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  • How to make personalised ribbon

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    Making your own personalised ribbon is very easy but gives incredibly satisfying results! 

    1. Buy cotton ribbon (such as our grey cotton ribbon) or bias binding from a local haberdashers. The thicker ribbon below is bias binding and is very inexpensive.

    2. Lay a piece of newspaper or brown paper on a cutting mat, so you don't stain your mat. 

    3. Stamp the design of your choice! Our ink pads are suitable for printing on fabric, and you can fix the ink with an iron, but I've never done this and think the results turn out fine! If you use a newer ink pad it will work better as the ink saturates better when fresh.

    personalised ribbon

    personalised christmas ribbon

    how to make personalised ribbon

    I used the below rubber stamps for our ribbon:

    - Pine cone stamp

    - Celebration rubber stamp kit

    You can also see how I stamped our grey cotton ribbon to co-ordinate with our free vintage gift tags here.

  • How to make a washi tape feather

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    I've been making washi tape feathers for years, as they've consistently been one of my favourite washi tape crafts. They're easy to make as long as you're careful in your approach (they involve some fine detail) and soon become addictive!

    1. Lay out a piece of washi tape flat on a cutting mat, double the length of how long you want your feather to be. I folded a little extra under at the top, to secure the tape to the board.

    2. Run a piece of thread down the centre of the tape, starting from the halfway point and leaving some extra length at the bottom (the bone of the feather.) You can use wax string or something thicker but I find the best results come from normal sewing thread.

    washi tape feathers step one

    {Included above: large safety pin, neon yellow washi tape, white washi tape, neon pink washi tape, pastel washi tape.}

    3. Fold the washi tape over on itself at the midpoint, being careful to line up the outside edges.

    washi tape feather step two

     4. Cut round the edge of the tape, to shape it into a feather shape.

    washi tape feather step three

    5. Using a scalpel, cut lines in an upwards diagonal, away from the thread in the middle. You don't want to cut through the tape, but try and cut as close to the centre as possible. Cut the opposite side in the opposite direction - still cutting upwards, but towards the left on the left side. vs. the right on the right side.

    washi tape feather step four

    6. Pull apart the slits carefully with your fingers to form your feather shape. They look great as a gift topper, especially bunched together. 

    You can check out our range of washi tape here. I think the feathers look best in solid colours, such as these:

    - Neon pink washi tape

    - Gold and silver washi tape

    - Bright colours washi tape set

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    You might also like:

    - Washi tape ideas

    - Easy washi tape crafts

    - Liberty print washi tape

  • Make your own advent calendar

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    I've rounded up just a few advent calendars below, including a couple of my own projects which you might not have seen over the last few years. 

    If you 're a fan of the DIY advent calendar, some of these calendars are pretty easy to put together.  Just don't leave it too late! I believe craft fatigue to be a real condition - something I suffer from whenever I have photo shoots, and every year around 31st November when I realise I have one day to make my advent calendar! ;) 

    I highly recommend making an advent calendar as a group activity. I introduced 'Christmas crafternoon' in a previous job - we'd make a calendar with Secret Santa gifts and I'd bring in all my stamps, string and craft supplies. We made some seriously spectacular calendars and I loved seeing how people who don't consider themselves to be creative can still make something amazing! Every day we'd have a little quiz to decide who opened the next 'door' and it was so much fun.

    Fabric advent calendar

    1. One to buy: something like the above fabric advent calendar (which is huge by the way - check the dimensions!) is a good half-way option, as you can still personalise it your way with crafted parcels, bits of foliage and hanging ornaments which are your style. You could make something similar relatively easily - I'm thinking a dowel rod and a roll of hessian would work well (I've bought that before in a pound shop.)

    Hoop advent calendar

    2. Hanging parcels from a loop: I'm fond of an embroidery hoop (also below) and it always looks great. The above uses black wax string.

