MFT: 7 Basics to Start Stamping & Cardmaking

Jun 4, 2019My Favorite Things1 comment

MFT: 7 Basics to Start Stamping & Cardmaking

Jun 4, 2019My Favorite Things1 comment

My Favorite Things!

Welcome to a new feature here at The Retreat – My Favorite Things!

I’m always trying out new products, tools, brands, mediums, etc. and I’m sure it can be hard to keep up with everything that I like. So, I thought I would do an occasional roundup of those items that make it onto my craft desk over and over so you can see what I recommend.

These are definitely features you’ll want to bookmark, or save on a Pinterest board, so just pin this image and you’ll always make it back to this post!

Today’s list is geared towards the beginner stamper. These seven items are my favorite things to add to a new crafter’s “starter kit”. It’s all you need to get started with stamping and cardmaking!

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These EK Success precision scissors are my favorite paper snips! They’re equally at home trimming edges, fussy cutting and just general cutting. They’re comfortable, sharp and easy to use! 

Mine are an older version (with black handles) – but the current style is just as amazing, and even better with a non-stick surface that actually works! I would splurge and get these new ones, but I’ve had mine for years and they’ve never needed to be re-sharpened.

I will NEVER use any kind of tape runner if I have a bottle of Tombow on hand. There’s nothing more disappointing than sending a card and hearing that part of it fell off in transit. Worse yet – when it happens in person!

Using a liquid adhesive is the best tool to combat climates as both dry and humid climates will cause tape runners to fail! Oh, and did I mention that a bottle lasts forever?! I even cut mine open and use the remainder with a paint brush 😉

An exceptional black ink is a must-have in any crafter’s kit. My go-to is Tsukineko’s new black pigment ink – VersaFine Clair Nocturne. It is an amazing black that works on even the smallest of line drawings or sentiments.

It’s slow drying, so you can emboss right over it (don’t forget the anti-static powder first!), and it’s waterproof once dry, so heat set and get on with your watercoloring! Be warned – this ink does NOT play well with solvent markers (like Copics).

04. Neenah – Solar White 80lb. Cardstock Bases & Envelopes

Since this list is geared towards getting started, I recommend these pre-cut card bases and envelopes. I use Solar White 80lb weight for my stamping and layers, and a 110lb Solar White for my card base. But, if you’re just getting started, these are the perfect choice as there’s no need for a good paper trimmer or score tool. YET!

If you want to add layers, sacrifice a card base to do additional stamping and cutting. Yes, that will leave you with some extra envelopes, but it’s good to have a few spares on hand!

Don’t forget to leave a comment at the end of the post to qualify for my quarterly giveaway!

Of course, you’ll want to add some color to your projects! I recommend the Distress Inks in the mini cube sets for a few reasons. The mini cubes take up less space and you’ll get more colors to try for less moolah. Also, Distress Inks work well for stamping images, as well as watercoloring and other fun techniques.

You don’t need them all to start, so pick one or two sets with colors that you like and think you’ll get a lot of mileage from.

You can’t stamp a card without – STAMPS! In the wide-world of stamping and crafting, you can easily get LOST in all the stamps and styles available to you! I recommend starting with a good set of sentiments and one or two image sets.

Unless you have a specific style and brand already in mind, I recommend exclusive sets. They have some amazing sentiment sets at amazing prices. You can get a single sentiment set that covers all major holidays and events for only $18!

Stamping with photopolymer stamps doesn’t really work without an acrylic block! Of course, you could get a stamp positioner, but for a beginner, stamping with blocks is a bit more versatile. I really love these blocks from because they have a nice weight, an etched-in grid for aligning stamps and wavy edges for hand comfort. 

Start with a medium size (about 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″) as this will work for most stamps. Or, get a set at a discount!

A Bonus Item to add to your starter kit is a pack of Sponge Daubers or another blending tool. I use daubers, Distress Blending Tools, Stencil Brushes…. all sorts of different tools. But, for the beginner, sponge daubers are the most versatile.

Daubers can be used wet or dry. You can use them to color in images or to blend in backgrounds (with your Distress Inks!). Of course, they can be used with stencils as well. Daubers can be washed in soap and water. The foam will stain, but if cleaned thoroughly, can be used in another color without color transfer. I suggest having one for each ROYGBIV plus Black. That would give you two extra in a 10 pack.

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I hope you enjoyed this first My Favorite Things roundup! If you have a friend who’s just getting into crafting, be sure to use the share buttons below so they can get some solid advice into starting their own crafting toolkit!

Do you use these products? What would you add to a beginner’s shopping list? Share with a comment!

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MFT: 7 Basics to Start Stamping & Cardmaking