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2511 East 6th St, Bldg 4 Unit A
Austin, TX 78702

Austin's favorite stationery shop and workshop studio.

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The Paper + Craft Pantry blog is home to our latest DIY projects, current inspiration sources, and small business advice. 

Filtering by Category: How-To

How-To: D.I.Y. Painted Planters

Pei Sim


Paper Craft Pantry 2018 Summer Craft Party

Every year, we host a community craft event called the Summer Craft Party! We open up our studio for the day so everyone in our community can come by and enjoy a complimentary D.I.Y. craft project. 

Our first year, we hosted over 50 guests creating painted canvas pouches, and last year we had a really fun plant shelfie project

In keeping with the plant theme (because you know we love our plants :) we kept it fun + simple with painted mini planters! We had SO much fun getting to meet new guests in our shop as well as get to see so many familiar faces. We also decided to host a little plant adoption event like we did over Earth Day where a portion of all our plant "adoption" fees went towards a local non-profit chapter in town. 

Word on the street is that a lot of y'all were a little bummed to miss out on our Summer Craft Party this year so we whipped up some simple instructions so you can host your very own Summer Craft Party for your friends + family! 

Just grab a few supplies you probably already have lying around at home, invite your friends and family for an afternoon of crafting fun.

D.I.Y. PAINTED PLANTERS

PROJECT TIME: 20 MIN

The Paper + Craft Pantry Summer Craft Party D.I.Y. Supplies
  • MATERIALS
  • Small terracotta pots
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Succulents

D.I.Y. STEPS

1. Choose your color palette! We suggest starting with a few colors that go well together. 

*Pro-tip: we used recyclable trays for easy clean up!

2. Use your paint brush and create your master piece on the terra cotta pots! Use light and thin paint layers when you paint, you can always add more paint as you go. 

3. Allow your pots to dry for at least 10-15 minutes.

4. Pick your new succulent friend and pot it in it's new home.

5. Find the perfect place to put your beautiful new pot + plant!

The Paper + Craft Pantry D.I.Y. Succulent Painted Pots
The Paper + Craft Pantry Blog: How To Host A DIY Craft Party
The Paper + Craft Pantry D.I.Y. Succulent Pots
The Paper + Craft Pantry D.I.Y. Blog Summer Succulents
The Paper + Craft Pantry Annual Community Craft Event
The Paper + Craft Pantry Do-It-Yourself Succulent Painted Pots Craft Party
The Paper + Craft Pantry blog D.I.Y. Succulents 

Plan on hosting your own Summer Craft Party with this year's D.I.Y.? Don't forget to tag us in your pictures @thepapercraftpantry so we can see how much fun you had :) 


The Paper + Craft Pantry Apprenticeship x Acton Academy, Austin TexasAbout the co-author:

Kate is currently a 6th grader at the Acton Academy in Austin. Kate completed a 2 month apprenticeship as a part of her school credit where she learned the ins and outs of small business ownership with The Paper + Craft Pantry. She also is the co-author and editor of this blog post. Kate is a fellow small business owner who owns a soap company called Ridiculously Clean

 

 

 

How-To: Hygge For Every Day

Pei Sim


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In case you missed it, we read The Little Book of Hygge back in November for our studio's book club. It was THAT good we are actually reading his second book The Little Book of Lykke for our first book club meeting of the year that's happening this month! 

For those of you who may not know what Hygge is,  we thought it was a funky name for a piece of Ikea furniture at first too! Hygge is pronounced "hoo-ga" and has been defined as "coziness of the soul", "taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things", and "cozy togetherness".

In a world that glorifies busyness, and where everything happens so fast, the idea of Hygge really struck a cord with us and we were intrigued with how we could apply some Hygge to not only our personal life, but to add some hygge for your business as well. We're sharing some of our best practices for incorporating this feeling of cozy into our every day both at home and at work. And we're also sharing a fun collaboration we worked on that is inspired by this whole idea of hygge below!

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3 Hygge tips for our home

  • Candles: 

The number one thing you need to create that feeling of hygge. Instead of saving that coveted candle you were gifted, indulge and light it (and enjoy)! 

  • Create a nook: 

Channel all things cozy, your favorite blanket, a mug of your favorite tea, that handmade bud vase from a local maker, this spot can become your refuge!

  • Treat yourself: 

We love that the Danes are so great at not letting an association of guilt accompany a little indulgence. Keep a bar of your favorite chocolate in your pantry and enjoy a piece when you want!

