New Stamper Must Haves

Last Updated 10/14/09

These suggestions submitted by: Brenda Braun, Linda F., Diane Beckwith, Wendy Kidd, Lynn Krucke, The Banyai's,, Beth, Pat in SWWA, Beverly, Barbara, Diane C


Large floral
Small floral
Large scenery stamp (mountains, trees, buildings)
Animal or sports for male cards
Sentiments (generic such as "Best Wishes" "Happy Birthday")
Kid stamp to make kid cards
Bookmark stamp


Dye-based pads

Blue, red or green (optional)
Rainbow (optional)



Pigment pads - a ColorBox palette is a good selection


Coloring Tools

Buy the best you can afford, this is not where to skimp

Colored pencils
Water-based markers
Watercolor pencils
Artist's pastels (chalks)

Cutting Tools

Craft knife
Self-healing cutting mat
Metal ruler OR Paper cutter
Bone folder
Decorative edge scissors


Double-sided tape (carpet tape is a cheap option if not concerned about acid)
Glue stick
Double-sided foam mounting tape to add dimension


Package of cards & envelopes
Package(s) of cardstock
Decorative papers -- check in scrapbooking department or store
Handmade art papers
Index cards -- cheap product to play on

Clean Up

Scrubber or paint edger pads
Baby wipes or paper towels
Stamp cleaner (not necessary for most inks)


Acrylic box frames (for stamps) or unused take out pizza boxes
Plastic pencil boxes (for pencils, markers)
Cutlery basket (scissors, bone folder, hole punches, Exacto)
Storage cart (ink pads, embossing powders, adhesives)

Other Tools & Supplies (optional)

Small paint brush(es) for removing excess EP
Make up sponges wedges for pouncing on ink
Cotton balls for applying chalks
Stencil brush for stippling
Q-tips for chalks
Stamping Magazine for ideas, resources, techniques
Memory book punches
Photo album for catalog
Art Journal for testing and notes
Fun Foam to use for padding under your card when stamping

Embossing Supplies

Optional - detail powders if your stamps have fine lines

Embossing powder - Clear, Black, Gold
Embossing inkpad
Pigment inkpad(s) in multi-color to use with clear powder
Heat tool


A rounded sponge - For shading and texturizing, airbrushed-look backgrounds, with masks for subtle frames and borders.

An embossing pen - This is a pen that writes in embossing ink. You can then emboss your writings. I have found this helpful for touching up stamp designs that didn't get completing done or for writing words I couldn't find a stamp for.

A decision should be made how you will be coloring your images. It was very discouraging for me when I first started to stamp my images and have them run when I colored the. Did not have a heat gun to emboss and only had dye ink pads. If you will be using markers or watercolors you should probably have a Watercolor or other permanent black pad.

Also a set of basic words such as happy, birthday, anniversary, get well, etc. is a definite must. Or you can plan to write your messages on your cards. (Either by hand or print out of the computer)

Subscription to a stamping magazine - (look through several to see which appeals to you). This is a great source of ideas, the ads will keep you up to date on what products are on the market, and you will see LOTS of different styles of stamps so you can begin to identify which ones appeal to you.


One note of caution: Most stampers I know say they bought way too many stamps at first, and then their tastes changed dramatically. Look at lots of magazines to see what you like. Decide if you want to do a lot of image coloring, as some stamps really demand it. If not, hold yourself back from buying those kinds of stamps. I personally think that Stampin' Up! (Not affiliated) stamps are a great way to start out, as they come in sets, and the catalog and demonstrator will usually have several samples of cards that can be made with each set. As a newbie stamper, I often found one stamp I liked, and then didn't have anything that went with it. Sets can be helpful here. (Hero Arts also has some nice sets, and their catalog is full of great ideas).

I think the biggest mistake I made when I started was buying EP in every color of the rainbow. Today, I use mostly clear EP and pigment inks in all colors. If I knew then what I know now I wouldn't have such a huge supply of both!

The other thing I would say is that try to buy the best you can afford in all matters. It saves money in the long run.

In my opinion, I would recommend buying the best quality you could afford, no matter what the product. It does make a difference in the end product. My motto: never send anything that I would not be delighted to receive. Take pride in everything you make.

You can use your markers and dye inkpads to do watercolors, so you don't have to go out and additional watercolors. Using a piece of plastic (plastic wrap, piece of acetate, Styrofoam plate, etc) scribble a bit of marker, or tap your pad on it and use a paint brush that is wet to pick up the color. Add more water to it if you want it lighter. What I do with my large pads (my Adirondacks, memories, etc) is to press the top of the lid down a bit when the pad is closed; when I open it there is some ink on the top of inside lid. I just use my paintbrush on there to pick up color. This is how I prefer to watercolor.

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