It’s Paper Pumpkin time! I got back from two weeks in Maui to find my red Paper Pumpkin box waiting for me in the mail!!! Yippee! What a nice surprise … a perfect way to get back into the swing of things.
This month’s kit is REALLY different (in a good way!) The colors are fresh, and in my opinion the projects are a step up in difficulty. Plus, I love that we got “get well” projects!!! That’s something I’m sorely lacking in my stamping inventory. I never seem to think about buying “get well” stamps, and then all of a sudden I’ll need them, so it’s great to make some cards in advance and have them on hand.
Here’s the contents of the box for this month. It included supplies to make eight cards! Also, there were TWO Stampin’ Spot ink pads in Early Espresso and Cucumber Crush, as well as super pretty designer papers, fun envelopes, all sorts of die cuts and stickers, and paper clips with Tangelo Twist bows.
We also got all these photopolymer stamps! As you can see, some of the images involve two-step stamping, where first you stamp the outline and then color in the image.
The standard projects for this month are super cute, as seen in the first three cards below. I just love the pretty Basic Gray background paper, as well as the spiral notebook die cuts!
The Paper Pumpkin kit includes instructions on how to make the standard cards. In addition, you can see a helpful video on Stampin’ Up!’s You Tube Channel HERE. I always find it helpful to watch the videos before I start putting my projects together.
There are some tricky parts to putting these cards together (at least for me!) First, the little cup stamp is one of those stamps where you can easily get a smudge in the middle, because there’s a large blank space. To avoid this problem, ink the stamp upside down as shown below. Hold your Stampin’ Spot upside down, and gently tap on the stamp until it looks fully inked. I find that this method also helps me ensure that I’m not over or under inking the stamp. Plus, I can see if there are accidental fibers that get on the stamp that might mess up the image.
Another tricky part was lining up the cup and herb stamps with the die cuts! Now, you would think this should be easy, considering that you can see right through photopolymer stamps. But, I found it challenging, and I’ve been stamping for a REALLY long time. However, there are definitely some tips to make this process easier. First, I found that if I placed the die cut on top of a darker piece of paper, I could see the outline better. Second, it helps to place the photopolymer stamp on a large acrylic block so that the edges of the block don’t interfere with your vision. Third, hold the block as level as possible and look straight down. Line up three key parts of the stamp. So for example, for the cup, I lined up the top, the handle, and the bottom. Then, while keeping my eye on all three, I slowly lowered the stamp. This technique also works great for lining up the filler stamps used to color in the herbs. Another great tip for photopolymer stamps is to stamp on top of a Stampin’ Pierce Mat. Because these stamps do not have rubber foam, the mat helps add some cushion and improve the stamped image. Finally, if you make a mistake and don’t line up the stamps exactly right, try using a Blender pen or Stampin’ Write Marker to fix your mistakes. I confess that I did this a couple times! Seriously, no one’s perfect!
You can see that there are several expressions and different “herb” stamps to use.
For this last card, I decided to adhere some of the papers at an angle, just to show you something different.
On all three of my standard cards, I used a bone folder to curl the spiral notebook paper slightly. On this one, I accidentally tore a little of the paper, but I sort of like it that way!
Each month, I like to give you some alternative ideas for projects you can make with the kit, using some additional supplies. This month, I have three alternative projects that I’ll show you here. Plus, I have one more project (my favorite) that I saved for the exclusive tutorial that I send out to all my Paper Pumpkin customers on the 5th of the following month. I’m part of a group of demonstrators that gets together each month to compile this wonderful tutorial just for our customers. The document includes at least eight alternative projects each month, with step by step instructions on how to make each one. All the projects are exclusive; you won’t see them on any of our blogs or social media. And, the projects are super creative and fun! The tutorials are free to anyone who subscribes using me as their demonstrator. So, if you haven’t signed up yet, you should seriously consider it! This is a huge bonus for my customers. Plus, there’s a promotion going on right now through September 10 where new customers can subscribe for half off for their first two months! Use promo code HALFOFF and sign up HERE.
My first alternative project is just a little twist on the original. I trimmed down the Basic Gray designer paper to 2-1/2″ high. Then, I ripped the two stickers to use them like washi tape. I also added a half of a Tea Lace Paper Doily. To dress up the cups a bit, I added some Basic Rhinestone Jewels, and I used a Blender Pen to color the cups with Smoky Slate and Cucumber Crush ink.
If you’ve never used Blender Pens before, they are awesome! You get three in a pack and they are super simple to use. Start out by squeezing your ink pad to pool some ink on the lid, or stamp a little ink on top of an acrylic block with a Stampin’ Spot. Then, dip the tip of the Blender Pen into the ink and color away. The ink slowly fades away until it disappears. Use some scratch paper to play around and get comfortable with the saturation, as well as to clean the pen between colors.
For my next project, I made banner strips using the Banner Triple Punch and some Cherry On Top Designer Series Paper. I cut strips 2″, 1-1/2″ and 1″ to make the banners. I trimmed down part of the spiral notebook die cut from the kit to use on top of my banners. Then, I punched out a 2″ Circle Punch from some of the leftover card stock from the kit to stamp my cup and sentiment. Finally, I added some white baker’s twine underneath, adhered with several glue dots. I again used a Blender Pen to add subtle highlights to my cup using Smoky Slate ink.
For my last project, I really changed up the colors. I started with an Early Espresso card base, and then I cut out labels using the Lots of Labels Framelits Dies and my Big Shot from the white card stock and Basic Gray designer paper in the kit. I cut the narrow Basic Gray diagonal strip from what was left over from the stickers in the kit. (I never throw away anything!!!)
For the sentiment and cup, I stamped Black Stazon ink on Shimmery White Paper. Then, I used an Aqua Painter to watercolor the cup using Early Espresso and Hello Honey ink. I again used the Banner Triple Punch to create “V”s on my banner. Lastly, I replaced the orange bow from the kit with some Linen Thread and placed a Tea Lace Paper Doily under everything.
Don’t forget to stamp your envelopes too! I used a Blender Pen with Smoky Slate and Tangelo Twist ink to color my cup.
In addition to the July Paper Pumpkin Kit, I used the following supplies on my projects: