So, you want to stamp, but where do you start? There are so many supplies to consider: card stock, punches, ink, stamp sets, Cuttlebugs, embossing powders and more. It can definitely get overwhelming. Where should the money be spent and what do you need to start crafting?
I’ll share with you what I think are the essential ingredients for anyone who wants to start rubber stamping. These items are not *overly* expensive, and they will give an new stamper enough supplies to start creating pretty paper goods right away.
Essential Stamp Supplies
Supply Items #1: Matching card stock and ink in colors that coordinate well together
Choosing my color palette is the very first thing I do when I start making a card. Well matched colors will really pull a card together. As an example pictured above, I posted the six shades of SU’s current in colors (plus chocolate chip). In colors are a set of six seasonal colors that are meant to coordinate in multiple and complementary color combinations. I added chocolate chip as a base color, because I just love dark brown. It matches with so many hues.
Ink tip: There are many types of ink. For everyday stamping purposes, I use water-based dye ink. Water-based ink dries instantly and doesn’t smear. It also washes off all rubber stamps in a breeze, with only a little cleaner needed. One alternative to water-based dye ink is pigment ink, commonly found at Michaels and Joann’s. I only use pigment ink for a few reasons. If I need to stamp with a light color on dark paper, like white on brown, pigment ink works better. If I’m using clear photo polymer stamps, pigment ink stamps more evenly. I also use pigment ink if I need to emboss something, since water-based dye ink dries too fast and embossing powder does not stick to it.
Supply Items #2: Several birthday stamp sets
Birthday stamps are always useful. One of my favorite birthday stamp sets is the Party Hearty set (top) because I think it’s one of the most versatile birthday stamp sets I own. I’m sure you can tell I love it, since I’ve already posted a number of cards I made with the set. I have a few more that I designed over the weekend too.
Note: Stamp sets from Stampin’ Up come unassembled. I’ve mentioned this in passing before, but I want to quickly mention it again, since I know that not everyone is familiar with SU products and some have ordered products already. The stamps are easy as pie to assemble. Just trim the extra rubber away with scissors, peel the sticker back and adhere to rubber stamp to the wood block, and lastly adhere the image sticker. SU chooses not to assemble the stamps before shipping them so that they can pass the cost savings onto customers. I will write a post about stamp assembly soon!
Stamp tip: The party hats from the Party Hearty stamp set can be used as Christmas trees! Just ink them in green and add a little brown stump and the birthday hats are now decorated trees.
Supply Items #3: A few everyday, versatile stamp sets.
Fruit stamps and nature stamps are always versatile. They’re good for all ages and occasions. Pictured above are SU’s stamp sets in Pocket Silhouettes and Tart & Tangy.
Stamp tip: All the fruits except for the cherry stamp will fit inside Stampin’ Up’s 1 1/4″ circle punch.
Supply Items #4: Basic tools and supplies
Paper cutter, stamp scrub pad, stamp cleaner, a spray water bottle (to use for cleaning stamps on the stamp scrub pad), bone folder, adhesive in a dispenser, and foam stickers to make images pop off the page. I can’t make cards without these products.
Card tip: Score the card base before folding it. Scoring is a simple step that results in cleaner and more professional looking cards.
Supply Item #5: Extra goodies
If your stamp budget has a few extra dollars, I would pick up some coordinating ribbon that matches the ink colors, designer paper that also match the ink colors, and embellishments that are–you guessed it–in the same colors as the inks. Then, I would buy several nested punches. Nested punches add pizazz to any card and they’re quick and easy to use.
Helpful punch tip: The scallop nested punch above coordinates exactly with the “Celebrate You” stamp from the Party Hearty stamp set that I showed above! I will post a card showcasing this soon.
Next up: I’ll decipher the common different kinds of stamping ink, including water-based dye ink, pigment ink, chalk ink, solvent ink, and hybrid ink. Confusing! Stay tuned for part 2!