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Fun Fake Stamps from Your Photos

Beverly Public Library StampIf you were designing a postage stamp for your library, what would it look like? What about historic buildings and other notable places within your community, wouldn’t it be fun to see them featured on postage stamps?

The United States Postal Service does allow you to put your photographs on real postage stamps through their Picture It Postage plan.

Balch House StampBut it’s more fun and a lot cheaper just to play around with the idea of designing your own local postage stamps. There’s a free online tool called Framer that makes it easy to create stamp images from your photographs, complete with postmark. It can connect to your Flickr or Facebook account to get your pictures, or you can upload them from your computer.

This might be a fun photo-craft project for children or teens (anyone, really!) These faux stamps could be used as graphics for your library blog or website, or printed out and used as part of a display — could work with a travel display, or one on stamp collecting or perhaps on the lost art of letter-writing.

Sample of a postage stamp made using a Flickr Commons photoHistoric images, like this one from the New York Public Library’s collection on Flickr, also work well for this. Be sure to change the date for the postmark for these!

Have fun! Framer has many other styles and options, and it’s part of a great collection called fd’s Flickr Toys.

The Alienator : Halloween Photo Fun for Kids and Teens

Alien 1 (Dog) : ThumbnailHere’s a quick and easy photo trick that might be a good activity for kids of all ages to try for Halloween (or any other time.)

The Alienator is a cool tool from Dumpr.net that lets you transform any photograph into an alien’s eye view. You can start with a photograph from your PC, your Flickr account, or from another source, choose one of the weird and wild effects, click, and you’re done! You’ll get a permanent link to your photo, or you can save it to your PC, upload it to Flickr, or send it by e-mail.

Teen Read Week Idea : Lolcats

Teen Read Week is October 14-20, and this year’s theme is “LOL @ your library.” LOL means Laugh Out Loud, and one way to celebrate is to have your teens make some lolcats.

A lolcat is a photograph of a cat with amusing superimposed text, supposedly spoken by the cat. The text is usually mangled, with the spelling and grammar that one presumes cats, since apparently it’s possible to imagine cats writing in English, but not very well. There’s a definite unofficial style to lolcat images, with the text nearly always being done in a sans serif font, white with a black border.