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November 10, 2011

3 Essential Stamps for the Beginning Card-Maker

stamps for card-making in photo by Dana McCranie

The amount of available stamps can be overwhelming to beginning card-makers; start with essentials that will still be useful as you progress. (Photo by Dana McCranie)

Diving into the art of rubber stamping is one of my favorite craft memories. It was as if an entire new world of creativity had been opened up to me. However, I do also remember feeling overwhelmed by all the available options and believing that I needed a lot of items to make anything worth sharing with others.

This is a common misconception. I will not deny my love for glitter and all things sparkly, but once you have your ink and card stock you can really get by with just a few well chosen stamps. For a card-maker, I think there are three essential types of stamps to cover a majority of occasions.

  1. Greetings: While a blank card with just an image is nice and has its place, I think some sort of greeting collection is essential to set up a good base for your card-making. It is nice to invest in a set that might include the holidays and occasions you create for the most. My favorite set has been a collection of definition stamps that define words like “journey” and “happiness.” The definitions are versatile and can be used for a variety of sentiments. When choosing sentiments, I think variety is always something to consider.
  2. Background: If you want to really give your cards polish and kick them up a notch, try layering. Backgrounds can be extremely useful, and any stamp can be used as a background. Use a small image and repeat it, or use one large image. Either way, it is good to have a few stamps that will give a little texture to a dominant image.
  3. Inspiring Image: Your main event stamps are going to be the images or even the words that you love the most. You need a few stamps that are inspiring enough to you that they drive your design. My recommendation here is to choose a few stamps that you love and that appeal to you, rather than something you think someone else would enjoy. If you choose your stamps for anyone other than yourself, they will never be put to use. You have to be inspired by the image for it to be useful in your collection.

One of my favorite gifts is to take a large background stamp and create a basic background on a handful of cards. Then I just stamp different sentiments on each card and perhaps add a little glitter. No matter which stamps you choose, just remember you don’t have to have it all to create beautiful cards that any recipient will appreciate and enjoy.



About the Author

Dana McCranie
Dana McCranie
Dana McCranie writes, prays, laughs, loves glitter and will hug you even if you try to shake her hand. You can often find her behind her camera, striving to build a photography business. You'll never find her as happy as she is dancing around her kitchen with her daughter, son and amazing husband.




  • Anonymous

    There are some great ideas in this to help me give some new life to my cards. Thanks, Dana

  • Anonymous

    I am so glad to hear that…Happy Stamping!