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2015 – the year that was!


Hey friends! I’m back!

After a few solid weeks off for Christmas/NYE and then a quick trip up to the land of oversized novelty fruit (aka Coffs Harbour!) to visit family and soak up some sun, I’m feeling refreshed and ready to get back in the swing of life! And so this seems as good a time as any to take a quick look back at 2015 and set some intentions for 2016!

2015 was a HUGE year for me. I started freelancing full time as a production designer/stylist and had to get used to irregular work hours and no weekly salary! I also decided to ramp up my blogging and try to build Paper & Pin into a business in its own right. And believe me, there have been huge ups and dramatic downs! I think the highlights of 2015 would have to be:



DIY Christmas Treat Pocket Banner!

Christmas is well and truly here guys and that means I officially have permission to combine two of my favourite things – festive decoration and treats! Hooray!

Originally this DIY started as an idea for an advent calendar but then I thought ‘wait a minute! I want treats all the time!’. And so it transformed into DIY Christmas Treat Pocket Banner! Every letter is a little hiding place of delicious Christmas sweets and, better yet, it’s made from wrapping paper which (if you’re anything like me!) you’ve probably got a ton of left over from last year! I like the think this is the perfect banner for a Christmas party because as soon as there’s a lull in the conversation or a classic Christmas party awkward moment you can easily distract yourself with a treat and make everything better! Also, it makes for the easiest and most satisfying scavenger hunt ever!

To get started, you’ll need:
– Wrapping paper
– White card
– Scissors
– Baker’s twine (white and festive red!)
– Tape
– This template
– A sewing machine + thread
– All your fave Christmas treats (best to get things that are thin, like candy canes and choc Santas, so you can be certain they’ll fit!)


Start by printing out this template onto A4 sheets of white card then just roughly cut around each letter, leaving a 1cm or so margin.

DIY-Christmas-Treat-Pocket-Banner-step2The cut a corresponding piece of wrapping paper for each letter. Again, don’t worry about cutting carefully, everything will get a nice trim later!


Once you’ve got all your pieces cut out, it’s time to stitch them up!


When you’re stitching, you want the right sides of each piece of paper to face out. So the pattern of the wrapping paper and the printed side of card should both be on the outside! Then stitch just inside the printed black line. Make sure to only stitch around the sides and bottom, leaving the top open for your treats.


Trim each shape along the printed line then attach a loop of red baker’s twine to the back of each letter. Once you’ve strung the letters onto a long piece of baker’s twine you’re ready to pop a treat in each letter. Then simply attach the banner to a wall and you’re ready to enjoy some seriously delicious festive cheer!

If you give this DIY a crack, don’t forget to share with #madewithpaperandpin so I can follow along! Love seeing your crafty goodness!


Gift wrap with garlands | Paper and Pin

Gift Wrap with Garlands!

Gift wrap with garlands | Paper and Pin

One of my favourite parts of the Christmas season would have to be gift wrapping! I love buying a fresh sheet of gift wrap, cracking open a roll sticky tape and going to town with some curly ribbon. But there’s always something a little bitter sweet once the unwrapping is done and all your carefully chosen paper is lying around in shreads.

So this year I’ve decided to gift wrap with garlands! Rather than just a piece of ribbon, a gorgeous garland means that once the unwrapping is done you’ve got something cute to string up on your wall. And luckily this Christmas, The Reject Shop has totally got us covered! They have a seriously cute range of mini bunting, teeny envelopes and many cute tags, bows and rosettes which we’ll use to jazz up gifts and make a DIY mini envelope garland. So let’s hop to it!


First up, you’ll need:
– Wrapping paper (I love simple brown craft paper)
– Scissors
– Tape (regular and double sided)
– Mini bunting, mini envelopes, eyelet tags – all available at The Reject Shop!
– Twine
– Single hole punch

gift-wrap-with-garlands-step1 (more…)

Crochet Star Ornaments

DIY Crochet Star Ornaments


This Christmas, I’m trying to follow my own advice and hand-make gifts. But sometimes, with all the craziness that happens over the silly season (seriously, I think all my weekends are full booked til January!) time just gets away and a trip to the shops is necessary. So at times like this, I think it’s nice to add a little bit of handmade into the gift wrapping and these DIY Crochet Star Ornaments are just perfect! Made with hessian twine (which comes in an array of festive colours!) from my fave stationary supplier Rabbit and the Duck, these stars look fab on top of a gift and can be reused as ornaments on a Christmas tree!

