Starter Kit Challenge: Day 5

Stampin’ Up! Starter Kit Challenge

This is day five of my personal challenge for the week, to create at least half a dozen cards using only the supplies I could purchase in a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator Start Up Kit (that’s $99 for $125 worth of supplies). Here’s why; I was cruising around on and found a post from eons ago from a brand new demonstrator that needed help. She had just a starter kit and didn’t feel like she could make enough different cards to show people how awesome Stampin’ Up! was (and still is). I was so saddened, because there was nothing I could do to help her! However, I can help future people like her, so that’s what this challenge is all about.

The challenge

  1. Choose supplies that you could buy in a starter kit.
  2. Make at least 6 different cards.

That’s it!

Here’s the list of supplies I selected:

  1. Stampin’ Trimmer – $30.00
  2. Brights Stampin’ Write Markers – $29.00
  3. Brights Designer Series Paper Stack – $22.00 OR Brights Cardstock – $8.00
  4. Whisper White Cardstock – $9.00
  5. Sprinkles of Life Photopolymer Stamp Set – $21.00
  6. Block D – $8.50
  7. Memento Tuxedo Black Inkpad – $6.00
  8. Snail Adhesive – $7.00

I tried to make sure that someone who started with nothing could still make cards with this kit. There are lots of people who start out with some basics like glue and a trimmer, but I included those in the price for people who really are starting from scratch (though I did assume that everyone has a regular pair of scissors and maybe some post-it notes). I accidentally went over budget because I forgot to include any adhesive before I started making cards! Oops!

One Winning Tip for Sparking Inspiration

Aside from the amazing set of cards I have shared this week, new demonstrators can also look to card challenges as a source or inspiration! All week long I’ve been sharing some of my favorite challenges and showing how even with only a few supplies you can participate and get loads of ideas. As a bonus, you usually get a lot of feedback on your card from the contest designers and other participants. It’s a great way to build community!

This particular card was inspired by two different challenges.

The first challenge was CASology Challenge #212!

Week 212 - Fun

What could be more fun than ice cream? Okay, maybe jell-o, but not much else!

The second challenge is Time Out Challenge #64, which this week is to CASE Julia Altermann!


CASE means to Copy and Selectively Edit (or Copy and Share Everything). I borrowed Julia’s bright color scheme and the blue and white patterned border with an interior white square.

This homemade card By Natalie Lapakko was created using only the materials that could be purchased as part of a Stampin' Up! demonstrator start up kit.

How to Stamp With Marker Ink

One of the reasons I selected Stampin’ Write Markers in my starter kits is because they give you a lot of different colors with a lot of versatility. Of course you can color with them, but you can also watercolor, sponge, spritz, and stamp with them! Today we’ll focus on stamping with markers instead of an ink pad.

To stamp using marker ink, use the wide end of the Stampin’ Write Marker and color the stamped image. Add two or three layers of ink to make sure it’s got enough, then right before you stamp the image on the paper breathe on it. Your breath adds just a bit of moisture to any areas that start to dry out as you are coloring. Then stamp the image!

How to Make a Sprinkles of Life Stacked Ice Cream Cone

Now that we’ve got that technique figured out, here’s the steps for the entire card.

  1. Cut a Whisper White card base.(8-1/2″ by 5-1/2″ creased and folded at 4-1/4″)
  2. Cut a Bermuda Bay polka dot panel from the Brights Designer Series Paper at 3-1/4″ by 4-1/2″ (that’s 1 inch smaller than the folded card base).
  3. Cut a Whisper White panel 2-1/4″ by 3″. This is the center panel.
  4.  Cut a quarter sheet of Whisper White cardstock for stamping on.
  5. Stick the cherry image from Sprinkles of Life onto the clear block.
  6. Using the wide side of the Real Red Stampin’ Write marker, color all the raised surfaces of the photopolymer image. Give it two or three layers of ink.
  7. Breathe on the stamp!
  8. Then stamp the image on the Whisper White quarter sheet.
  9. Mask the cherry image by stamping it again on a post-it note, cutting it out, and sticking the post-it cherry right on top of the stamped cherry.
  10. Repeat steps 5-9 using three ice cream scoops (Bermuda Bay, Daffodil Delight, and Bermuda Bay) and an ice cream cone (Tangerine Tango). Stamp from top to bottom until the whole ice cream cone is stamped.
  11. Remove all the post-it note masks.
  12. Cut out the completed ice cream cone image.
  13. Dry fit everything together (that means put it all together but don’t glue it yet). Make sure everything is lined up the way you want it.
  14. Stamp the sentiment on the front Whisper White panel.
  15. Adhere everything together!

