• Washi tape stickers


    If you've been following me on Instagram, you'll have easily spotted that my favourite product discovery of the last year has been these washi tape stickers! I love some easy crafting, so I find it very satisfying to just add a few when posting my favourite cards, or for decorating plain gift tags, kraft envelopes or plain wrapping paper. How do you use yours?

    wildflower stickers

    Wildflower washi tape stickers

    Washi tape stickers mixed

    Mixed shapes washi tape stickers

    Washi tape stickersPastel flowers washi tape stickers

    Shop the full range here.

  • Rifle Paper Co 2020 2021 planners


    Rifle Paper Co 2020 2021 planners

    Rifle Paper Co 2020 2021 17 month planners are now in stock in two different sizes, the larger spiral version and the smaller planner which has a covered spiral binding. These Rifle Paper Co planners have everything you need to be organised for the year ahead, including pages of fun planner stickers. The 17 month version is popular with those who like a longer overview, or who like to plan their year based on the academic calendar.

    In the larger format:

    - Rifle Paper Co 2021 strawberry fields large spiral planner

    - Rifle Paper Co 2021 Luisa large spiral planner

    - Rifle Paper Co 2021 wild garden spiral planner

    In the smaller format, which have a covered spine but are still spiral bound so they lie flat:

    - Rifle Paper Co 2021 Type A  planner

    - Rifle Paper Co 2021 strawberry fields planner

    - Rifle Paper Co 2021 Luisa planner

    - Rifle Paper Co 2021 wild garden planner

  • Rifle Paper Co pen refills UK


    Did you know that Rifle Paper Co pens are refillable? We've tested lots of UK refills, and although there aren't a huge range of compatible refills (and no traditional rollerballs that we've found), we have found a couple which fit!

    Rifle Paper Co pen refills UK

    Ball point refills: Parker Quink Flow Ballpoint Refills

    Gel ink refills (more like rollerball ink): Parker Quink Gell Ball Refills

     You can see our full range of Rifle Paper Co pens here.

  • 10 years of Papermash


    This month, Papermash turned 10 years old! I've been reflecting on what's happened over the last decade, what's worked and what hasn't. For the most part, many things I wrote in this 5 year blog post are still true, but here's the story of my journey so far.

    2009 – In 2009 I launched Papermash, through my Tea for Joy blog (RIP.) I sourced almost of my initial stock through avid reading of interiors blogs I had discovered during a three-month stay in New York. This opened up a whole new design world to me. I'd like to say the business idea was really well thought through, but really I'd just seen some nice things you couldn't get in the UK, and stationery was a low-cost financial investment.

    In those days Oh Joy had her own product range, before she switched to licensing deals with companies like Walmart, and I also loved some simple letterpress from Simplesong design, before she closed that business down and rebranded. Letterpress stationery was a completely new concept to me and didn't really exist in the UK - and was what I mostly sold in that first year (including tooth fairy kits and wine gift tags) and some beautiful Korean tape whose brand I wish I remembered as they had pretty designs in great quality! That year I also had a mention in Daily Candy, a daily lifestyle email, which was the biggest press impact I’ve ever had, with £1000 of sales in a few hours (that’s a lot for a stationery shop with only a small range.)  When the internet was less saturated and there were fewer online shops, mentions definitely had more impact. Daily Candy closed down a few years ago.

    2010 – I continued to discover new products and designers via design blogs, including what was very unique at the time; striped bakers twine and striped paper straws, which I specifically remember spotting on the Creature Comforts blog. Who knew they were so tricky to find? I was one of the first people in the UK to stock them and used to sell them every single day. This instilled in me the power of SEO – I ranked first on Google for them and I couldn’t keep them in stock. In more recent years, I dropped the ranking (still on the first page) and I almost never sold any, even with the upsurge in interest around sustainability (the straws were biodegradable.) I just donated the remaining stock to a local community café as I decided not to continue with them and just wanted to clear the space!