3 Hygge tips for our business

  • Candles:

Noticing a trend here? During the weekends and during workshops we keep a candle burning. A combination of fresh flowers, fresh candle and essential oil mist keeps our shop + studio smelling cozy and inviting! 

  • Slowing down:

We want guests in our shop to feel comfortable slowing down when they come in our door. Giving them the space and time to browse through our shelves while taking a moment for themselves! We encourage folks to take their time to find that perfect card, or to pick out that special gift their looking for. 

  • Business as a home:

We treat our brick and mortar like it's our home! When someone walks in the door, they're not a customer but rather a guest in our "home". We love genuinely connecting with our community that comes in and truly love that first timers always become regulars! 

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We're committed to adding a bit of hygge into our every day! If you are too, you're going to definitely want to pick up this book, and this one too. While you're at it, you're probably going to need this candle (or this one) and probably add to your sock collection! Our friend Denise with Love Ding also shares all about hygge on her blog here where you can find even more downloadable and has a very hygge inspired DIY we cannot wait to try! 

Want a daily reminder of hygge?

Check out our favorites from our collaboration with Love Ding for downloadable desktop and phone background pattern play inspired by all things cozy! 

HYGGE INSPIRED

DESKTOP DOWNLOADABLES

HYGGE INSPIRED

PHONE SCREENSAVER DOWNLOADABLES

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How-To: Shop Small + Local Year Round

Pei Sim


The Paper + Craft Pantry Small Business School Blog: Shopping Small + Local

Can you believe 2017 is coming to a close?

We hosted our last Small Business School #IRL panel in the studio at the end of November, focusing on the small business lifestyle and what it means to support small businesses. We had an amazing line-up of panelists who all owned their own businesses right here in Austin- April Onebane with Pieceology Vintage, Ashely Chinni with Ash Grove Studio and Celeste King with Catapult Creative Logistics, moderated by Chelsea Francis with Chelsea Laine Francis. It was the perfect mix of product based + service based businesses. 

Although the holiday season is important for most businesses, we wanted to really dive into the conversation of how to truly shop small and local year round. How many times have you heard of someone saying that their favorite local coffee shop, or mom & pop bakery closed? It's more important now than ever to really put your money where it can have the biggest impact right here in your community.

With the ease and immediate turn around of free, even same day deliveries, it's difficult for a small local business to compete. Mass production allows big box shops to offer much lower priced items than artisans who hand make all their wares. Shopping small doesn't need to just be for the holidays or for special occasions either. Small businesses depend on folks who intentionally shop local and loyal customers all year long! Check out what our panelists had to say below.

I love a good Amazon Prime deal, but I make a conscious effort to shop small knowing how much small businesses depend on the holiday season!
— Celeste King, Catapult Creative Logistics
I shop small as often as possible, even with day to day life stuff. Shopping at local pet shops in Austin, so not just things or material objects. There’s a lot of pressure out there to buy and own certain things that look good online/on Instagram, but I try to stay true to thoughtful items that mean more to me.
— Ashley Chinni, Ash Grove Studio

When you shop small, your dollar goes much farther. It goes into supporting the business owner's livelihood, it goes towards them growing their business, reinvesting in their business, adding value into this community. It trickles down from the actual product or service you purchased and makes such a huge impact!

Buying something from someone in person, makes you think about that person overtime you use it. There’s an investment into not only the product but the person.
— Celeste King, Catapult Creative Logistics

Shopping small and local definitely costs more, and perhaps you're not able to gift presents in large quantities but it can be more meaningful and personal.

Investing more into things that are sustainable is really important to me. I have a lot of friends who own businesses, so I support them as much as possible.
— April Onebane, Pieceology Vintage
You have to be okay with not getting “as much” because you can probably find something cheaper online. But it is a trickle effect on our economy when you purchase from a small business, and when you gift something that’s form a local business- the person who receives it is then exposed to this small business.
— Celeste King, Catapult Creative Logistics
It pushes me to be more thoughtful on what I choose to buy- there are people in your life you want to really get meaningful goods for. Being able to connect with the person behind the business means a lot to me.
— Ashley Chinni, Ash Grove Studio

Will you be shopping small and local this holiday season? What about throughout the year? Have any great local businesses you think we should know about! Let us know in the comments below! 

 

Small Business School: Vision Boards For Business

Pei Sim


Paper Craft Pantry Austin Small Business Blog: Vision Boards For Your Small Business

Some may call it their real life Pinterest board, or maybe even consider it a mood board of sorts. But the reality is that a vision board is so much more than that! 

