You’ll be ready to grab and go with this tool kit. All the essentials, each held in its own special place. Bring your own adhesive? Ready! No more waiting for the Paper Snips. Traveling? Grab a stamp set and card stock and you’ve got it all.

I made my first Basic Tool kit for my Getting Started Challenge and found that I loved having these tools ready to go. I initially dumped all the tools in the case, but perhaps you’ve seen that I like organization. 🙂  So I added a pocket here and a magnet there. This is what I have now.

Basic Tool Kit Instructions and Placement Guide

Basic Tool Kit Case Insert

In addition to the supplies and tools from Stampin’ Up! you will need an alligator clip (in the electrical department), a paint edger refill pad, and Gorrilla Super Glue Gel from your hardware store.

From an office store you will need small sticky notes and a pen or pencil less than 5″ long.

You will also need an empty hand sanitizer sprayer. Mine is about 1/2″ diameter and 5″ long.

Magnet Source: K & J Magnetics  I bought their 3/8″ x 1/32″ Disc Magnets, D601. You wig story ll need at least 9, but I suggest you buy extra. You may decide you want a firmer hold and you’ll want to use 2 magnets for some tools. These magnets are also fabulous as box or bag closures, etc.

This is my third year of challenging myself to make as many projects with few supplies. Each year I select one or two stamp sets, paper, ink,and a few extra supplies that I think will be give me the most bang for the buck.

Getting Started Case Inserts

Cutting Plan for 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ and layers

Cutting Plan for 4 1/4″ x 11″ and layers

Cut Plan for Light Neutral layers

My 2015-16 Getting Started Series Supplies

Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blo

This gives you plenty of card stock and envelopes. You will have nine colors of ink, though admittedly they are in the form of Watermelon Wonder and Night of Navy small ink pads and the rest as markers. You can write, color, or ink your stamps with markers, but they are not as quick and not as vivid as you get with stamp pads. You might want to add a few of these colors as ink pads. You will have greetings for many occasions. You will also have lots of embellishment

$126 /60 = $2.10 for each unique hand-crafted card.

Not covered:
Adhesive and a way of cutting card stock. I’m assuming you have scissors, tape, and glue. But I strongly suggest these supplies.Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog

You could start with the kit to get started and add the rest as you can afford it, but if you buy it all at once your total would be $152, enough to qualify for Stampin’ Rewards! You would get 10%, or $15.20 to spend. You could get the $30 Stampin’ Trimmer for $14.65. Your grand total would be $166.65 and it would still a great price for all those personalized hand-made cards at $2.78 each.

And just a few more “Why not” items…Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog

Finally, here are my Getting Started Case Labels.

Not your style?

We have lots to choose from and a lot depends on your personal style. Create your own “kit” with stamps,  ink, and paper. Here are some suggestions.

Stamp Sets
These are some stamp sets I think have great flexibility.  Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog

Built for Free Using: My Stampin BlogAnd here are some sets with a wide variety of greetings.

Ink and Paper

Start with either Whisper White or Very Vanilla card stock and envelopes, then add an assortment from our core color families.

Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog


Tools & Supplies Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog

I’ve listed several adhesives. Here is a post and video on adhesives.


Or start small and easy with a kit that has everything you need to get started.Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog


I challenged myself to make as many projects with few supplies.

First, the supplies I used in 2014-15:

Basic Black Stampin' Write MarkerLost Lagoon 3/8" Satin Stitched Ribbon by Stampin' Up!Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack by Stampin' Up!

2014-2016 In Color Stampin' Write Markers by Stampin' Up!Moonlight Designer Series Paper by Stampin' Up!Calypso Coral Classic Stampin' PadStamping SpongesTag A Bag Accessory Kit by Stampin' Up!

Total cost $113.65 plus shipping and tax.  That might sound like a lot, but this will make 40 beautiful cards at $2.84 each, mostly limited by those 40 envelopes.  If you buy 2 packs you will double that to 80 cards at $1.50 each.  Now consider how much you spend for cards at the store and the time it takes you to drive to the store.  I think it sounds like a bargain!  Next year, after you’ve sent a birthday card and maybe a Christmas card or Thank You to everyone, buy a different stamp set.  You will probably still have plenty of supplies on hand for more cards.


