Recently, a new stamper asked my advice on what to purchase to start their new paper crafting hobby. And, that got me thinking about what I wish someone had told me when I was starting – more than 15 years ago! Here are my thoughts and let me know if you agree or disagree with this advice:
- Invest in the quality tools – the right tools make crafting easier and you’ll be happier with the final project! Purchase high quality pair of scissors (I recommend paper snips from Stampin’ Up!) and a really good paper trimmer. Also purchase a bone folder and different types of adhesives – because different projects and techniques have different needs. And, purchase an adhesive eraser – it is an inexpensive tool that quickly and easily removes misplaced adhesive. These are the basics tools which you’ll use over and over again.
- Use quality cardstock and paper products – you can truly see and feel the difference. The paper weight and finish affects how it can be used, the absorption of ink, and its ability to be handled and displayed. People love receiving homemade cards and guess what – they usually keep those cards! Many of my co-workers display their birthday cards all year and when another birthday rolls around, they just add another card to their collection!
- Purchase versatile stamps sets– sentiments like “thinking of you” work for almost any occasion; classic designs and nature-theme images work year round.
- Purchase the stamps sets that you “really” love. If you love it, you are more likely to use it. Acquire stamp sets that inspire you to make at least three projects. If you have a card making style, honor it with purchases that complement your style – otherwise that new trendy stamp set may never get used in your craft room.
- Purchase new stamps and products that coordinate with stamps and products you already own. Pairing an old favorite with something new gives you more creative options, and it is a better investment for your craft room.
- Invest in masculine stamp sets. Every stamper struggles with making masculine cards. I always recommend investing in great masculine stamp sets when you find them, especially if they match the interests of the men in your life.
- Select items from within a specific color collection or product suite – You will have an assortment of great colors and complementary products that work well together and can be mixed and matched for more design options. Starting out, you only need some designer paper and a few coordinating colors of cardstock. With time, you’ll add more colors and more specialty papers.
- Purchase kits, bundles and assortments for product discounts and value. This is a great way to spoil yourself with great products at a lower price point. The products were selected to coordinate, giving you more design options and making these a smart investment.
- Make a shopping list and triple check it. There is nothing worse than placing an order and then discovering you should have ordered one or two more items. Ask yourself these four questions. Do you have everything you need for a special project? Do you need to replenish your favorite items or adhesives? Can you substitute an item for similar item found in clearance? What are your options for taking advantage of Stampin’ Rewards and other promotions for further discounts and free products?
- And finally, let me assist you! If you don’t like to shop on-line, I can place the order for you. If you want to get together and craft, I am available plus I offer stamp camps and workshops to introduce you to new friends and to inspire your creativity. If you need help with a project, we can figure it out together. If you need emergency supplies or want to learn a new technique – I can help. If you purchased stamping supplies years ago and never used them, I am here to jump-start your crafting adventure using the products you already have. I love everything about paper crafting, especially spending time with you. Please give me a call!
Until next time, happy crafting!