Hoop Art Gift cards!

Make to Give launch + KITS!

Hoop Art Gift cards!

Hey dears! Guess what! It’s all happening! Make to Give is coming out this week!

Well, actually technically it’s coming out next week on Monday the 21st. But whatever! And so if you’ve noticed a bit of radio silence over here at Paper & Pin it’s because I’m in the midst of the final push to get everything finished and looking FAB!

And to celebrate the launch of Make to Give, I’ve put together an extremely limited edition collection (there’s only 25!) of Hoop Art Give Card kits! These cute mini hoops fit perfectly into a envelope and are perfect when you want to send something a little more special than just a regular ol’ card! In the book, I provide some adorable custom designs and take you through each step so even if you’ve never picked up a needle or thread I promise you’ll ACE IT!

The kits are only an extra $6.00 (plus postage!) so for $19.95 you get 40+ pages of craft fun AND everything you need to get started on your handmade gift giving adventure! Head over to the Paper & Pins shop to secure your copy + kit because they’re going to fly!

chalkboard bunting

DIY Decor – chalkboard bunting!

chalkboard bunting

Oh boy oh boy do I love bunting! A party just isn’t a party without some cute paper triangles. And what’s more, they’re not only for parties. I’ve got bunting hanging in my studio, my lougeroom and my bedroom – it really brightens up the place!

So I was so super excited to recieve this amazing selection of bunting notepads from the lovely people at Spotlight. Yep, that’s right, I said bunting notepads! You just rip the pages along the perforation and they’re ready to be strung onto matching twine! It’s just SO easy!

And once your bunts (bunts is a word right?) are all strung up it’s time to decorate! I created this fab chalkboard effect by simply drawing on the letters with a chalk-paint pen which looks great on the black card! Then  couple of lines of washi later and boom – super cute bunting! Perfect for when you’ve got to do a bit of decorating on the run or just want to spell out a custom message.

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Just look at all those different bunting shapes! SO CUTE! I especially love the little scallops. And those mini notebooks and craft paper gift tags are just adorable. What fun! Thanks Spotlight xxx

DIY Washi Tape Bangles

DIY Washi Tape Bangles!

DIY Washi Tape Bangles

It’s official! Spring is here! Which means it’s time to back away those winter neutrals and add a bit of colour to your wardrobe. And these DIY washi tape bangles are the perfect way to get started! Not only will they add a pop of cute pattern to any look but they’re also a fab way to use up your washi stash. I’ve got a serious washi tape addiction so any way to work through my fave rolls is fine by me because it means I can by more guilt-free! So with that in mind, let’s hop to it and get makin’.

DIY washi tape bangles

To make these bangles, you’ll need:
– Bangles! I used the blank wooden ones you can get from craft shops but plastic would work just as well.
– All your fave washi
– Gel medium + paint brush

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Start by covering your bangles with washi. Leave a little on either side to fold into the centre and ensure nice clean edges.

DIY washi tape bangles

Then just continue around! Overlap each new piece slightly to avoid any wobbly joins!

DIY washi tape bangles

Ta da! Once your bangle is entirely covered, smooth out any creases and make sure everything is nice and flat.

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Then grab your gel medium and give the bangle a coat! It’s best to do a couple of layers (letting each one fully dry in between) and paint up the inside of the bangle while you’re at it!

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Once your bangles are dry they’re ready to wear! Quick, easy and super cute! Hey there Spring, how you doin’?

Don’t forget to share your crafting over on instagram with #madewithpaperandpin so I can follow along! Can’t wait to see you rocking these :)

 

DIY cityscape cushions

DIY Cityscape Cushions!

DIY cityscape cushions

I was taking a stroll through my city at sunset the other week and was struck by how beautiful all the buildings looks lit up by the colourful sky. It was like a gorgeous urban rainbow and I just knew I had to record it somehow! But rather than just do a quick sketch, I decided to take the colours and shapes I had seen and turn them into DIY cityscape cushions for my bed. So I took all my favourite buildings and landmarks and made them into colourful plushies!

Like craft? Check out the project gallery for more! 

This DIY is so quick and easy (just a little bit of painting and stitching) and if you love your city as much as I do then it’s definitely for you! So let’s get makin’!

First up, you’ll need:

– Black and white homespun fabric
– Fabric paint and brushes
– Scissors
– Sewing machine
– Black and white thread
– Fibre fill
– Hand stitching needle (more…)

Maker's Tip - the best paint for (almost) everything!