Tip for Crisp Photopolymer Stamped Images

When stamping with photopolymer stamps, put a slightly cushioned surface underneath the stamping area for the best results. An old mousepad, a sheet of craft foam, a Stamp ‘n’ Pierce Mat, or a couple sheets of newspaper will all do the trick!

This homemade card By Natalie Lapakko uses Stampin' Write Markers instead of ink pads for stamping colorful images.

A Fun Color Combo for Summer

I love how all the colors in the Brights family go together so well. These particular colors remind me of all the tasty cold things to eat and drink at this time of year. When it is hot out, there is nothing better than a popsicle or a slushy in one of these vibrant hues!

Color Combo: Real Red, Bermuda Bay, Daffodil Delight, Tangerine Tango

More Starter Kit Challenge Cards

See the rest of the cards I’ve created using my recommended starter kit.

This homemade card by Natalie Lapakko features only materials that could be purchased in a Stampin' Up! demonstrator Start Up Kit. This homemade card by Natalie Lapakko is part of the Starter Kit Challenge! This homemade card by Natalie Lapakko was made as part of the Starter Kit Challenge! This homemade card by Natalie Lapakko could be made using only materials in a demonstrator start up kit from Stampin' Up! Make this card using only materials in a Stampin' Up Starter Kit, designed by Natalie Lapakko. The homemade card by Natalie Lapakko was made as part of the Starter Kit Challenge

Thanks for visiting! As always, happy stamping!

Starter Kit Challenge: Day 3

A Starter Kit Worth of Materials

I am in the midst of a personal challenge inspired by a comment I saw from a brand new Stampin’ Up demonstrator from years ago. The new demonstrator was asking for help; she had purchased a Stampin’ Up! starter kit, but didn’t have enough ideas for cards she could make with only the items in her kit. Sadly, the post was from years ago, but I’m sure there are others out there facing a similar challenge and this post is for them!

I started stamping almost exactly a year ago and all of my supplies lived in a cardboard box top on my dining room table. I remember what it was like to have very limited supplies; it can be a challenge, but it is definitely still possible to make a wide variety of different cards! This personal challenge is all about making a lot with a little.

The Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator Kit comes with $125 worth of supplies (for $99), and my personal challenge this week is to make at least half a dozen different cards using ONLY the supplies in my suggested kit.

  1. Stampin’ Trimmer – $30.00
  2. Brights Stampin’ Write Markers – $29.00
  3. Brights Designer Series Paper Stack – $22.00 OR Brights Cardstock – $8.00
  4. Whisper White Cardstock – $9.00
  5. Sprinkles of Life Photopolymer Stamp Set – $21.00
  6. Block D – $8.50
  7. Memento Tuxedo Black Inkpad – $6.00
  8. Snail Adhesive – $7.00

My total is $132.50 (it would have been $125.50, but I forgot adhesive at first). I also used a regular pair of scissors, since most people already have those, and a sponge that I think came from the dollar store.

Another Sweet Challenge

One great way to get the creative juices flowing is to participate in community challenges! You can get ideas for color combinations, design layouts, themes, and more!

This card was inspired by Paper Players Challenge #309!


Clean and simple challenges are great if you have limited supplies! Clean and simple designs often have lots of open space, limited layers, and limited embellishment, like this card:

This homemade card by Natalie Lapakko features cupcakes from the Sprinkles of Life stamp set.

How to Make a Clean and Simple Sprinkles of Life Card

This card combines two techniques; stamping directly on  designer series paper and sponging with no ink pad.

  1. Create a card base from Whisper White. I used one that was 8-1/2″ x 5-1/2″, creased and folded at 4-1/4″.
  2. Stamp cupcake bottoms from the Sprinkles of Life stamp set onto Melon Mambo, Daffodil Delight, and Bermuda Bay polka dot patterned Brights Designer Series Papers.
  3. Fussy cut the bottoms of the cupcakes, leaving an extra 1/2″ or so at the top for gluing.
  4. Stamp three cupcake tops at a slanted angle on Whisper White cardstock.
  5. With the wide end of the Daffodil Delight Stampin’ Write Marker, scribble onto a clean block until a small patch of ink is deposited.
  6. With a piece of a sponge, dab up some of the ink from the ink pad.
  7. Using small circular motions, apply Daffodil Delight down the center of the cupcake tops.
  8. Repeat 5-7 with Melon Mambo on one side and again with Bermuda Bay on the other side. Where the colors overlap slightly, they will mix to form a rainbow. See the diagram for how to apply the ink.How to make rainbow cupcake tops using sponged ink, by Natalie Lapakko.png
  9. Fussy cut out the cupcake tops.
  10. Adhere the cupcakes together in a stack on the right side of the card.
  11. Stamp the sentiment on the left side of the card.