    I also discovered something very unusual in 2010, again on Creature Comforts – washi tape, which was made from Japanese rice paper. I was one of the first people to stock it in the UK, and still now I recommend the quality of the original Japanese brands such as MT tape, rather than other brands who've tried to jump on the bandwagon. It might sound obvious but MT tape just sticks really well!

    In 2010, through the same blogs, I discovered a new brand called Rifle Paper Co whose range was full-colour printed, even though the on-trend stationery of the moment was letterpress. Their style has been much imitated and it’s been interesting to watch their product lines diversify. They only sold cards and prints in those days but obviously realised this is isn’t the key to a multi-million dollar business! I had their heart print featured in Elle Decoration which was a real introduction of the brand to the UK.

    My friends and I often discuss the early glory days of blogging - this is before 'influencer' was even a word (and it's a word I hate) - when a mention on a big American interiors blog would guarantee lots of traffic and sales. Papermash had some coverage on big US websites such as Apartment Therapy, A Cup of Jo, and Design Sponge. Most of my favourite blogs have closed down and I haven't seen their talent for styling and curation replicated.

    2011 – I stocked lots of quirky Korean stationery from Katy and June – these were still some of my favourite product ranges. Katy and June were two young Korean girls importing stationery to their garage – I was really sorry when they closed down a few years later, as they were really efficient to work with.

    2013 – I have always loved the idea of celebration, so I extended the range mainly because I came across some very stylish party goods from a French brand as well as some Liberty print ranges from Meri Meri. This was a pink party shoot I commissioned Charlotte Love to do – I still think these are great shots. I mostly discontinued party goods in 2017 (we still have a small range of garlands and small decorative items) because it was hard to make it profitable – there’s a limit to how much people are willing to spend on paper cups and plates and they always had to be posted in large paper boxes – boxes are not free, despite people loving to complain about postage and packaging, and lots of my suppliers were selling directly from their own websites so there wasn’t much advantage to selling it on my website.

    2014Rifle Paper Co expanded their range to sell calendars, starting with just a couple of styles, but they obviously realised they were on to a good thing as in the next few years they expanded the number of designs significantly, to include planners, appointment calendars, and desk calendars, which I love stocking each year. I've always loved interiors, and (in theory) being very organised - so the idea of making your workspace pretty with a planner or calendar fits in well with my ethos.

    My friend Sian says she thinks I started my business so I could be creative - and I’ve always enjoyed styling photo shoots, so I've tried to do this as much as possible. I've lost the impetus for this a bit but hope to step this up in 2020. In reality, I'm quite last minute so if I've given you a gift it might well have been wrapped in two minutes in a pretty paper bag - but I do love a gift wrapping shoot! You can see some of my gift wrapping ideas here. As an homage to my love of gift wrap I always make sure I stock a good range of washi tape.

    Over the years, I've put myself out there by hosting a few crafternoons and workshops (the last in 2016!) and organising Blognic (a picnic for bloggers) every few years. I like networking and have made some great contacts and friends this way.

    Events are a lot of work though and my favourite task is analysing information behind the scenes! You’ll often see me working on a spreadsheet when I should be working on my social media feed. I’ve never been too bothered about the changes platforms like Instagram have made – I’ve always thought Facebook is a business and so they are in the business of making themselves money, not me – so I’m working on making my website as user-friendly and accessible in its own right - and stocking the most profitable items. In the last few years, I have not diversified the product range as much as I'd have liked, but have worked on the user experience, with a new website 3 years ago, and focusing on selling items people are searching for. I'm not sure how a business can succeed without good search engine rankings.

    In 2020, Papermash will be launching its own range of stationery, which has been in the works for many years, but restricted by time and working capital. I've always loved supporting independent designers and artists and we did collaborate with a few illustrators to design our own prints in the early years. Those particular experiences weren't an issue but sometimes I've found creative people are not quite as organised as I'd like and I don't always have the patience. I have some illustrators lined up to work with and if you've got any suggestions of new illustrators who you think would fit with my brand (and who understand the concept of a brief and a deadline!), I'd love to hear about them.

