tonight that I was finally able to pull it out and start conditioning the stamp. 
A new stamp like this isn’t ready to go – you have to rub the surface with an eraser first to get off any debris left over from the stamp cutting process. Then you have to get used to the stamp – how much pressure to place, how to press down to make the lines clean on the paper. 
Learning the feel of my new stamp.
I started in the bottom right corner and ended with the top left stamp. 

The seller’s guidelines suggest stamping the bookplate onto archival paper, trimming the paper, and then pasting the slip into the book. Truthfully, I hadn’t thought out how I would go about stamping books. Stamping is a tricky process, and even after getting used to a stamp each imprint does not necessarily turn out as well as you would hope. And then there’s the thickness of ink, the transparency of paper. In short, many details that could make a stamp as a bookplate a bad experience if you stamp directly into the inside flap or dust pages.

So tomorrow I’m going to the craft store for my archival paper. And I think it will add a layer of pleasure to the stamping of my books to go through these extra steps. Less stressful, since I know in advance that the only stamps that will make it into the books will be those that turn out well. More time consuming? Yes.

My new bookplate stamp. Hooray!

But oh so wonderfully worth it.

6 thoughts on “New Stamp: Bookplate Edition

  1. I got my bookplate stamp from Asspocket Productions too! And Amie's. They make THE BEST stamps. I like the idea of stamping onto archival paper, then pasting it into the book. I've been stamping directly into my books for many, many years now, so I have several fuzzy or otherwise messed up images. I think I'm going to start doing it this way from now on.

  2. Yay!!! What kind of stamp did you get for you and Amie? I remember you saying something a while back about getting one and I was wondering if it was the same place. 🙂

  3. My stamp is an image from Alice in Wonderland–it's BEAUTIFUL, so intricate. It's the one of Alice looking up at a tree with the Cheshire Cat in it. (Yours is beautiful too!) Amie's is a small one. It just has a cute, little panda bear, and it says Amalie on it. I'll get her a bigger, nicer one when she's old enough to pick it out for herself 🙂

  4. Nice stamp! I love it. And I totally agree with the extra steps making it feel extra special. Harkens back to that old Dad say: Anything worth doing is worth doing well. Even if 'well' implies 'slightly more of a pain in the ass'.

    I have bookplates from Ex Libris on Etsy of a girl jumping off a cliff. I bought them because that's how I feel every time I start reading a new book. I jump, and hope the author will catch me.

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