Back to School: Free Tech Wallpaper Downloads

We’re making back to school even more fun with free downloads of our exclusive Paper Source designs! We picked three of our favorite designs from our calendars for you to use as backgrounds on your phone and desktop. Enjoy this free perk – our way of making your tech a little more beautiful!

 

Watercolor Backgrounds (as seen in our Foil Watercolor Calendar)

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Desktop 2880 x 1800  |   Desktop 2560 x 1440   |   iPad Mini   |   iPad   |   iPhone 5   |   iPhone 6

 

Color Pop Backgrounds (as seen in our Color Pop Foil Easel Calendar)

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Desktop 2880 x 1800  |   Desktop 2560 x 1440   |   iPad Mini   |   iPad   |   iPhone 5   |   iPhone 6

 

Painted Brushstroke Backgrounds (as seen in our Brushstroke Hidden Spiral Foil Planner)

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Desktop 2880 x 1800  |   Desktop 2560 x 1440   |   iPad Mini   |   iPad   |   iPhone 5   |   iPhone 6

Which one is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below!

Guest Post: Gobs of Jobs

Rebecca is a mom to two young kiddos and, in her spare time (ha!), likes to pretend she’s a back-up dancer, craft cocktails and run long distances. A relatively recent SAHM, she blogs family-friendly activities, DIYs and celebration fun at Not-So-SAHM

 

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I love, love the relaxed nature of summer. Sure, we have some scheduled activities, but we also spend lots of time puttering about the house, splashing at the pool, and running free outdoors. Around this time of August however, that running free starts to feel like running wild. And we all start to crave a little organization. We’re not quite ready for school to start up again, but I am more than ready for the kids to start picking up their wet bathing suits off the floor and realizing that soon we’ll have a schedule again. And I was so happy to find The Land of Nod’s “Gobs of Jobs” to help my summer-loving kids make that transition!

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We like to make everything a festive occasion in our home, so in addition to putting together this fabulous chore chart for the kids, we decided to add a little incentive by using Paper Source’s Dot’s Paper Chain Kit to spell out some rewards. The kids LOVED this craft (which is very easy for kids to put together and would be great decoration for any occasion. It also happens to totally color coordinate with the Nod chart). They had a great time dreaming up rewards for which they’re willing to work, and using some super cool puffy gelly roll pens to write out their wishes (another good way to ease them back to academia — they’re at quite different writing levels and neither one particularly likes to practice). We’re still negotiating how many stars are needed to earn everything, but so far they’ve identified a Monopoly game, Avengers LEGOs, each a new haircut, two dollars, a mani/pedi, and jewelry as their initial goals. Cami also initially wanted to include “friendship,” but we decided that was a freebie.

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Once they’d identified goals, we worked together to pick out chores for a particular week. One of the things I love most about Nod’s “Gobs of Jobs” is that the chores range from simple and aspirational (Reach for the Stars!) to more advanced for older kids (Take out the Trash). My kids are in serious need of real chores, so that’s what we stuck to for the first week. Now I can’t say that they do everything every day, but the fact that the chart has worked to even get a few things done each day is awesome. Here’s to getting everyone in shape before school starts!

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What are you doing to get ready for school? Tell us in the comments below! And, as a special offer to our readers, use the code NODDY for 10% off anything at The Land of Nod(Offer ends August 24, 2015.)

 

 

Back to School with Paper Source

We are ready to go back to school with our updated, exclusive designs for notebooks, file folders, planners and calendars. Whether you are a student, teacher or parent, Paper Source is here to help you make the transition from pool bags to book bags!

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At the beginning of the year, it is hard to find motivation to go to class when the sun is shining. Our new kate spade new york “She is quick and curious and playful and strong” notebook is a great reminder to be the best you can be everyday. We paired the notebook with one of our Foil Confetti Pocket Folders to create a turquoise and gold color scheme that looks adorable on any desk. Add a pop of color and keep track of all your assignments in our Wild at Heart Planner designed by artist Katie Daisy. This 17- month planner is small enough to fit in a tote  and includes weekly and monthly views. It also has spreads of uplifting quotes to help manage the stress of essays and tests! One of our favorite brands for young adults is ban.do because of their vibrant floral prints and metallic lining. The ban.do Floral Pouch is the perfect accessory to fill up with pencils or makeup!