A vision board allows you to dig a little deeper and discover what you truly want for your life, and business. It enables you to use visuals to tell the goals and dreams you have for your future. And we think it can be even more powerful than written goals. Because let's face it, we're all visual beings and having something that serves as a collective reminder is so, so powerful! 

When we were scheduling a community event for December, we knew we wanted to bring back our 3rd annual Vision Board Party, but this year, we're co-hosting this really fun event with Maggie of MaggieGentry. There's no better person to work on this event with because Maggie is a living, breathing supporter of The Paper + Craft Pantry and honestly, just an incredible fellow business owner. 

We asked our owner, Pei and Maggie some questions to get an insight on how they use their vision boards for their business. 

And if you're in Austin, be sure to RSVP below to our 2017 Vision Board Party next month! 

What’s the first thing you do when creating your vision board? What are some important things to consider?

Maggie:
For me, the most important first step is to ask two questions, "What is it that I specifically want this board to embody?" and "How do I ultimately want to feel?" For me, it's important to first gain clarity around what question I hope this vision board will help me answer, or what goal I hope this board will help me visualize, and then use the second question of understanding how I want to feel to help me find the perfect images when I'm flipping through the magazines.

I always like to spend some time journaling before I create a vision board to help me solidify an intention. It always helps to have your favorite music playing, too!

Other logistical tips: Have glue sticks and tape because you never know what you might need to fashion together. Lay it out first, take a picture for placement, and then go back to glue it down. I like to put some craft paper down on the table so that I can use my glue stick with abandon and not worry about messy clean-up afterwards!

Pei:
Creating a space to create your vision board is really key. I actually carve out designated time for this, limit distrations and try to clear my mind of all the daily to-dos and other miscellaneous thoughts so I can pour what I truly want into my vision board.

I take a few moments to take some deep breaths and visualize my business in the future, without any limitations, without any expectations... It's so important to visualize your future without anything or anyone interferring what you truly want for yourself and your business!

While that vision is still fresh in my mind, I flip through magazines and articles and snip out images or words that are in line with my vision.

Vision board and goals - same thing?

Pei: Yes and no! I think they are intertwined for sure, and there's obviously a lot of overlapping. I create my vision board separate from my goals, typically after I've set some goals. They do serve as a visual reminder but have a little bit more of an abstract feel which lends to more ebbing and flowing than structured goals!

Maggie: I think they complement each other really well. Goals are helpful to speak out loud or write down somewhere, but what we often do is write them in a notebook, and then forget about them. The beauty of a vision board is that it's visual! And it's meant to be displayed where we can see it often. Vision boards can often help us express a certain aspect of our goals that we can't quite put into words just yet, or maybe we're too scared to voice it out loud, or maybe we weren't quite even sure we wanted that until we see how the vision board came together, and that one element has prominent placement. It is a tool that can help us reflect on if our goals are on the right track, and also to remind us on a daily basis to keep moving forward, especially on those tough days.

How do you use your vision board day to day?

Maggie: It's hanging on the wall right above my desk, so I see it everyday! I like to look at it right before I sit down for a morning meditation, and it's a helpful respite if I'm feeling like I'm drowning in work——I can sit back in my chair and remind myself why I'm doing this.

Pei: Having it front and center in my work space is a great reminder. It's something I have to look at daily and it's a wonderful check-in as to how I want my day to go, and what I can be doing (even little things) that's going to get me towards the things on my vision board.

For your business?

Maggie: It's a bit one in the same for me. The particular vision board that I have right now above my desk, I created with the question, "What do I want for my business in 2018?" So it is a nice reminder to keep me going on those days when I feel like I'm losing all hope and direction.

Pei: It's so easy to feel overwhelmed with owning a small business. There are some days when things feel so great, and other days when I'm still wondering what on earth I am doing. I love having my vision board to look at, take a breath or two, and pull me back in to why I do what I do.

How does a vision board help you with your business?

Pei: A specific example would be a potential partnership or collaboration, I'm naturally inclined to say yes to everything. But an easy way for me to be sure these opportunites are in line with my business's core values is to take a little peek at my vision board and see if this particular relationship or project "feels" like it fits in it.

Maggie: As a small business owner, I feel like we have face our fears often. Since I created this vision board to help me visualize growth for my business, looking at my board helps me gain the confidence I need when things feel scary or when I'm nervous to make a decision about something. It helps me stay aligned with My Why.

Where do you keep your vision board? How often do you create a vision board?

