Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Petal Potpourri Class Prep Tips and Tricks

Hi Stamping Friends!!

Today I'm going to share a little about how I prepare for my stamping classes. I've been a Stampin' Up! demonstrator since 2006 and I've tried all different ways of offering classes. I finally found one model that works best for me.

When I host a stamp class, I revolve the entire class around a specific stamp set or sets and possibly a matching punch or other tool. I used to simple charge a fee for the class and let everyone use my "stuff". I no longer do that. I also do not charge a class "fee". To join the class, you simply need to purchase the required supplies using a designated Hostess Code. As a demonstrator, my goal is to sell Stampin' Up! products, not card kits.

For this class, stampers were required to purchase the Petal Potpourri stamp set and matching Flower Medallion punch which is currently being sold as a bundle in the Occasions Catalog on page 23. The clear mount bundle is $31.25. They also had to purchase the Crazy About You stamp set on page 31 of the Occasions Catalog. It was their choice if they wanted to purchase the bundle with the Hello You Thinlits. The Thinlits were not a required purchase. The photopolymer stamp set is $24.95. So each stamper had to purchase a minimum of $56.20 of supplies to come to the class. If someone had previously purchased one or both stamp sets and still wanted to come to the class, they would just need to make any purchase of $56.20 using the Hostess Code and they too could attend the class.

Stamps: Petal Potpourri, Crazy About You
Paper: Calypso Coral, Sahara Sand, Coastal Cabana, Crushed Curry, Best Year Ever DSP (SAB)
Ink: Sahara Sand
Accessories: Flower Medallion Punch, Bow Builder Punch, Hello You Thinlits

Each stamper will receive a card kit that contains enough supplies to create 10 cards, 2 each of 5 different designs. Kits include cut and embossed card stock, DSP, ribbon, and other embellishments like buttons and rhinestones or pearls. I also include cut sheets of Whisper White card stock to stamp on. I put all the necessary supplies for individual cards in sandwich sized ziploc bags from the dollar store. Then I put all 5 baggies in a larger "gift" bag. Stampers need to bring their stamps, (and punch if it was required), scissors, adhesive, and liquid glue. I supply Glue Dots and Dimensionals.

I set up "stations" for each card. Each station has a sample card (enclosed in a clear envelope for safe keeping) and the necessary inks and additional punches/tools needed. Stampers rotate from station to station making their cards using the supplies in their bags. I do not write up instruction sheets since I am right there to answer any questions. Most stampers are able to figure out how to make the card simply by looking at the sample project. If a certain step is more difficult, I will explain it to everyone before the class begins.

Stamps: Petal Potpourri
Paper: Crushed Curry, Whisper White, Coastal Cabana, Best Year Ever DSP (SAB)
Ink: Calypso Coral, Wild Wasabi
Accessories: Flower Medallion Punch, Itty Bitty Accents Punch, Hello You Thinlits, Hexagon Hive EF, Calypso Chevron Ribbon, Coastal Cabana Ribbon (SAB), Pearl Jewel

Designing the cards is fun and hard at the same time. I like the cards to be pretty, so people are interested in coming to the class. But they also need to be semi-simple so my stampers can finish them. I browse various stamp websites and Pinterest boards for ideas and then adapt them to my needs.

Stamping 10 cards can take a few hours. Even if some steps are done for you.  I also have to be careful about what inks I use. I only have one set of inks, so I need to watch that I don't use the same ink color on multiple cards. Otherwise there tends to be stampers waiting their turn and it takes longer. This get really tricky when you are also using a certain DSP to design around. Sometimes I end up borrowing ink pads from other stampers.

I also do as much prep work ahead of time as possible. I pre-cut all my ribbon and I pre-emboss as much card stock as I can. I also cut as many die-cuts out as possible. For this class I pre-cut all of the Hello You Thinlit words. For smaller groups I let them use the Big Shot for certain projects. But again, I only have one Big Shot and I don't like to have a big line of people waiting.

When doing a larger class, I usually use a room at a church. This requires me to do a lot of planning and packing. I usually pack as I go. Grabbing inks and tools and putting them in a bag so I have everything I need to take along to the class. It all takes quite a bit of thinking ahead.

I've also done classes that revolve around certain techniques and or themes, like all birthday cards. But my favorite is still the classes using a specific stamp set. It gives customers plenty of ideas on how they can use that stamp set again.

All in all, I really enjoy hosting classes. I like spending time with other stampers. I enjoy seeing them create together and visit with one another. It always reminds me of an old-fashioned quilting bee. But instead of bonding over fabric, needle, and thread, we get to use stamp, ink, and card stock.

I'm really looking forward to Sunday!! Can't wait to see my stampers again!!

Thanks for stopping by!
Stamp something!

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