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Stamping and Cardmaking Basics for You, for Everyone!


Stamping and Cardmaking Basics 

The graphic chart represents essentials that every stamping crafter needs in their tool box. 

Let’s go over what I am recommending to you. For the record, this is my recommendations not the recommendations from Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Up! offers a new brochure every year with some getting started basics. Make Beautiful Things 2020 is one of those brochures. You can always find information like this on my Tool Box page or my Catalogs page, depending on if it’s a catalog or something else like a flyer or brochure. Message me if you would like a current beginning or stamping essentials brochure mailed to you. Currently it is titled Creativity Made Easy. 

To clarify, these are products that I feel everyone should have, not just those beginning their stamping journey or those that are casual stampers. Read on to play BINGO with me! 

The graphic chart reads from left column to right column. And top to bottom of the column.

Column A: Stamps 

Column B: Inks and stamp blocks

Column C: Papers

Column D: Tools and punches

Column E: Adhesives and Product Suites

Column F:  Accessories and Kits

This covers pretty much all that Stampin’ Up! has to offer in products, in a nutshell.

 I have always used the acronym as A SIP or just SIP for short. ACCESSORIES STAMPS INKS PAPERS The A could also stand for ADHESIVES. Add on a T for TOOLS which includes punches and dies, scissors and cutting tools and so on.

Column A: Stamps

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Every stamping crafter should have a good all-purpose greetings stamp set. Currently we have Peaceful Moments Stamp set item 151595 should be your go to for every occasion greetings stamp set. Stampin’ Up! offers many fantastic greetings only or greetings with images stamp sets. Just make sure you have an all occasions greetings stamp set in your tool box.


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Images stamp set. All images for just about any occasion. Floral stamp sets are generally the most flexible to use.  Jar of flowers item 152515 has the added benefit of having a coordinating punch. Dragonfly Garden item 154411 is also a great toolbox stamp set in that it has floral and animal (or fauna) and words (greetings) AND a coordinating punch for the animal, in this case, the dragonfly.

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Images and greetings stamp sets. A well-stocked toolbox should have a good stamp set that has general greetings and images that are either flora or fauna. Bonus if it has a coordinating punch as that will add to the creative possibilities. The Dragonfly Garden bundle would be a solid choice for this category as it has greetings, images that are both animal (the dragonfly is the fauna) and flora. The additional animal just adds more creative options for the stamping crafter. 

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Stamps. Our stamp offerings include red rubber cling mount and photopolymer stamps. Our red rubber stamps have a “cling” adhesive sticker that you apply to the back of the stamp. Our red rubber stamps are not wood mounted. Photopolymer stamps are not acrylic stamps. Photopolymer stamps are produced differently and have a bit of give. It is still recommended that you use a foam mat under your photopolymer stamps instead of a hard table surface to get the best image. Acrylic stamps are not anything Stampin’ Up! offers or will offer. They are a hard plastic stamp with no give and do not tend to produce the most defined images, unlike red rubber or photopolymer. You have to buy your blocks separately for either stamp type. We will discuss this is Column B Square 4.


Column B: Inks and Stamp Blocks

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Black Memento Ink item 132708. Every stamper needs a good black in ink their toolbox for line art stamps, greetings and just general stamping. Memento Ink is a good all-purpose ink. It has the added bonus because it works well with our Stampin’ Blends alcohol based markers. They are the markers that allow you to blend and move the color on the paper for beautiful shading that isn’t a solid opaque color like traditional makers. We also sell an ink refill for the pad. 


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Ink Pads. You will want at least 2 ink pad colors, if not a favorite color family. We sell our ink pads individually or if you buy an entire color family using the item code for that, you can save 10% off your purchase. Either way you will want at least 2 colors to start with. Ink spots, the mini 1” square pads are also a way to add to your color collection. Ink spots are refillable with our standard ink refills. Our color families each contain 10 colors are titled as follows : Neutrals, Subtles, Regals, Brights, Basics and our InColors, which will have 10 on trend colors in groups of 5 each. Each color is introduced for 2 years only. It is one way we can introduce on trend colors without redoing our entire color palette. Basics color family is where we have recently moved, well, basic colors such as: black, white, vanilla, gray and some skin toned markers. 

