Bending of postcards by (stamp) glue

Dear fellow Postcrossers,

Have you also experienced severe bending of postcards after applying stamps or glue? And how can this be prevented?

During my first months of Postcrossing I could only get a hold of our embarassing self-adhesive stamps. But then started using combinations of older “licking” stamps, generally four of them on a Postcard. Unfortunately this would result in the postcard bending, to a point where I felt I had to apologise for them (again!).

I tried bending the corner of the postcard backwards while applying them to counter this, but it didn’t seem to make a lot of difference. And it also takes some coordination to get them straight and in the right spot that way.

Strangely, I’ve never seen this occur with any of the 200 foreign postcards I received, even with many or very large stamps. The stamps used are from 2007-2009 (the only right amount) and I haven’t received them myself from within the Netherlands, so I don’t know if other Dutchies experience the same issue. So maybe it has something to do with the glue? I have to say that not all my postcards bent to the same extent.

Then the other day started making some collages on Pantone postcards from magazine clippings. I’ve done a lot of magazine collaging in the past on various surfaces without problems and also made a few the same day on just paper. They all looked fine for the first day or two.

But to my horror, the third day all five Pantone postcards were suddenly badly bent (curved) to the point where I had to throw them away. Like the old ones often seen in store stands. I had kept them in a room without daylight, so that can’t have been the issue. And when I carefully tried to bend them back in shape (forward), I got these air bubbles.


I guess I should have put them under a weight directly, but feel this might have prevented them from drying properly and the surface of that weight would have been glued to it.

Any ideas? Thanks a lot!


Yes, stick them in some wax paper & then under a bunch of books, they’ll be fine that way.


@LC-Canada Thanks a lot for the advice! :hugs: Wax paper? I’m not familiar with that and I can never find anything here. Is that similar to “oven paper”, the kind used for baking? Maybe I could use that instead. And will they need to remain underneath the books “forever”, until sending?


Just some kind of paper or plastic sleeve/covering that won’t stick to the cards & to protect the books. Parchment paper (oven paper) should probably be fine. You should be fine with leaving them overnight under books.


Great, thanks!

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I think the air bubbles are parts without glue, or that it got dry before it got stuck.

I have a brayer, and after glueing I brayer over, so everything gets stuck.

But also many things play part, the direction of which paper bends easily, to which side you apply glue, is there another coating already etc.

I don’t mind if the card is bent.
Sometimes I have bought cards that are bent already. So if I put the card on table, top right corner and bottom left corner touch the table, and rest is in the air, so it wasn’t even “straight” bending.

Maybe you could put the cards in plastic sleeve, and they would turn flat there too (like used stamps get flat even when they are almost rolled after removing)? (If you make cards beforehand).


@Sterrenhemel I use a Pritt glue stick for my stamps and I’ve never had these issues.


I just use a stamp sponge, for any stamps that are not self-adhesive. Like they sometimes use in post offices. It works well, even better I don’t have to lick them!


It’s called a Sponge Damper Pad here. The sponge lifts out, water is put in the well, then the sponge is replaced.


Happens to me too. I put something heavy on them and leave it overnight, they get back to the original shape.

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@xxxyyy Thanks for all the info and for your advice, that’s very helpful! :hugs: Good to know they can bend back into shape. A few months ago I bought some 3D cards that I really loved but that were the last ones in the rack… and bent. So I put them in books under a weight and checked a few times, but they just remain like that. :woman_shrugging: I guess it depends on the material.

@Eef_NL Thanks, Evelien! :star: I switched to a Bison stick as well and they remain straight indeed. Just often get smudging. Do your cards bend as well when you apply stamps the regular way?

@Bunny-Boo Very nice, thanks! I remember those and use a regular sponge to close envelopes. I do feel this takes the licking fun out of it, but that’s just a matter of personal taste :smile:.

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@Sterrenhemel No, like I said, I’ve never had these issues. Maybe you use too much glue? Because you also mention smudging, which is also not a problem for me.

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@Eef_NL Very well :blush:. But what I meant is that you use glue for a reason, right? Instead of just licking them. That’s why I thought you may have had the same issue. Bison is indeed creamier (smeuïger) than Pritt and I prefer that because in my experience Pritt easily tears delicate paper. I could buy Pritt, but my point is that I’d prefer to just be able to apply them by licking. I thought everyone else did that :thinking:.

@Sterrenhemel Ah, okay. No, I never lick stamps and I prefer to use the Pritt glue stick.

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Right, thanks. As it appears you’re not one of those: DPG Media Privacy Gate

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I use one of these, too. And yes my cards bend in the stamp corner (especially if it’s a bit too wet). I don’t mind. I mostly write my cards in the evening and out something on top overnight.

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Bakpapier :blush:

The only time I get bending of cards is when I leave them in my cold damp dining room and theyre of lesser quality.
I haven’t licked stamps since the pandemic but I didn’t have issues prior. I use a water colour brush with a water reservoir for my older stamps.

I’m surprised you’d describe standard/ adhesive stamps as embarrassing. I’m a member of the collect club with postnl and they release some beautiful stamps which are adhesive. The ones you can buy over the counter do the job too. :blush:

@Sterrenhemel About the “waxed paper” - pm me your address and I’ll fold some up in an envelope for you! An envelope costs the same as a postcard from the USA.
A lot of people in the USA don’t used waxed paper anymore, but I keep it on hand for odds and ends. When I was a kid, my mom wrapped our lunch sandwiches in it and they would be soggy by lunchtime! I was always jealous of the kids who had aluminum foil-wrapped sandwiches. Rich kids!:rofl: