All Geared Up to Celebrate

Hello, and welcome to part 2 of the Stampin’ Up! Geared Up Garage Showcase. In part 1 we looked at tags (you can find the blog here) and this week we will be making cards. Again there will be examples for beginner, casual and avid crafters so, no matter what your level of experience and size of your craft stash, there’s something for everyone!


The card for beginners uses only cardstock, stamps and ink and so is really accessible but looks impressive. The colour scheme for this card is Smoky Slate, Night of Navy and Merry Merlot. I made the card base from Smoky Slate cardstock and stamped background images of the oil spill in Smoky Slate ink. I really like this tone-on-tone technique to add some subtle background detail. I then cut a Merry Merlot layer and stamped background images of the tool chest in Merry Merlot ink. I also distressed the top and bottom edges of this layer with a distressing tool (you can also do this with a standard pair of scissor but be careful!). The next layer is Night of Navy and has background images of the car stamped in Night of Navy ink. Again, this layer was distressed. The final layer is Smoky Slate with both the sentiment and nuts stamped in Smoky Slate and the edges distressed. All of the layers were adhered on to the card base to produce the final card. This is a quick and easy card to produce but the layers of cardstock and the subtle background stamping makes it really eye-catching!


The card for casual crafters adds in the use of the coordinating dies (Garage Gears Thinlits). The card base is Whisper White and I created a slightly smaller Whisper White layer which gives a subtle border to the card. I stamped the oil spills in Crushed Curry using first and second generation stamping. Stamping different generations just means that you use the same stamp again without re-inking and continue to make lighter and lighter images for as long as you want. It’s a great way to get multiple shades of the same colour. I also stamped the nuts in Memento Tuxedo Black and, again, used first and second generation stamping. I also stamped the sentiment in Memento Tuxedo Black. I then stamped the tool chest and oil can in Memento Tuxedo Black and cut out using the coordinating dies. The cogs are also cut out of Basic Black cardstock. To stay with the slightly grungy feel, I stapled the cogs to the background layer. The die cuts are adhered using dimensionals to add some height and help with the layered effect. The background layer can then be adhered to the card base and you’re done! The little pop of colour on the almost-monochrome card really makes an impact!


The avid crafter card also uses the coordinating Designer Series Paper (DSP) and embellishments (ribbon and metal spanner). I created the card base from Real Red cardstock. I adhered a slightly smaller layer of Basic Black cardstock and a smaller still layer of DSP. I threaded a piece of the coordinating ribbon through one of the metal elements and tied a knot to keep it in place. The ribbon was adhered to the DSP layer using mini glue dots. The sentiment was stamped onto Real Red cardstock in Memento Tuxedo Black ink and cut out using the coordinating dies. This sentiment piece was adhered using dimensionals to give the finishing touch. Using the coordinating DSP on projects takes a lot of time and effort out of creating background layers and you can guarantee that everything matches perfectly!

I hope you have enjoyed part 2 of the Geared Up Garage Showcase. Next week we will be making 3D projects suitable for the beginner, casual and avid crafter. In the meantime, if you have any questions just let me know.

Supplies List

The product list for these three projects follows below. If you would like to purchase any of these items, click on the link and it will take you straight to my online shop! If you would prefer to browse the whole shop, click here.

First is the list of products from the Classic Garage Suite; then a list of the cardstock and ink pads in case you need to stock up or add a particular colour to your collection; then the basics (adhesive and envelopes) which we all need on hand and finally the tools which make life so much easier.

Classic Garage Suite items:

Classic Garage Designer Series Paper

Black / Silver Striped Metallic Ribbon

Classic Garage Metal Elements

Geared Up Garage Stamp Set

Garage Gears Thinlits Dies

Or buy the bundle (stamp set and dies) to save 10%:

Geared Up Garage BUNDLE

Cardstock and Ink pads:

Smoky Slate Cardstock

Smoky Slate Classic Stampin’ Pad

Merry Merlot Cardstock

Merry Merlot Classic Stampin’ Pad

Night of Navy Cardstock

Night of Navy Classic Stampin’ Pad

Whisper White Cardstock

Crushed Curry Classic Stampin’ Pad

Basic Black Cardstock

Memento Tuxedo Black Ink Pad

Real Red Cardstock


Multipurpose Liquid Glue

Stampin’ Dimensionals

Mini Stampin’ Dimensionals

Mini Glue Dots

Whisper White Envelopes


Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine

Stampin’ Trimmer

Stampin’ Trimmer Replacement Blades

Clear Block Bundle

Simply Shammy Stamp Cleaning Tool

Grid Paper

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.