It's sooo exciting when you start a new hobby. You just want EVERYTHING! And you're dazzled by all the potential in every single package, box and bottle. I've been there, baby! I'm still seeing projects around every corner, and I've been at this a LONG time now!
Over the years I've helped literally hundreds of people start stamping. Each one has unique plans and goals for their crafting, but I've compiled some basic tips to help any new stamper make wise purchases.
Enjoy these quick tips and hit "submit" on that order knowing you've played it smart.
Five Ordering Mistakes Newbies Make (and how to avoid them):
- Buying too many single-occasion stamp sets. Sets that are designed to be versatile enough for several seasons tend to be the best value. Florals and nature themes work all year round. But honestly? don't limit yourself. If you really love a specific stamp set, no matter how "impractical" it might be, it will get more use than a generic one you don't really feel excited about.
- Cherry-picking from several different suites and families. This one's a biggie. When you're new to a hobby, stick to a suite of products that were designed to go together and you'll have better luck with the finished product. Plus you'll waste less time trying to figure out what looks good--it's all done for you, with suites! The same thing applies to colors. Instead of just choosing five or six ink pads randomly, order in color families if you can (Brights, Regals, Subtles, etc). There's a price discount if you do so, and you can rest assured knowing the colors you're getting will all play together nicely.
- Ordering without doing the math first. Nothing is worse than not having enough supplies to finish something and having to sub in stuff that doesn't match, or worse yet--wait for another order to come in. Think the project through from start to finish. Did you do the math--and leave margin for error? Might want to add a pack. What will you mail it in? Better add some envelopes. Don't sabotage your chances of getting your project successfully completed!
- Not ordering what they actually need. On my first order I ordered wheeled stamps (remember those?) and no ink cartridges. I am not sure what I was thinking! I got the box and literally could not do a thing with my new toys. Stamps need ink. Cardstock needs a trimmer. Paper needs scissors. Embellishments need adhesive. Look at each item on your list and think about what it needs to actually do its job. That's what you'll need to order.
- Losing track of what they order. Over the years I've exchanged quite a few things for people who didn't realize they already owned them! I know it's hard to imagine when you're just starting out, but it's totally true! Make a check mark or circle items you just ordered right in your Catalog. That way you won't make the mistake of ordering a duplicate. Need a hard copy of the catalog? Just let me know!
- I know I said "five mistakes," but here's a bonus! The worst mistake newbie crafters make is to order more than $100 without knowing their options. Party benefits start at just $150. You might as well put it in as a party and get hostess rewards, right? And it's only $99 to join Stampin' Up and pick out ANYTHING you want for the Starter Kit, up to (but not over!) $125. The business supplies are thrown in free. And there's no shipping, only tax. And then, of course, everything you purchase yourself after that will come with a demonstrator discount! So I guarantee you it's going to be worth a look if your wishlist is over $100--and that's good advice for anyone, anytime, regardless of whether or not this is a new hobby for you.
I hope you've gotten several good tips that will help make your first orders from Stampin' Up a little smarter than mine were! If you have ANY questions, please don't hesitate one second--email me! Lyssa@songofmyheartstampers.com I love to talk shop, and with a calculator I'm not bad at math--and I've probably personally tried or seen just about any product you could think to ask about.
It's fun to go crazy and order willy-nilly--but it's even more fun to plan ahead a little bit and have everything you need to actually complete your intended project. Chat with you soon!