When I first started stamping I couldn’t understand why anyone needed more than 2 inkpads: Versamark and black. And I couldn’t understand why anyone needed more than 3 rubber stamps: a teddy bear (for all baby/kids cards), a Christmas stamp (self explanatory) and a flower stamp (for birthday, sympathy and everything in between). Sentiments weren’t needed as I’d just use stickers. Oh how I’ve changed! I think this reasoning lasted about a month, LOL. So I was thinking today that I should make a list of which images I buy the most and why. I won’t be talking specifically about which Stampin’ Up! stamp sets I love because I want to talk about specific images. In fact, some of these stamps that I’m showing in the cards have retired and are unavailable but that’s because I want to show why I love using certain images (flowers/butterflies, etc).
So here we go! (In no particular order):
1. Flower stamps
This hasn’t changed, I still think flower stamps are extremely versatile and I do use them for birthday cards to wedding cards to sympathy cards and everything in between. Just change the colours to suit the occasion. Any flower stamps are great – I love them outlined like the one below to colour in or stamp and heat emboss in different colours or just stamp them in a coloured ink then left ‘un-coloured-in’. Solid flower stamps like the one in the card below are great to be coloured in with markers or watercolour crayons directly on to the rubber then stamped. I think they also look lovely when stamped in Versamark then dabbed with coloured chalks over the top.
2. Tree stamps
Tree stamps are fantastic for masculine cards, Christmas cards (especially tall trees), sympathy, and more. Keep the colours subdued for sympathy, anything autumnal or even brighter greens and pumpkin colours for masculine. Add glitter (maybe some rhinestones) and you have an instant Christmas card! (or giftbag/box). I also like to use tree stamps with other images I have to create a ‘scene’, just like in the card on below on the right.
3. Script backgrounds
Love love love script background stamps and I’ve been using them for the past 10 years. Script stamps add instant interest to your background, no patterned paper needed. Great for easy vintage, shabby chic, note cards, Valentine’s Day and Christmas backgrounds and so much more. The script stamp in the image below is stamped very lightly on the tag but adds that much needed ‘layer’ to the card.
I can’t get enough of butterfly stamps. Fantastic for girls cards of any age when you’re not sure of what themes they like. No need to stick to typical butterfly colours, stamp them in any colour, cut them out, layer them. Use dimensionals on the wings to raise them, add rhinestones to the middle, add glitter to the wings. I love simple outlined butterflies with simple patterns and more realistic butterflies with more detail – each one has it’s use. The simple outline butterflies I enjoy using young girl cards and with more clean/uncluttered cards. The more detailed butterflies I use for vintage cards.
Like butterflies I can’t get enough of bird stamps. I could probably replicate the last paragraph and change butterflies for birds. Birds are great for thank you, thinking of you, Christmas (Cardinals, Doves), baby and birthday cards (owls!), wedding/anniversary/Valentine’s Day (love birds, Doves) and so much more. I especially love using birds on vintage and collage cards. Of course you could use them for any occasion, these are just the way I like to use bird images. The first card below is an example of three of my staple images: birds, flowers and ‘for you’ sentiment.
6. Alphabet stamps
These are the stamps I pull out when I don’t think I have an image to suit the person I’m making the card for. I especially love using Alphabet stamps to make birthday cards for children by stamping their names. Kids get a kick out of seeing their names on things (you know how they run to displays in the shops when they see personalised mugs, keyrings, pencil cases, etc?). I especially love to do this for kids who have unusual names and you just know they won’t find personalised items at the shops. Alphabets are also great for stamping people’s initials (anniversary/wedding) and also just a monogram for an elegant card for a special friend. I like
7. Motifs and swirls
Okay so this one sounds a bit random, but bear with me – I’m talking about stamps that are a particular design such as an ‘ornamental circle’ or a swirl. These are great to use as backgrounds or main images. An elegant swirl will take your from a young girl’s card (stamp in hot pink!) to a wedding card (emboss in silver/gold), to Christmas (stamp baubles ‘hanging’ off your swirl). These stamps are more versatile than you can imagine.
8. Christmas stamps
Cheating a little here as I have mentioned that I like tree and bird images for Christmas but I will add Christmas as a general theme because I think a good Christmas stamp set will take you a long way. I especially like bauble images for Christmas as these seem to work great for any sort of Christmas – Northern or Southern – sometimes Australians are turned off by ‘winter’ Christmas images others are fine but baubles tend to be universally great for those who celebrate Christmas. Plus they are great for different styles such as a fun card, elegant, vintage, masculine, etc.
Sentiment stamps are a staple for me. I like to have a few different birthday sentiments, specifically one in elegant script (for most birthdays), one in a fun font (for kids), and one in a classic ‘typed’ font which works great for masculine birthdays, teen birthdays where the ‘fun font’ might be too kiddie or female birthday cards with the script stamp might be too busy for a clean and modern card. Yes, I have thought about this a lot! LOL. A basic Christmas sentiment is also necessary for me – if I just had to pick one then it would definitely say “Merry Christmas” rather than “Happy Holidays”, Australian’s aren’t that politically correct. After that the most important sentiment image for me would be “for you” – versatile to cover many sentiments, I prefer the ‘for you to be a simple script form. ‘Thank you’ is the other sentiment I use a lot of and again either a simple script or a typed font is good for ‘Thank you”. I do have “get well” and “thinking of you” sentiment stamps but I think you can get away with “for you” if you don’t want to buy a lot of sentiments.
10. My Favourite Things
The last type of stamp image that I think is essential is images that are your ‘favourite things’. Is there something that you particularly love? For me it’s either French or vintage images (or vintage French!). I know others who love stamps of horses, fruit, cats, hearts, teddy bears and other personal favourites. Here’s some of my favourites: The Eiffel Tower, Crowns, Keys, postage stamps and any vintage style images.
Phew! So there you go – my top 10 stamping images and why I find them useful. I hope this article has given some new stampers food for thought. And for everyone, please feel free to share with me your favourite stamp images.