Maker’s Tip – the best paint for (almost) everything!

Maker's Tip - the best paint for (almost) everything!

If there’s one thing that I always manage to stuff up, it’s mixing paint. It’s not colour that’s the problem, it’s the quantity. See, I always feel terrible when I waste paint (I’ve even been know to try and put excess paint back into the tube!) which means that I’m always over cautious and never mix enough. Cue a frustrated 10 minutes madly trying to re-match the shade!

Which is why I’m mad about sample paint pots. You know, those little tubs or tins of paint you get from the Hardware shop when you’re picking your wall colour. Well, I use them for (almost!) everything, including my photo backdrops that you see EVERYWHERE on this blog, this painted block DIY and a bunch of projects in my new ebook Make to Give! I love these pots because they only cost a couple of dollars and you can always get the exact shade you’re looking for with no mixing or re-mixing required! The paint is generally thicker than your regular acrylic craft paint so you get great coverage and once you’re done, just pop the lid back on and leave the rest for the next project.

There are definitely some things this paint probably isn’t best for, including fabric (although only if you’re planning to wash it, if not, go crazy like I did with my giant picnic rug DIY!) and paper (it’s a bit thick for painting on paper but works a treat on heavy card). And it generally doesn’t wash off clothes particularly well so remember put your painting pants on!

If you’ve got some more hot paint-related tips, let me know! And if there’s a crafty trick you’re DYING to know or just need held with a certain skill, let me know in the comments and I’ll make sure to help you out in the next instalment of Maker’s Tip :) :)

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DIY Knit Laptop Cover!

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This winter in Sydney has been particularly bitter and I’ve spent a lot of time curled up in a big jumper (or sweater to my US pals) with a tea and some Netflix. Big jumpers are actually kind of an obsession of mine, I just love rummaging through op-shops for them. So much so that by the end of winter I generally have a few too many! But instead of just filling up my drawers, I decided to repurpose an old jumper into a snazzy DIY knit laptop cover! It’s so super cute and I’m sure my computer loves snuggling up with a sweater just as much as I do!

First up, you’ll need:
– A much loved knit jumper
– Scissors (preferably good sharp fabric scissors!)
– Sewing machine
– Matching thread
– Pins + hand stitching needle
– Wooden toggles
– Waxed cotton or leather cord (more…)

5 ways craft will change your life

5 ways craft will change your life!

 5 ways craft will change your life

So, you might have noticed I’m something of a craft addict. But unfortunately ‘craft’ is one of those words that can get a bad wrap. It’s somehow become synonmymous with tea cosies, dodgy cross-stitch and Christmas jumpers. Well, I’m here to stand up for craft (and especially the tea cosies) because it has literally changed my life. Well, not so much changed my life as IS my life! I’ve been crafting for as long as I can remember and honestly don’t know if there was a time I didn’t have at least one project on the go. Maybe when I was a wee little kiddo? But past the age of 6 I was always working on something.

These days I pick up a piece of crochet, embroidery or paper craft whenever I’m bored, have time to kill, need to wind-down, am sitting in front of the telly, waiting for someone, enjoying some quiet time or in need of a destress. I almost always have a ball of yarn and crochet hook in my handbag and my life is seriously better for it! And here my top 5 reasons why!

Crafting = de-stressing

This is something I bang on about all the time but honestly, it’s true and here’s my theory as to why. Pretty much any kind of craft (be it knitting, embroidery or even just doodling in your notebook) occupies your hands while giving your mind the chance to wander. This can be great if you’ve got something you just need to think out. BUT here’s the clincher. Rather than letting you get into an anxiety-driven thought bubble, crafting takes up just enough of your attention that as soon as you start to focus more on what’s in your head than what’s in your hands, it all starts to fall apart. I can’t count the number of times I’ve started getting stuck in my head only to be pulled out when I start dropping knit stitches or mess up my crochet pattern.

(more…)

DIY-watercolour-washi-tape-title

DIY Watercolour Washi Tape!

DIY Watercolour Washi Tape on Paper & Pin!

If you’re a regular reader of this her blog, you might have noticed I have a slight obsession with washi (see some of my fave washi projects here, here and here). I kind of really love it. But then again, who doesn’t? It’s just such an easy way to jazz up literally anything and is so dang easy to buy! But recently, when I had a hankering for a few new rolls to add to my collection, I showed some restraint and decided to try my hand at making some instead! I’d already had a little experience with DIY washi tape as it was one of the projects I sent out in June’s Craft on Delivery and decided to take this to the next level with the addition of some gorgeous watercolour textures. And it actually turned out super well and was surprisingly easy! So let’s get to it!