    Tree shaped advent calendar

    3. Make a simple tree shape: decorate with fairy lights and little parcels. You could use old cardboard or foam board as long as it is thick enough to stand up. I'd probably make a smaller version of the above and use a staple gun to add the parcels (covering the staples with a bit of fancy tape.) The advent tree above uses these advent calendar tags.

    Safety pin advent calendar

    4. Giant safety pin advent calendar: easy for attaching little brown or wax envelopes - perfect if you want your advent calendar to include festive 'to dos'. You can see the full project here.

    homemade star advent calendar5. Star advent calendar: - this was one of my favourite craft projects EVER as a combination of recycled brown paper, my trusty rivet punch (favourite tool of all time) and stitched paper was always going to be a win-win combination for me.This uses these same advent calendar tags. It was quite time-consuming to make but I have a lot of love for those brown stars. And the velvet ribbon. Oh, and you can never go wrong with eucalyptus. Can you tell I liked this one?! You can see the full project here.

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    You might also like:

    - Vintage printable gift tags

    - Carol music wrapping paper

    - Brown paper stamped Christmas gift wrap

  • Vintage printable gift tags

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    I had a great time styling these free printable gift tags that I had created for our mailing list subscribers. There's a version in black and white and colour - I printed the black and white on brown kraft card and was really happy with the results. The tags are a mixture of floral and winter designs, in small postcard and gift tag designs - 3 gift tags and 3 postcards.

    You'll get better results printing at home if you have an inkjet rather than a laser printer, but I also had them digitally printed for pence in a local printing shop.

    To get the PDFs of the tags, you can sign up to our mailing list here. You'll be sent a link to the tags in both A4 and US letter format after you've completed the opt in process. I'd love to see how you style them - you can tag me on Instagram @papermashuk.

    I've added the extra Papermash bits and pieces we've used to style the images below.

    Vintage floral gift tags

    {Gold leather string | black wax string.}

    Vintage printable gift tags

    {Gold wire clips}

    Vintage rose postcard

    Vintage rose gift tag

    vintage Christmas tags

    Christmas printable gift tags{Light grey cotton ribbon stamped with pine cone stamp (also stamped on brown paper) pastel washi tapeblack leather string.}

    Printable winter postcard

    Printable Christmas gift tags

  • Christmas gift wrap ideas

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    It's coming up to the time of year when I'm pinning Christmas gift wrap ideas like crazy! I prefer easy, crafty ideas and supplies which can be used all year round (no Santa paper here.) My gift wrap supplies stash is, as you might imagine, quite large, but I love simple ideas. In recent years I've stocked quite a lot of gift wrap from House Doctor (hello, favourite leather string) and one of the nicest things is that they style beautiful images for their stockists to use. Here's some of my favourites from the last few years - the emphasis is on a stylish, generic patterned wrapping paper (we don't stock those as they're not cost-effective to post!), but adding simple twine and a stylish Christmas tag or postcard for a seasonal touch.

    gift wrap ideas

    {Items included above: winter nature postcards, advent calendar tags. Similar items: black wax string.}

    natural gift wrap

    star gift wrap

    {Included above: white star garland.}

    Gold leather string

    {Included above: grey leather string, gold leather string. Similar: jute twine.}

    Black and white ribbon

    {Included above: tailor scissors. Similar: gold and white ribbon.}

    House Doctor gift wrap

    Metallic Christmas gift tags

    Christmas gift wrapping ideas

    {Included above: metallic Christmas gift tags.}

    House Doctor gift wrap styled

    Christmas gift tags

    {Included above: Metallic Christmas gift tags, brass arrow paperclips, winter gift tags, mixed gold gift tags. Similar: gold striped ribbon, dark grey leather twine.}

    Triangle paper clips

    {Included above: triangle paper clips, grey fabric ribbon. All photos © House Doctor.}

    Check out the Papermash range of House Doctor gift wrap and the full range of gift wrap tags, stamps and twine here.

    Tips for styling pinnable gift wrapped images:

    - I love the vinyl photo backdrops from Capture by Lucy; great quality and they roll up for easy storage. She stocks lots of similar backdrops to the textured backgrounds used above.

    - Wooden bobbins such as those which come with our range of leather strings look great when half-rolled out around the edge of photos.

    - Add a natural touch with foliage and pine cones. I try and remember to collect pine cones and keep them from the previous Christmas, and greenery such as eucalyptus is available all year round, so you can style a stylish image out of season. Pine cones can be decorated with white or neon paint, and even glitter. Any kind of dried flower with a bit of glitter can look festive, though this kind of accessory might work best for styled photo shoots - gift recipients might be less thankful for half-dead foliage under the tree!

    - Add a pair of Instagram-worthy scissors (note that most pairs we've tested aren't brilliantly sharp so we tend to use pretty scissors mainly for styling.)

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    Follow our gift wrapping Pinterest boards here:

    - Gift wrapping ideas

    - Christmas wrapping

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    Other posts you might like:

    - Black and white gift wrap

    - Sheet music gift wrapping ideas

    - Brown paper stamped Christmas gift wrap

  • Pressed flowers gift wrap

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    A few years ago a friend gave me a flower press similar to this inexpensive wooden flower press, which was such a great gift idea! This summer I thought I'd integrate some pressed flowers into some gift wrap. Small, colourful flowers worked well for these small, simple parcels, and a few had the bonus of pretty heart-shaped petals. I topped up some flowers from my mum's garden with some sneaky purchases from e-bay - very inexpensive also and a great prop!

    summer flowers gift wrap

    The flowers are pretty delicate so I used a scalpel to place the flowers on the paper and also pull apart the petals (on the heart-shaped flowers) on a cutting mat. I added a tiny bit of clear glue (or PVA glue) to attach them to the brown paper.

    pressed flowers gift wrap ideas

    summer flowers gift wrap

    {Items above: similar brown strung tags, pink jute twine, pastel washi tape} 

    PRESSED FLOWERS GIFT WRAP

    {Above: gold glitter alphabet stickers}

    PRESSED FLOWERS GIFT WRAP

    I cut the leaves above from a few different shades of green {from this pastel washi tape set and this matte colours washi tape set.} It's easiest to cut and shape them on a cutting mat and then transfer them over. Don't make too many incisions in the leaf or it will be dificult to position.

    PRESSED FLOWERS GIFT WRAP

    {Above: gold glitter tape.}

    I don't think I'll ever tire of wrapping with pimped-up brown paper and plain brown tags! What's your go-to gift wrapping style?

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    You might also like:

    - Sew your own paper gift bags

    - Brown paper stamped Christmas gift wrap

    - Make, wrap, mingle

    // Follow my Pinterest gift wrapping board here.

  • Easy washi tape crafts

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    I've been organising a lot of images recently and found these easy washi tape crafts and styling ideas from the Papermash archive. I've been stocking washi tape since I first saw it on American design blogs almost a decade ago, and have loved it ever since! Every child I've ever met loves it too. It's such an easy way to jazz up plain materials and I use it all the time. These styling ideas and gift wrapping ideas are so easy but look great!

    Washi taped wooden pegs

    1. Decorating plain pegs - this adds a special touch to gift wrapping or for decorating a moodboard. I just set the mini peg on a cutting mat and sliced the tape to size around it.

    Washi tape mini bunting

    2. Mini washi tape bunting - there's always multiple tiny jam jars or yoghurt pots in my cupboard (bought especially for styling purposes, obviously) and it's easy to make mini bunting by folding a piece of washi tape over some fine string or thread. It looks great on a plain brown parcel too.

    Washi taped gift tag

    3. Decorate a gift tag - though I stock some beautiful gift tags, I don't often use them on my own gift wrapping. It's so easy to buy cheap luggage tags or plain brown tags and decorate them with a few strips of washi tape in your favourite colours! 

    Washi taped luggage label

    Check out our washi tape selection here.

