Paper Source How-To: Bike Decor

You may have noticed, but we’re kind of digging bikes lately. They look great on aprons, journals, glassware and more. Here are some ideas on how to turn this athletic theme into decor perfect for any space. The great thing? These statement pieces are super easy!

Ride On decor

A Custom Mat
Take your custom artwork to the next level! We simply placed our Bike Art Print on top of Peacock Cover Weight Paper (sized larger than the print) in frame.

 

Colorful Bikes
Brighten up any space with these special spokes. To copy the look, craft the bikes from the Bicycle Garland Kit and adhere them to Black & White Herringbone fine paper.

 

Ride On!
If you’re looking for something a little more advanced, try this statement piece. Download the Silhouette file (note: you need to have a CAMEO machine for this one!) and produce the letters (we used Peacock and Chartreuse Cover Weight Paper). Adhere with Foam Squares on top of Black & White Striped Wrapping Paper.

 

Which one’s your favorite?

We Love our Paper Source Moms!

Paper Source would like to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all moms! To celebrate, we’re spotlighting four mamas from our Paper Source family. Read on for their lessons as working moms, and what Paper Source item they wish their kiddos would gift them!

PS-Employee-Moms

 

Being a mom is hard! What are some of the advantages of being a working mom at Paper Source?

“There’s always lots of great ideas for quick kids crafts and class projects, plus great teacher’s gift ideas!”
–Heather H., General Manager of Paper Source Direct-to-Consumer

“When Tommy was born I was able to work one day a week from home. It’s also been nice to have an open, easygoing office with whom to share my stories about him; and people either fake that they are entertained or actually do enjoy my mom stories. People ask about him on a daily basis, which is nice.” [Editor's Note: We really do love hearing about Tommy!]
–Gretchen O., Assistant Buyer

“Having leaders who understand and appreciate the importance of work-life balance is a wonderful thing.”
–Tara K., Regional Recruiter

“I was fortunately able to adjust my role within the Recruitment Department to support the balance needed with being a new mama; including part time hours, work from home as needed and no travel. Additionally, Paper Source built out a mother’s room for nursing.”
–Leah L., Recruitment Coordinator

 

What have your learned, as a working mom, that has surprised you?

“I’ve learned that having a balance between work and home makes me focus our time at home on creating great memories with my girls!”
–Heather H., General Manager of Paper Source Direct-to-Consumer

“I’ve learned that the structure and company that work provides is good balance to the craziness and unpredictability of home life.”
–Gretchen O., Assistant Buyer

“I’ve learned that having true passion for what you do daily so important –  your happiness is their happiness!”
–Tara K., Regional Recruiter

“How important and sacred my work as a mother is, as well as how important my work outside being a mother is. The two practices support one another in making myself whole.”
–Leah L., Recruitment Coordinator

 

What items would you want from Paper Source for Mother’s Day if your little one(s) could shop?

“New desk accessories for my office, Custom Note Pads or the Mom’s One Line a Day Journal with a handmade card!”
–Heather H., General Manager of Paper Source Direct-to-Consumer

“I would love the Rifle Paper Co. Chicago Art Print.”
–Gretchen O., Assistant Buyer

“Anybody who knows me will tell you I love everything at Paper Source! But I would love some new stationery.”
–Tara K., Regional Recruiter

Greeting cards and handmade craft! Both from the great assortment we bring in and the D.I.Y. offering we have.” 
–Leah L., Recruitment Coordinator

 

Easy Mother’s Day (Paper) Upgrades

Breakfast in bed and a bouquet of pretty flowers are a Mother’s Day favorite for a reason. Kids and adults alike can participate; plus it’s a simple and cost effective way to show mom how much she means.

If you’re treating mom with these classics this year, add more detail with these fine paper finishing touches. (Hint: Pick a paper with mom’s favorite colors!)

Line her breakfast tray. Measure the surface of the tray and cut a piece of paper to size. Simply place it in the bottom for a look that screams posh & pampered.

breakfast tray

Also pictured and available in most stores: Vintage Milk Bottle with paper tape, Best Mom Ever Mug, Home is Where Your Mom Is Tea Towel and Poppies Flower Kit.

 

Wrap it up. Cover up the dingy store plastic and make your buds really shine.

boquet examples

For this look, you can use fine paper or wrapping paper. Use a wrap with a pattern mom will love, or dress up a solid with stamps or writing (especially cute from the kids). Watch our video below to see the step-by-step wrapping process. And when you’ve got the paper all set, finish with twine, a piece of washi tape or a hand-drawn tag.

Flower-Gif

We love these quick little touches that elevate the finished gift. Which will you try out?

[Pictured: Silver Dots on Slate Fine Paper with Cotton Wrapping Twine; Paper Bag Solid Wrapping Paper with Large Rose Rubber Stamp and Patch Tsugihagi Washi Tape; Sketch Flower Wrapping Paper with Black & White Baker's Twine, Scallop Punch and Paper; Paper Bag Solid Wrapping Paper with writing in White Chalk Ink Marker and Cotton Wrapping Twine.] 

 

From a Recruiter: Welcome to Paper Source

Our new “From a Recruiter” series will give an inside look at what it’s like to interview and work for Paper Source. Written by Cara Pacholski, our Field Recruitment Manager, you’ll get a sneak peek at stories, tips and tricks from our store recruitment team. 

recruitment thank you wall

 

“Welcome to Paper Source!”

