When I talk to a new stamper, and they look through the numerous offerings in the catalog, there is always a moment of panic ...
"Where do I start?"
It's true, the options are overwhelming, but this means that there is something to offer for both novices and seasoned crafters alike. Before you take a peek at this list, stop to think about how you will be crafting to begin:
- Are you interested in making cards?
- Are you going to be scrapbooking your family albums?
- Do you want to make handmade gifts?
- Maybe you want to do it all?
(I believe everyone eventually will, grin.)
Once you know where you are starting project-wise, it will help you pick some specifics from the list below.
My Top 10 Stampin' Up! Supplies for a Newbie:
- If you are stamping, I think it all starts with ink!
I suggest you look at our four color families. Does one stand out as more beautiful to you? Some people are just drawn to the earthiness of our Regal Collection, others love to use the bold colors of our Brights Collection or the softer colors of our Subtles Collection - but I think there is a place in everyones crafting for our Neutrals Collection.
If you can lock onto a color collection, you can begin purchasing a couple at a time, or save money and purchase the full collection up front! Of course, you can purchase across lines and still have your colors coordinate beautifully ... you just lose the option to save money on a color collection in the future.
- Your color selection will now lead you to Card Stock!
If you have chosen one color collection as your favorite, you can now purchase paper from that family in a collection as well! Purchasing a mixed pack of card stock from your chosen color family allows you the chance to play with the entire family at a reduced cost. You can later purchase single color packets of the colors you use the most.
But, what size paper to purchase?
If you decided you will be primarily card making, you will probably purchase a package of 8 1/2 x 11 card stock. A half sheet of this paper creates a standard size card when folded in half.
If you decided on scrapbooking as your primary interest, you will need to decide size of page prior to choosing the size for your card stock. Stampin' Up! offers high quality albums in both 8x8 (great for gift or theme albums) and 12x12 (offering large areas to hold all of the various family photos) sizes.
- We've focused on color, but what about neutral card stock to stamp on?
No matter the color scheme you are working with, most stampers use a bit of a light neutral as a base for their focal images. And Stampin' Up! offers our high quality Whisper White and Very Vanilla card stocks in packages of 40 sheets. You can get a lot of cards out of a base pack of a neutral card stock along with a package of a single color family.
- Now you need to choose a paper cutter to cut your card stock!
Stampin' Up! offers you two choices in paper cutters. Deciding which is best for you may depend on the size of your crafting space, portability, or your interest in a self sharpening tool.
The tabletop cutter is my personal favorite! The best feature? It is self sharpening! I will never again need to purchase a cutting blade, cutting mat strip, etc. - all of the replacement parts are a thing of the past. At the same time it is relatively light weight and portable (the handle and extension arm store in the base of the unit for storage and travel). The base unit is well marked up to 6 inches, meeting most of my cutting needs - and the extension arm is easily installed when needed.
If you are looking for something more streamlined, Stampin' Up! will be releasing their new Stampin' Trimmer (seen on page 180 of the catalog) soon! This compact little cutter has all of the bells and whistles for all of your crafting needs. Unfortunately, at the time of this post, the product is unavailable for purchase. But this is a good thing in the long run. Stampin' Up! continues to expect high quality products from our manufacturers and will not release a product until it has fully met their strict standards.
- What about adhesive?
Stampin' Up! offers almost a dozen options for adhesive. While each crafter has his/her favorite, and each adhesive has its best uses, I think the perfect starter is the SNAIL Adhesive. This easily refilled tape runner is easy to apply and provides acid free instant bonding. It will easily hold together layers of card stock quickly and easily. And, with 472" of double sided adhesive on a single roll, you won't need to stop and refill often.
- What about starter stamps? It depends.
Will you be card making? I suggest starting with one of our greetings or sentiments stamp sets.
Choose a set with a font you like, and a wide variety of uses. If you can get birthday, thank you, and thinking of you cards all from one set (such as the Curly Cute set above), then you will save money in the long run!
Or, maybe you will be scrapbooking? I suggest starting with an alphabet set.
You can now create instant custom titles, and you never run out of that most used letter "E" (as you would with stickers, rub-ons, etc.)
But regardless which stamp sets you choose, you will have to decide if you want to go with wood mount or clear mount!
The primary storage advantages of clear mount stamps over wood mount are their slimline case, consistent sizing, lighter weight and easy read labels. That said, there are many crafters out there who love the ease of picking up a wood mount stamp and just stamping, without finding an appropriate block to work with or worrying about if the stamp will stick (I share my tips on that here).
- Now you need to choose your first focal image stamps.
This may be the most daunting step to take - there are just so many options and narrowing down your choices can be daunting ... I suggest you think versatility! Ask yourself questions like, "Can that floral set be used to create masculine cards?" Yes, if it includes a leaf or two! But, while Stampin' Up! offers many themed sets, they also step it up with collection sets that focus on multiple seasons or occasions in a single stamp set.
Take your time, peruse the catalog, and let me know if you are still overwhelmed!
- And once you stamp, you need to clean with the Stampin' Scrub
When I started stamping, I considered the Stampin' Scrub (and Stampin' Mist) a luxury and held off purchasing it for several years. When I finally broke down (after years of paper towels, rags, diaper wipes, etc.), I couldn't believe how much easier it was to sit down and stamp. I now encourage customers to purchase this as one of their early supplies, and I've noticed that my seasoned stampers always put it on the list when helping friends get started. Their recommendations to their own friends carry heavy weight with me when I'm evaluating my own recommendations.
- Start dressing it up with Designer Series Papers
Our Designer Series Papers are color coordinated to match our color collections, and include many patterns within a single package! Choose a pack that matches your original color choices and have fun adding a little color and pattern to your projects with very little effort!
- And, finally, there is always room for some embellishment!
Once your collection of basic supplies is well under way, it is time to add some embellishment and ribbon and trim to your stash. You would be amazed at what a little ribbon, or a few rhinestones, can do to take your card 'up a notch'. And when your embellishments color coordinate with your paper and inks, it is easier than ever! Click here or on my Up a Notch category in the right hand side bar to see some specific examples!
Paper crafting with rubber stamping is a wonderful way to express your creativity while creating functional art to share with others. Organizing your initial purchases will help you start strong and enjoy the hobby!
If you made it through this very long list and have any questions - or wish to begin your own stamping hobby - feel free to leave a comment below or contact me directly. If you really can't narrow down your purchases and want to have it all, let's talk about hosting workshops or becoming a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator!