Join Us in the Write_On Campaign

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion, or just sending an everyday greeting, there’s still nothing better than getting a real piece of snail mail. That’s why we’re so excited to partner with the Write_On Campaign to promote the joy, creativity and expression that comes with hand-written correspondence.

What is it? As part of the Write_On campaign, Paper Source, along with Egg Press, Hello!Lucky and Sakura Gelly Roll Pens, is on a mission to truly celebrate National Letter Writing Month (April). We urge you to write a letter to someone daily, with the hopes of continuing the act of writing throughout the year.

How can you take the Write_On challenge? Start writing! Try to write a letter every day for the rest of April, and continue sending friends hand-written greetings throughout the year. You’ll be amazed at what a difference the personal gesture can make!

Get inspired. If you’re looking for more reasons to write, look no further! Drop a simple note to a friend, write your favorite business or give thanks to a former teacher. And search the #write_on hashtag to see what others are creating.

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Get the Goods. Paper Source is offering two Write_On kits (one from Egg Press and one from Hello!Lucky) for a limited time in celebration of the campaign. Each set comes with 16 cards and envelopes, as well as a Gelly Roll pen.

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So who’s your first letter going to?

Hello World! (A Paper Source Baby Shower)

It’s probably no surprise that we love celebrating here at Paper Source. When a fellow co-worker is having a big life moment, we see that as a great opportunity to create an event that perfectly matches their character with crafted and personal touches. We recently threw a baby shower for a member of our web team, Kristen, who has been with Paper Source for years. Kristen was expecting a baby boy, but also appreciates a subtle and sophisticated aesthetic. Because of that, this shower theme could easily be used for a boy/girl/gender neutral shower by simply using a different accent color. Here’s a look at some of our favorite touches.

We decided to hold a baby shower luncheon in one of our meeting rooms in the office. In order to make sure it felt intimate and inviting, we got rid of phones and cords, and added a Paper Bag table runner and D.I.Y. floral arrangements for a sweeping tablescape.

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We accented with small bud vases, gumballs, candy sticks and Mercury Glass Candles. We made sure to keep the accents within our neutral palette of kraft, white, and silver. Kristen’s mom added a personal touch by bringing vintage handkerchiefs (leftover from Kristen’s wedding) and labeling them with dates around Kristen’s due date. Each guest took one home as their due date guess.

For each place setting, we used Chalkboard Bracket Cards and calligraphy for a special touch. Each person also had a Hello, World! card on their plate, which carried the theme through and had a game on the opposite side to match popular baby names with their respective countries. (We made the game ourselves with a little research and self-printing on Square Cards).

place setting

The treat table was adorned with a D.I.Y. Tissue Paper Tassel garland (instructions here) that incorporated Silver and Pool tissue paper and Cotton Twine. Special touches were added with a custom chalk sign on a Chalkboard Wallie, a custom Hello, World cake topper made with the Cameo machine and treats catered for Kristen, including mom-to-be’s favorite gourmet marshmallows (which, coincidentally, fit perfectly with our color scheme).

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To serve milk, we used Vintage Milk Bottles and Gray & White Striped Paper Straws with mini powdered donuts on top for a cute little touch and a perfect accompaniment to cake.

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On the other side of the room we filled a table with gifts for baby’s travels both near and far (including the Book of Maps). Before the shower, we compiled our favorite places in the world (along with pictures) as a keepsake for mom and baby.

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Everyone had so much fun, and the shower was made even more special by personal touches and a unique theme. Want more inspiration? Check out some of our past Paper Source baby showers from an ABC Theme, Something Sweet and Out of This World.

Paper Source Tips: A Unique Save the Date

As the first chance to show off your wedding style, Save the Dates are an important part of wedding planning. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to make your mark as a newly engaged couple.

Picture Perfect

Although Save the Dates are available without photos, we love the idea of giving your guests a sneak peek of the happy couple. No matter what style you choose for your Save the Date, the focus is on you and your partner, and a good shot will make your announcement stand out.

Our in-house Photographer, John R., has a few recommendations when striking a pose:

  • A lot of wedding photographers feature photo packages that include engagement shots. This is a great time to get some more casual and candid, but professional pictures, while also getting to know your photographer before the wedding day.
  • Dress for the occasion! Remember, these are probably photos that you will be seeing for a while (and, of course, on your Save the Dates)! Even if you choose a casual look, make sure it’s put together and timeless, so you won’t mind looking at your photos for years to come. It also doesn’t hurt to coordinate your outfits beforehand – so you’re not matching, but not clashing, either.
  • Shots often look more natural, and are more personal, when a couple visits places that are important or familiar to them. Go to a favorite date spot, or strike a pose on your front porch – if you feel comfortable, your photos will show that.
  • If you’re going to shoot your own photos with a friend, make sure you’re not staring into the sun, and try and pose in front of more solid backgrounds to ensure you pop. Late afternoon, or the “Golden Hour,” with softer shadows and warmer light, is a great time for taking pictures. Select then highest quality file setting on your camera, too.

