Gift Packaging with Bags & Boxes

Are you looking for ideas for small hostess gift, party treats, wedding favors, graduation gifts?  Instead of buying bags for small treats and gifts, create them in a variety of sizes using the cardstock or Designer Series Paper of your choice.   

Check out all of these amazing ideas in the NEW 2018-2019 Stampin’ UP! catalog!  They are perfect to have on-hand and ready-to-go when you need a little something to let people know that you are thinking of them.

Use these acetate boxes for packaging A2-sized cards or other small gifts and fill up these clear tiny treat boxes with tiny treats.  Add your own personal touch with a belly band, twine or ribbon, and you’ll have a wonderful little gift for someone.

Use these cellophane bags for smalls treat and goodies. Just pop the treat into one of our shiny cellophane bags and add a cute tag or stamped header. These bags come in three sizes:  flat 2″x8″ size, gussetted 3″x6″ size and flat 6″x8″ size — just perfect for any of your crafting needs!  And very affordable!  

The Gift Bag Punch Board makes it super simple to create gift bags in varying sizes. All you have to do is punch, score, and adhere using your favorite color cardstock or DSP. 

And, Gift Box Punch Board creates boxes in a variety of sizes, up to 4″ and it is currently on clearance at a lower price!

And, these mini gable boxes are adorable to decorate and are food safe.  They come in silver or lustrous white. They can be diecut using your bigshot and colored using sponge or brayer to match any design concept.

And, these die-cut pillow boxes and mini-pizza boxes are perfect for gifts and goodies!

And for a little bit of shine — the gold striped bags and copper tea tins are sure to please.  The bags may be customized by stamping, spritzing or brayering on the white sections.  And, you can add your personal touch to decorate the tea tins and fill the inside with treats or notecards.

Yes, all of these items are available to purchase using my on-line store, just click on the links provided.  Trust me, you’ll want to have these products available on-hand for creating a small personalized gift, especially when those last minute needs arrive.

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!




Designer Series Paper (aka DSP)

dsp banner.jpg

There are 21 new designer series paper or pattern paper offered in the new catalog.  It is just gorgeous!  

We all love to buy pretty designer series paper or pattern paper.  If you are like me, you buy it with all the best intentions of using it — yet, it sits on the shelf because either:  (1) we didn’t have an immediate use for it, (2) it’s too pretty to use, or (3) we are saving it for something special.  Since February 2018, Kylie Bertucci, a demonstrator from Australia, has been challenging us with her #LoveItChopIt campaign on Facebook to use our stash of DSP. 

Kylie is giving us permission to tear open the plastic on our 12″x12″ DSP and cut it up.  Why?!?  Because once a sheet inside the package is cut, we are more likely to use other sheets from it!  And you know, she’s right!  When I looked at my paper stash of DSP, I had used more paper from inside “opened” packs of paper.  While other paper packs were forgotten and unloved, sitting in their original plastic wrap.  

And guess what else?  That 6″x6″ size of paper is much easier to store.  And that piece of white cardboard with the DSP label with a list of Stampin’ Up colors, can be trimmed to be divider (7″x6″), or cut to size and slipped into a plastic bag for storage.

Jackie Bultje, a Canadian demonstrator, suggests cutting up your 12″x12″ paper as ready-made card bases, each 4″x5-1/4″, which is the perfect size for matting with cardstock.  First, Jackie cuts her paper into 4″x12″ strips, and then cuts each strip into 5-1/4″ long segments (4″x5-1/4″).  The remaining small piece (1-1/2″x4″) can be used as an accent — because all DSP has two sides.  Now, those ready-made cards bases only need a sentiment and some embellishments to create a completed card!  Click here to check out Jackie’s YouTube video

Other standard sizes for cutting 6″x6″ paper for stamping, Jackie suggests cutting some into 3″x3″, which is the perfect size for mounting a card sentiment, or cutting the rest into 6″x2″ strips. 

For storage of chopped up DSP — Jackie recommends purchasing additional stamp storage cases — in Standard DVD size or in Full Wide/Wood-mount stamp set size.  A set of 4 empty stamp cases is just $7 — very affordable!  And best yet, your chopped paper is handy, sitting on the same shelf as your stamp sets!

