How to Choose Stamps and Accessories from New Catalog

Whenever a new catalog come out, it’s helpful to have some tips on how to choose stamps and accessories that you’ll use over and over!  We invest a lot of money in our stamping obsession, so here are a few tips to help you choose wisely!

First, Know Your Style.

We’ve all done it, chosen a stamp set or bundle that gets used once or twice, then sits on the shelf.  Maybe I’ve seen one card on Pinterest that made me think I needed that stamp, but in the long run, I found it doesn’t fit my style.  

My taste runs to flowers, nature, and elegant images, and those are the sets that get used over and over in my studio.  Although I can appreciate cute stamps and bundles, I’m not very good at making cards with them!

If you’re new to cardmaking, you may not know your style yet.  As you add stamp sets and accessories to your craft room, notice which ones you use frequently, and which ones sit on the shelf.  Don’t beat yourself for the ones you don’t use, just turn it into a learning opportunity.

Here’s an example from my craft room.

handmade card made with Tape It Stamp Set and Labels Collection Framelits

Four years ago I saw a card I loved, using the Tape It Stamp Set inside a frame cut with the Labels Collection Framelits.  I bought the stamp set and made my own version of the idea, but never used the stamp set again.  Money down the drain. 🙁

I’ve learned a lot since then, and am much more cautious when choosing what to buy.  When the Occasions Catalog came out in January, I chose Dragonfly Dreams and the Detailed Dragonfly Thinlits.  Last count, I have made 8 different card designs with these items, and am delighted they carried over into the new catalog so I can keep using it!

Handmade Shaker Card from Stamping Madly using Dragonfly Dreams and Detailed Dragonfly Thinlits

Second, Look for Versatility!

When you look at a stamp set or bundle, try to imagine several different ways you can use it.   If you’re not sure how versatile it is, look it up on Pinterest.  Do all the cards using that set look similar?  Or do you see a lot of variation?

One of my best choices was the Vintage Leaves Stamp Set and Leaflets Framelits.  I’ve used them on many cards in many different ways.  I love that it’s elegant, as well as a great choice for masculine cards.

Corner Fold card from Stamping Madly using Vintage Leaves Stamp Set and Leaflets Framelits

Third, Assess Your Needs.

  1. What occasions do you make cards for?  Do you really need cute kid stamps if you don’t have kids or grandkids to make cards for?
  2. Do you need a set with 10 different ways to say Happy Birthday?  Or will two or three birthday greetings meet your needs?
  3. Do you like to use big sentiments that end up as the focal point of a card?  Or do you prefer small sentiments that won’t compete with your focal point?
  4. Do you need masculine images that fit your style?  Stampin’ Up! offers a few stamp sets appropriate for masculine cards, but many of them don’t fit my style.
  5. How many of the stamps in a set will you actually use?  Do you want the set because you like just one of the sentiments or images, but the rest of the stamps are just ok?  Do you want to pay $20 for that one stamp, and let the rest sit on the shelf?  Here’s an example of this mistake!  I had to have this sentiment, but never made another card with the set.

Handmade card from Stamping Madly made with First Sight Stamp Set

Fourth, Leave the Sentiment Off!

A strategy I use a lot is to make cards without a sentiment on the front.  That way I end up with a stash of cards I can use for any occasion by adding the sentiment to the inside.  I also use this strategy when I create a focal point with awesome artwork, and adding a sentiment would just detract from it.

Handmade card with Lovely as a Tree and a sponged background from Stamping Madly

Please leave a comment and let me know if these tips are helpful to you.  

Meanwhile, look through your 2017 Annual Catalog again, this time with these suggestions in mind!  I hope you’ll choose stamps and accessories from the new catalog wisely and use what you buy over and over!

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2 Responses to How to Choose Stamps and Accessories from New Catalog

  1. Ginger May 31, 2017 at 9:05 am #

    Thank you for an excellent post. We all have thought we had to have stamp set only to find it “didn’t feel right” when you used it. Your advice is very sound and timely. I think I’ll look more closely at the dragonfly.

    • Sage May 31, 2017 at 2:04 pm #

      I’m glad you found the post helpful, Ginger. Let me know if I can answer any questions for you.

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