  • Cut & Ready Card Bases, #135804 in Whisper White, and/or 14-16 In Colors, #136661, $4.95 for 20
  • 14-16 In Color Stamp Pads, # Blackberry Bliss,   Hello HoneyLost LagoonMossy Meadow, Tangelo Twist, $5.95 each
  • 14-16 In Color Card Stock and Pad Kit, #133673 $29.95 for all 5 stamp pads and 20 sheets of card stock, 4 each of 5 colors  
      • (This is a great deal!  The 5 stamp pads are $29.75, so you get the card stock for just 20 cents! And you’ll find the stamp pads so much quicker to use than the markers.
      • If you get all of the first list including 2 packs of envelopes, the markers, and this card stock & pad kit it’s $149.90 and will make 80 cards at $1.87 each.  If you buy just one more item to bring the total over $150, you get $30 hostess dollars to spend on anything else in the catalog.  Choose one of the exclusive Hostess Sets from pages 237-240 for even more bang for your buck.

Alternatives you might prefer to save money.

Supplies I consider essential, but can be substituted with things you most likely have.  I think you’ll find the Stampin’ Up! easier to use and perform their functions better than the alternatives, but the alternatives can get you through until you’re ready to upgrade.

    • Stampin’ Trimmer #126889 $29.95,  It cuts a straight line and scores to help fold a clean line.  Use scissors or a ruler and a razor knife for cutting.  Score by putting your card stock on a magazine and use something thin and round (like a paper clip, washer like you’d use with bolts, or maybe even a dime.) and a ruler to create the score line.
    • Bone Folder, #102300 $6.95. It helps you crease your score line for a crisp fold.  Use a finger nail or the side a smooth pen.
    • Paper Snips #103579  $9.95,  I went for years without Snips.  When I finally bought some, I found they really did cut a lot better than my regular household scissors.
    • Snail Adhesive #104332 $6.95, and refills #104331  $4.50.    Use any 2 sided tape.
    • Fast Fuse #129026 $9.95 and refills #129027 $7.70  It’s a bigger initial investment than Snail, but the refill are the same per foot and since it’s so strong, you should be able to use less.
    • Multipurpose Liquid Glue $3.95, #110755. Use any white glue, but be careful of buckling.
    • Stampin’ Dimensionals $3.95, #104430.  Come with the Tag a Bag Accessories, but you might want more.  They are only about a penny apiece and add a lot to your projects.
    • Stampin’ Mist $4.50, #102394 and Stampin’ Scrub $16.95, #126200.  The mist cleans and conditions your stamps.  Spray it on one side of the Scrub to clean and dry on the other side of the Scrub.  You could buy the Mist and spray it on a painter’s edger pad refills or you can use alcohol free baby wipes to clean your stamps.
    • Stamp-a-ma-jig $11.95, #101049.  See a home-made version here.

If you want to put them in cases like I did in the video, you might want to buy a set of 4 Wood-Mount stamp cases  for $6.95 and 4 Clear-Mount stamp cases for $5.95.  You can fit all the basic supplies including the 5 In Color stamp pads as well as Snips, Snail adhesive, and a Bone Folder.  You’ll have 3 extra clear-mount cases to store your finished cards.  The Large Die Box may be overkill at $24.95 but it is nice and sturdy and it a great size.  There are probably plenty of boxes or bins that would work.

Here’s the file to print the labels.  14-15 Getting Started Stamp Case Labels

Die Box, Neat and TidyEverything including last years suppliesAll the cases open

Send me photos your Getting Started Samples!

Email Me a picture and I’ll share them here.

Try buying some basic supplies to build on.

Card Stock When I first got started I didn’t think card stock mattered, but it really does!  Compare it for yourself.  Stamp on regular copy paper, card stock from your local office supply store, and Stampin’ Up!’s Whisper White Card Stock.  You’ll see for yourself!

Envelopes  I started with envelopes from my local office supply store.  They cost $27.59 for 250 envelopes at $0.11 apiece.  Ours are $0.16 apiece but again the paper is smoother for a much better image quality.  If you want to compare, look for A2 size which is great for cutting 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper in half and then folded.  If you already have this size envelopes, use them for now.
Crumb Cake
Very Vanilla
Whisper White

