Stamping and scrapping on a Shoestring
How to save MONEY and still create art
Updated 1-12-03

Shadow Stamp Idea from Anne Nakagawa
I really like them but wasn't sure if I wanted to buy any. I was thinking that I actually have some that I made but didn't know it.
You see, I hate it when I would ink up one of my frame stamps and would get ink in the middle open area by accident. Inevitably, I would end up with that ink on my paper when I pressed the stamp down. To solve the problem, I took my Exacto knife and cut the middle open area out of my frame stamps that did not come with this done already. I have several pieces of rubber that are a good size that I now can make into my own shadow stamps. Because some of the rubber pieces still have the foam cushioning on them, I can just stick them on an extra piece of wood I have.

Andrea Scholes- A few hints I have are:
1. Join swaps - it'll show you new techniques and also if you like the way some products work...It's cheaper than buying the products only to find out that they aren't what you thought, and also, the swaps are tons of fun and a good way to learn and meet people.

2. Another "join swaps" - but, join "Image Swaps" Here's a good way to get images that you don't have, and you use them to create your own cards, etc. without buying the stamp...Sometimes, it'll be an image you've been looking at, and you'll find that you can't live without it, and sometimes, you'll find that it's just ok, but you'd rather have a different image.

3. I like to buy the smaller ink pads (like the cats eyes) of colors that I'm not sure I'll like, because you can get 3 or 4 of them for the price of one large pad. You'll get a variety of colors without investing a lot.

4. I buy re-inkers of the colors I know I use a lot. Much more cost effective than replacing the whole pad.

5. I go to my local "printer" and see what kinds of scrap of cardstock he has. Sometimes he'll give it to me, or sometimes he'll sell it to me really cheap. Another good way to experiment with varieties without spending a lot of $$$.... The drawback is, you don't know if the paper is acid free or not.
(Note from paulaj: Ask the printer if he or she can tell you who makes hte papers; then you can find out if they are acid-free if you want to, by contacting the manufacturer.)

6. Have a stamping party and have everyone bring their stuff and play with each other's supplies...good way to "try before you buy" to see if it's something you HAVE to have!

7. Look in the sale bins at craft stores, toy stores, office supply stores...sometimes you can pick up great stuff cheap for embellishments etc.

I joined a stamp club. Minimal dues, and we had a project each month, with the club supplying the supplies. So I got to try my hand at using a large variety of supplies and equipment just for the cost of my dues. At the club, we also have an image swap, you make clean images of your items, and after 10 for supply, its a 1:1 swap. Also, if I needed a certain image and someone had one, they would stamp them for me to use (I always offer to supply the cardstock and ink pad, but they usually decline as they do it in basic black and white, unless I want a specific color. We also get together to make group purchases of cardstock and other bulk items. I may only need a few sheets of a certain color, handmade, background, vellum, or metallic, but if we all want to try it, the bulk cost is less and we all get enough for our use. We've also split UTEE. Members also swapped, traded and sold a minimal costs things they now longer used, which were good enough for me as a beginner.

I think someone also mentioned that stamp stores will sell items they demo with at a fraction of the cost. Most stores that do this have them out in the store area, but I was taking a class and saw a stamp I really liked that was discontinued. The teacher told me to check with the owner, and she sold me the stamp for $1. Store owners also have there personal supplies. One in our area had a garage sale and I got a lot of stuff (a Xerox paper box full of stamps, cardstock, envelopes, embellishment that I selected from her vast selection, and an unused paragomo set) for about $25. I was thrilled.

My best finds online, and actually from this list were Mark IV die cut machine (I have yet to get the dies LOL), Microfleur, Calligraphy set, and Papermaking kit. So don't be afraid to ask online. You'd be surprised what people have that they no longer are using, and will sell to you at a low cost or for less costly items for the cost of mailing to reduce the clutter in their stamp room.

Sallyann Mettler
I have also found that instead of RP's or other expensive paints that using colored pencils or watercolor pencils cuts down on my cost of making a card.

I use permanent ink to stamp my designs and do not use embossing powder as much as some people do.

I buy my white paper by the ream instead of buying it at the stamping store. I get it at an office supply store.

I go to as many free demonstrations at the stamp stores as I can, and take fewer classes. My store sometimes have demonstrators come in from the big companies. I try to make sure I attend as many of those as I can too. They are always glad to answer questions and I don't always have to do the technique myself in order to learn how to do it.

I also keep a binder of tips that I get on my e-mail lists. I make sure I keep the name and e-mail address of the person who gave the tip so if I need to I can e-mail them back with questions when I actually try the technique.

I love it when members give tips on how to make your own embossing fluid, how to substitute something cheap that cost a lot more at the stamp store.

But most of all, I have learned I don't have to try every new technique that comes out. I can develop my own style and make lovely cards without all the "bells and whistles".

Return to Home page