Workshop Tips for the Beginning Stamper

These are a few of the things I like to go over at classes when I have new people in attendance. I hope these tips are helpful to you!

Stampin’ Up! introduced their beautiful new stackable inkpads in June 2018. Many of us, myself included, have some old-style and some new-style inkpads; and the two styles of inkpads open and close in a slightly different way. Check out the very short videos below to be familiar with how to open and close both styles of inkpad.

Old Style: Push, Flip, and Slide

New Style: Popup, Flip, and Slide

No matter which style of inkpad you’re using, the foam pad is stored upside down when the inkpad is closed. This means that when you open the inkpad, the ink is all at the surface and ready for you to use. You don’t need to press down hard on the surface of the inkpad; a light touch will produce the best image.

Scrap Paper
Your scrap paper is a craft room must-have. Not only will you use it for cleaning your stamps (see Step 1 and 4), but you can also use it to experiment with your stamping before you commit to stamping on your project. Make sure you know how that stamp is ‘lined up’ before you stamp it on your project, and make sure you like the ink colour. In other words, practice first until you’re confident you can produce the image you want on your project.

Acrylic Blocks
The option to purchase and store just one set of acrylic blocks to use with countless stamp sets is one of my favourite things about Stampin’ Up! In addition to saving on cost and storage, I love being able to see exactly where I am stamping. However, a common mistake that I see beginners making is choosing the wrong block for the stamp they are using.

If the stamp is bigger than your block, your image is going to be missing some parts, as seen above. And if your block is way larger than your stamp, it will lead you to ‘rock’ your stamp on the cardstock, which is a leading cause of ‘halo’ images as seen below


Like Goldilocks, we need a block that is ‘just right’. The right-sized block is the smallest block that fits your entire stamp.

Remember that your catalogue will show you the recommended block sizes for every stamp set!

General Etiquette
Please keep cross-talk to a minimum so that you and your craft-mates don’t miss important instructions. Keep in mind that many of your fellow crafters are here for a rare night out, away from the pressures of work, home, school, and family. Some crafters are excited to connect with others, while some would prefer a calm and mellow environment. Be respectful of others and their boundaries; notice whose communication styles are similar to your own, and plan to sit together for maximum enjoyment!

Food and Drink
I keep my craft nights short (aiming to have all projects complete within 2.5 hours), and I ask that you not bring snacks to our workshops. If you wish to bring treats when it’s your turn to be the hostess, please bring something individually wrapped/packaged (e.g. chocolate bar) so people can take them home to enjoy there. Unpackaged food causes a mess on our craft projects, which after all is the main reason we’re meeting. Similarly, please make sure your beverage is in a sealable container to avoid spills on yours or others’ projects.

As your demonstrator it’s my job to answer any of your questions about Stampin’ Up! products, our projects, techniques, etc.  Don’t lean on your fellow crafters for advice, as they are also here to enjoy a low-pressure night out. Be patient when I am helping other crafters, and know that I will get to your question as soon as I can!

Tidying up
Based on feedback I’ve received from workshop attendees, I organize my classes so that attendees stay in one place and project bins are circulated from one table to the next, instead of having attendees move around to other tables. This means that attendees don’t need to move to a crafting station that may not be as tidy as they would like! However, it also means that when a table group is finishing up with a project, they need to make sure all the supplies and tools go back in the project bin, along with the sample card, so the bin can be passed to the next group. Please do your part to help keep supplies together in the bin; the less time spent looking for missing items, the more time everyone gets to spend in crafting.

When things go wrong ….
Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, things go wrong. Don’t be embarrassed! Pretty much any mistake you could make, I have probably done the same thing. When you’re stuck, ask for help and we’ll figure out a solution together.

And when all else fails?
My projects don’t look perfect the first time I try them, and yours probably won’t either – but hopefully, you still learned from the experience, and next time you try, it may go more smoothly. I want you to learn, have fun, and not be afraid to try new things – so aim for enjoyment, not perfection!


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