Getting Started Colors

Stampin’ Up! had a Getting Started Assortment of card stock a few years back.  I wish we still carried it!  And now Stampin’ Up! sells most Stampin’ Write Markers in color families.  But there are still 14 wonderful colors sold individually.  These colors, along with Whisper White and Very Vanilla, are the ones that are sold in 12″ x 12″ card stock too!  These colors come primarily from the Brights Assortment, but there are also colors from Subtles, Regals, and Neutrals among the 14. So you will find other coordinating embellishments in Candy Dots and Designer Buttons that come in the color families.
I think these colors are a great place to get started! 
                 Card Stock  Stampin Write Marker  Stampin’ Pad   Ribbons   Cut & Ready Card Bases
                          $6.95                     $3.50      $5.95             $2.95-$8.95             $4.95
Basic Black        8-1/2″x11″  12″x12″   Marker   Stampin’ Pad   Twine 1/8″  3/4″     
Blushing Bride    8-1/2″x11″  12″x12″   Marker   Stampin’ Pad   Twine 1/4″  3/4″  1 1/4″ 
Cherry Cobbler   8-1/2″x11″  12″x12″   Marker   Stampin’ Pad   Twine  1/2″  3/4″  1 1/4″ 
Crumb Cake       8-1/2″x11″  12″x12″   Marker   Stampin’ Pad   1/2″    1 1/4″               Card Bases
Daffodil Delight   8-1/2″x11″   12″x12″   Marker  Stampin’ Pad   1/4″  1/2″  
Early Espresso   8-1/2″x11″  12″x12″   Marker   Stampin’ Pad   Twine  1/4″  1/2″          Card Bases 
Marina Mist        8-1/2″x11″   12″x12″   Marker  Stampin’ Pad    1/4″   3/4″  
Night of Navy     8-1/2″x11″  12″x12″   Marker   Stampin’ Pad    1/2″  
Old Olive           8-1/2″x11   12″x12″   Marker   Stampin’ Pad   Twine   1/8″   
Pear Pizzazz    8-1/2″x11″ 12″x12″    Marker   Stampin’ Pad    1/4″    3/4″    
Pumpkin Pie     8-1/2″x11″ 12″x12″    Marker   Stampin’ Pad   1/4″   3/4″  
Real Red          8-1/2″x11″  12″x12″   Marker   Stampin’ Pad    1/8″   1/4″                 Card Bases
Rich Razzleberry 8-1/1″x11″  12″x12″  Marker  Stampin’ Pad    1/4″ 
Smoky Slate   8-1/2″x11″       –         Marker   Stampin’ Pad    1/8″   3/4″                 Card Bases
Very Vanilla    8-1/2″x11″  12″x12″       –              –                   1/2″   5/8″                 Card Bases
Whisper White 8-1/2″x11″  12″x12″     –          Craft Pad        Twine  1/4″  1/2″  5/8″   Card Bases


And these colors show up in our Designer Series Paper too!

All Abloom  Blushing Bride, Daffodil Delight, Island Indigo, Lost Lagoon, Mossy Meadow, Pistachio Pudding, Strawberry Slush, Whisper White
Flashback   Basic Black, Crushed Curry, Pool Party, Real Red, Smoky Slate, Very Vanilla
Maritime     Coastal Cabana, Night of Navy, Real Red, Whisper White
Park Lane   Blackberry Bliss, Calypso Coral, Daffodil Delight, Old Olive, Soft Suede, Whisper White
Sweet Taffy  Daffodil Delight, Melon Mambo, Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie, Rich Razzleberry, Tempting Turquoise, Whisper White


Stamp Sets

We have over 200 stamp sets in our 14-15 catalog.  Choosing a stamp set is truly up to you!  But I selected these sets that will give you a lot of flexibility in making cards for all kinds of occasions.

(In order of price)

Image & Greetings, good choices if you can only buy 1 set

  • Banner Banter Wood #134057 $17.95, Clear #134060 $13.95, Set of 10  
  • Wetlands Wood #126695 $21.95, Clear #126697 $16.95, Set of 6
  • Gifts of Kindness Wood #130441 $25.95, Clear #130444 $18.95, Set of 8
  • Embellished Events Wood #131984 $28.95, Clear #126497 $20.95, Set of 11
  • Something to Say Wood #134177 $29.95, Clear #134180 $21.95, Set of 17
  • For the Birds Wood #132001 $32.95, Clear #126407 $24.95, Set of 8
  • A Fitting Occasion Wood #131952 $37.95, Clear #127049 $27.95, Set of 24

Images, mostly

  • Kinda Eclectic Wood #135347 $27.95, Clear #135350 $19.95, Set of 6
  • Choose Happiness Wood #134195 $24.95, Clear #134198 $17.95, Set of 7  
  • Mosaic Madness Wood #130246 $26.95 #130249 $18.95, Set of 11
  • By the Tide Wood #131910 $27.95 #129120 $19.95, Set of 7
  • Everything Eleanor Wood #131987 $36.95 #124164 $26.95,  Set of 8


  • Four You Wood #130535 $14.95, Clear #130538 $11.95,  Set of 4
  • Occasions 4 You  Wood # 134333 $18.95, Clear #134336 $14.95,  Set of 4
  • Fabulous Four Wood #134171 $19.95, Clear #134174 $14.95, Set of 4
  • A Dozen Thoughts Wood #131056 $26.95, Clear #131059 $18.95, Set of 12
  • Petite Pairs Wood #128706 $28.95, Clear #122497 $20.95, Set of 18
  • @SoSocial Wood #134189 $36.95, Clear #134192 $26.95, Set of 21
  • Big News Wood #134015 $43.95, Clear #134018 $31.95, Set of 11 
  • Teeny Tiny Wishes Wood #128748 $36.95, Clear #127802 $26.95,  Set of 24
  • And Many More Wood #134273 $36.95, Clear #134276 $26.95, Set of 24 



There are so many ideas, so many products.  Where do you start?  Here are a few suggestions.