Here are a couple of thoughts shared by Alessandra Winfield, another Australian demonstrator, from her #LoveItChopIt experience:

  1. Stampin’ Up mission statement is to Love it – Live it – Share it.  Alessandra sees no point in saving paper.  If it is sitting in its original plastic wrap, she feels like she is wasting money because that beautiful paper is not being enjoyed and it is not fulfilling any purpose!
  2. If you don’t have a specific use for your DSP, then she recommends cut it up as ready-made card fronts, or at least 6″x6″ rather than storing it as its original 12″x12″ size — it will take up less space in your craft room.  
  3. Cutting up your DSP will give you a sense of accomplishment because you will gain storage space, reduce clutter and have a purpose for your DSP — as ready-made card fronts.

In the days ahead, I’ll give you some ideas for using your DSP.

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!




Aqua Painters

aqua painters idea

Aqua painters are an essential tool for paper crafters, especially if you enjoy water coloring techniques.   There are two painters in a set — precision tip and wide brush tip.  The precision tip lets you create intricate details and effects on all your projects by just dabbing the water-filled brush in water-based inks or water color pencils.  The wide brush tip lets you prepare your watercolor paper to accept ink or to create a soft watercolor wash as your background.  Plus, it can be used to add shading or highlight features on your watercolor project.  A gentle squeeze is all that necessary to control the flow of water for watercolor wash, activating watercolor and adding artistic designs and effects.  

aqua painters

Different Ways to Use Your Aqua Painter 

  1. To watercolor using the top of your ink pad lid as a pallet.  With a closed ink pad, squeeze your ink pad so that the inside of the lid comes in contact with the ink pad.  When you open your ink pad, you can use the inside of the lid as your own pallet.  Now squeeze a drop of water along one edge of the ink spot and mix with the water, leaving the other side concentrated.  Now you have ability to pick up more concentrated ink or diluted ink to add shading or highlights.
  2. To create a watercolor effect using inked stamps.  Before stamping, brush water on an inked stamp before stamping.  This will give you a soft watercolor effect like an artist.  
  3. To create a watercolor effect on paper by activating the ink from a stamped image.  Just a damp brush will activate the ink on the paper for subtle coloring.
  4. To create splatter a splatter background.  Add a drop of reinker to a clear block, add some drops of water from the aqua painter and mix.  Then, flick the watery ink off the block onto your cardstock.  
  5. To create a watercolor wash.  There are lots of ways to do this.  First, lightly color with your watercolor pencils and brush over top with the aqua painter.
  6. To seal envelopes — simply brush the damp aqua painter along the glued edge of the envelope flap and you’ll never have to lick that awful glue again!

aqua painters idea 2

Tip:  Keep a paper towel or Absorber cloth handy so that you can wipe your brush – either to dry it (if too wet) or to clean it before switching colors.

Tip:  you may need to let your piece dry before adding layers of color to minimize bleeding colors or creating a muddy mess.

aqua painters water color wash

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!


Quick Tip: Storing Your New Ink Pads

Today, I spent the entire day re-organizing my craft room to make room for all the new goodies in the 2018-2019 Annual Catalog.  It was so much fun sorting through all the beautiful colors of cardstock, and putting them in rainbow order.  All the new colors are just gorgeous.  I can’t wait to try some new color combinations!

ink pad organization 1

If you have invested in the Stamp-N-Storage ink pad holders, here is a quick tip.  The new Stampin Up ink pads are just a tiny bit shorter than the older ink pads.  So, I cut some drinking straws into 3-inch long segments. 

ink pad organization 2

Simply insert two straw segments into each slot, and slide your ink pad in.  

ink pad organization 3

The straw segments will act as spacers in the back of the ink holder.  Now, your new ink pads will rest at the edge of the slot — making it so much easier to slide out.  Drinking straws are so inexpensive.  If you’re lucky like me, you probably have a few lying around in a kitchen drawer.  So, this is a really quick and easy fix.

ink pad organization 4

If you are unfamiliar with Stamp-N-Storage, then you need to check them.  I have been a long time loyal customer for years and years.  Their organizational products are simply the best!  With all the new wonderful Stampin’ Up! products in the new catalog, I purchased three new pieces — Punch holder and Side-by-Side Marker Holder that fits perfectly in my IKEA Kallax shelving unit plus the Wafer Die Storage (medium box with lid) for storing new dies and embossing holders.  I love having every organized and at my fingertips when I’m crafting.   

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!