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It is just as important for teachers to stay organized as it is for students! From desk calendars to pencils, we have classroom essentials for all ages. Teachers are sure to love our new Succulents Gold Foil Hidden Spiral Planner. With exclusive artwork on the outside and weekly and monthly views on the inside, it’s functional and beautiful. It also has pockets, tab dividers and space to create lesson plans. The new Alice in Wonderland Calendar from Rifle Paper Co. will help teachers keep their class on track as well as add a vibrant dose of imagination. (kids of all ages will have so much fun following Alice on her adventure through the artwork). Take a mental break from teaching with our adult coloring books. Illustration books stretch from animals to city scenes, and provide a much needed escape from the everyday. They encourage creativity and are detailed enough to be framed as artwork at home! Younger students will have fun filling in the white spaces in the coloring books with Monster Mini Markers - guaranteed to cause a giggle.

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Teachers will be prepared to tackle the classroom with this Hangit Photo Memo Display that allows you to get creative with five clotheslines for displaying class photos, great projects, maps and more. Provide some inspiration to students by handing the foil-embellished Dream Big print. And finally, stay hydrated after all that teaching with this super cute kate spade new york Gold Glitter bottle that even your student will be envious of.

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Parents know that back to school time is super hectic – here are a few things to help things go smoothly. Our Chalkboard Wallies and Great Big Calendar are perfect to hang in the kitchen so everyone in the family knows everyone’s schedules, test dates and dinner plans. Since mom needs her own planner, you can jot down important notes, phone numbers and reminders throughout the day with this funny and chic “I Am Very Busy” datebook by ban.do (it includes fun illustrations to liven up your to-do lists)!  Sneak an Instant Happy Sticky Note into their Ziggy Packit Freezable lunch bag for a bright spot at lunchtime!

What are your back to school must-haves? Tell us in the comments below!

Easy Weekend Entertaining: Brunch Ideas

The time has come to acknowledge something we all know to be true – brunch blows every other meal out of the water. Not quite breakfast, not quite lunch, we love brunch because it is all about choice. In the mood for something sweet? Savory? Alcohol before noon? Brunch does not judge us! Here at Paper Source, we have everything you need to host a brunch right out of the comfort of your own home in three easy steps.

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Step 1: Set the Table. Colorful and chic, these table settings set the tone for an enchanting summer morning. Cut a table runner to fit your kitchen table, and add a hint of  sparkle with our confetti paper placemats.  A must-have are Vintage Milk Bottles – they make charming decorations and are great for holding snacks or your favorite summer flower. Add modern flair to your home by hanging our adorable trend party fans above your buffet or around your windows!

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Set 2: Create a Pretty Place Setting. Continue elegant and warm accents with our trendy gold confetti coasters from kate spade new york.  These shimmery coasters look so cute under our Govino Wine Cups, and both items are reusable! The best cure for a Saturday night out is a Sunday morning mimosa – Sparq Wine Pearls keep your cocktail cold without watering it down, and they are effortlessly classy. We know that preparing brunch is no piece of cake (reminder that cake is acceptable at brunch – another reason why we love it) so save yourself time cleaning up with our stylish gold foil paper plates.

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Step 3: Serve up great food and drinks. Once your alluring brunch scene is complete, fill your plates and glasses with recipes from our favorite summer cookbooks. Bring delicious drink  infusions to the table with help from Infuse: Oil Spirit Water. This book offers over 50 creative drink recipes – including Grapefruit tequila and Cold-Brew Coffee! Get inspiration from The Forest Feast – which provides beautiful watercolor artwork along with yummy recipes for healthy eating, allowing you to indulge in food that is good for your body! (And have more room for that cake, of course.)

Take this yummy treat, which is sure to be your new favorite brunch recipe:

Watermelon Salad, from The Forest Feast

  1. Remove the watermelon rind and cut into 1″ slabs
  2. Top each with 3-5 slices of fresh mozzarella
  3. Add 1 tablespoon each of chopped: mint, basil, almonds and walnuts

What are some of your favorite brunch must-haves? Tell us in the comments below!

Our Designers’ Favorite Wedding Invitations

It’s wedding season and we’re getting inspired by our original Wedding Invitations designs. Even if the wedding bells aren’t in your future, you can still swoon over these amazing invites. Paper Source offers over 90 exclusive wedding suites, all designed in-house by our team in Chicago. Our designers create a variety of invitations for every taste (from classic to contemporary), all while incorporating their own unique style. To get a better sense of their inspiration (as well as insight into our tastemakers’ design range), we asked four of our designers to pick a favorite that they’ve designed, and their picks are below.

Maria Filar says,

My favorite is the Vintage Floral suiteI love the vintage feel, but at the same time it’s crisp and modern. Vintage floral, engraved-style illustration is always going to be my favorite, and it will never feel dated or trendy. The inspiration behind this suite is old letterpress and engraved illustrations of botanicals.

This look can be styled in a variety of ways – pair with all white and hits of black for a simple, clean and elegant look. Or pair it with Luxe Blush for a soft, romantic feel. Or it could be paired with more casual components like Paper Bag.

