Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Tips and Tricks Tuesday - The Anatomy of a Stamp Set

We have looked at colour, so now I am going to take you through the 'anatomy' of a stamp set. Stampin' Up! produces the vast majority of it's stamps in sets, and this can be confusing if you don't understand why! Take the set Just Believe as an example:
This lovely set of 9 stamps is really popular and it's easy to see why. So let's explain how I categorise the different parts.
  1. The Sentiments - these are the three phrases 'Thank You', 'Friends' and 'Just For You'. These are small stamps that will often fit inside others in the set, and are a lovely finishing touch for a card. These sentiments are unlikely to be the focal feature on a card unlike:
  2. The Focal Phrase - in this case the beautiful scripted 'Some things have to be believed to be seen.'. This type of sentiment could be used as the main feature on a project, and they are usually bolder and have much more impact than the other type of sentiment.
  3. The Focal Image - This set has just the one main image in my opinion - the stunning silhouette of foliage (top left of the above illustration). This is the image usually used for the main event on your projects, the one image that the other stamps are designed to coordinate with and support.
  4. Accent Stamps - These are usually stamps that are images in their own right, but smaller and with less impact. These stamps can be used to support or balance out the focal image, but might also be used as a focal point in their own right in some circumstances, for example on mini cards, or used as a repeated pattern. The two stamps that fit in this category in the set above are the small leaves silhouette, and the circle design.
  5. Foundation Stamps - in this set there are two 'foundation' stamps, those which I consider incomplete without some sort of addition - in this case the illustration bottom right has a rectangle void that is clearly intended for one of the basic sentiments to be inserted into it.
It is the combination of all these different elements that gives you such great versatility with Stampin' Up! I hope you have found my descriptions useful, so now here is a finished card using just the focal image within the set:

Happy Crafting, and see you next time for more Tips and Tricks



  1. I think you have confused your right with your left - or were you just testing to check whether anyone was actually reading what you wrote?
    Surely the focal image is top left!!

    1. You got me Kate! Think I was in a bit of a flow when I wrote this blog post, so didn't double check the details! Doh! All fixed now :)


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