    Being self-employed and running a small business is very challenging. Over the last few years there has been increasing competition on all websites, with some shops clearly running loss-leader campaigns which I can’t afford or don't want to do - for example, postage is not free. Some of my suppliers and ex-suppliers run quite aggressive marketing campaigns to lure people to their own websites which I understand but find frustrating. Other competitors have huge marketing budgets I could never rustle up (and it's very easy to waste a lot on marketing without a guaranteed return) - and since anyone can open an online shop at a low set-up cost these days, everything has become more difficult – achieving press, a Google presence, any kind of USP. Since washi tape, straws and bakers twine have become ubiqitous - you can find all those things on Ebay - it has been harder to stand out. There are other challenges too, like the US exchange rate and more people using digital diaries.

    I have been lucky to have pre-existing relationships and lots of lovely repeat customers. I had some inside information about the sales of another new-ish stationer with a large marketing budget (I mean hundreds of thousands) and I know the potential for selling stationery is still huge!

    I have been lucky that I do have some part-time help with Papermash and also I wouldn't have gotten this far without the help and advice of my friends Sian of Sian Zeng wallpapers, and Margarita of Chocolate Creative. Having good friends in a similar industry and selling on the same platforms has been invaluable. Even though our product ranges are very different, we've all been in business around the same amount of time and noticed similar changes in e-commerce. Even though Marga has now relocated to Gran Canaria, I still Facetime her often to discuss our favourite topic of SEO!

    If you have purchased from Papermash over the years, thank you! As a mostly one-person operation, I see every order come in. I recognise all the names of my repeat customers and very much appreciate their custom, and those who take the time to leave reviews.

    Will Papermash still be here in 10 years time? Who knows. For me it's very much tied in with having a flexible lifestyle (I'm writing this blog post in a coffee shop at 7am) but with that comes its own stress and limitations. I moved house to reduce my outgoings. Last year I took a part-time job in a think tank which has been fun in terms of getting dressed and out of the house and stretching my brain in a different way - oh, and having a pension.

    I like having my own business but I'm not quite sure I'd say I'm living the dream. But am I happy with my lot? Yes.

  • Rifle Paper Co 2020 calendars


    The full range of Rifle Paper Co 2020 calendars will be in stock in early September and we're taking pre-orders already, as customers like to make the most of the early bird discount! Not being an early bird myself I'm always impressed - but I guess these people (often regular customers) know what they want.

    This year's calendars include a couple of desk calendars (using their popular floral and map designs), a small calendar with coffee and tea designs, a city maps calendar which is all about the illustrations (they know the travel theme works!) and our most popular designs - the wall-hung appointment calendars, with space for writing in your family and personal appointments.

    Rifle Paper Co 2020 calendars UK

    Shop the full range here:

    - Rifle Paper Co 2020 Wildwood desk calendar

    - Rifle Paper Co 2020 World Traveler desk calendar

    - Rifle Paper Co 2020 City Maps calendar

    - Rifle Paper Co 2020 Coffee and tea calendar

    - Rifle Paper Co 2020 Wild rose appointment calendar

    - Rifle Paper Co 2020 Garden blooms appointment calendar

  • Rifle Paper Co 2020 planners


    Our popular Rifle Paper Co 2020 planners are now in stock! The diaries come in three different designs and in two size formats, the smaller handbag-sized planner with covered spiral binding and a larger format planner with exposed spiral binding. Both planners lie flat and have features such as end pockets, fun planner stickers and gold metallic details.

    Rifle Paper Co 2020 planners

    Handbag planners come in these three designs:

    - Rifle Paper Co 2020 palette planner

    - Rifle Paper Co 2020 garden party planner

    - Rifle Paper Co 2020 wild rose planner

    Rifle Paper Co 2020 wild rose large planner

    The larger format planners comes in two of the same patterns:

    - Rifle Paper Co 2020 wild rose large planner

    - Rifle Paper Co 2020 garden party large planner

    These planners run for 17 months from August 2019 - December 2020, so they're great as an academic year diary - or if you're looking for ideas of why to use a 17-month diary, you might like my blog from last year on why I use a mid-year diary.

