What Type of Crafter are You?

Stampin’ Up! has identified three types of crafter:

  • Beginner
  • Casual
  • Avid

Broadly speaking the beginner is likely to have a few basic tools and stamp sets; the casual crafter will add dies and/or punches into the mix and the avid crafter must have it all – coordinating designer series paper (DSP), embellishments and a variety of colouring tools are also in the stash (amongst other things)!

As a demonstrator, I try to cater for all levels of crafter. Each month I will showcase a different stamp set and create different types of projects (tags, cards, 3D items, home décor etc.). Importantly, there will be at least one example for each type of crafter. So, however big your stash, you’ll find something that you can create or use as inspiration.

Stamping is easy and fun and no-one should feel that it is beyond them. Even simple projects can look stunning using Stampin’ Up! products.

Geared Up Garage Bundle 150610
Classic Garage Cardstock Pack 148484

The January 2019 stamp set showcase features Geared Up Garage. This stamp set is part of a suite called Classic Garage and it’s great to have a product to suit the car enthusiasts that we know. The main colour scheme is Basic Grey, Crushed Curry and Tranquil Tide but Basic Black, Pumpkin Pie, Real Red, Very Vanilla and Whisper White also feature.

Classic Garage 6×6″ DSP 148482
Classic Garage Metal Elements 148485
Black/Silver Ribbon 148486

This kind of theme is often overlooked by stamp designers and manufacturers. Father’s Day sentiments are also included so you’ll have what you need come June! The stamp set is versatile enough to be used on its own but there are also coordinating dies, designer series paper and embellishments if you want to take your projects to the next level. Have you seen the metal elements? I think they are possibly the cutest embellishments I’ve ever seen!

The first projects I have to show you are gift tags. That won’t come as any surprise to those of you who know me as I love making gift tags. They finish a present off perfectly and really show how much care you have put in to even the smallest of elements of the gift.



In this example I have only used the stamp set, coordinating cardstock, Basic Grey ink and some basic tools. I have used a 2×3” piece of Basic Grey cardstock and trimmed off two corners to create a tag shape. I then punched a hole for the twine using a standard hole punch. I have created some background detail by stamping some of the elements in Basic Grey. There are some great stamps to use as backgrounds in this set, such as the oil splat and nuts. I have then used a 1.5×2.5” piece of Crushed Curry cardstock to create a banner – just snip out a ‘v’ shape – and adhered this to the main tag. Finally I have stamped one of the sentiments onto a 1×2” piece of Basic Grey cardstock and adhered this onto the Crushed Curry layer. You could stamp this in Basic Black if you wanted the sentiment to stand out more.



In this example I have also used the coordinating dies, the Scalloped Tag Topper Punch (133324) and the Buffalo Check stamp (147794). I have used a 2×3” piece of Whisper White cardstock and created a tag using the punch and attached the twine. I have then stamped the Buffalo Check image in Basic Black. I have stamped one of the sentiments onto a 2×1” piece of Whisper White cardstock and used the gear dies to create a decorative edge. This has been adhered to the main tag. I have stamped the car onto Whisper White cardstock in Basic Black and cut it out using the coordinating die. I have adhered this to the tag using dimensionals to make it stand out a little more.



This is where we really take it up a level! I have used a 2×3” piece of DSP and created a tag using the punch and a corner rounder (can be found on the Detailed Trio punch 146320 or the Envelope punch board 133774). I have then used the coordinating ribbon rather than basic black twine. I have stamped one of the sentiments onto a 4×1” piece of DSP in Basic Black and created a double-ended banner using the Banner Triple punch (138292). I have adhered this to the main tag. I have stamped another sentiment in Basic Black onto a piece of DSP and cut it out using the coordinating die. I have adhered this to the tag using dimensionals to make it stand out a little more. The final touch is to adhere one of the cute metal elements so that it pokes out from behind the sentiment.

