When you’re looking at a new catalog, it’s helpful to know how to choose the stamp sets you’ll use over and over. A new catalog can feel like a candy store of cardmaking and paper crafting tools and supplies. Learning how to make wise choices can help you pare down the list of stamps you like, to the ones you’re actually going to buy.
Since customers often ask for help choosing sets that will be most useful for them, I thought I’d share some things I’ve learned over the years to help me make smart choices.
The most important thing is to know your style. When I look at stamps I’ve bought in the past, I see some I only used once or twice. That’s usually because they didn’t fit my style. If you’re new to stamping, it may take a while to figure out your style and which sets are going to give you the most bang for your buck.
When you choose stamp sets that show off your style, you’ll make impressive cards. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to push the envelope at times and try something new, but if you’re watching your stamping dollars, you’ll probably want that to be the exception, not the rule.
My own preferences tend to run to flowers, butterflies, nature, elegance, and versatility, so I knew I’d be happy with the Butterfly Basics Set. Here’s one of several cards I made using this set.
In the new 2015 Annual Catalog I was really tempted by the Sprinkles of Life stamp set and coordinating Tree Builder Punch. It’s so versatile, it can be used in many ways for many different occasions. So why didn’t I order it? When I really thought about it, I realized I probably wouldn’t use it very much based on the kinds of cards I like to make and what I’ll actually give to friends and family. But if you like to make cute cards, and/or if you make a lot of cards for kids (or adults who are still kids at heart), this may be a great choice for you.
I did borrow Sprinkles of Life from a friend so I could try it out and show you some samples. You can see a birthday card in this post: Sprinkles of Life Birthday Card. Then I needed a card for good friends and neighbors that are moving away, and made this one:
After making two cards with this set, I felt I’d had enough. This cute style wasn’t easy for me to work with, and the strategies I usually use for designing cards didn’t work. So I’m glad I didn’t order it, and I’m glad that Sprinkles of Life will fit with my friend’s style really well. I’ll have to get her to let me post a card she makes with the set.
Be sure to leave a comment and let me know if this post is helpful. As I share more cards from the new catalog, I’ll continue to explore the question of how to choose stamp sets that you’ll use over and over!