To get started, all you need is some hessian twine, a 4.5mm crochet hook and this pattern!


It looks a bit complicated but is super simple once you get the hang of it! (more…)

oh em gee hoop

#52hoops week 2 – OH EM GEE!

oh em gee hoop

Welcome to week 2 of #52hoops, a lil’ project I’m undertaking because I love stitching but can never seem to find the time. So each week I’m stitching up a cute hoop as a way to keep myself accountable and making sure I make time for crafting.

But, as is always the way, personal projects are hard to prioritise and actually this is technically week 3 of 52 hoops. So this week’s OH EM GEE hoop is in honour of that. As in ‘OH EM GEE I can’t believe I’m only 3 weeks in and already a week behind!’. But whatever, deadlines are totally boring anyway :)

DIY chunky leather chain necklace

DIY Chunky Leather Chain Necklace

DIY chunky leather chain necklace

As the weather warms up I’ve realised something kinda serious – I’m totally guilty of wearing too much black. You might not guess it from looking at this blog but it’s true! The majority of my wardrobe is black, grey or white. But as the summer months commence I’m all about a pop of colour in a statement accessory! Enter this DIY chunky leather chain necklace. Quick and easy to make, this crafty necklace is sure to become a wardrobe staple!

DIY chunky leather chain necklace

To get started, we’ll need:
– Flat leather thonging in all your fave colours
– Scissors
– Fabric glue
– Leather or waxed cotton cord

Start by cutting lengths of leather thonging, around 5cm long. Cut each end on an angle.


Then curl the piece of leather into a loop, matching up both ends so they’re nice and flush. Pop a bit of glue on the one end and press then together until they’re good and stuck!


Repeat this process, making sure each piece of leather through the preceding loop before you glue it!


Once you’re to as many chain links as you want (I did 12!), grab two lengths of round thonging or waxed cotton and pass through the each of the end loops and secure with a knot. Then knot both lengths together at the end and you’re ready to wear your fab new necklace!



OH so snazzy! And it’s super light and comfy to wear as well. Hello summer wardrobe staple!

Don’t forget, if you’re getting craft share your piccies with#madewithpaperandpin so I can follow along! xx



DIY geometric paper gift boxes


Well I’m calling it, the festive season is upon us! YAY! I’m ready to strap myself in for the next two months of non-stop end of year parties and Xmas gift prepping (because I’ll be taking my own advice and doing DIY gifts this year!). Hooray!

And since we’re entering the giving season, today I’m sharing these adorbs DIY geometric paper gift boxes! Perfect for a special trinket (or just a special treat!), these cuties only take a few quick folds to make! And the larger the piece of paper, the larger the final box! I used gorgeous Japanese Midori origami paper (+ stickers, twine and tape) from Rabbit and the Duck, which was just the perfect size to create an adorable mini box. Plus just look at those patterns!


So, to start you’ll need:
– Paper squares
– Ruler
– Craft knife
– Washi tape/stickers/twine
– Hole punch (optional)

DIY geometric paper gift box

Start by measuring your paper into thirds. I made a mark with my craft knife to avoid any pencil marks (if you do prefer to mark out your lines with pencil, make sure to do it on the side that will be facing in!).

DIY geometric paper gift boxDIY geometric paper gift box

Crease along the thirds, folding inwards. Then unfold and repeat in the other direction to end up with a grid of 9 squares created
by the folds.geobox_step4-w-guides DIY geometric paper gift box

Next, grab your ruler and craft knife and score lightly along the dotted lines marked on the diagram above. Then crease along these lines, making sure the fold is heading in towards the back (or in my case, white) side of the paper.

DIY geometric paper gift box DIY geometric paper gift box

Then Fold the paper into a box! It takes a bit of fiddling but essentuially you’re aiming for each of the scored side pieces to meet over the non-scored middle square to create the sides. Then the triangle-scored middle sections will fold in on themselves to allow the box to close!

DIY geometric paper gift box

Then you can either secure the opening with a sticker or some cute washi or punch a hole through the sides, thread through some twine and secure with a bow!