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    Other posts you might like:

    Washi tape ideas

    - Liberty print washi tape ideas

    3 easy age gift wrapping ideas

  • Black and white home office ideas

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    This striking black and white office has been styled by House Doctor to show off some its newest home office products, but it highlights many great ideas for styling a monochrome workspace. I've added some of my favourite workspace styling tips below.

    How to style a black and white home office

    1. I love an inspiration or moodboard of any type. The large noticeboard uses washi tape and small bulldog clips like these gold foldback clips to arrange a collection of inspirational black and white images. Even when I worked in a corporate environment I added a little washi tape here or there to tape financial calendars to the wall! In the below photo the noticeboard adds brightness and texture to an otherwise dark space and can be easily refreshed when you're bored of the images! 

    2. A half-painted wall, contrasting shelves or shelf brackets, or in this case a white floor, can help break up the space. Dark walls may look better in styled photographs that they do in real life - dark walls work best in a bright room. An all-dark room may feel a little oppressive. If you can position your desk near a window, it will be a much more productive space. If you're using a black and white theme only, I prefer the walls and desk to be the same colour. Bear in mind the white might not be white enough for your needs if you want it to multitask as a flat-lay background - I've had a few white Ikea trestle tops which haven't quite worked for that purpose.

    Black and white home office ideas

     {Featured above: large letter board}

    Black and white home office

    Black and white inspiration wallWhere to buy bulldog clips

    {Above: giant bulldog clips, metallic tape, tailor scissors.}

    black and white home decorating ideas

    {Above: white wire basket, grey wire basket}

    3. A black and white workspace can look a little stark so you might want to introduce some of the following colours and textures which can make it more interesting;

    - grey

    - wooden accessories (the chair above works well) - a light wood such as birch can look great with dark walls, as well as a distressed trestle table, or a sleek modern walnut desk.

    - brown paper

    - gold and brass

    - neon pink

    Below are a few ideas of accessories which work well in a monochrome environment:

     black and white home office accessories

     

    How I decorate my home office

    Although I love the idea of a sleek, modern home office, I'm not much of a minimalist. I've moved offices a few times recently but I tend to repeat the same themes everywhere. These work as decorating ideas for a black and white home office but also in any workspace! I hope to share some photos of my latest space soon.

    1. Add some seasonality. I like to walk around my area with a secret pair of flower scissors and snip the occasional overhanging flower or even pretty weeds from my local common. I love to tape seasonal dried flowers to the wall or to my pegboard, or make a garland from leaves or dried hydrangeas to add a bit of texture and mark the seasons, and bring in a bit of nature inside. I usually have a few half-dead houseplants or succulents on the go - and would love them to thrive - but I'm really quite attached of the bits of dried roses and dead weeds I've taped to the wall.

    2. Surround myself with inspirational words. The above office shows this large letter board and I like to switch over to a different inspirational quote each month. Which are your favourite inspirational quotes for entrepreneurs? 


    3. Monitor my goals. I'm using a weekly bullet journal to plan out weekly tasks and keep myself accountable. Normally this is more focused on personal goals (going to the gym, having no-spend days) as work patterns can be harder to predict, but as these are integrated into my work day I like to see this clearly displayed in front of me. I tape it onto my pegboard and take great satisfaction in colouring in those little squares (or not) at the end of each day!

    4. Keep things I use often in easy reach. I like to have everything on hand (even my clothes are on an open rail) so I always have scissors, pens, rolls of washi tape, a cutting board, a scalpel, paintbrushes and watercolours on display in a variety of vintage jars and ceramic yoghurt pots. 

    5. Surround myself with things which are beautiful. In this dull, midsummer week, I've been lighting this Rifle Paper Co Amalfi del Mar candle to whisk myself away to the Italian coast. I'll also have a little glass teapot to encourage healthy herbal tea habits! I often work in the early evening and don't have brilliant overhead lighting so I also have a stylish but cheap desk lamp I bought from Argos.

    How have you personalised your space?

