3 Tips on How to Choose the Best Stamp Sets for You!

The new catalog is here, and you’ll want to read these three tips on how to choose the best stamp sets for you!

A new catalog can make a paper crafter feel like a kid in a candy store.  It usually takes going through it a few times to digest all of the offerings, and flag the items you like.  But if you’re like me, the number of items on your wishlist can easily outgrow your budget!  It’s helpful to have some criteria for how to choose the stamps that are best for you.

First, it’s important to know your style.

When I look at supplies I’ve bought in the past, there are some stamp sets I’ve only used once or twice.  Usually that’s because they didn’t fit my style.

Last spring I decided to purchase the Birthday Blooms stamp set, and I still reach for it when I want a striking piece of art for a card.  Here’s one using the new In Color, Sweet Sugarplum.  This was a good choice for my style.

handmade card from Stamping Madly using Birthday Blooms, Work of Art, and Timeless Textures stamp sets from Stampin' Up!

Here’s a card made with the recently retired Perfect Pennants.  Although it’s very different than my style, I like to push the envelope and try new things.

handmade card from Stamping Madly, using Perfect Pennants stamp set from Stampin' Up!

This is an ok card, and the stamp set was a worthwhile experiment.  But I didn’t use it as much as things that fit my style:  Nature, flowers, butterflies, all with a touch of elegance.

If you’re new to stamping, it may take a while before you know your own style.  Over time, you’ll get a sense of the kinds of stamps you’ll get the most use out of. 

When you choose stamp sets that complement your style,

  • you’ll make cards that make you smile,
  • you’ll feel more confident using the stamps,
  • and you won’t feel guilty about not using the ones that don’t fit your style.  You’ll learn from the experience, and avoid that style of stamps in the future.

Second, look for versatility.

Imagine how many ways you might be able to use the stamp sets you’re considering.

  • Are the sentiments appropriate for the kinds of occasions you make cards for?
  • When you look on Pinterest and other websites, do all the cards made from a set look pretty similar?  Or is there a lot of variation?
  • Does the set have more than one stamp you could use for a focal point? 
  • Does it include stamps that can create interesting background texture?

Butterfly Basics is a set that both fits my style and is very versatile.  I’ve made lots of cards that I really love with these stamps, either as the focal point or as texture for a background.  Just imagine all the ways you could use this set:

Butterfly Basics stamp set from Stampin' Up!

Third, what occasions do you need cards for?

  • Do you celebrate birthdays and other occasions for kids and grandkids?
  • Do you have a lot of family members getting married or having babies?
  • Do you need stamps for masculine cards?
  • Do you just like to make striking cards you can use for any occasion?

handmade card from Stamping Madly, using Vintage Leaves and Gorgeous Grunge stamp sets from Stampin' Up!

Vintage Leaves is a set I’ll use over and over, especially when I need a masculine card.  This card has a sentiment on the front, but you could easily make it without, and add the sentiment to the inside.  That way you’ll always have a stash of cards to choose from when an occasion arises.

These strategies can also be applied to embellishments, colors, and tools.  Get the most out of your stamping dollars by using three tips for choosing the best stamp sets for you!

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