Sponging Tips

This sponging technique may take a little practice! I found that it applies ink more slowly than traditional sponging using ink pads, so it takes a little more work, but it is much more controlled. Sometimes when you first touch the sponge to the paper, it leaves a dark splotch. To avoid this, start your sponging outside the image or off the edge of the paper and work your way inward with circular motions. This will give you a nice smooth color!

This card by Natalie Lapakko is one that can be made using limited supplies purchased with a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator Start Up Kit.

A Sweet Color Combination

This color combination is very close to a primary color scheme, so the colors mix really well to make a rainbow. Even when they aren’t mixed, they make for a cheerful combination, perfect for kids, birthdays, and celebrations of all kinds.

Color Combo: Bermuda Bay, Daffodil Delight, Melon Mambo.png

More Starter Kit Challenge Cards

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko A Sprinkle of Inspiration

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko A Bunch of Inspiriation 3

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Inspiring Bluebird

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Lucky Inspiriation

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Ice Cream Inspiration 3

This homemade card by Natalie Lapakko features only materials that could be purchased in a Stampin' Up! demonstrator Start Up Kit.

Thank you for visiting my blog today! I appreciate all the comments and “likes” you all leave me! They cheer me through the long day. Happy stamping!

How to Stamp with a Toddler

Stamping With a Toddler

Today I want to share a card with you that was made by my favorite artist in the whole world: my two year old son!

This is a card he made for his dad for Father’s Day almost by himself. Everything on the orange panel, from stamping, to washi tape, to drawing, to punching out and gluing on shapes was completely on his own. If I even looked like I might try to help, he immediately protested, “No! I DO IT!” When he was completely done, I did cut the orange card panel to the correct size and attach it to the lime green card, but that was it!

Homemade Card By An Enterprising Toddler 3

Teaching a Toddler to Stamp: Baby Steps

My son has wanted to make cards with me since he was 16 months old. We started with limited supplies and moved out way up gradually.

At first, he would sit next to me in his high chair while I was making a card. I would give him a piece of paper and put strips of washi tape along the edge of the high chair and he would stick them onto the paper. At this age he also loved to help me use embossing folders. He loved turning the crank on the Cuttlebug and seeing how the paper got bumpy. He learned new vocabulary words even on the first day: “paper,” “tape,” and “stamp.”

Next, we learned about glue sticks. At first, I helped add glue to shapes and let him stick it on the paper. Now he glues things down like a pro, all by himself. He also learned to use paper punches to punch out shapes to glue. These are kind of heavy duty and still a little tricky for him to use by himself, but I let him try on his own and wait until he asks for help.

In the next stage, we added pens to the supply list. My son was very interested in letters and writing at this point, so he would draw scribbles on the paper, all the while saying, “A, E, A, E.”

Finally, we moved on to stamps and ink. For a very brief period of approximately two days he was happy to let me put ink on a stamp for him and he would stamp it on the paper. That quickly evolved into wanting to handle the ink by himself, of course. He has learned to ink up a stamp and stamp it on the paper, stamp the little inkpad itself on the paper, and make finger prints! He also really enjoys sticking photopolymer stamps on clear blocks and peeling them off again.

Homemade Card By An Enterprising Toddler 2.png

Tips for Stamping with a Toddler

  1. Create an art friendly area. A low table works great, as it is easier for the toddler to stand, sit, or move around as needed while they work. Leave the kid friendly art supplies out where the toddler can reach them any time he feels inspired to do so.
  2. Don’t stress about a mess. Cover the table or floor with newspapers if needed. Dress appropriately. Have an easy-on art shirt ready to go for him AND for you. Have cleaning supplies nearby, or at least baby wipes for wiping off hands! Have bath time right after stamping.
  3. Set boundaries. Let him know what is okay to play with and what is off limits.For example my son has his own set of stamps, but is allowed to use my clear blocks and paper punches. We only stamp in the “office” and always wipe hands before playing with anything else.
  4. Introduce supplies gradually. Introduce one new art supply at a time and build on what they already know. New supplies make art novel and interesting all over again. It is also less overwhelming than introducing a bunch of new things all at once.
  5. Save “scraps” from grown up card projects. I usually stamp a couple of images, but only use the best one in a card. I spend an extra minute or so to cut out even the “scrap” ones and save them for my son to use. His “office” is right next to mine, so I just drop the extras right in the bucket of shapes for him to glue onto his cards.
  6. Make it a learning experience! Talk about stamping while you work. Learn about colors and shapes. Depending on what stamps you have, talk about animals, the alphabet,  space, or whatever!
  7. Stamp and do art projects together! Your toddler will be interested in doing what you are doing. Plus, it will keep you from hovering over and trying to control what your toddler is trying to do.
  8. Give away cards that your child made. You will melt the hearts of grandparents, aunties, and uncles everywhere.