    We'll have the 12 month hardcover diaries in stock later in the year.

  • 10 reasons to send a card today


    Real, hold-it-in-your-hand, smell-the-paper post may be in decline, but we still all love to receive a tangible card. Or letter. No matter how rare they’ve become. A colourful, hand-addressed envelope landing on your doormat will always deliver more of a thrill than its email equivalent, especially when glinting in pink or green from within a pile of dull, white bills. So, why not take the occasion of no occasion in particular, and make up a reason to send a card to someone who would appreciate it? Here are ten - deliciously random - reasons to send a card today...just to get you started.

    1. Your friend finally passed her driving test on the eighth attempt, so you want to congratulate her on it only taking a decade...and call shotgun for the first seaside road trip.

    Rifle Paper Co you rock card

    {Rifle Paper Co you rock card}

    2. It’s popped up in your Facebook feed that an old flame has just got engaged, and you think that if Chelsy Davy can turn up at the royal wedding to witness Harry marry Meghan, then you can be the bigger person and send your best wishes to the happy couple. It may be through gritted teeth, but you can’t read tone in a card anyway.

    Rifle Paper Co love is in the air card

    {Rifle Paper Co love is in the air card}

    3. Through the hometown grapevine you’ve discovered that your favourite childhood teacher is about to retire, so you want to carpe diem your chance to let Mrs Haggarty know what an enormous impact she had on your young life. And not just for introducing you to Judy Blume.

    You're the bees knees card

    {Rifle Paper Co You're the bees knees card}

    4. Your sister’s dumped that rubbish bloke from Tinder who kept accidentally calling her by the wrong name. And turning up an hour late to every date. You decide a card will let her know that you, most assuredly, approve of her decision. There are many more fish in the proverbial sea, and none of them as annoying as Danny.

    5. Now your friends are having babies, you have a burning desire to let your mum know how much you appreciate her, realising what she actually endured to bring you onto the planet. And raise you into the fabulous, card-sending individual you’ve become.

    super mom card


    {Rifle Paper Co super mom card}

    6. You feel that it’s your duty, as their most loyal and ardent customer, to thank your local pizzeria for making every Friday night a great one. And to remind them, since it’s been nearly a week since you last mentioned it, to pretty please never take that caramelised onion and gorgonzola number off the menu.

    Rifle Paper Co you're out of this world card

    {Rifle Paper Co you're out of this world card}

    7. You want to thank your favourite hairdresser for always keeping you looking the right side of sassy, and for understanding that whenever you say “just an inch off please”, you really mean JUST AN INCH.

    Rifle Paper Co strawberry fields thank you card

    {Rifle Paper Co thanks a bunch card}

    8. It’s always good to let your granny know you’re thinking of her. And that you love her timeless style. You wore the vintage earrings she gave you to a party and got five compliments.

    9. Your cousin completed his Duke of Edinburgh gold and you’re - frankly - bloody impressed. You only managed to get as far as the bronze level. And failed that.

    your future looks bright card

    {Rifle Paper Co your future looks bright card}

    10. Your teacher friend has caught nits from her class (for the third time this academic year), and you want to encourage her to keep on keeping on. The temporary scalp-residents may be bugging her, but she’s shaping the young minds of the future. And there’ll be a truck-load of wine and chocolates come the end of term.

    Rifle Paper Co you got this card

    {Rifle Paper Co You got this card}

    Take five minutes to show those you love, you love them. Send a card today.

