Stamping Tips for using Stampin Up stamps, cardstock, inks and accessories!

>>>>Updated with new 2017-2018 Catalogue Info<<<<

Are you new to stamping or just new to Stampin Up? Then I have some stamping tips for you to get started with Stampin Up! If you have been a Stampin Up fan for some time, keeping reading as you just may learn something new!

Stamping Tips to get started with Stampin Up

Choosing Stamps

If you have browsed the Stampin Up catalogues or my online store you may have noticed there are hundreds of products to choose from! That may make it more difficult for a newbie to figure out where to start! But, it’s all good, I promise!

First, if you are not sure where to start with stamping, start by deciding what kind of cards you want to make. Do you want to make birthday cards? Christmas cards? Thank you cards? Sympathy cards? Baby Shower invites and favors? Kids cards and party invitations? Wedding invitations? Pretty feminine cards? Or masculine cards? You get the idea. Start with an occasion or season in mind. You may notice that the Stampin Up Annual Catalogue is divided into sections based on some of these card occasions to make it easier to find what you are looking for.

Then, your next step is to decide whether or not you want to be able to color in your stamps. This is important to know because Stampin Up offers bold, solid stamps that are meant to be stamped with various ink colors.

If you prefer this look, you will want to choose a few different colors of ink pads to start with.

If you love the look of watercolored stamped images, Stampin Up also offers outline stamps that are meant to be stamped with (usually) a Basic Black ink and then colored in. Options include using our new Watercolor Pencils, Stampin Write Markers or our ink pads and Aqua Painters to watercolor. If you prefer this look, start with the Archival Basic Black ink pad and the coloring option of your choice. Stamping Tips: Beautiful You stamp set, for watercoloring

Another option is the greeting or sentiment stamp sets that offer various wording options for your cards. These are great for the Stampin Up stamp sets that have only images (and no sentiments) or for someone who loves to create cards with their own drawings or materials (such as Designer Series Paper) but prefers to add a stamped sentiment.

Deciding on your preference will help you narrow down your decision on which stamps to start with. You can then build your stamp collection from there 😉

Product Suites

Of course, you may still find yourself not sure of where to start or just can’t decide where to start. My suggestion is to choose one of the many product suites to start with. For example, in the 2017 Occasions Catalogue on page 8 and 9 you will see the Cupcakes & Carousels Suite- if you love the look of this suite, you can start with that stamp set, the Designer Series Paper and cardstock and ink that match. The work of deciding on colors has already been done for you!

Why are there different prices for each stamp set?

One thing to note as well is that Stampin Up stamps come in two styles of material for the stamps themselves. Classic Rubber and Photopolymer. When you are deciding on stamps, you will often see the reference to wood or clear mount.

Classic Rubber on Wood Mount Stamps

Stamping Tips: Classic Rubber, Wood vs Clear Mount

When you see ‘wood’ that means the stamps are the Classic Rubber, ready to be mounted on the wood blocks provided with the stamp set. Wood mount stamps cost more because they come with their own wood blocks. You will need to peel the backing off the rubber stamps and mount them onto the wood blocks yourself, but you will only do this once. Many find this advantageous because the stamps can be trimmed further if desired in order to keep any stray rubber from leaving ink where it shouldn’t when stamping.

A tip: punch out all the rubber stamps and before peeling off the sticky backing, place them on each wood block to make sure they are a good fit before sticking them on because once they are on they are staying! That stuff is super sticky!!

Classic Rubber on Clear Mount Stamps

When you see the reference to Clear Mount- that means they are the Classic Rubber stamps with a non-adhesive backing on them to be used on clear acrylic blocks that you buy separately. Each time you stamp you will ‘mount’ these stamps on the proper sized block and remove them after cleaning your stamps.

Photopolymer on Clear Mount Stamps

Stamping Tips: Photopolymer stamps


Then there are the Photopolymer stamps- these also need the clear acrylic blocks to mount on before stamping. The best part of photopolymer stamps is that you can see exactly where you are stamping!

I made this video some time ago, but I think it’s still helpful today.

What else do I need to get other than stamps and ink?

Of course you need something to stamp on! You will want to have a look at the cardstock and envelopes.

Stampin Up cardstock and inks are color coordinated. In fact, most of the Stampin Up products are color coordinated which makes stamping so much easier when you don’t have to worry about colors matching. Trust me on this one. I had one customer who started stamping with me many years ago who loved the stamps, but rarely bought the cardstock or ink, only stamps for the most part. After a year or so of this she told me she had wasted so much time and money on trying to buy cheaper inks, paper and ribbon at the local craft store only to sit frustrated every time she stamped because NOTHING matched! She would buy a pink ink, pink cardstock and pink ribbon only to realize they were never the same pinks! Needless to say she became my biggest advocate for buying the coordinated Stampin Up products!

Cut it out!

