For the beginner stamper and beyond, this is a list of all my favorites all in one place today. This is a long post and full of information about how to stamp and where to save money.
I am asked on a pretty regular basis what my “must have” list is and as is true for anyone, it changes. My personal list is not far off of the list below, but today, I want to speak in terms of the stamper that has caught the bug of stamping and just wants to know where to start. If you are the absolute beginner, let’s start at the beginning: stamps, ink, and paper.
As a beginner, or someone who has bought out every craft sale and just needs to make sense of it all, let’s just begin with Note Cards and Envelopes. They are already cut and scored for you and come with envelopes. Because I create focal points on cards that I call a Card Corsage, everything that fits in that corsage will make an outstanding Note Card. They are smaller than a regular A2, but are allowed through the mail with a single postage stamp. They are adorable!
And vise versa. Everything that you make on a Note Card, can translate into an A2 just as easily. Take a look here:
Until I get tired of it, like in 2037, I will be creating Note Cards and these A2 cards with a background stamp to start with. In class I pointed this out and you could just see the stress evaporate from everyone. When you are cutting your own cards and card stock instead of using Note Cards, I like to choose measurements that leave very little waste because I don’t save scraps at all. Not me! I have a better idea! Make more than one card at a time. More on that idea in THIS POST.
All the way at the bottom of the pictures are my favorite adhesives and tools. People ask me why so many different adhesives, so you can check out THIS DOCUMENT explaining what adhesive is for which purpose.
Linen Thread can be dyed with the inks we already have, just fill a custard dish with your thread and some ink refill. Let it absorb well and then set on wax paper to dry completely.
The embossing folders are another essential once you have access to a die cutting machine. So many to choose from! Here are my six favorites that I won’t ever give away. I have lots more. Some are still available in the catalog and some are not, but I have stuck with the Stampin’ Up! embossing folders because they are better quality and don’t tear your card stock.
Following the folders are three best background stamps. You can see what the Birch Background stamp does to set off the card above, and they way I stamp my backgrounds is with the Stamparatus (stamp positioning tool) so that if I miss a spot I can ink up again and it stamps in the exact same spot. I use this more often than patterned paper because I make lots more cards than just one at a time, and I don’t keep scraps.
The next six stamp sets are the ones that I teach with. They are great at making a large variety of cards, for any occasion, some have great sentiments that you’ll want handy, and because you can collage stamp with them you will:
- make fewer mistakes
- make a variety of cards with just changing the ink
- vary the stamps used in the case
- keep the stamp set forever
After those six stamps, there is a stamp & punch bundle followed by a stamp set that is not bundled with the punch but works with the bundle. It’s called Varied Vases, and Vibrant Vases. The vases are all over Pinterest and make a fabulous bunch of cards. Even with mounting the vases with Dimensionals, your card will still pass needing just one postage stamp! Essential set!
There are six punches that you will use often, and I’ve included them there before the stamp/punch bundles. There are bundles that save ten percent in the price all throughout the catalog, and I’m showing the bundles that use a punch in case you haven’t access to a die cutting machine yet. If you are creating 4-8 cards in one sitting, you can see how punches make sense. They are quick, portable, and you can use them while watching TV without having to stand up. You can use them onboard a plane, but beware the nimrod TSA agent that thinks you are carrying some secret weapon (ask me about this later).
We’ve talked about adhesives, then there are tools that you’ll want. Scissors and a bone folder. Essential. Adhesives? Essential. Stampin’ Mist and Stampin’ Scrub to clean your stamps up and condition the rubber before you put them away. Acrylic blocks … Every stamp set is going to need blocks now. Stampin’ Up! stopped making wood block mounted stamps except for the background stamps, and I don’t buy them because mounting the background stamps on the Stamparatus is SO MUCH BETTER! In fact, I bought extra plates for the Stamparatus because my Birch Background never gets put away. Cling stamps are extra sticky and this way I don’t damage it by removing and re-mounting it all the time. I just put the plate away with it stuck there.
Simply Scored. Well, let’s just say that this is a great tool for making your cardmaking go faster scoring a full sheet of paper and then cutting, but I bought it to make boxes, too. I make boxed sets of cards to sell at Craft Fairs and there’s nothing better. I also make covered chocolates and scoring them quickly and on a large surface makes it super easy. All kinds of treat packaging get made on the Simply Scored including turning an envelope into a little package! So much easier for me to see what I’m doing!
All My Favorites and Must Have Products (plus some seasonal goodies)
Let’s go back and talk about saving money.
When you invest in your crafting tools, card making is the most economical craft out there. Everything that you see above (except Note Cards and Linen Thread, or adhesives) will last forever. The expense of card making is in the right tools and stamp sets. Take your time when looking into buying a stamp set and see what all you can make with it throughout the year. If a stamp set is part of a bundle, you know you will be saving ten percent on the price right away.
Look at another bonus: This takes up very little room. My stamping studio is simply a corner in the Sun Room that covers a five foot by five foot area. I like having everything at my fingertips, work standing up, so my tools and papers are in drawers right there at my knees. Very little space, just the right products, and I’m mailing hundreds of cards each year.
You can fit this in a closet, but sunshine brings out your creativity. So does being tidy. Just what you need. Right at your fingertips. All My Favorites In One Place.