And if you’re looking for tips on how to pose, check out these 101 Tips from The Dating Divas.

Of course the picture is the most important part – so if you find a shot you love, chances are you’ll be able to find a style to match it. However, if you have your heart set on a certain look in your Save the Dates (for instance, the ones below both feature large images with a text overlay) make sure you plan accordingly. For the styles shown, you’ll need to ask your photographer to take a shot that leaves blank space where you want the text to be (and usually darker backgrounds work best). It also never hurts to take examples with you, so you and your photographer are on the same page.

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Brush Script and Script Top Photo Save the Dates

 

Setting Your Style

If you’re planning on personalizing a Wedding Invitation Suite, there’s a good chance you’ll find a corresponding Save the Date. This is the perfect time to give your guests a hint of what to expect on your big day.

Karen D., our Design Director, says, “It’s nice to carry a theme, color, or style through your wedding, and Save the Dates are the start of that.” The Chalk Border Save the Date and Invitation, shown below, coordinate nicely without mirroring each other, and create a cohesive experience.

And don’t be fooled – there’s still plenty of customization that can happen with your Save the Dates. Karen says, “Many people don’t realize that on many of our Save the Dates you can change text and color, and even take out lines. You can completely match it to your own style.”

Take, for example, how the small tweaks below change the look of our Swirl Marquee Save the Date.

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D.I.Y. Your Save the Date

And finally, the craftier couple can turn to D.I.Y. for a one-of-a-kind look. Pinterest is a great resource for “Save the Date” ideas, but don’t forget that etiquette recommends you include the date and location, as well as a note that a formal invitation will follow. We love the idea of printing 4″ x 6″ photos and uniquely mounting them on A7 size cards (we have 40 exclusive colors and bulk discounts are available). You can embellish with stamps, stickersribbon and more.

Paper Source even offers Wedding Workshops, for more inspiration, ideas and tips on execution. Our next one (on D.I.Y. Wedding Invitations) is coming up in April!.

Now through April 5, 2015, Wedding Suites and Save the Dates are 15% OFF with code WED15!

Creative Card Making: Sunny Greetings

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Are you looking for some creative playtime to brighten your day?  Join us for our card making workshop next Thursday, March 26th.  We will make a set of cheery cards and teach you how to stamp, emboss, make paper bows, line envelopes and more!

The cards for this class were inspired by some of our favorite products for spring.  We were especially drawn to pineapples, words of encouragement, sunny sentiments, bows and bright colors.

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Here are couple of highlights from the class.  Check out this pop-out-banner card in this video demo:

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Take a closer look at this tag: we will teach you a neat trick to give your paper a resin-like shine before turning it into a bow:

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These sunny cards are perfect to tuck away for a rainy day.  We hope you join us!  Check with your local store for seat availability or sign up online.

 

Fresh Ideas: Easter Egg Decorating

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Ready to decorate some Easter eggs? If you’re looking for unique ways to style your shells this Easter, here are some options we’re in love with.

Easter Egg Gold Letters

Monogram it! We love the idea of personalizing eggs, either as a way to sign your creation, or as a special way to Easter egg hunt (like the first person to find letters that create a word, wins). Here are two ways to get the look.

1. After dying, place a Gold Glitter Alphabet Sticker on for a quick and easy finish! (pictured above)
2. If you want to step up your alphabet game, try placing an Alphabet Sticker on before dying your egg. When the dye is dry, remove the sticker and use a White Uniball pen to create a design. (pictured below)

Easter Egg Letters

 

Create dimension. After dying your eggs, use Stickles glitter glue to create a raised and shimmering design. Or, doodle on the surface with White Uniball and puffy pastel Souffle Pens and add the Stickles for a sparkly finishing touch!

Easter Egg Stickles

 

Decoupage. Use up extra scraps of paper you have lying around by cutting out shapes (we used White Ducks fine paper) and securing the design with Mod Podge (don’t forget the brush!).

Easter Egg Swan

 

Washi time! And lastly, one of our favorite (and one of the easiest!) ways to decorate eggs is by simply applying washi tape in a unique design. We used Twist CordPatch Tsugihagi, Gold Dot and Metallic washi tapes.

Easter Egg Washi

 

Also shown above: an adorable bunny design sketched with Sharpie markers and a design made with cut pieces of gold tape. You can find the Lime Green Paper Grass here.

