If you’re just starting out with stamping, it may seem overwhelming to look through the 240-page annual catalogue and figure out what to buy. Here are my top recommendations to get your craft space outfitted – without breaking the bank!
1. Bone Folder
This was the very first tool I was given as a new papercrafter, and it really is an absolute necessity. Every card you make is going to need at least one fold, and the bone folder makes it crisp and flat.
I made do with a Fiskars trimmer I bought from SuperStore for quite a while, but when I finally bought my Stampin’ Up! trimmer, I wondered why I’d EVER put it off for so long! With a fold-out arm that allows you to measure and cut paper as large as 12×12″, and two repositionable blades for scoring and cutting, this trimmer makes it easy to create projects from simple to stunning.
Bundling the whole set together will save you 10%, but when you’re starting out, it may make more sense to buy one or two blocks at a time to keep your investment affordable. Every stamp listing in the catalogue will include information on what blocks are recommended for use with the stamp set (see this post for more information).
5. A Stamp and Punch Bundle
We’re halfway through the list and we’re finally getting to the fun stuff! You may not have a Big Shot yet, but there are plenty of fun stamp and punch bundles that will have you creating perfectly co-ordinated projects quickly and easily. But how do you know which bundle to choose? Well, you’ll want something versatile, that can be used for a variety of projects and occasions; and something with a good combination of images and sentiments. And of course, you’ll want to pick sets that appeal to your personal taste! Here are some sets that fit the criteria:
6. A Standalone Stamp Set
For beginners, I look for stamp sets that have a lot of bang for your buck – this means large stamps (so you can complete a project quickly and easily), and, as above, versatility. Here are some that fit the bill:
7. Designer Series Paper and Cardstock
Here’s where personal preference really starts to affect your choices. Some colour combinations will excite and inspire you, while others will leave you feeling “meh” … and my preferences might be totally different from yours! Page through the Designer Series Paper section of the catalogue and see which papers draw your eye again and again. The heart wants what it wants, and when you choose a product you love, you’ll love creating with it! Don’t forget to include a pack of co-ordinated cardstock with it as well – and a pack of white cardstock, for your card inserts.’
Use the above DSP and cardstock as a jumping-off point; now that you know which papers appeal to you most, review the list of co-ordinating colours and choose one or two of your favourites to add to your collection. If you’re feeling spendy, choose a whole inkpad family bundle to save 10%. Oh, and grab a black inkpad while you’re at it, because everyone needs one of those!
9. Blender Pens
As I mentioned in this post, blender pens can resolve a host of beginner mistakes – and they are also a very economical stand-in for the entire family of beautiful markers! Just dip them in any colour of inkpad, and use them like a paintbrush to add detail or cover up a mis-stamp.
Now that you’ve created something wonderful, you’ll need to hold it all together! There are lots of options, depending on what kind of projects you’re creating – Stampin’ Up!’s Snail is the basic double-sided tape that you’re probably already familiar with.
Got another suggestion for a must-have tool? Comment and let me know!
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