    Sarah Clarke


    You might also like:

    - Stationery stories: childhood stationery

    - Galentine's Day ideas

    Rifle Paper Co 2020 2021 planners

  • Lavender gift wrap


    Last weekend I took a trip to Mayfield Lavender Farm in South London (heaving with swarms of bees and people), which was a fun morning despite the crowds. I bought a big bunch of lavender which I've dried out, and tried a couple of easy gift wrapping ideas with.

    lavender field

    dried lavender

    magazine pages

    I love wrapping small parcels with pages from magazines, which I'm always cutting out and keeping. My favourite magazines for this are Plant (beautiful botanical photos and illustrations) and N. Ireland's Freckle magazine, which has lots of scenic landscape photos. If you find magazines with matte pages rather than glossy paper, it will give a really sophisticated finish to your gift.

    Lavender gift wrap ideas

    For the above gift, I wrapped it with a band of hessian jute (bought from a pound shop - I weaved the lavender through to keep it secure) and gold leather string.

    lavender gift wrap

    In the second one I just used a strip of gold washi tape to tape down the lavender sprigs and one of these gold gift tags.

    Your gift recipient may not thank you for bits of lavender all over the floor, but I love the natural look and the scent!


    You might also like:

    - Vintage printable gift tags

    - Kraft vintage postcards

    - How to make personalised ribbon

  • Rifle Paper Co 2019 planners


    We've got these Rifle Paper Co 2018 2019 planners in stock now. Running from August 2018 - December 2019, these high-quality 17-month planners include monthly and weekly pages, inspirational quotes, and new, this year, fun colourful stickers for marking memorable dates!


    Rifle Paper Co 2018 2019 planners

    We have 5 planner designs in stock. The larger, spiral-bound planner comes in two styles:

    - Rifle Paper Co 2019 Juliet rose spiral planner

    - Rifle Paper Co 2019 bouquet spiral planner

    The smaller planners (still spiral-bound, but with a covered binding) come in three designs:

    - Rifle Paper Co 2019 Juliet rose planner

    - Rifle Paper Co 2019 bouquet planner

    - Rifle Paper Co 2019 wildwood planner

    We will have some of the 12 month styles in stock later this year, including a few new different formats.


    You might also like:

    - Why I use a mid-year diary

  • Stationery stories: childhood stationery


    I've loved stationery and all types of design ever since I was a child but looking back I don't understand all my choices. We spent summer holidays in Scotland and one of the highlights was getting my hands on the John Menzies summer catalogue. We didn't have John Menzies in N. Ireland and so buying back-to-school stationery from somewhere as exotic as Edinburgh was a real treat.

    One year I went crazy with buying Fido Dido stationery - why? I had strong fashion interests even as a pre-teen and made excellent sartorial choices (when leather ties were all the rage I stepped it up a notch with a white leather bow tie ;)) But yet I bought matching stationery emblazened with a character from the 7UP adverts?


    I thought it would be fun to share other people's childhood stationery stories here and asked friends and customers on Instagram to share their favourite passions and anecdotes. Where they've got public profiles I've linked them below, in case you want to pop over and bond over fluffy pencil cases!

    There were definite recurring themes. Like me, back-to-school stationery shopping was definitely a high-priority task:

    Audrey from Love Audrey:

    "I remember spending hours in French supermarkets on summer hols buying stationery, especially cute pencil cases.  I also remember trying to buy a rubber (erasers for you Americans) in a small shop and struggling with the French word. My mum was terrified they'd think I was asking for something else (the Americans will understand - Lynne) if I kept saying rubber."


    "My favourite part of going back to school in Sept was going stationery shopping with my dad (also a stationery addict.)"


    "The best day in the school year was the weekend before the new September term with a trip to WH Smiths or Menzies to get your new stationery stuff."

    When people shared their general stationery passions I definitely noticed a generational difference as I've never heard of most of these brands and characters. Who do you identify with?

    DebFabulous Places:

    "I was and still am a stationery addict! I remember having several fluffy pencil cases, tins too and also one in the shape of a packet of crisps! Magic colour-changing felt tips, novelty rubbers (I had more than I could have ever needed in a lifetime), Stabilo highlighters in every colour and the Fun Fax! At age 6 my daughter is showing all the signs of becoming a dedicated stationery addict too."

