Stamping 101 (How to Get Started in Card Making)

Are you new to rubber stamping and card making, or want to get started making your own handmade cards?  It's a relaxing and rewarding hobby, plus you can make a gorgeous handmade card that your friends and family members will treasure, not toss, making the 50 cents you spent on that card even more special than a $5 store-bought card that ended up in the trash!

Whether you're new to stamping or just want a refresher, this Stamping and Card Making 101 (How to Get Started in Card Making) will guide you through the basics.

Basic Card Making 101 Supplies

  • 8-1/2" x 11" Whisper White Card Stock (40 sheets) #100730
  • Assorted Card Stock (36 sheets, 3 each of 12 colors), pick one:
    • Bold Brights #105548 or
    • Earth Elements #105566
    • Rich Regals #105567
    • Soft Subtles #105568
  • Basic Black Classic Stampin' Pad #101179
  • Classic Stampin' Spots (set of 12) to match your Assorted Card Stock, pick one:
    • Bold Brights #105550
    • Earth Elements #105551
    • Rich Regals #105552
    • Soft Subtles #105553
  • Versatile Stamp Set, Fun & Fast Notes #113500 or Pun Fun (sets of 8) #115054 recommended
  • Blender Pens (3) #102845
  • Stampin' Scrub #102642
  • Stampin' Mist #102394
  • Whisper White Medium Envelopes (40) #107301
  • SNAIL Adhesive #104332
Copy and paste the item numbers listed above in your shopping cart at my 2stampis2b Online Stampin' Up! Store...your order will ship straight to your doorstep anywhere in the US!

Mounting and Maintaining Your Rubber Stamps

Stampin' Up! rubber stamps, either wood-mount or clear-mount, are diecut.  Watch one of the following two videos to see how to mount them, as the process is a tad different for each.
You'll want to condition your new rubber stamps, especially if they have more solid stamping areas on them.  I have two video tutorials prepared for conditioning and cleaning your Stampin' Up! rubber stamps.

Cutting Your Card Stock

  • Most of the cards I make start with what's called an A2 base:  Cut an 8-1/2" x 11" piece of card stock in half, then fold each piece in half for 2 card bases.  You can cut that sheet in half either way: 4-1/4" x 11" or 5-1/2" x 8-1/2".  The Medium Envelopes are made to fit an A2 card.
  • Clean and simple cards will not have a lot of card stock layers on them and may be stamped on directly with an embellishment or two added.
  • If you choose to include card stock layers, you can choose either 1/8" or 1/4" increments, and those increments could start from the card base in, or from your stamped piece out.
    • From the card base in:  Your first layer would be, for example, 1/4" less than your 4-1/4" x 5-1/2" card front, so you would cut your layer to 4" x 5-1/4".  
    • From the stamped image out:  Cut your Whisper White Card Stock for stamping on to the same size as your wood block (or about 1/4" larger than the rectangle your clear-mount stamp is).  If your stamp is 2-1/4" x 3-1/4", then your layer behind that image should be cut to 2-1/2" x 3-1/2".  Note:  It's much easier to cut your card stock before stamping, rather than trying to square up and cut the edges after stamping on a much larger piece.

Inking Up Your Rubber Stamp and Stamping Your Image

  • When inking up your stamp, please do not grind and twist your stamp into the pad!!!  All it takes is a firm tap, tap, tap flatly on the ink pad.  Look at the rubber stamp surface to be sure it's completely covered with ink and tap, tap, tap again if necessary.  Grinding and twisting and pushing too hard into the ink pad can damage the ink pad, tear the foam on the stamp, and gets ink all over the wood block! Plus you might end up with ink on the recessed outer edges of the stamp that might show when you stamp your image.  Gentle but firm is best, no need to get crazy!
  • To stamp the image, press straight down and hold for a few seconds to ensure good ink transfer.  Do not rock or tilt the stamp back and forth...just press down and hold still.  Re-ink the stamp with each new impression for a vivid image.

Adhering Your Card Stock Layers

You're going to love our Stampin' Up! SNAIL Adhesive!  It's refillable (order refill #104331) and easy to hold.  
  • Flip the cover of the tip back, then grip the SNAIL with the "grippies" on top towards the point for your index finger to push down/pull on.  
  • Make contact with the back side of your card stock piece, keeping the tape flat, then with slight pressure pull back to dispense a flat layer of adhesive.  
  • Make sure all 4 sides get a few zips of adhesive, then position the layer over your card stock and press down.  Be sure to press firmly where the SNAIL resides on the back to get complete adhesion.
  • If you find that you are not getting a flat strip of adhesive out of your SNAIL, you may not be holding it down flat when dispensing.  Your SNAIL now likely has what I call "boogers" and they need to be pulled out of the tip!  Once you've cleared them away your SNAIL should be happy again.
You'll find many other tips and tricks on my blog at and in my video tutorials on my 2stampis2b YouTube channel.  Please subscribe to both so you can be the first to know about new content!

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