Vintage Floral-Suite copy

 

Erin Burke says,

My favorite suite is the Bouquet suite. I think this invitation suite is one of the most energetic and graphic suites in our current line. The inspiration behind this suite was vintage floral illustrations from encyclopedias and garden manuals.

It is unique enough to stand out, but general enough to complement any garden wedding – and the typography makes it modern and sophisticated. It also pairs well with bright, fun colors.

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Karen Davis says,

My favorite is the Foil Stamped Laurel Branches. First, I love the play of the clean, modern font used for the bride and groom’s name, paired with the ancient and elegant laurel wreath.

Although this suite was inspired by some traditional elements, I love that they all suddenly feel updated with a small twist of a modern font and fresh color.

I really enjoy the color pairing as shown – rose gold foil with white paper and a blush envelope. This suite would also be beautiful in white and gold, or cream and rose gold.

Foil Laurel Branches Suite copy

 

Vane Palacio says,

I think the Foil Stamped Confetti Wedding Invitation  is elegant and classic, but modern at the same time, and could work for a variety of wedding styles. I like the gold foil confetti dots because they are subtle and give the invitation a special touch, and it comes in other foil color options!

I also like how the names are big, it’s the first thing I notice when I see the invitation.

I love the way the suite is shown, with the mint envelope and accents, but it could also be paired with any other color.

Foil Confetti Suite copy

 

Which of our original wedding invitation suites are your favorite? Tell us in the comments below, and check out our Pinterest board for more invitation inspiration.

A Mermaid Party

Mermaids are a huge summer trend and make a great party theme. We’re obsessed with this Mermaid Party created by Natalie Thomas over at Nat’s Next Adventure. Natalie was throwing a Sprinkle (a baby shower for a woman who already has a child), but many of these ideas (like the paper dolls) would translate well for a kid’s birthday party, too!

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On the inspiration behind the mermaid theme, Natalie says:

The party was for my dear friend Brooke, who is expecting her second child. I planned it with my two friends Amanda and Jessica, and it took place in the Hamptons, where the four of us are sharing a summer rental with our families. 

Since she’s having a little lady and already has a boy, we wanted to go with something girly. After looking at Paper Source’s products, we chose a mermaid theme because of all the cute things we could use, as well as it being summer and our close proximity to the sea out here.

To set the stage, Natalie used a mix of products for layered effect that created an enchanting look. Using a paper table runner (you can also use wrapping paper) gives the party a more polished look. Natalie created a “custom” tissue paper garland by using the Colorful Tissue Garland as her base and adding in the gold tassels from the Black & Gold Garland. We love the way she used Paper Source products as a jumping off point, but continued to craft and ended up with a truly personal fête.

The cake was accented with Vintage Party Number Picks that held meaning for the couple (but could also be used for age in place of traditional candles). Behind the cake (and throughout the tablescape, Trend Party Fans added metallic pops of chic color).

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Metallic Paper Fans were placed around the party and doubled as decor and cooling!

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For the adults, popsicles were served in Prosecco atop a tray lined with Gold Foil Dots Wrapping Paper.

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Gold Dot Napkins, Kate Spade New York Gold Confetti Coasters, Trend Confetti and Gold Confetti were displayed along with colorful accessories to create a dreamy setting.

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Natalie set up a kids-only corner called “Guppies Grotto” where tiny tots could get messy while they stamped, and left out a variety of rubber stamps and ink pads for the kids to go to town.

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She also had the kids make their own mermaids. Using our Paper Doll Kit as the base, Natalie made her own mermaid tail template and pre-cut shapes out of the fine paper included in the kit for the kids to choose from.

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Natalie says, “The paper doll kit is so sweet. My daughter loves playing with it and dressing her “girls”- the options are endless and the paper selection is of great quality. I’m absolutely framing a few. ”

The final touch was spray painting the Craft Letters with gold and using them as a party backdrop. If you aren’t going with a DIY Photo Booth, this is another quick way to make a picture-perfect background (people will always know where the picture was taken).

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Natalie also used the Mermaid Art Print and plans to print the name and birthdate of the baby on it once she arrives to gift the parents as nursery decor (and a sweet reminder of this memorable sprinkle).

Natalie says, “We love the way it turned out! There were so many fun things to do with the theme, the color palette was pretty and we all had such a good time.”

 

What do you think? Does this mermaid shower inspire you? Don’t forget to submit your party or craft pictures to press@papersource.com when you use Paper Source products, and we might feature you on the blog!

 

Natalie Thomas is the Founder and Creative Director of Nat’s Next Adventure, an obsessive party planner and mom to Lilly.

Create a D.I.Y. Photo Booth

Photo booths are one of the most popular party trends – and for good reason, too! They’re interactive, fun and make for great keepsakes. We’ve come up with two great D.I.Y. options for popular summer events.