First up, you’ll need:
– Watercolour paints + brushes
– Tissue paper (something a little thicker is better. I used handmade tissue paper which I picked up at the craft shop!)
– Double sided tape
– Twine
– Scissors (more…)

DIY-Pom-pom-coasters-title

DIY Pom Pom Coasters!

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I have a lot of pom poms. I mean a LOT. Bags and bags full. So I’m always thinking of ways to use them up… so I can buy more! Haha! These DIY pom pom coasters are the perfect insulation for a cup of tea and will bring that extra pop of colour to any tea party! So let’s get started!

Need more craft? There’s plenty more where this came from in the project gallery! 

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To begin, you’ll need:
– Pom poms
– Needle and thread
– Glue gun (optional) (more…)

june-head-heart_hands-crochet2

Head + Heart – June 2015

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Yikes, is it Friday already? What a week! It’s been a little bit manic here at Paper and Pin HQ and I can’t believe this is the first chance I’ve gotten to whack together a blog post! And because we’re enjoying the first few days of July, I thought I’d write a ‘Head and Heart’ post. Head and Heart was started by the wonderful Helen of Lime Tree Bower and is aimed at helping bloggers stop and reflect, something I definitely need right now! So, here goes Head + Heart for June!

What I’ve been grateful for –

Yowza, June was a really big month! So big, I’m having to flick back through my diary to remember all the things that happened! I had a couple of fabulous ‘firsts’, including my first event styling (the wonderful Knit Picnic for my sister Caitlin’s knitware label Raglan St Wears) and my first blogging award nomination (Voices of 2015!).  I’m also grateful for all the new friendships and connections I’ve made over the past month. I’m lucky enough to have joined up with some super cool gals for a regular debreif/accountability meeting. Every week (or so!) Agi of From the Table Top, Jo of Busy Babes and Betty Brooch, Caitlin and and I meet and swap our trials and tribulations over a coffee. It can be a struggle carving out the time but boy oh boy it’s worth it!

june-head-heart

What I’ve been thinking about –

Oh man, so much! That’s the thing about working for yourself and being a killer biz lady – there’s no one to tell you what to do! And it’s not like ‘craft blogger/maker/designer/stylist/workshop host/general DIY-er’ is an established progression. So I’m really just making it up as I go along and that can lead to a whooooole lot of second guessing and confusion. This month, I’ve been occupied by thoughts of how best to grow not only my blog but myself as a designer and maker. Should I focus on making a product base? Am a blogging to much? Or not enough? Do I need to ‘niche down’? Is my personal brand and style clear? + all the usual blog-envy and general ‘should I just throw it all in and get a ‘real’ job?’ feelings. Urgh, it’s tiring to say the least so I’m just trying to focus on following my gut and doing what feels right at the time.

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What I’m excited for –

Today I’m actually very excited because two of the projects I’ve been working on all year are finally up and running! The first is Craft on Delivery, which had it’s inaugural edition this month (C.O.D is a subscription box of craft fun delivered to your door, incase you don’t know!) and I’ve got to say, I did have the BEST time packing up all those lil’ crafty boxes! The next instalment for July is all about crochet (one of my most fave past times!) and is already set to be super cute. I even made an unboxing video! Check it out! :) (and head here to learn more about C.O.D!)

And I’m also over excited because my first Wool School workshop with Caitlin of Raglan St Wears is TOMORROW! I’m actually putting the finishing touches on my crochet kits as we speak and can’t wait to get my craft on! Don’t worry, I’ll share a TON of pics!

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What I’ve been doing –

Since taking up blogging full time, craft has definitely transitioned from a hobby to a job. And don’t get me wrong, I still love it but I can’t remember the last time I made something that wasn’t for a blog post. Which is why I’m so happy to be working on a crochet and knit blanket for Wrap with Love! Once finished, this blanket will be sent to cold climates and given to those in need. It’s so nice to be working on something that doesn’t have a deadline and doesn’t have to look ‘blog ready’. And I’ve been having fun experimenting with different stitches and techniques.

What I’ve been reading –

A dear friend gave me Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall for my birthday and I’ve been reading it ever since. I really am thankful because this broke what had been a pretty serious book drought. I just spend way too much time reading blogs these days!

Well, that’s June! Now here’s to July!