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A neutral, non-black, ink pad should also be in your toolbox. Soft Suede ink pad item 147114 is a nice medium brown that pairs well with most colors. Soft Suede makes nice trees and other flora. It falls right in the medium of our neutrals in terms of tone and intensity.

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Clear stamp blocks item 118491 for the bundle of 9 different sized blocks. Whether you prefer photopolymer or red rubber stamps or like both you will need clear blocks to use your stamps. The bundle includes all the sizes you ever need for any of our stamps. An exception to that might be our large background stamps which could work with Block F or the Stamparatus tool.


The bare minimum clear blocks I recommend are B, C, D, or just D if that is all you can store or afford. That will fit most of our stamps. The longer narrow stamps can be placed on D at an angle. 


Column C: Papers


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A stamping crafter needs basic neutral cardstock paper in white or vanilla (off white). Our Basic White cardstock item 159276 or Very Vanilla cardstock item 101650 comes in a larger pack size of 40 sheets and is formulated for our inks not to bleed and is acid and lignin free. Our white and vanilla cardstock are supersmooth for successful stamping. Whether you have just one or both of these great neutrals, they must be in your toolbox. 


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Basic Black cardstock item 121045. Your tool box should have a black cardstock. Black makes a nice base for your projects or layering. Our cardstock is dyed all the way through. And is a smooth heavyweight paper. Stampin’ Up! paper is always acid and lignin free which makes it great for scrapbooking too. Cardstock comes in a pack of 24 sheets, unless otherwise noted, like Basic White or Very Vanilla, in the standard sizes of 8 ½” x 11”. 


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Colored cardstock or a color family of cardstock. Besides the neutral and black cardstock you should have a few colors of cardstock, or better yet, order cardstock by color family. A pack of color family cardstock contains 2 sheets of the 10 colors in that family. InColor family packs contain 20 sheets also but 4 sheets of each of the 5 colors. Order your color family to coordinate with your color family of ink pads. Stampin’ Up! offers great color coordination across our products. To fill your toolbox with some color order a color family to start. It is also a great way to see which colors will be your favorite. Love all the colors? Join and start saving.


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Patterned Paper or DSP Designer Series Paper as Stampin’ Up! calls that type of paper. To add a special something to your projects patterned paper is easy to work with and can add flair! Our DSP patterned paper comes in 12 x 12” size of 12 double-sided sheets or 6x6” size of 48 double-sided sheets. Some of our DSP has texture added, like a velvety feel, or metallic accents. We also have other papers such as vellum and solid foils and more. But your toolbox definitely needs at least one pack of DSP patterned paper. All our DSP has a white core and is acid and lignin free.


Column D: Tools and Punches

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Paper Snips Scissors item 103579 is Stampin’ Up!s precision sharp scissors. They are great for trimming small tight areas. They come with a slip on guard to keep them sharp and protect your fingers when not in use. Some people keep an extra set just for ribbon and trim because paper can dull your scissors. Scissors can be sharpened. 


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Paper Trimmer item 152392 is Stampin’ Up!s own ingenious design for a paper cutter. One direction it cuts 12” with an arm that extends for a 17” cut. Stampin’ Up!s paper trimmer also scores without changing a thing. The cutting and scoring blades store nicely in the cutting track. Because of the ingenious design the blade cuts nice sharp edges without fraying. In fact if it starts to fray a bit, just flip the blade 180 degrees. I find I cut mostly in a single direction. In fact, as much as I cut, my blades stay sharp for a very long time. For metric users we have an additional metric arm. Of course we offer a 4 pack of replacement blades. This trimmer/cutter is the only cutter you need in your toolbox. And it is also affordable.


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Bone folder item 102300 is a must for your stamping crafters toolbox. It offers precision scoring and sharp creases for your cards.