I hope you have enjoyed this introduction to the Geared Up Garage stamp set and the Classic Garage suite. In the next instalment I will be creating cards for each of the Beginner, Casual and Avid crafter levels. In the meantime, if you would like to purchase any of the products featured here, pop over to my website at

If you have any questions, you can email me at or message me via my Facebook page

Introduction to Scrapbooking

Introduction to Scrapbooking

So many of us have hundreds, or even thousands, of photographs stored digitally, never to be printed or looked at again. These are our memories and we should make the most of them. Scrapbooking is a fabulously creative hobby which allows you to make more of these photographs and other mementos. Whether you are creating the scrapbook for yourself, or as a gift for a loved one, it is a great way to document moments and even lives.


Types of scrapbooking

  •           Paper
  •           Digital
  •           Hybrid
  •           Pocket

We will mainly focus on traditional paper scrapbooking but for interest here is a quick explanation of the other types which you might like to explore.

–          Digital scrapbooking involves the use of digital images for your background papers, embellishments and photographs. These are often created using specific software programs and the pages stored digitally.

–          Hybrid scrapbooking is a mixture and paper and digital scrapbooking. The background paper is digitally produced and then extra elements added digitally (this may include digitally incorporating photographs). The page is then printed and the final paper touches and embellishments are added.

–          Pocket scrapbooking uses plastic wallets which can be stored in a ring binder. The wallets are split up into sections (pockets) and allow you to add either photographs or purpose bought, decorated cards.

Scrapbooking often uses 12×12 inch paper inserted into spiral bound books. However, ring binders and smaller sized books (7×7 and 8×8”) are becoming more popular.



Scrapbooking inspiration may come from the photographs themselves or from a piece of patterned background paper that you are itching to use. However, if inspiration is needed there are some great resources available.

–          Facebook Scrapbooking groups

–          Pinterest

–          Scrapbooking websites

As well as being able to look at what other people have produced, you will also come across ‘Sketches’. Sketches are outlines for page layouts which don’t actually contain the patterned papers or photographs. They just give you a starting point and allow you to tailor it to your own project. Some people can find it less overwhelming to take inspiration from a sketch than from a finished page.


The process

Once you have decided on the photographs you want to use, the next step is often to choose a background paper that complements the images. Some people prefer to use blank paper while some prefer patterned. Some always start with a white sheet of paper. Don’t forget, you can always create your own background paper using stamps and ink, stencils, texture pastes and even paint. Scrapbooking should be fun so play with lots of different techniques until you find your favourite style.

One creative aspect of scrapbooking is deciding how to attach your photos, notes and embellishments to the page. Some common options are:

–          Photo corners

–          Photo shelves

–          Brads

–          Eyelets

–          Staples

–          Washi tape

–          Pockets

–          Simple adhesive (wet glue or tape)

–          Foam pads

Scrapbook pages also generally have a title and maybe some extra text. Your text can be stamped, die-cut, hand-written, cut from newspapers or magazines or event literature. The extra text might be as simple as the time, place and event that you are documenting but some people use scrapbooking almost like journaling so, again, experiment with different styles until you discover your own!

Creating interest around your photos is what separates your scrapbook from an everyday photo album. You have the ability to tell a story but also to make it beautiful. Embellishments are an important part of this. You can embellish simply with strips of coordinating paper or you can add texture with ribbon, fabric, twine, thread, buttons etc. Even tearing paper, folding over the corners or distressing the edges can help to make your page stand out. Don’t forget to add other items which relate to the event. This might include tickets, newspaper clippings etc. Again, be creative when deciding how to attach these to your page.

If you are new to scrapbooking, consider starting by producing a two-page spread with the title, text and the main image on the first page and the extra images and embellishments on the second page.

It is often best to lay out all of your elements on the page and play around with the placement before sticking anything down.

Although, simple scrapbook pages can be really effective, consider trying out different techniques and letting your imagination run away with you, the result could be stunning.

When buying products for scrapbooking, look out for those that are labelled acid-free and lignin-free as these will not damage your photos and embellishments over time.