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To start, you’ll need roll wrap (we used solid wrapping paper, but patterns would be fun, too!) to use as the background. To create our sets, we pinned the paper to a cork board we had in the office, but you can also attach the paper to a ceiling or wall with heavy duty tape.

The first set we created was all about weddings! We love the dark and luxe feel of this gold and black combination, and all it took were fun decor and tape! We used the Gold Glitter Alphabet Letters to spell out Mr & Mrs at the top. Gold Tissue Rosettes were attached to give the look dimension. Then Tissue Paper Tassel and Glitter Mini Banner Garlands were mixed together for a full, finished look.

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Don’t forget the props! Assemble the Photo Props Kit and leave it, plus Reusable Confetti Poppers, on a table or in a box next to the background for people to take silly photos (other popular items could include silly hats, feather boas, and more).

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Another tip: If you can’t afford for a photographer, make the photo booth a Selfie Station! Leave a few Selfie Sticks so people can hook their phones up and snap photos themselves. Ask them to send the photos to you (or use an event hashtag to see them all on social media) so you can create a photo album.

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Seriously, don’t forget the Reusable Confetti Poppers – not only are they fun to use, but they make really great photos.

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Our next set is a background that could be used for everyday parties like birthdays, baby showers, cookouts and more. The great thing about making your own photo booth is you can easily set the mood. Unlike the formal look of the first booth, we made this one fresh and fun.

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To create this look we used Tissue Paper Pom Poms, a Colorful Tissue Paper Tassel Garland and Trend Party Confetti (we taped the confetti to twine). We also used the Painted Celebrate Banner (You Rock is printed on the back) as an interactive prop.

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Which one is your favorite? How will you incorporate a photo booth at your next event? Tell us in the comments!

 

 

Picture Perfect: Make the Most of Photo Albums

We love taking traditional photo albums and giving them a modern update. There are so many great ways to use and gift photo albums, and with the new Kinsho line, there are formats for any use (from pocket-sized, to traditional albums, to photo journals/scrapbooks). With luxe details like cloth-bound covers, nature-inspired colors, acid-free and archival paper, interior pockets and elastic enclosures, the new albums are practical enough for everyday use with a superior quality that makes a thoughtful gift. Here are some of our favorite ideas for using and gifting these classic products.

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Store wedding memories. Photo albums are a classic way to store wedding and engagement pictures, but here are three different ways to use albums in your wedding plans (the Kinsho Ivory Photo Album has room for 200 photos and plenty of writing space).

  • Photobooth displays. Photobooths are a current wedding trend, and so is displaying the photobooth pics. But don’t forget to gather those up at the end of the night! Store them in a photo album so you’ll have them close by.

    Photo from Weddingomania

    Photo from Weddingomania

  • Candid moments. If you’re not doing a photobooth, give every table a disposable or Polaroid camera and collect the prints at the end for a look at the reception you might not have seen!
  • A custom guest book. Request that your guests bring a photo of them with the happy couple and place it in the album along with well wishes.

 

A thoughtful graduation gift. Send off your new graduate by asking friends and family to bring their favorite pic with the new grad. Have each guest store their photo and write a favorite memory or tip for “the real world” for a gift they can keep forever (this Kinsho Pocket Photo Album is small and portable for wherever life might take the new grad).

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Photo from Kinsho

 

Create a memorable baby shower. Have your close friends bring baby photos of themselves and collect them in an album. Ask them to write a sweet message, fond memory, or tips on parenting, on the side. Keep it as a baby keepsake for years to come in the Kinsho Photo Journal – which features scrapbook sheets with room to write on the side.

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Whichever way you’re using your album, unique pens, stickers, washi tape and stamps can make a difference (they’re not just for scrapbooking – you can customize your photo albums however you like).

With smartphones and screens becoming the popular way to store photos, we love the idea of printing out memories and having a tangible album holding some of life’s biggest moments. What are your favorite ways to use photo albums?

Bachelorette Party Invite

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A bachelorette party is a monumental event worthy of some great invitations. Meg K., a designer at Paper Source, planned her friend’s bachelorette party in Nashville. Using Paper Source products (and a whole lot of creativity), Meg fashioned the perfect invitation for an action-packed weekend.

Meg used our Envelope Liner Kit and coordinating Mint & Gold Fine Paper for a pop of color. This was a great way to finish the design with a professional look without breaking the bank.

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The itinerary was cleverly stored in Baby Envelopes which were taped on the invite. Using text weight paper, Meg listed the weekend’s events by the hour on the receipt-size sheet (perfect for storing in your wallet while out).

 

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These invites capture a fun, exciting bachelorette party to come. Congratulations to Brianna and we wish her a fabulous party!