Papermash letter swap

This spring I decided on the spur of the moment, and after a prompt from a friend, to organise a letter swap! I’ve seen lots of these over the years, and have so much fun with my wooden envelope template, so I thought others might like to swap envelopes too.

Papermash envelope

Over Christmas I met an old friend, who I hadn’t seen for 15 years. In our what-have-you-been-doing-with-your-life catch-up (still not sure!) he mentioned someone to me who I don’t know but whose name sounded familiar. Some Google research later and I realised I’d heard of him in a completely different context, as someone who runs a storytelling event in Belfast, in which 10 people tell a story on the same theme for 9 minutes each. It sounded utterly wonderful to me, so I was thrilled to discover that of the few spin-offs around the UK, one is exactly where I live! I love it when my internet stalking investigations result in something fruitful and constructive.

Papermash envelope 2

I went to my first Tenx9 event last month, and loved every minute. It prompted me to add a small storytelling element to the letter swap (even though I can never recall any good stories of my own), on the theme of surprise (the same theme as next week’s Tenx9.) I’ve asked swappers to add a short anecdote, quote or poem on this theme, and just for fun, a small, letter-sized gift under £5.

Papermash envelope 4

Papermash envelope 3

Sounds very demanding, right? I’ve already signed up and notified 50 people, but if you fancy the challenge, I’m just opening up a final 20 slots for anyone else who would like to take part. This letter should be sent out by 20th March to arrive before 23rd March.

You can sign up here.

If it turns out to be hassle-free (don’t blame me if your envelope doesn’t show up from a random person from the internet), I might run something similar again!

Three ways to wrap with bakers’ twine

I always have a  supply of bakers twine close at hand - it is an easy way to smarten up plain brown or white paper, and at 100m in length it lasts a really long time. This Christmas I tried out three different ways of wrapping using bakers twine.

Three ways to wrap using bakers twine

Bakers twine wrapping 1

1. Simple plaiting using red and pink bakers twine. {Also like this tiny to and from stamp, and watercolour letters. Watercolour edging too, of course.}

Bakers twine 2

2. Twine-stamped paper – {I saw this idea on Pinterest.} I wrapped some string around a spare stamp block, and quite like how it shows the stripy effect of the string.

Bakers twine 3

3. Bakers twine tassels {you can follow similar instructions to this tutorial here.}

Which is your favourite? {PS, love this post by Mel Wiggins on wrapping with kids.}

My favourite Christmas recipe

There are some things you can be guaranteed to find around these parts at Christmas; glittered roses, dried oranges, some sort of Christmas Crafternoon with friends, and peppermint bark. It’s delicious, easy to make, and impressive to look at. I won’t recreate the recipe here, when Molly’s eloquence is mouthwatering in itself (the full recipe is here), except that a little tip I learned this time is to cut the bark into neat squares after the final stage of the recipe (I left this overnight and it was rock hard and impossible to cut.)

I wrapped this up using the below:

Red striped paper bags / red sparkle twine / to and from stamps

Red and white bakers twine / from the kitchen of stamp

Do you have any easy Christmas recipes to share?

Simple clay gift tags

Every Christmas you can be guaranteed that blog posts start to appear in support of the easy craft material which is DAS air drying clay - what it says on the tin {packet.} It’s inexpensive – this time I just bought a tiny packet which made quite a few tags.

DAS gift tags © Papermash

I made some simple gift tags by rolling out some clay, drawing round a paper tag to give me a template, stamping an inked pencil rubber for the dots and using these lowercase stamps for the letters. I would suggest using an old ink pad if you have one {where the ink is a bit dryer.} I used this ink but when I opened a fresh one, the ink didn’t take at all in the clay. Also I used red ink, which then dried out as pink. You could also try making the dots and filling them with glitter. When they are dry, you can smooth the edges with a nail file.

Das spotted gift tags © Papermash

The clay takes around 24 hours to dry but make simple personalised tags {here combined with black and gold glitter twine and pink neon jute twine.}

Are you following along on Instagram? I’m sharing a gift wrapping idea each day of advent {@lynneatpapermash}.

A giant safety pin random acts of kindness advent calendar

Inspired by one of our customers, Jen, I decided to make a random acts of kindness advent calendar this year. (You can see her ideas here.) I busted out an advent calendar in record time using our advent calendar envelopes, a giant safety pin, red and gold twine, gold paper quickly folded into leaves, and some sprigs of my favourite eucalyptus.

These are some of my ideas, but I would LOVE to compile a more comprehensive list so that next year’s calendar can be even better. I would love to hear your suggestions!

New from Rifle Paper Co

Just a quick post to let you know about the new Rifle Paper Co goodies which arrived today. Christmas postcards, pretty notebooks and iphone cases (iphone 6 cases will be available at the beginning of December) – check out our full range here.

We’re adding little gifts to all orders over £30 this festive season, so it’s the perfect time to pick up a special gift for someone and receive a little extra gift for yourself.

Pretty packages

I’m surrounded from all angles by piles of glitter tape, brown paper and string – about to embark on a mammoth wrapathon. It’s not quite Christmas wrapping time yet, but just in case you’re wanting to develop a signature wrapping style, I’ve rounded up some of my favourite wrapping ideas below.

pretty packages

1. Mini crackers by Fete Press, 2. Speckled paint and red and white bakers twine, 3. Stamped muslin bags (these Yellow Owl Workshop inks are also suitable for fabric), 4. Large safety pin (image from House Doctor.)

5. Black and white photos via Junkaholique, 6. Mini envelopes by Anastasia Marie (similar translucent envelopes here.)

7. Christmas ornament stamp gift tag, 8. Gold sprayed foliage via A Fabulous Fete (similar pink striped paper bags here), 9. Make your own chalkboard tags via Damask Love (similar black and white bakers twine here) and finally, 10. my favourite and done-to-death watercoloured edging and red and pink bakers twine.

Which is your favourite? You can see lots more ideas on my Pretty Packages Pinterest board, and if you’ve bought anything from me I’d love to see your wrapping ideas on Instagram (#papermashparcel.)

Styling the seasons October

October is such an rich month for foraging free bits from nature, so I decided to take part in the ‘Styling the Seasons’ challenge organised by Charlotte of Lotts and Lots (who ran a fabulous workshop at my Crafternoon last year) and Katy from Apartment Apothecary. You can add glittering conkers to the list of things I may never have done if I’d never had a blog / Instagram / *insert here*, but really, who knows . I like them a great deal. (Also, blackboard paint + conkers.)

You can spots lots of other autumnal delights on Instagram by following the hashtag #stylingtheseasons.