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Getting punchy! Your stamping crafters toolbox should have at least 2 types of punches to provide a variety of essential shapes. You should have at least one floral or animal punch, especially if it matches a stamp set you want. Your toolbox should also have at least one label and / or at least one pick a punch. We have 3 different pick a punches. Each punch offers 6 different cuts. Mix and match for unique looks. Stampin’ Up! has several basic label shaped punches to choose from. 


Column E: Adhesives and Product Suites


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Your most basic adhesive should be a glue. Stampin’ Up! has Tombo Multipurpose Glue “green glue” item 110755. Green glue is our most flexible use adhesive because it takes a few minutes to set you have some time to reposition your item. I like to run a line of glue near the edge of an item then slide it around to spread the glue before pressing it down. We offer great tape runners too. But I feel glue offers the most flexibility in positioning and items it will adhere. And it is the most affordable option.


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Give your projects dimension with our hexagon shaped Dimensionals item 104403. They are double sided and offer a lift or dimension but it’s not too high. 300 to a package and the edges can be used on projects too. Be sure to add these to your toolbox. 


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Glue Dots item 103683 offer a double-sided hold also, but they are clear, smaller, less lift and can be rolled up super small for those intricate hard to hold items. Glue dots work great for holding on ribbon and trim without it being visible. If you do not have glue dots in your stamping crafters toolbox, be sure to add them!


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Product Suites offer a grouping of coordinating products with one item number. I felt I would be remiss in not mentioning them. A product suite will contain a stamp set, usually a coordinating punch or die, which if bundled will save 10%. Other products often in a product suite is DSP patterned paper, ribbon or trim, embellishments, an ephemera pack, or an embossing folder. Suites usually contain 4-6 products and because it is only item number it makes ordering easy. Yes, you can order the items separately too. What is great about product suites is you know the products will all coordinate together creating countless looks easily. Every stamping crafter should have at least one product suite that they love. It just makes crafting easy and fun.


Column F: Accessories and Kits

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Ribbon and Trim. Before I go on to explain why this needs to be in your stamping crafters toolbox, let me remind you of my name “Needs A Ribbon”! While the rational part of me will suggest to you to have a neutral ribbon/trim and a fun one from a color family you love, the heart and soul part of me will always say you need all the ribbon and trim we offer. Ha ha ha!

Ribbon and trim really is a textile. And the root word of textile is text as in texture. Ribbon and trim really bring a depth with texture to your projects in a subtle way. If your project is lacking something, try ribbon or trim. Be sure your toolbox has a neutral and a fun ribbon or trim, or all the ribbons!


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Embellishments are another way to jazz up your projects. Embellishments may be sequins or gems or jewels or brads or something else. Many of Stampin’ Up!s embellishments are self-adhesive, which just makes it that much easier and faster to create with them. Embellishments can add color or depth or texture or shine to your projects. Your toolbox should have at least 2 different types of embellishments. Some people might consider ribbon and trim an embellishment, but I beg to differ. But then again, I’m Needs A Ribbon!

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Kits are a fantastic way to add to your toolbox. Our all-inclusive kits are just that, all-inclusive. They contain a unique stamp set in photopolymer, an clear acrylic block to use with your stamp set, an ink spot (the mini ink pads) which can be re-inked in the future, trim and embellishments, adhesives to put your kit together, and printed, cut and scored paper to make the project. Whether you put your kit together as pictured or go it on your own kits are great for any level of stamping crafter. I love them because I don’t have to think I can just dive in and make pretty stuff. 

Monthly subscription based kits. Another type of kit that is great to add to your toolbox is our monthly subscription box called Paper Pumpkin. Each month for $22 US it ships to your door containing similar items to our all-inclusive kits. The very first month will contain your clear stamp block to use on future kits. Most months contain a card kit, sometimes it might be gift packaging or treat holder. They will all contain an ink spot (colors will not repeat for at least 12 months), a unique stamp set, adhesives, ribbon and or embellishments and the printed precut and scored paper items needed for the kit. After your kit is assembled you will have an ink spot, stamp set and usually leftover adhesive and embellishments to use on other projects. 