Color Combo 98.png

Toddler Color Choices

Sometimes it seems like my son picks just any old random color, and at other times he seems to very deliberately select his color schemes. For example, he made a card recently and all the supplies he used were green or blue, from ink, to pens, to washi tape, even though there were lots of other colors to choose from.

I really like the color combination my son used on his Father’s Day card; it’s so happy and bright! I do think Stampin’ Up! might have to consider adding a lime green to their official line up. Anyone want to venture a guess as to whether it will be one of next year’s In Colors?

My son’s bright color choices also extend to his wardrobe:


Thanks for visiting and happy stamping to you and yours!

A Parade of Primary Penguins

Primary Challenge Accepted!

The primary colored pigments are red, yellow, and blue and are called “primary” because they come first. From these three pigments, you can create all the rest of the colors in the color wheel!  That is, if you’re using paint or ink. If you are mixing light instead of pigments, the primary colors are red, green, and blue, which is why computer colors are called RGB values; they are measuring the amounts of red, green, and blue light to mix together. Crazy, huh?

The primary colors are featured by this week’s Paper Players Challenge #308!

PPA Challenge

These colors form a triadic color scheme, which is any color scheme that features three colors spaced evenly around the color wheel. It looks like this:

Primary triadic color scheme

This image comes from Adobe Color CC.

I have a particular fondness for this color scheme. It’s great for kids, back to school, birthdays, and it is whimsical and happy – and those are my favorite emotions for cards. It’s actually difficult to make a sad or somber card using these colors. I won’t say it is impossible, or someone will try to prove me wrong.

A Simple and Whimsical Card Design

I knew right away when I saw this challenge that I wanted to pair these bright colors with these whimsical penguins from the Snow Place stamp set from Stampin’ Up!

I originally had grand plans for several overlapping layers, or a Piet Mondrian-like border around the edge, but once I got these penguins stamped I realized they were grand enough on their own. Grand and large, that is! They took up the whole front of the card all by themselves!

I simplified my design (for the better, I think) and ended up with this nice clean design.

This homemade card By Natalie Lapakko features primary colors, the Penguin stamp from Snow Place, and balloons from Balloon Celebrations, both from Stampin' Up!

How to Make a Primary Penguin Card

  1. On a Whisper White piece of cardstock (US: 4″ x 5-1/4″), stamp three Snow Place penguins in your favorite black ink.
  2. Color the penguins’ feet and beaks using a Daffodil Delight Stampin’ Write Marker.
  3. If necessary, use a Basic Black Stampin’ Write Marker to touch up the black of the penguins. I always do this, as it makes the black really, really black.
  4. Use that same Basic Black marker to draw upsidedown V shapes over the penguin’s eyes. They go from a blank stare straight at you to happy smiling eyes.
  5. With black ink, stamp balloon outline and balloon stippling stamps from the Balloon Celebrations stamp set onto Real Red, Daffodil Delight, and Pacific Point cardstock. If the stippling stamp doesn’t quite line up with the balloon outline, never fear! Just add more dots with your Basic Black marker to fill up any gaps.
  6. Punch out the balloons using the Balloon Bouquet punch.
  7. Stamp the “Happy Birthday” sentiment from the Sprinkles of Life stamp set above the leftmost penguin’s head.
  8. Use your Basic Black Stampin’ Write Marker (yes, again!) to draw a tiny line between the penguin’s head and the sentiment.
  9. Dry fit your balloons above the penguins. Use your Basic Black marker to draw a loop under the neck of the balloon and a line down to the penguin’s hand. You could also try using the balloon string stamp from Balloon Celebrations, if you find that easier than drawing.
  10. Attach the balloons at the top of the string using dimensionals.
  11. Add the white panel to a standard sized card in Real Red (pictured), Daffodil Delight, or Pacific Point.

