Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator Starter Kit Challenge

The Demonstrator Starter Kit Challenge

For those of you who aren’t already familiar with Stampin’ Up, here is a tiny bit of background: for $99 you can purchase any $125 worth of Stampin’ Up products and officially join the Stampin’ Up! demonstrator team. Some people build up a whole collection of Stampin’ Up! products and then decide to become a demonstrator. Other people go to their first Stampin’ Up! party and fall in love at first sight; they sign up to be a demonstrator right away!

I was exploring the forum at Splitcoaststampers this week and saw a comment someone had left about two years ago about how she had just purchased the starter kit, but didn’t feel like she had enough supplies to make a variety of cards for a demonstration. It was too late for me to help her, but I was left with the thought that it wouldn’t be too late to help future brand new demonstrators.

I decided that, in addition to the normal challenges I participate in this week, that I would also set myself a personal challenge! My challenge was to create a list of Stampin’ Up! products that would cost approximately the amount of a starter kit and using only those supplies create at least half a dozen unique cards.

Materials on a Budget

My list of materials comes first today! These are the things that I decided would be in my suggested starter kit. Even though I have other materials, I made sure to limit myself to ONLY these items when making my cards:

  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 also used post-it notes, which I got for free from work, and a bath sponge from a 4-pack that someone gave us when our son was born and probably came from the dollar store. Since these are very common and very cheap, I didn’t count them in my total price.

My total was $132.50 for the above items, so I accidentally went over my budget of $125. I was doing great; at first my items came in at $125.50 and I was so proud… then I realized I had forgotten to include adhesive. I didn’t have any way for all that paper to stick together! I could have substituted Brights Cardstock for the Designer Series Paper, but alas, I had already started making cards! Oh well.

An Additional Challenge or Two

The first card in my Starter Kit Challenge was also inspired by Pals Paper Arts Challenge 314!


Both of these first two cards were inspired by Stamp Ink Paper Challenge #61!


My first card is for the center row: Bird, Tree, and Blue. My second card follows the upward diagonal: Stripes, Tree, and Flowers.

This homemade card Bb Natalie Lapakko features only the supplies you could buy with a demonstrator starter kit.

How To Sponge With No Ink Pad

I had to get creative in order to create this sponged gradient background. I didn’t have ink pads at my disposal, due to my personal Starter Kit Challenge, so instead I used my Stampin’ Write Markers! These markers are so versatile, which is the reason I included them in my suggested kit. You can even sponge with them! Here’s how:

  1. First, stamp the clouds.
  2. Second, stamp additional clouds on post-it notes and fussy cut them out.
  3. Cover the clouds on your paper with the post-it note clouds.
  4. Scribble on a clear block (Block D) with the wide end of the Tempting Turquoise Stampin’ Write Marker.
  5. Dab up the ink from the clear block using the sponge.
  6. Rub the ink on the paper in circular motions. Repeat steps 4-6 until the color is as dark as desired.
  7. Remove post-it notes.

I discovered that this method transferred color slower than when using ink pads. While this meant that it took a little more time and effort to get the color dark enough, I had a lot more control over the ink because I was adding it only little by little. I actually liked this a lot and may use this marker technique instead of using ink pads for future projects. I never would have discovered this if not for this personal challenge!

This homemade Card by Natalie Lapakko features the Sprinkles of Life stamp set.

How to Make Your Own Brown

You may have noticed that my tree trunk is brown… or you may not have noticed, tree trunks are often brown. What makes this one special, though, is that brown was not one of the colors included in my starter kit’s marker pack. I had to make my own! I used two layers of Tangerine Tango marker ink, then added a single layer of Old Olive on top. This made a nice rich brown!

If you mix markers, always use the lighter marker first so you don’t stain it with the darker ink!

Color Combo: Tempting Turquoise, Old Olive, Tangerine Tango

Keeping it Simple for the Second Starter Kit Challenge Card

Since my first card used a more advanced technique, with masking and sponging, I decided to keep this next card simple. This one would be easy to make, even for beginning stampers and demonstrators!

This homemade card by Natalie Lapakko is part of the Starter Kit Challenge!

Here’s how to make this card, from start to finish:

  1. Cut out the pieces with the Stampin’ Trimmer.
    • The Whisper White card base is 8-1/2″ by 5-1/2″, creased at 4-1/4″ and folded in half.
    • The striped Tangerine Tango designer series paper is 4-3/4″ by 3-1/2″.
    • The front Whisper White panel is 4-1/2″ by 3-1/4″.
  2. Stamp the flowery top of the tree on the right side of the front white panel, about half way down.
  3. Stamp the tree trunk underneath the tree top. (Optional: you can use a post-it note to cover the flowery part of the tree when you stamp the trunk to avoid overlapping the images.)
  4. Color the tree using Old Olive, Daffodil Delight, and Tangerine Tango. Color the tree trunk using Tangerine Tango and then Old Olive to make brown.
  5. Add a hill at the bottom of the tree and fill in the grass with Old Olive.
  6. Stamp the sentiment to the left of the tree.
  7. Adhere the pieces to the card base.

The Starter Kit Challenge has lots of ideas for cards to make with limited supplies. Card By Natalie Lapakko.

A Note About The Stampin’ Trimmer

I think that the Stampin’ Trimmer might be the most important item I included in my sample starter kit. I use the trimmer to cut and fold every single card I make. No other tool in my arsenal is used on such a regular basis, except maybe adhesives.

Having crisp, straight edges and folds makes cards look clean and professional. If you don’t have a Stampin’ Trimmer, the next best thing would probably be to use a ruler and pencil to mark a straight line, then a pair of scissors to cut it out. It works, but it is slow and not as precise.

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko: Use a shirt list of supplies to make a wide variety of cards!

The Starter Kit Challenge Continues

Thanks for visiting today! Stay tuned this week for more card ideas using only the supplies you could buy with a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator Starter Kit. As always, Happy Stamping!

Color Combo: Tangerine Tango, Daffodil Delight, Old Olive

More Starter Kit Challenge Cards

Here is the now complete list of cards created during the Starter Kit Challenge!

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko A Sprinkle of Inspiration

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko A Stack of Inspiration

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.



0 thoughts on “Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator Starter Kit Challenge”

  1. Cute cards!! I love your challenge idea. Although I have a whole room of stamping supplies, I remember feeling so limited when I first started out…..but, I think once you get comfortable with it, you can make so man different things using a few items. I like how your cards are so different while using limited items. Thank you for joining us at Stamp, Ink, Paper!!

    1. So true! I just started out a year ago, almost exactly. Back then all my supplies fit in the top of a cardboard box on my dining room table! You just have to get creative and you can make a lot of unique things! Thanks for visiting and for your thoughtful comment!

  2. Very cute cards! The tree is fantastic. I love that you are challenging yourself to stick to the Starter Kit budget and still create fantastic projects! Thanks for joining us at Stamp Ink Paper, hope to see you again soon!

    1. Haha! How quickly we get used to having a huge stash of craft supplies… I was really missing dimensionals, colored cardstock, and baker’s twine! It is nice to make simpler cards for awhile, though!

  3. Great set of cards and I really enjoyed your post. A wonderful explanation and tutorials for new demos. Thanks for playing along with us this week at PPA.

  4. I LOVE your PPA card! You were so ingenious in the way you used limited supplies, and created something just spectacular. Clean, and crisp – fantastic! Thanks for playing along with PPA this week 🙂

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