Feather Together

Feather Together photopolymer stamp set boasts a wonderful combination of scripted font and beautiful feathers for you to encourage your friends when they just need you to flock to them for support.  This two-step stamp set lets you combined colors to create just the right design.

feather together catalog


feather together swap

Here a large circle from the Layering Circle Framelits Dies was used to create a mask for sponging Daffodil Delight and Bermuda Bay inks on Glossy White Cardstock.  Archival Black ink was used for the sentiment.  Once dry, the stamped piece was matted with Crushed Curry and Bermuda Bay.

feather together sample

This stamp set is a last-chance item, available until May 31 or while supplies last.

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes.


Specials on Paper Pumpkin

Paper Pumpkin Spring Cleaning Sale

Spring has sprung and Paper Pumpkin has decided to do a little spring cleaning on select items in their refill and past kit inventory.  ANYONE may purchase these select kits at big discount prices (not just Paper Pumpkin subscribers) until May 9 or while supplies last.  Stampin’ Up! will then permanently discontinue these items.

New Subscribers Get 50% off May and June Kits

You need to subscribe by May 10th to receive the discount.  You will receive 50% off your subscription when billed in May and June. If you suspend your account during their 2-month discount period, you will receive your discount during the first 2 months in which you reactivate.  IMPORTANT:  Please use code SAVEFIFTY0418 at checkout.


What is Paper Pumpkin?

It is a month-to-month subscription with auto-delivery that brings a box of supplies with everything you need for a little crafting stay-cation.   Everything comes in the box and all the supplies are travel-sized (small ink spot versus full sized ink pad, sheet of glue dots versus roll of glue dots) so that you can take your Paper Pumpkin anywhere!  Every kit comes with an exclusive stamp set to use over and over!  You can suspend (for a month) or cancel at any time – you just have to sign into your account by the 10th of each month to suspend or cancel to avoid a charge on your credit card.  And, if you don’t love it, Stampin’ Up! will take care of it.  So there really is no risk.   To subscribe, just click here.

April’s You are My Anchor Kit

I had so much fun with this month’s Paper Pumpkin.  The kit came with supplies to make four gift boxes containing five 3″x3″ gift cards and envelopes.  By following the directions, you’ll have a wonderful gift for someone.

april 2018 pp - as instructed

Or, you can change it up.  It is completely acceptable and encouraged to do something completely different with the contents of the kit.  Here are some alternative designs, and I still have tons of stuff left over for creating something else.

Nautical not your thing???  Well, look what else I made…

april 2018 pp - alternate 1

I created this sentiment by carefully inking up two different sentiments – “You are my anchor” and “Adventure Awaits”.  This will be hubby’s anniversary card — shhhh!

To subscribe to Paper Pumpkin, click on this link and be prepared to be surprised with the results.

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!



NEW 2018-2020 In Color Ink Pads

Hey There!  The new 2018-2020 In-Color ink pads in Blueberry Bushel, Call Me Clover, Grapefruit Grove, Lovely Lipstick and Pineapple Punch are available to purchase NOW!  You are going to love these bright rainbow colors to brighten up your papercrafting after a long cold winter!

2018-2020 In Colors

Here is a quick comparison of the new and old ink pads….

New and Old Ink Pads.jpg

As you may have noticed, we’ve improved our ink pad cases.  With change, there are often questions.  Here is what I know about these changes!  Stampin’ Up! thought long and hard, and listen to demonstrators and customers.  These changes are exactly what paper crafters have been asking for…

  • Easy to open ink pad design.  It opens like your favorite make-up mirror/compact — just place your thumb in the lip at the front of the case and lift it to open.
  • The lid and ink pad base have a tighter fit to keep the lid properly aligned, so that it slides open and closed easily.  
  • It is stackable for easy storage and transport. We designed a nub in each bottom corner that fits nicely into the dimple on the top of another case.
  • It has more stickers to label inside and outside your case for easy identification.
  • The new ink is formulate to reduce bubbles, to give you a smooth coating of ink on your stamp and to lay down the ink better on your paper.
  • You can use old ink refills on new ink pads, and you can use new ink refills on old ink pads.
  • We are retiring Basic Gray Archival and Basic Black Archival ink pads and carrying once again Jet Black StazOn and Tuxedo Black Memento inks.
  • I recommend using the Tuxedo Black Memento Pad with Stampin’ Blends and general black stamping needs, and the Jet Black StāzOn Pad with watercoloring techniques.