On top of having some good cardstock and ink, you will want an effective method to cut and score your cardstock.  The Stampin Trimmer is my go to tool as it allows me to measure the cardstock and cut! With the use of a Bone Folder, you can also use your Stampin Trimmer for scoring your cardstock, but I prefer to use my Simply Scored Scoring Board– love this tool as it makes lining up the cardstock so easy and you can mark your most used measurements (like 4.25″ and 5.5″ for your standard card centers). Check out the Ultimate Cutting Guide here.

More stamping tips

?Stampin Up offers ink refills. You don’t have to worry about ink pads or Stampin’ Write markers drying up. One Stampin’ Up refill bottle with last you quite a long time and you can reink anytime you need to. Plus, the reinkers can be used for dyeing products with the Stampin’ Spritzers or dip dyeing.

?All of Stampin’ Up’s Designer Series Papers (aka Patterned Papers) are also color coordinated! If you are not sure what colors to start with, try choosing a set of Designer Series Papers that catch your eye and then choose the colors from that set of papers.In Color, Fresh Florals DSP, Stampin Up

?Ribbon, buttons, washi tape and other accessories are all made to coordinate with the Stampin Up colors! This makes it so easy to find the perfect embellishment for your cards!

? Stampin’ Up now offers Embossing Paste to add dimension to your cards! Learn more about it here.


?You can find all the adhesives you need to get started and Stampin Up has all kinds of adhesives for differents jobs as one adhesive does not fit all!

  • •Use a dry adhesive like the SNAIL Adhesive or Fast Fuse Adhesive for sticking papers together
  • Mini Glue Dots are for quick sticking power for small items like small die cuts, buttons or ribbon
  • •Use Tear & Tape Adhesive for projects that need a strong adhesive, like this one
  • •Use Stampin’ Dimensionals and Mini Stampin’ Dimensionals to make elements on your cards pop!
  • Foam Adhesive Strips are perfect for making shaker cards
  • Multi Purpose Liquid Glue and the Fine Tip Glue Pen are great for small items that need strong glue power and can be left to dry
  • •Use Multipurpose Adhesive Sheets to create your own stickers with die cuts or accessories

Stamping Tips: Big Shot, Framelits and Thinlits to coordinate with stamp sets?Most of the Stampin Up Framelits and Thinlits coordinate with the stamp sets.  Got a Big Shot? (or other die cutting machine?) Or want one? You will love that many of the stamp sets you buy have coordinating dies to make cutting out images so easy!!

Not sure where to start? Having a set of basic shape dies like the Layered Circles or Layered Ovals Framelits are a great set to start with as they will work with most stamp sets. Get creative with your dies too- cut out shapes, use the dies to create different shapes out of the cutouts or use your imagination to use the dies in different ways!

The Big Shot can also be used to dry emboss your cardstock too for amazing texture and dimension on your cards! (See the samples below)

Not sure what the Big Shot is? Check out this how to video to get you started.

Berry Burst, In Color, Stampin Up, handmade birthday card Happy Birthday Gorgeous, Stampin Up, birthday card Lovely Inside and Out, Stampin Up

These cards were all created with the Big Shot and dies and embossing folders!

?The Stampin Up punches also coordinate with many of the stamp sets, so when checking out the catalogue, take note of the coordinating punches and dies (if any) listed with the stamp set information and check them out!

?Broken stamp case? You can purchase replacement stamp cases on page 183 of the Annual catalogue (or find them in store here) but did you know the stamp cases can also be used for more than just stamps? You can use them to store and organize your Watercolor Pencils, Stampin Write Markers, your clear acrylic blocks, keep completed cards safe or keep your cardstock scraps organized. These stamp cases have been used for many non- stamping related uses too like keeping desk supplies organized or makeup and nail supplies together in kits.

?Love wood stamps but can never line them up properly? The Stamp-a-ma-jig was made for just that!! If you are not sure how to use it, check out this video.

?Stampin’ Up offers project kits and Paper Pumpkin kits to make crafting easy to take where ever you go!

?Stampin Up supports Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) every year! Usually found at the back of the Annual Catalogue, Stampin Up chooses one stamp set to help support RMHC- the purchase of this stamp set donates money to the charity. This Annual Catalogue’s stamp set is Sharing Sweet Thoughts, found on page 233.

?Did you know that you don’t have to host a workshop to get the Hostess Stampin’ Rewards? Any order you place over $200 before taxes and shipping earns you Stampin’ Rewards! Learn more about Stampin’ Rewards here.

Well, I think that covers most of the stamping tips to get started with Stampin’ Up. There is so much you can learn when it comes to stamping, so many techniques and tips but there really isn’t always a right or wrong way to make cards. You can make this craft as easy or as complex as you want it to be! That is the beauty of cardmaking and stamping!

For more Stamping Tips and Techniques, I’ve put together a page of quick tips and techniques for you to try! Check them out here!

NEW to STAMPIN’ UP? Check out my tips here.

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