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    You might also like:

    Behind the scenes at Papermash HQ

    Letter board love

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    Find more home office inspiration on my home office Pinterest board.

  • Blognic London 2017

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    Blognic London 2017
  • 3 easy age gift wrapping ideas

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    It's no secret that I like to gift wrap but I do generally stick to plain brown paper, usually recycled from a delivery. Still, I like to make a parcel a little bit special and today I'm sharing a few very easy gift wrapping ideas which celebrate the birthday age! Some people are extremely sensitive about their age (in my case it is two youngish male friends who steadfastly refuse to tell me their age) so if it's not a landmark celebration, you might want to be sure they'll appreciate it! In my opinion we should celebrate every birthday as in ten years we'll look back and think we were so young! I can remember very little of significance from when I was 30, because it was so long ago, but I meet people with so much anxiety around a big birthday - some as young as 30 even starting to think about Botox!

    Anyway, if you have a friend who's having a significant birthday or who you know makes so secret of the fact, I'm sure they will love the personal touch of any of the below gift wrapping ideas.

    1. Photograph number landmarks and print the photos 

    Polaroid gift wrap

    I've been saving this for ages - it's a photograph of a table outside an Italian ice-cream cafe near Clapham Common bandstand. Just waiting for the 41 year old friend with a summer birthday so I can roll this one out! There's lot of easy services to print your Instagrams or iphone photos. I printed this from the Printic app a few years ago, and it arrived from France within a few days and in a very stylish orange envelope. I've also used Social Print Studio and found their quality also to be good (thicker than Printic, which is nice for a gift tag, though you'll need to order a larger quantity.) 

    If you spot an appropriate number while you're out and about, you can easily photograph it and save it for an appropriate birthday! Can anyone suggest a number-themed hashtag on Instagram to give us some ideas of where to go and be snap-happy? Or if you know any good London number spots, please share the location in the comments!

    (Tape: similar glitter tape here.)

    2. Look out for vintage ephemera

    I bought the below old price labels at Chiswick car boot sale in West London, which had (at least the time I went) a stall with all kinds of vintage ephemera and paper. Even if I someday become a minimalist (a change I've seen happen to many as they've gotten older) I expect I'll keep picking up these bits, which make great photo props and it's a bonus if they fit a birthday too! One of my joys is having the time to rummage through my ephemera box of old French comics, sewing patterns, shorthand books and numerous other bits of paper long forgotten by their original owner, but much loved by me. Usually, after a few years have passed, I might consider cutting them up even though it seems like a little bit of a sacrilege!

    For the below I'm waiting for a 42 year old - and unless I'm totally confident of my present-picking abilities, maybe one who's given me a list! (I'm all about the list, by the way.)

    Easy age gift wrapping ideasAlso used:

    Black washi tape

    Black and white bakers twine

    age gift wrap

    3. Decorate with vintage stamps

    Postage stamp gift wrappingpostage stamp gift wrap

    I love decorating with old stamps and always have some in my craft stash. I used to work across the street from Stanley Gibbons in London, and I loved to pop in at lunchtime and to the other traditional stamp shops on the Strand. I'm not sure how many people from my publishing company were using their lunch hour for such pursuits but I loved the history, the specialised nature of it and the clientele. Who exactly is shopping in there? I'm not sure I've ever met a stamp collector in real life but I can see the appeal. Please reveal yourself in the comments if that's you! For crafting and essential gift wrap kit you can buy inexpensive bulk packs in places like WH Smith, who stock lots of designs including these bird stamps. You may have to trawl through your pack a bit to find countries which have age-appropriate currency (see my Polish and Vietnamese stamps below - their stamps come in denominations of 30 and 40 - bonus!) 

    Vintage postage stamps gift wrap

    Which is your favourite? I'd love to hear any ideas you might have! If you have some brown paper and washi tape, there are so many possibilities!

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    Other gift wrapping ideas you might like:

    Wrapping with sheet music

    Sew your own paper gift bags

    Liberty print gift wrap

    Gift wrapping supplies from here.

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