Whenever a new catalog comes out, it’s helpful to have some tips on how to choose stamps you’ll use over and over! We invest a lot of money in our stamping obsession, so here are a couple tips to help you choose wisely.
First: Know Your Style
We’ve all done it: Chosen a stamp set that we use once or twice, and then it sits on the shelf. If you’re like me, that’s often because it doesn’t really fit your style. I tend to go for sets with nature, flowers, and elegant images. I don’t do cute very often, and when I buy a set that’s cute, I tend to use it only once or twice.
If you’re new to cardmaking, you may not know your style right away. The stamps you buy will help you get to know your style.
When I looked at the Occasions Catalog, I chose three bundles that fit my style. I’ve already designed 5 cards using the Dragonfly Dreams Bundle, all in about a month. I still haven’t run out of ideas for ways I want to use it, so it was a really good choice for me. Here’s the first one I made:
I don’t always get it right. Here’s a card made with the Bunch of Blossoms Bundle from the 2016 Annual Catalog. Being such a big fan of flowers, I thought it would get a lot of use, but I’ve only made one card with it.
It turns out that the 3 step stamping and punching was more work than I expected, and the images aren’t elegant enough to inspire me. They don’t fit my style as well as I thought they would. But I’m sure there are other stampers who love these items.
Second: Look for Versatility
How many times have you seen one card on Pinterest that enticed you into buying the stamp set, but after you got it, you only used it once? Here’s an example from my studio using the Tape It Stamp Set (now retired). When I saw it in the catalog, I wasn’t interested. But I saw one card that changed my mind. Here’s my version of that card:
I never used the stamp set again.
I’ve learned to look at a stamp set or bundle and imagine how many ways I could use it. If you’re not sure about its versatility, look at Pinterest. Do the cards using that set look very similar? Or do you see a lot of variation.
On the other hand, the Butterfly Basics Stamp Set and Butterflies Thinlits have proven their versatility for me. I’ve probably made 10 or 15 cards using the stamp set and/or dies. Here’s the first one I made:
Don’t beat yourself up if you choose things that end up on the shelf. My approach is to use that as a learning experience, and avoid making the same kind of mistake next time. So far, the 3 bundles I purchased from the Occasions Catalog all seem to be winners in my studio,, so the choices were all good this time.
I have a couple more tips on choosing Stamp Sets and Bundles that I’ll share in another post, so be sure to check back. And PLEASE leave me a comment! I’d like to know how you choose stamps:
- What tells you which stamp sets will get used a lot?
- Do they turn out to be good choices for you?
- When you’ve bought one that ends up sitting on the shelf, what enticed you to purchase it?
I hope these tips are helpful as you consider how to choose stamps and dies you’ll use over and over!