    KatieBenourished blog:

    "I was absolutely obsessed with Lisa Frank. So much fluorescent-pink-covered-in-unicorns writing paper. It's very much influenced my adult personal style. Also, I loved my Trapper Keeper. I went through a Keroppi phase (the frog friend of Hello Kitty.) It was even my AOL username."


    "Naff Naff note pads in French supermarkets. Loved those little squares!"


    "Growing up in the Far East in the 70s was the start of my stationery addiction, rubbers mainly. Then France in the 80s with Pierrot and Beautiful Sunday notelets and pads."


    "I used to have a Bang on the Door pencil case, and a Take That pencil tin. So good, I used to etch 'Ruth for Mark' on it using my compass. Oh, and those jumbo pencils with the tassel on them from museum gift shops - they were like 30 cm long!"

    Jo(who must be my age as I share many of these! - Lynne)

    "In the late 70s and early 80s I had a treasured ET stationery set, a green turtle cardboard folder and also Strawberry Shortcake scented rubber, pencil, paper and envelopes to match. 

    In my teen years I would go and buy individual different coloured paper and envelopes, that came in bright rainbow colours and then pastels. Also loved a fountain pen."

    midori fountain pen

    {our Midori fountain pen}

    Scented items, stickers and rubbers were definitely the front-runners! Did anyone actually ever use their rubbers? Rubber-collectors in particular also seem to have hoarding tendencies - who else still has their collection?

    I love that the selection below is so of its time (with cassette tapes) and honestly, I'd love to know, whoever thought to themselves, let's make a washing powder scented rubber? (which must have been a commercial success as everyone had one!) 

    Karen, Karen Bird Design

    "I remember scratch and sniff stickers that I had on my bed headboard - I’m convinced if I still had the ‘bunch of bananas’ sticker it would smell even now! 

    I also had a fabulous collection of 1980s rubbers, one in a sweet jar and the other in an ice cream tub - which I recently rediscovered. I'm thinking of selling the collection on eBay - nice to look at but...haven’t got that much to rub out!"

     {photo from Karen's collection}


    "I collected scented erasers and filled an old Roses tin with them. I never used any of them."


    "I had so many of those lipstick rubbers when I was little, they twisted up and everything! I was obsessed!"


    "Still have all my old rubbers hidden away in a basket in my old bedroom."

    Emily Emily Dawe

    "I had a happy group eraser collection, my favourite was a Swiss roll that smelt sweet. And so many stickers! Furry ones were the best. Shiny stickers too, and scratch and sniff. I even went as far as to steal the stickers from fruit in the supermarket. Melons had the best ones as they were large and colourful!"

    {some more of Karen's collection}

    And there were a few pen fans out there too....


    "It was smelly gel pens! Loved them."


    "My first fountain pen (a red Lamy pen for children learning to write) was a very special one and I was very sad when it broke. I still love fountain pens though and don't write nearly enough with them."


    "Coloured gel pens for sure! And my pride and joy was one of those pens that you could select and then click and select another colour."

    4 colour pen

    {our modern 4-colour pen}

     And my favourite responses were these cute stories of stationery rebellion:

    Maureen: "In primary 4 I got one of those novelty giant pencils and took it into school. My teacher wasn't too impressed and asked me to use another pencil. I genuinely didn't have another other than the tiny miniature one which came with the giant one...so I started using that. However, my teacher took this as a defiant act of rebellion and gave me a detention. The only one I ever had...for stationery!"

    India: "When I was 5 my school had a book fair and my mum gave me £3 and strict instructions to buy a book and not any stationery. But she was busy with my newborn brother so I bought a pencil and rubber with my money, my dad collected me from school completely unaware, all was fine until my mum asked to see the book I bought...she was not happy!"

    Do you have any stories you'd like to add? If rubbers were your passion also - did you spot one you owned in the photos above? I'd love to know in the comments. If you have any photos of your collection you'd be happy to share I'd love to add them in!

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