I'm new to papercrafting - where do I start?

This weekend I was approached by a new customer.  She had just signed up as a demonstrator under one of my team but did not know what to place in her first order.  I still remember the first time I came across the hobby of stamping and papercraft.  It was January 2011 when I attended my first Stampin' Up! class. Straight away I was hooked!  Stampin' Up! gave me exactly what I needed at the time... fun, creativity and friends outside of parenting. The products featured in the catalogues were so inspiring, I wanted it all!  But I was also overwhelmed - so back to the original question, where to start?
In April 2011, I took the plunge and became a Stampin' Up! demonstrator.  The starter kit at the time was a fabulous way for a newbie, like myself, to begin their collection.  Now when I am asked by customers who are new to papercrafting like I was, or just new to Stampin' Up! and transitioning over, what to buy - I offer the following advice:

Attend classes 

Find a demonstrator who has a style that resonates with you and attend classes regularly.  Classes help you mingle with other like minded people, get your creativity flowing and can give you the chance to not only see techniques demonstrated but also get a hands-on play with the various tools.  Like my style?  For more information about upcoming class dates please email me.

(All the following page numbers are from the current 2013/14 catalogue)

Cutting Tools

129722 Stampin' Trimmer
For a professional look to your projects, you will want to invest in a good table top paper cutter, it's a must for cutting out your basic card shapes and matting. pg 176

103579 Paper Snips
Rave reviews for these super snips!  Expert cutting even in small areas.  Precision-ground tip cuts to end of the blade. pg 177


104332 SNAIL Adhesive
I use double sided tape available from most stores that sell craft supplies. It is cost effective, and there is no drying time to allow for like with glue.  However, if you prefer a speedier solution with no pesky tape backing to peel away, go for the SNAIL.

104294 Sticky Strip
Essential for adding embellishments or heavy accessories to your projects.  Great for putting 3D projects together too.  

104430 Stampin' Dimensionals
Double-sided adhesive foam dots add depth and dimension.  


Of course, you can't do papercrafting without paper.  The paper section of the catalogue starts on page 138.

106549 Whisper White cardstock (40 sheets) is an ESSENTIAL to have on hand.

Then I recommend you pick a mixed set of cardstock in a family of colours that appeals to you. Everyone's preferences are going to be different.  Personally, I love cards that have lots of neutrals with a pop of colour.  So for me, the neutrals collection of cardstock 131283, that has 20 sheets (2 of each neutral colour) is good value.  And for my pop of colour, perhaps the brights collection of cardstock 131282.

Whatever choices you make, you can't go wrong.  Once you work out which colours you love from these mixed collections, you can then invest in full single colour packs!


101406 Jet Black StazOn Ink Pad 
Black goes with everything so is a great place to start your ink collection.  The StazOn pads are also water-proof so won't bleed when using colouring techniques. 

Additional Classic Stampin' Pads can be purchased in individual colours, whole colour collections, or as in the case of the In-Colour families on page 140, as part of bundles with cardstock.  I often encourage customers to consider the new in-colour collections as the Cardstock and Pad kits are great value bundles that include both cardstock and matching ink pads.  


When you are first starting your collection it is wise to choose one or two stamp sets that are versatile. Some things to consider in making your choice:
Can I use this set with both male and female projects?
Would it suit a variety of occasions?
Does it coordinate with any accessories in my existing stash?
Does it lend itself to a range of techniques?
Does it feel like 'me'?  If you don't love it, you won't use it!

Some of my favourite sentiment set recommendations are:
120024 Teeny Tiny Sentiments
126257 Itty Bitty Banners
122652 Delightful Dozen

Some examples of imagery sets that you might find versatile:
126407 For the Birds
127324 Serene Silhouettes
122199 Zoo Review
126517 Fine Feathers
129258 Backyard Basics

Clear Mount Blocks

I recommend purchasing the clear mount stamp sets, they are lower in price and are easy to store in their lightweight DVD style cases.  I have two clear mount blocks.  These have suited me perfectly over the last three years across the wide and numerous stamp sets I've used.  They are:
118486 Block C
118484 Block E


106588 C6 Envelopes Whisper White
Quality white envelopes to send your cards to your loved ones.  Also available in Very Vanilla.


Add a little wow factor to your cards with some embellishments.  There are lots and lots of beautiful Stampin' Up! embellishments available.  Here are some that I find very versatile:
124262 White Bakers Twine
104199 Linen Thread
117273 Antique Brads

These are just some suggestions to get you started.  You have to decide what type of projects you enjoy creating and compliment that with the products you like using.   A hobby should be something you enjoy and is fun, not something you stress about the cost of.  Order what your budget allows you to over time.

When I started, a wish list like this was scary.  I was a stay-a-home Mum to our first born and there was not a lot of household budget to spare.  I didn't have many crafty friends at the time so hosting a workshop was not going to get me the benefits I wanted.  But the demonstrator discount was tempting - so I signed up.    I was only interested in purchasing for myself - not running classes or selling products.  However, within six months I was encouraged by the compliments I received from friends and family about my creations.  Their encouragement gave me the confidence to explore creating a career with Stampin' Up! And so my first classes were scheduled...  and the rest is history, or so they say!

What's better than free?
For information about hosting a party and the amazing rewards available to hosts, please contact me.

Curious about signing up?
There are so many benefits - extra cash, discounts on products, meeting wonderful people and of course, exclusive demonstrator support and resources.  I'd love to chat with you if you have any questions!

1 comment

  1. Hi Jenn - I loved this wrap up on essentials for newbies! You really gave great info. I have a number of new freshly start up stampers and this is just what they need to read. I'll be forwarding on the link to your site. Thanks so much!!!