These are the words our team loves to communicate to someone who is new to the company. As we begin our journey into the behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to work for Paper Source, I wanted to share what our recruitment team is so passionate about. If you ask any of our PS recruiters (Stacy and Tara)  what they do, they will most likely tell you that they strive to bring in great talent. They help people fall back in love with their careers. They find leaders that can inspire both their teams and customers to be creative; helping them with special moments in their lives such as a wedding, baby shower, 50th wedding anniversary or more.

What we don’t get to do very often though is share the impact of our work after the right person is hired. Everybody is busy, but my office wall is filled with cards from former candidates thanking me for introducing them to Paper Source. These are special to me. Recently, one of those “wall of thanks” notes came via an email from a current Store Manager to one of the recruiters on my team, Stacy Smith. This made her day and I want to share.

This is what we love to do…

Hi Stacy!

I just wanted to reach out to you today to thank you. Exactly one year ago, today, you reached out to me about exploring opportunities at Paper Source. I can still remember that first call with you only a couple of days later and how that started me on my new career path with this great company. It truly changed my life for the better. I can’t thank you enough for being so instrumental in helping me get back to my core values as a Store Manager.

You’re the best!

We look forward to beginning to share some behind-the-scenes blogs; and remember to always check our website, where we continue to post current open positions both in the stores and in our HQ offices here in Chicago.

Enjoy your week and Do Something Creative Every  Day!

Supporting Our Partners in Nepal

As a company founded on the art of handcrafted paper, we were saddened by the tragic earthquake that devastated Nepal. Our Lokta fine papers are handcrafted in Nepal, and are the soul of our organization; we consider the skilled creators part of our Paper Source family. In an effort to support the difficult rebuilding process our Nepali friends are facing, Paper Source is donating 20% of Lokta paper purchase proceeds to support earthquake relief. We hope this effort will assist our Nepali partners in both rebuilding and promoting the Nepal commerce industry.

For a better understanding of the delicate and involved process of creating a beautiful fine paper, here’s a sneak peek into the life of our Lokta paper – before it gets to stores.

 

The very first step starts with the Lokta plant! Here you can see the bark, ready for the process to start.

lokta1

 

 

The bark is cleaned thoroughly and then laid out to dry.

lokta2

 

 

The cleaned bark is then reduced to a pulp.

lokta3

 

The pulp is then poured into wooden frames, the same size as a standard sheet of fine paper (20″ x 30″).

lokta4

 

The poured pulp is then set to dry in the sun.

lokta5

 

After drying, the paper is colored an enchanting hue.

lokta6

 

Papers are then silk screened, ensuring patterns are consistent.

lokta7

 

After the design is on, papers are again hung to dry in the sun.

lokta8

 

So much work goes into each sheet of beautiful fine paper. We hope this effort can help rebuild some of the devastation and drive commerce to Nepal and its skilled artisans.

Paper Source How-To: Customized Candles

Candles group

Mother’s Day is a great time to give a personalized and thoughtful gift. We love this candle customization; it’s easy to do for kids and adults, and is the perfect present for the mom who loves to take a bath (consider gifting with bath oils and a good book), or for cute mantel decor.

 

MATERIALS NEEDED

  • Sharpies
  • Scissors
  • Embossing Heat Tool
  • Wax Paper
  • Shape Punch
  • Tissue Paper

 

INSTRUCTIONS (for a candle with writing, as seen in middle)

  • Use sharpies to draw a design or message on wax paper.
  • Cut out your design, cropping it as closely as possible.
    wax paper
  • Place the wax paper design on the candle and wrap a bigger piece of wax paper all the way around the candle to hold it in place.
  • Heat set the wax paper design with a heat tool for about 30 – 40 seconds, using sweeping motions.
  • Remove the outer layer of wax paper.

 

INSTRUCTIONS (for a candle with tissue paper, as seen on right)

  • Punch shapes out of tissue paper with a paper punch (we used the Mini Flower Paper Punch).
  • Place your flowers on the surface of the candle one section at a time.
    candle flowers
  • Wrap a piece of wax paper around the candle to hold the flowers in place.
    candlewflowers
  • Heat set the flowers with a heat tool for a about 30 -40 seconds, using sweeping motions.
  • Remove the wax paper and repeat steps 2 – 4 until the whole candle is covered.

 

TIPS

  • Use a wide pillar candle, it will be easier to handle and provides a larger “canvas” for your work!
  • If you can’t decide which technique to use, try them both! Tissue paper would look great with writing on top.
  • If you’re looking for a fun way to wrap your candle, cover it in the middle with fine paper, twine and a gift tag (as shown on left).

Paper Source How-To: A Photo Card for Mom

 

mday photo card

We have some unique cards for Mother’s Day, but if you’re looking for a D.I.Y. that’s uniquely personal, here’s a quick and easy photo card tutorial.

MATERIALS

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Start with a photo of you and mom that will fit on the front of a card.
  • Measure your photo size, then allow for a border on each side. With your new measurement, cut a solid paper background. (For instance, a 2″ x 3″ photo with a 1/2″ border on each side would need a 3″ x 4″ background.) Paste the photo on the paper with a glue stick.
  • Cut a piece of fine paper or wrapping paper to size for your chosen card, leaving an approximate 1/4″ – 1/2″ border on the front of the card. Paste into place with a glue stick.
  • Adhere the photo and solid paper in the center of the card that is now covered with fine paper.
  • Punch out the front card using the Real Estate Paper Punch.
  • Stamp onto the punched out card and emboss with the embossing heat tool.
  • Adhere punched card to front of greeting card using foam squares.

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.

writeon greenblue

 

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.

writeon blackorange

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.

2015-02-19-14.36.48

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.

treats

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.

gifts

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.