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Dies and Embossing folders. By now your toolbox should be pretty full. Like a game of Blackout BINGO, if you have crossed out 23 of the 24 squares and have filled that box up, it is time to explore adding a die cutting and embossing machine to your toolbox. Stampin’ Up! offers the Stampin’ Cut & Emboss machine item 149653, creating by us for use with our folders and dies. You can use our dies and folders with a Sizzix brand machine such as a Big Shot or Cuttlebug. Our in house designed machine is extra special in that it folds up for storage, making it great for small craft rooms or craft closets or just a craft bookcase. We even offer a mini Stampin’ Cut  & Emboss machine item 150673 for portability. We have embossing folders and dies designed for use with either machine. They are marked as such in the catalog or in our online store. The product line also includes specialty plates to create different looks and replacement plates for both sized machines. 


Does your toolbox stand up and were you able to cross off all 24 squares? The yell BINGO! I certify you ready for anything your stamping crafters journey may find.

Let’s take a look at Stamping and Cardmaking list again: 

¨ Stamps: All-purpose greetings only stamp set. 

¨ Stamps: Floral or image only stamp set. Bonus if it has a coordinating punch.

¨ Stamps: Images and greetings stamp set. Bonus if it has a coordinating punch.

¨ Stamps: Any stamps for the stamping crafter.

¨ Inks: Black ink, especially memento black ink pad.

¨ Inks: 1-2 colored ink pads or an entire color collection of ink pads.

¨ Inks: At least one neutral in pad. Soft Suede ink pad is a good color if you have only one neutral.

¨ Stamps: Clear acrylic blocks to use with your stamp sets.

¨ Paper: At least one neutral pack of cardstock – Basic White or Very Vanilla. 

¨ Paper: Basic Black cardstock. 

¨ Paper: Color Collection of Cardstock, or 2-3 colors of cardstock that coordinate together.

¨ Paper: DSP patterned paper. Adds jazz to your projects.

¨ Tools: Paper Snips scissors. Really the only scissor you need to be a stamping crafter.

¨ Tools: Paper Trimmer. It cuts. It scores. It’s easy to use.

¨ Tools: Bone folder. For precision scoring and sharp creases.

PuPunches! Punches in two groups – flora or a fun shape and labels or a pick a punch.

¨ Adhesives: Dimensionals for added dimension and adhesion.

¨ Adhesives: Glue dots. Invisible and multiuse adhesive.

¨ Product Suites: Coordinating products for easy project making.

¨ Accessories: Ribbon and Trim. “Needs A Ribbon!” Adds texture.

¨ Accessories: Embellishments – gems, jewels, sequins or brads. Adds color and texture.

¨ Kits: Great way to add to your toolbox and easy to make crafts.

¨ Machine: Stampin’ Cut (dies) & Emboss machine is the last thing you need to call BINGO! You are officially certified as a ready for anything stamping crafter!

Even a seasoned crafter doesn’t always “have it all” but I would be willing to bet they can fill out their BINGO card. Obviously I didn’t address markers and a lot of other items that come with the craft (specialty paper, envelopes, packaging, etc). We even offer storage solutions. I was merely offering a look at what one needs to get started, keep going and be ready for anything. Of course if you want to work on filling out your BINGO card, and want to save some money, I recommend the best value in the catalog, the $99 starter kit. You choose your kit, $125 in products, for $99 plus your local sales tax. No shipping. No hassle. Arrives in about  5 business days. After that you get 20% off. Eventually if you meet certain goals you can earn up to 25% off product purchases. I started in 2005, wanting to complete my ink pad collection and looking for an outlet that wasn’t tied to being a “mom”, and never looked back. 

 Let me know how your BINGO card stack up? I can help give suggestions on ways to fill it up if you aren’t sure what you need. 


Like all my important information I post you can always find the link to this under my Toolbox tab. Catalog under Catalogs tab.



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