Weekend Wants: Easter Basket

Easter is coming, and with it one of the most favored traditions: the Easter basket. Here’s a special Weekend Wants with some of our top toys and treats to help make your custom basket the best ever.

A better basket. Everyone will adore this Felt Bunny Basket instead of the traditional wicker basket or bucket. Once your little one takes out the treats, they have a handy basket to use for their Easter egg hunt.

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The grass is greener. And here’s a necessary basket builder: Paper Grass. Not only does it make your basket a little prettier, it makes it seem fuller, as well!

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A little surprise. These Surprise Bunnies are not just cute, but super fun, too! Pull back the tissue paper exterior to reveal jokes, temporary tattoos and other fun surprises.

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A spec-tacular bunny. Bring on the laughs with these cute Funny Bunny Glasses. These are the perfect gift to start a fun game of dress-up, or to take a funny family photo.

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Cute critters. These bright and squishy Light Up Chicks are always a fun toy to add to the basket. When squeezed or shaken, these little guys light up – super fun for kids!

Light Up Chicks

 

 

Sweet treats. Don’t forget the candy! No basket is complete without sweet treats like these super cute pastel Good Eggs (exclusive to Paper Source) or Easter Dots!

 

Sunny stickers. And if you’re looking for a fun and unexpected basket filler, try these Easter Stickers. So cute and perfect for Easter crafts!

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For even more ideas, check out all of our Easter goodies!

 

Paper Source How-To: Easter Card

Easter card

Send a hand-crafted Easter greeting to some-bunny special!

MATERIALS

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Download How-To PDF
  • Stamp and emboss Happy Easter message in the center of the folded card.
  • Using the mini flower punch set, begin punching Mint and Clover shapes.
  • Mix mini flower shapes and colors, arranging them into a wreath shape around stamped message.
  • Adhere shapes in place using small glue dots.
  • Punch several flower shapes from Sunshine and Coral paper.
  • Layer shapes and, if desired, use 1/4″ hole punch to embellish centers using gold glitter paper.
  • Adhere flowers in place as desired on wreath.
  • Create a small bow using Coral ribbon and adhere in place to bottom center of wreath.

Weekend Wants: Bicycles

We are in love with our new and exclusive (designed by our team in Chicago!) print: bicycles! This print is a little neon, a lot of fun, and definitely a great unisex gift.

Drink up. These Ride On glass tumblers are perfect for a home bar. They’re 3.5″ tall and hold 8 oz. A classic shape and size that anyone will love. Plus, they’re dishwasher safe and under $20!

bike tumblers

 

The perfect gift. Our new print is also available in a set of two Ride On Tea Towels. This dark fabric is decorated with bright bikes, and is perfect for the active host or hostess. It’s also available in an apron, oven mitt set and tote bag!

 

Write it down. This set of three Mini Bicycle Journals is the perfect little everyday gift! Whether they’re for a cycling enthusiast or a note fiend, anyone will appreciate the gesture.

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Check out all of our new bicycle gifts here!

Snow Day Fun With Kids

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We all remember impatiently waiting for the news that we didn’t have to go to school because there was a snow day. It meant a day of relaxation and fun including playing inside drinking hot cocoa to making snowmen in the fresh fallen snow.

Now if you have children of your own you know it may not be so easy to keep them entertained while you carry on with your day to day business. (Moms never seem to get snow days.) So, we compiled some fun indoor games and crafts to keep them happy and you happy. You may even want to join them!

Lights. Camera. Action. Give your little one the chance to produce and direct their very own movie at home. The Clay Animation Movie Kit allows your child to morph his or her own characters out of clay and let a story unfold against a choice of backdrops.

Now these characters need voices of course! Your kid can use the World’s Smallest Voice Changer to change his or her voice into four distinct voices. That way each character will truly come to life.

Lastly, you have to film your motion picture! Use any smartphone to film the movie and then watch it on this Smart Phone Projector. Its just like an old-fashioned projector and it only uses cardboard and a glass lens, which makes it incredibly easy to set up. Grab some popcorn and watch your child’s film come to life. Bravo!

 

Paper party. Watch your child create cute and creative paper dogs from this Doggy Kit. Make one that looks like your hound at home or even make a garland to hang across the wall. All you need is the kit, scissors ,glue stick, pencil, and a black pen.

Another source of fun can be found with the Photo Props Kit. You and your kids can make up to 22 props that will lead to hours of creativity and crafts. Once you are done you can stage a photo shoot to show off all of your new creations!

 

Mmm… donuts. As your children wrap up their day of delightful fun, give them a warm hot cocoa in a deliciously cute donut mug. One of our favorite winter treats is Smores Hot Chocolate found at minimalistbaker.com.

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Smores Hot Cocoa Courtesy of minimalistbaker.com