- Start slow. Buy stamps that you really really like and that are versatile. Try to buy stamps and sets that are very different from each other to build up a collection with a nice variety of stamps and images.
- Don't invest in the latest techniques right away. Try to figure out if you can do something else that can accomplish the same effect you're looking for. For example, when I first started stamping, I bought a lot of markers instead of stamp pads. They were less expensive so I could get a variety of colors faster. It took a little longer to color my stamp, but it was a way to stretch my money until I was ready to invest in stamp pads.
- Another way to save on stamp pads is to start your collection with the darker colors first. You can achieve a lighter version of a dark color by off stamping. (Off stamping is when you stamp your image on a piece of scrap paper first to take some of the ink off, then stamp your card. The effect is a lighter color image.)
- If you see a card that you want to copy, but don't have the same stamps, try improvising. The process of creating is just as much fun as having the final result.
- Some of my friends have to have every different style of flower stamps out there. They might have 3 or 4 different kinds of rose stamps. I have a weakness for cat stamps and have ummmm, a lot! Now when I want to create a cat card, I use what I already have instead of buying more cat stamps.
- Sometimes you can created your own images using stamps you already have. For example, I want a bird on a branch. I might stamp the bird first and then the branch with 2 different stamps. If I want to make an art card with a man wearing a party hat, I might stamp the man and then just cut a party hat out of scrap background paper.
- To get a water color effect, ink your stamp, then mist it with a spray of water (use a small spray bottle) and stamp your image. This technique takes a little practice so try it on scrap paper first.
- If you accidentally smudge your image or double stamp, try twisting the stamp a little to deliberately modify the image. You might like the effect more.
- Stamp with friends. You can bounce ideas off of each other and share supplies. I get together with 2 of my stamping buddies once a month. We each take a turn hosting and the host makes dinner.
Want to see some of my cards? Look for a link near the bottom of my ME page to see pictures of my cards.