Yay! Well done you crafty champ! Oh my goodness these little guys are too CUTE! It’s too much!

Supplies for this post were provided by Rabbit and the Duck – thanks for supporting the brands that support Paper and Pin! :)


Why I craft to relax + #52hoops


Life has been weird lately and I’ve been feeling overwhelmed but at the same time bored and restless. Flitting from job to job and starting the next thing as soon as one project finishes has meant never having enough time to tie up loose ends or get my ducks in a row.

Maybe it’s this time of year? I can already feel the Christmas madness coming on – which, believe me, I’m not unhappy about! Christmas is one of my favourite season; it’s when everything starts to come to a head and you know that soon it’ll be a fresh new year. And so it becomes about giving it that final desperate push of energy and comittment to try and squeeze the most out of this year while it’s still around!

Or maybe it’s because I’ve done a lot of ‘new’ things recently. I’ve moved to a new studio space full a lot of new people to meet. I’ve taken on graphic design work which, while not completely new to me, is not something I’ve ever done in a formal capacity. I’ve worked on a TV drama for the first time and with that, worked a 55+ hour week for the first time. There’s been a whole lot of great new experiences and steep learning curves.

And I’ve realised that all this has taken it’s toll. There’s been little clues, like having to un-pull a whole side of a crochet dress not once but twice after completely messing up the pattern as I madly stitched on the bus to and from work. And the countless times I’ve misplaced glasses, camera chargers, important invoices and keys over the last few weeks.

So this weekend I decided enough was enough. I needed to step back and relax and what better way than with a bit of makin’? I grabbed the aforementioned crochet dress, set myself up with some great telly (seasons 1 and 2 of Utopia, it’s fab!) and focused on getting some serious craft done. With some stitching in hand, everything else melts away and life becomes only about the stitch you’re working on. And the next one. And then the next. Your hands are busy, you mind is focused and it’s pure bliss.

Before I knew it, it was Sunday afternoon and I’d finished the bodice of my dress (no mistakes in sight) plus whipped up the above hoop and was generally feeling amazing.

What can I say, it’s the magic of making!

And to continue this magic + make sure I never ever stop making (well, for at least a year!) I’ve started a new project – #52hoops. Every week for a year, I’m going to embroider a hoop, be it with words, flowers, portraits or just shapes and lines. I’ll be tracking my progress on instragram and putting a calls out for inspiration as I go so stay tuned!

Much love,
Laura xx


DIY mix ‘n’ match fruit coasters!


So you may have noticed things have been a bit out of whack over here lately. I’ve recently been working a crazy job that called for a lot of 12 hour days so my life kinda feel apart a little. But things are quieting down and I’m super happy to be getting back in the swing of things with these DIY mix ‘n’ match fruit coasters! I’ve always had a ting for kitschy coasters, like those ones with cut-outs that create a picture when you stack them up! And so rather than just round fruit coasters, I decided to mix things up and make fruit halves! It’s like the easiest game of memory for your coffee table!

Love craft? What more? Check out the project gallery!

DIY mix and match fruit coasters

Aaaaaaaand they’re heaps easy to make! Let’s get started!

To make these cuties, you’ll need:
– Wooden coaster rounds (or cork!) – I got mine from Bunnings!
– Craft knife + ruler
– Acrylic paint + brushes
– Washi tape (the thinner the better) (more…)

DIY Avocado Coin Purse

DIY Avocado Coin Purse

DIY Avocado Coin Purse

I’m totally a purse kind of gal. Literally. I haven’t had a wallet in years! At the moment, I’ve got a navy blue leather purse with a silver clasp which I just adore! There’s just something about a purse that makes me feel fancy!

Love craft? Check out the project gallery for more DIY ideas!

And plus, they’re super handy! Honestly, I don’t know how people get around with spare change just clanking in their pockets! And this little avocado number is no exception! It’s just the perfect shape and size to fit a handful of coins, your keys and a lipgloss – all the essentials. And all you need is some felt, a zipper and a lil’ bit of blanket stitch. It’s a sinch!

To make this DIY avocado coin purse, you’ll need:
– Felt in yellow, green and brown
– Embroidery thread + needle
– Zipper

step1 avocado coin purse