The most important thing is to enjoy it, be creative and try as many different techniques as you can! Happy Scrapping!


One Sheet Wonder!

Helen’s ‘One Sheet Wonder’

This is a great project if you have been hoarding your beautiful 12x12s for just the right occasion! You will create a fantastic matching set of items to complement a special gift for someone. Just make sure its someone who deserves your best papers!

What you will create:

  •           Notecard
  •           Envelope
  •           Gift bag
  •           Gift tag
  •           Bookmark

You will need:

  •           One sheet of 12×12 paper / card
  •           Trimmer
  •           Corner punch
  •           Hole punch
  •           Small scraps of white paper and card
  •           Scissors
  •           Ribbon / twine
  •           Tear tape
  •           Envelope punch board
  •           Gift bag punch board


Step 1: Trim the pieces as shown in the diagram and described below. Numbers in circles are the cutting order. Other numbers are measurements in inches.

a) Create one 4×12” strip by cutting along line 1.

b) Cut this strip into one 4×2” strip and one 4×10” strip by cutting along line 2. Put these to one side for the moment.

c) Take the remaining 8×12” piece and cut into one 8×4” strip and one 8×8” square by cutting along line 3. Put the smaller piece to one side.

d) Trim the 8×8” square into a 6×6” square, making sure you keep the trimmed pieces.

Step 2: Score and fold the 8×4” piece in half to create the 4×4” notecard. If required, cut a 7×3” piece of white paper, score and fold in half, to create an insert. Use tear tape to attach to the inside of the notecard. This is only necessary if you are using double sided or a dark coloured card / paper and allows you to write in the card.

Step 3: Round the corners of the 4×2” piece to create your gift tag. Punch a hole at one end and thread a length of twine or ribbon through. If required, cut a 1×2” piece of white card and adhere to the back of the tag. This is only necessary if you are using double sided or a dark coloured card / paper and allows you to write on the tag.

Step 4: Round the corners of one of the long, thin offcuts to create your bookmark. Punch a hole at one end and thread a length of twine or ribbon through.

Step 5: Take the 4×10” strip and create the gift bag according to the instructions on the gift bag punch for a SMALL gift bag. Assemble using tear tape.

Step 6: Take the 6×6” square and create the envelope according to the instructions on the envelope punch – the score line for a 4×4” envelope is at 3”. Adhere using tear tape and add extra tape, leaving the backing in place, ready to seal the envelope.




It’s their birthday when?!

Most of us like to fuss over our cards for hours! Carefully considering where to place the three gems and what sort of bow to tie in the ribbon. However, sometimes we need something quick and easy because we need to get it to the post box in the next 10 minutes!

With a little bit of stamping, punching and trimming, you can create this colourful card in minutes.

I have used:

  • the new ‘in-colour’ Stampin’ pads: Pineapple Punch, Grapefruit Grove, Blueberry Bushel, Call Me Clover and Lovely Lipstick
  • Pick a Pennant stamp set
  • Thoughtful Banners stamp set
  • Duet Banner punch
  • Lovely Lipstick cardstock
  • Whisper White cardstock

Step 1: create your card base using Whisper White cardstock

Step 2: trim a piece of Lovely Lipstick cardstock to make a background layer

Step 3: trim a piece of Whisper White cardstock to make your card front

Step 4: stamp the bunting a couple of times in Pineapple Punch and Grapefruit Grove ink

Step 5: stamp the star (first and second generation) in the other ink colours to create a background pattern

Step 6: stamp two banners and the words ‘Happy’ and ‘Birthday’ within them

Step 7: punch the banners out. In my example I have also used the Lovely Lipstick Write Marker to add some dimension to the banners

Step 8: adhere the banners and layer up your card

Step 9: put the kettle on and write the card, you still have plenty of time to get to the Post Office!

Step it up! If you have a little more time to spare, why not add some personalisation to the bunting? Add the recipient’s name or age or an extra message.