Paper Pumpkin

Paper Pumpkin is a program like a book club, but there is no long-term commitment.  Each month a kit, “a fully decked creativity carriage”comes to your house for $19.95. You will get a clear block with your first kit.  You will also get everything you need except for scissors and adhesive to make cards, 3-D projects, and more.  You can stop a kit from coming a month or two and you can stop any time.  And now you can pre-pay with no obligation to continue at all!

137858 1 month $19.95
137859 3 months $59.85
137860 6 months $113.70 — save $1 per month
137861 12 months $215.40 — save $2 per month



Stampin’ Up! has been offering a lot of kits lately.  They are great because they come with everything you need except scissors and adhesive.  The coordination and choices are done.  There’s one item number so they’re easy to order.  They make a great way to try those first steps.


Hip Hip Hooray Card Kits - by Stampin' Up!

Hip Hip Hooray Card Kit is $19.95 #134998 and makes 20 cards.  You don’t even need adhesive for the printed embellishments since they have adhesive on the back!



Everyday Occasions comes with supplies and directions for 20 cards for $29.95.  #134797











Dude, You’re Welcome! Kit #132807 $24.95

Kit includes:

* Four wood-mount stamps (double-mounted) with the perfect sentiment for every occasion
* Twelve 4″ x 6″ postcards in four different (manly) colors
* Twelve gray envelopes
* A Basic Gray Classic Stampin’ Pad
* An instructional guide
(for the most novice stamper!)





Happenings Simply Created Card Kit  133329 $14.95

Coordinating colors: Baked Brown Sugar, Bermuda Bay, Pear Pizzazz, Smoky Slate, Strawberry Slush, Whisper White.

Includes pieces for making 15 cards:
■ 15 card bases: finished card size: 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″
■ 15 sheets of single-sided, printed designer paper backgrounds, 5 ea. of 3 designs
■ 15 die-cut accents, 5 ea. of 3 designs
■ 15 Silver glitter banners
■ 15 White banners
■ 15 pieces of Baker’s Twine, 10″ ea.
■ 15 buttons

Add Says it All Wood #133170 $13.95, Clear #133173 $10.95 or another greeting set.


Greeting You Simply Created Card Kit  133793 $9.95  Set of 8 Trifold cards, 8 white flags, 8 string envelopes, 8 pieces of Calypso Coral Baker’s Twine (each 30″)

Add Hey You Wood #134516 $13.95, Clear #134519 $10.95 or another greeting set.









A Little Sumthin’ Sumthin’ Simply Created Card Kit 133794 $13.95 Set of 10 pillowboxes, 10 die-cut word bubbles, 10 belly bands, 10 medium clothespins, 10 wood sticks, 10 sheets cotton paper, 10 pieces Real Red 3/8″ Stitched Satin Ribbon (each 16″)

Add Sumthin’ Sumthin‘ Wood #134522 $14.95, Clear #134525 $11.95 or another greeting set.





Celebration Basics Kit 133007 $14.95

■ 15 Kraft pennants, 4-7/8″ x 7-1/2″ ea.
■ Die-cut letters that spell “Celebrate”
■ 12′ of chunky Baker’s Twine
■ 10 printed goodie bags, 5-7/8″ x 4″ ea.
■ 1 sheet of bag closures
■ 10 round printed tags, 2-1/2″ ea.
■ 20 perforated tags, 3″ x 2-1/4″ ea.




Bermuda Bay Celebration Add-On Kit

Celebration Add-On Kit, Bermuda Bay  133432 $9.95


Calypso Coral Celebration Add-On Kit

Celebration Add-On Kit, Calypso Coral 133431 $9.95









Chalkboard Banner Simply Created Kit 133795 $19.95 Set of 15 banner pennants, 32 die-cut paper pennants, 5 tissue pompoms, 10′ jute twine, chalk










My husband suggested I make one video to explain the challenge so I don’t need to repeat it on each video.  That sounded like a good idea!  Here it is.