Saturday, June 19, 2010

Scrappin on a budget--stamps

I thought I would start writing about scrappin on a budget. I sure am on a tight budget. I will blog about some ways I have found to do things cheap...and ask all you add comments on things you do to help keep to that budget. Together maybe we all can learn new tricks.

Today I want to talk about stamps. Have you seen all the wonderful cards with a stamped imagine on them. If you hang out in any scrapbooking/card making Yahoo Groups, you are bound to hear Copic Markers. First time I heard them I googled Copic markers and thought no way. They can't be THAT expensive. Yes, there were. Sticker shock!! No way could I EVER afford them.

So I went to the craft store and got some cheap coloring pencils. 36 for $5. I thought I was in business. Cheap cheap cheap. Well the cheapest isn't always the best. They were cheap all right. The lead was broken all the way up the pencil. I would color a bit and then the lead would break. Even with the lightest of touch while coloring.

So back to the craft store. This time I went up in price some, but not the most expensive. So far, I am loving them. Lead is nice and hard, I can use pressure to make a color a bit darker and I don't have to worry about the lead breaking. PLUS they have multiple shades of each color so I don't have to work all that hard to get a color a little darker. Again I got a pack of 36...and I made sure there was a flesh color in the pack. The cheap pack didn't have anything and flesh color is something I find I use a lot.

Ok we have a fairly cheap way to color those stamps. What about the stamps themselves? They are expensive!! And you always want something different. You buy one stamp and you don't want to use it for everything. Clear stamps are cheaper, by far. Be sure to check out the clearance bins at your favorite craft store. And never go to the craft store without your % off coupon. Go to the websites of the bigger craft stores (Michaels, Jo-Ann's, AC Moore) and sign up for weekly emails and their latest coupons. Print the coupons and put them in your purse. They are usually only good for a week. But do you know how many times I have been out running errands and decide to stop into the craft store? I might have printed the coupons, but left them on my desk. Can't usually use them on clearance items, but I always seem to buy something that isn't on clearance.

Still thinking stamps are too expensive? Yea, me too. How would you like stamps for FREE!! Digi-stamps. Computer imagines you can download and print on card stock. Anytime you are looking for a stamp, Google it....for ex digistamp father's day. Be sure to add the word free in your search. Usually just right click on the digi-stamp and save picture as. Other times they will email you the stamp. To use it, open your word processor program, and insert picture from file. Now you can re-size the imagine and print it.

The are some sites who email a weekly newsletter and will have a free stamp each week. So when looking for the digistamps, be sure to sign up for newsletters when you find free stamps. There are also digi-stamps out there you can buy...usually for $1 but I have seen them for as much as $5. Be careful, it is easy to say I like, I love, I must have. So easy to pay with PayPal and next thing you know you have spent $20. Always look for free stamps first but there may be a time when the only thing you can find costs. Weigh the decision carefully. Can you see yourself using it more than once? If you say yes, it might be worth the dollar or two to buy it. If I can't see myself using it again, I usually don't buy.

Another FREE trick I have found is online coloring pages. Now you can't always save them, but once and a while you will find one you can right click on and save picture as. Then open it in your word processor and re-size if need be. Print on card stock and color a way. Again use google or your favorite search to find them. I was looking for an Uncle Sam digistamp and couldn't find anything I liked. So I googled Uncle Sam free coloring page. It wasn't long and I found what I was looking for.

If you have any great tips on stamping on a budget, PLEASE comment. We can learn from each other.


  1. I use a lot of free online templates for paper cutting to make embellishments. I like the ones from Scrapbooks Etc. and Martha Stewart. Another idea is making potato stamps, especially if it's a design you only want to use once. I've also found images on Google images and printed them up to use them in layouts. I've also downloaded free fonts from different websites. I always buy embellishments from the craft store off-season. This year I bought tons of Valentine's and Easter ribbon for $1 a roll to use for next year's cards and layouts. Michaels has a great $1 section of ribbon and stamps that I always go through whenever I'm there. Thanks for sharing your ideas & happy crafting!

  2. Thanks Angela. Great ideas. Never heard of potato stamps. Time to crank up the Google again :)

  3. Thanks Chris for these ideas. i look forward to more...