To get those new rainbow colors, just click here to purchase from my on-line store.

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!



Sheltering Tree

If you love nature and family, you will love the Sheltering Tree photopolymer stamp set.  These two-step stamps are perfect for creating  your own landscape scenes with individual stamps of flowers, bikes, and trees. 

Sheltering tree catalog

Here is one of my favorite swaps that I received at 2018 Milwaukee On-Stage convention from Debi Laber, another Stampin’ Up! demonstrator from Wisconsin.  I just love the sweetness of the simplicity of her design.  It truly just warms my heart.

sheltering tree swap

The tree and sentiment from Thoughtful Banners, another photopolymer stamp set, are stamped in Early Espresso ink on Whisper White cardstock.  The grass and leaves are stamped with Pear Pizzazz ink.  And the swing (hidden behind the bow) is stamped in Soft Sky ink.  For added interest and texture, Debi tied a piece of Lemon Lime Twist 1/4″ Ombre ribbon to  Soft Sky 3/8″ Classic Weave ribbon.   

thoughtful banners

Let’s take a closer look at the Thoughtful Banners stamp set.  This 53-piece stamp set has everything you need to make a cute little banner to celebrate everyone and everything you love.  And, this stamp set coordinates with both the Classic Label punch and the Duet Banner punch.  

Quick Tip:  Punches are a quick and easy way to add sentiments to your projects….simply stamp the sentiment on a scrap of cardstock and insert into the punch, centering the sentiment in the aperture on the backside of the punch.  Once punched out, you can attach to your card with your favorite adhesive or dimensions, and you will never have a crooked sentiment again!

All of these items are available from my on-line store, just click on the links provided. 

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!


Crafting Forever and Angel Policy

The Crafting Forever stamp set is perfect for sending to your craft-loving friends.  It has classic images of paint brushes, scissors, stamps and fountain pens, plus it has great sentiments for stoking your creative fires.

crafting forever catalog image

Here are some colorful samples using the pot of paint brushes and ink pens.

crafting forever green

crafting forever sample

crafting forever navy pens

And, this stamp set is approved for use in conjunction with the Stampin’ Up! Angel Policy. It comes in clear-mount and wood-mount — every ready to meet your crafting needs!

What is the Angel Policy?  Stampin’ Up! welcomes all crafters who would like to use their copyrighted images on artwork and other projects on items for sale at retail stores, craft fairs, community fundraisers and internet sales.  All Stampin’ Up! asks s that your homemade, handcrafted items for sale be marked with the “(c) Stampin’ Up!” image.  For more information, just click on this link.

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!



Different Types of Stamps

I am often asked which type of stamp do I prefer — red rubber or photopolymer.  Truthfully, I love both.  Each has unique properties and advantages.

I love the precise detail of a red rubber image that provides classic line drawings and photo-realistic images.  With red rubber stamps, the images have been etched or molded onto the rubber.  It is long-lasting and can withstand high temperatures like when you press them into molten embossing powder for deep embossing techniques.  In general, a red rubber stamp provides a crisper image with finer details than a photopolymer stamp.   And the built-in foam cushion backing for a red rubber stamp provides a more evenly stamped image, even when stamping with larger-sized background stamps.  If stamp positioning is important for your project, then using either the Stamp-a-ma-jig or the new Stamparatus alignment tools are recommended for the best results!  Stampin’ Up! offers wood-mount and clear-mount red rubber stamps.  Wood-mount are permanently mounted on maple blocks, while clear-mount will cling to acrylic blocks.

I love the ease of photopolymer stamps because their transparency makes it easy to line up repeating patterns and to perform two-step stamping with minimal adjustment.  Photopolymer stamps are flexible and bendable, and can be curved around an image or diecut for more creative options.  Multiple stamps can be placed on one large acrylic block or your Stamparatus for creating more detailed scenes.  It is perfectly normal that your photopolymer stamps will stain.  Therefore, it is best to “season” your stamp with VersaMark ink or another lightly colored ink to minimize the staining effect.  The photopolymer stamps will cling and stick to any smooth, clean surface — making them easier to lose on your desk!  So maybe a little staining is a good thing — making them easier to find!  LOL!

Of course, your needs and desires are different from mine; therefore, I simply recommend purchasing the stamps that you like working with best!

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!