Ta da!

This homemade card by Natalie Lapakko showcases primary colors and penguins!

More Snow Place Penguins

The penguin stamp from Snow Place is one of my favorite stamps of all time. Here are a couple other cards you might enjoy that use this lovely stamp:

A homemade card by Natalie Lapakko that shows a penguin dressed for a party.

A homemade card by Natalie Lapakko that shows a penguin dressed for vacation.

A homemade card by Natalie Lapakko that features penquins, hot pink, and stars.

Thanks for visiting and happy stamping!

Primary Color Combo: Real Red, Daffodil Delight, Pacific Point


Cardstock: Real Red, Whisper White, Daffodil Delight, Pacific Point (c) Stampin’ Up!

Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black

Stamps: Sprinkles of Life, Snow Place, Balloon Celebration (c) Stampin’ Up!

Punch: Balloon Bouquet Punch (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other: dimensionals

4 Split Panel Cards You Can Make Yourself

Split Panel Cards are Fun and Easy

Split panel cards are a fun and easy to make. They add dimension to your card, help draw attention to your focal point, and give you a chance to use up some of your gorgeous designer series paper stash. What’s not to love?

Split panel cards are also tie in perfectly with TGIF Challenge #68!

TGIF August 2016 Challenges_2-001.jpg

I love the diagonal line layout of this challenge and it provides the perfect opportunity to practice using split panels!

This split panel card is homemade by Natalie Lapakko.

How to Make a Split Panel Card

Here’s how you can make a split panel card:

  1. Create the card base. For these directions, we will be using a standard size card base (US: 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″, metric: 10.6cm x 14.7cm).
  2. Cut the background designer series paper 1/8″ (0.6cm) smaller than the card base.
  3. Cut the front panel 3/8″ (1 cm) smaller than the card base.
  4. Determine how wide you would like the split in the front panel to be. Trim that amount off the top of the front panel in a straight line. I trimmed mine by 3/4″ (1.9cm).
  5. Optional: If you want to add stamping to the front panel, add it now.
  6. Place your front panel in your trimmer at the desired angle of the opening and trim!
  7. Dry fit the split panel on the card and add any additional elements to the front of the card. In my example card, I added the cupcakes.
  8. Use dimensionals to elevate the front panel. Use extra dimensionals behind any elements (such as my cupcakes in this example) that will also be elevated. Note that I layered two dimensionals together for elements that spanned the opening.
  9. Once the front panel has been adhered, your card is complete!

How to add dimensionals to a split panel card, by Natalie Lapakko.

Additional tips

I used the Sprinkles of Life stamp set from Stampin’ Up! to create this fun stack of cupcakes. I had a lot of fun stamping the cupcake bottom on fun designer series papers, like the paper seen here from the Playful Palette Designer Series Paper Stack. Try stamping on designer series papers and see what you can come up with!

The Tree Builder Punch from Stampin’ Up! makes the tops of the cupcakes really easy to punch out. I found it was easier to stamp the image onto the Rich Razzleberry paper first, then punch it out with the punch.

Sprinkles of Life cupcakes on a split panel card by Natalie Lapakko

Three More Split Panel Card Ideas

Zoo babies split panel card by Natalie Lapakko.

Learn how to make a split panel card that reveals the card’s inside!

This split panel card by Natalie Lapakko was created using the No Bones About It stamp set.

Learn to use stamps, designer series paper, and fussy cutting for a multi-dimensional split card.

Natalie Lapakko created a split panel card with balloons as the focal point.

Learn how split cards help draw attention to your focal point.

My photography assistant approves of the split panel technique. He suggests that you should go try it right now!

Natalie Lapakko's cat lies in the way of split panel card photography shoot.

A Bewitching Color Combination

I love the contrast between Peekaboo Peach and Rich Razzleberry. They are almost complementary colors, which means they are nearly opposite each other on the color wheel. All that contrast causes  these elements to really stand out!

Color Combo: Blackberry Bliss, Tip Top Taupe, and Peekaboo Peach

Thanks for visiting, my dear readers! I love and appreciate your comments, “likes”, and those notifications I get when you choose to follow my blog. Happy stamping!


Cardstock: Tip Top Taupe, Rich Razzleberry (c) Stampin’ Up!

Paper: 2016-2018 In Color Designer Series Paper, Playful Palette Designer Series Paper Stack (c) Stampin’ Up!

Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black

Stamps: Sprinkles of Life stamp set (c) Stampin’ Up!

Punch: Tree Builder Punch (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other: dimensionals