Pei: I keep my vision board on a bulletin board right across from my desk. And I re-do/re-create my vision board at least twice a year, around the same time I revisit my goals!

Maggie: Mine is hanging eye-level on the wall in front of my desk at home. I look at it all the time! So far, I've been creating one vision board a year to help me plan for what's ahead in the upcoming year.

Want to join us for our upcoming community 2017 Vision Board Party? 

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DEC 13

 

6PM - 7 PM

Join us for an evening of inspiration and fun! 

How-To: Organize Your Workspace

Pei Sim


How to Organize Your Office Space for Optimum Productivity

As a small business creative and founder of The Paper + Craft Pantry, Pei Sim is not stranger to how productivity and workflow can correlate to how organized your space feels. 

For those of you who follow us or who have been into our business, you know we operate as a retail shop + workshop event studio. And most of you can guess that even when we aren't open, there's a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to run a growing business. 

This month, we're taking a peek into Pei's home office and studio and chatted with her about how she stays on top of everything she juggles for The Paper + Craft Pantry by setting herself up for success with her personal work space. Recently she enlisted the help of her dear friend, Denise Roberts, owner of Love Ding to help her up the game of her home office + studio in an adorable and functional way that inspire and motivate her to get through the daily to-dos. Keep reading for Pei's tips on which organization tricks keep her most productive when she's working from home! 

Tips for Organizing Your Workspace
Organization Tips for Your Office Space

One of the first things we noticed when we stepped inside Pei's office was the abundance of natural light. We know that natural lighting may not be always an option for everyone, so one of Pei's suggestion is to switch out your lightbulbs for a natural bulb. Making this small change to your ceiling fan or lamp can switch your mood and put you in the mindset to get to work! 

Pei also keeps her desk space fairly clean and minimal; her laptop + notebook beside a desk lamp, lavender mist, candle, and a few little things she uses regularly. This really leaves room for her to spread out projects and work on a larger surface. 

  • SETTING UP YOUR DESK
  • Keep only what is essential on your desk
  • Place tools + things you use frequently within reach
  • If you don't have access to natural light, swap out your light bulb for a daylight bulb!
  • Set the tone for a "get to work mindset" Like lighting a candle before starting your work
How to Organize Your Office Space to get more stuff done
How to Organize Your Workspace for more productivity
How to Organize Your Office Space for Optimum Productivity

The very top of her desk drawer is full of supplies that don't necessarily need to be out on her desk, but are things she uses often. Here's a list of what Pei keeps in her top desk drawer: 

  • Washi tape, page flats, notecards
  • Correspondence notes and pre-stamped envelopes
  • Misc. cords + chargers
  • Her set of Be With cards (prompts for little acts of self-care) 
  • Check book + receipts to sort (Not pictured: under the lid of one tray)
  • 3 IDEAS FOR DRAWER ORGANIZATION
  • Poppin trays from The Container Store come in an array of colors **bonus: they stack and can be configured to fit almost any drawer!
  • Head to the kitchen section of Target and pick up utensil drawer dividers, which are often nicer than the plastic desk drawer dividers.
  • Take a moment to look through what jars, boxes or trays you might already have lying around and repurpose them for your workspace.
How to Organize Your Office Space for Optimum Productivity
How to Organize Your Office Space for Optimum Productivity

Besides tucking things away in drawers, Pei now uses the giant pegboard wall installation that Denise designed for her space as a part of the office + studio Spruce Kit. It makes a huge statement in the space. And because of this beautiful handcrafted piece, Pei is able to display her craft supplies and tools while keeping them all readily accessible! The pegs in the board can also be moved and reconfigured to suit what she currently uses and what she needs. 

To keep things visible yet neat, she uses clear glass and acrylic containers to corral paintbrushes, markers, paints and inks on top of wooden shelves. Several pegs were also left empty to hang her ever growing scissor collection, which now features some of her favorite pairs! 

  • HOW TO ORGANIZE WALL STORAGE + DISPLAYS
  • Use clear containers and jars so you can easily see what's inside
  • Mix and match materials (metals, woods, neutral tones etc.) to help everything feel cohesive
  • Keep only what you truly use regularly out on display
  • No room for a big pegboard? Floating wall shelves are a great alternative!
  • Take your time to try out a set-up, and don't be afraid to switch things up to make everything truly functional for your needs!

Inspired to re-design your own desk space and office? Snap a picture on Instagram and tag us in it @thepapercraftpantry so we can see :)

How to Organize Your Office Space for Optimum Productivity
Love Ding Pegboard Trends Organizing Your Workspace

Interior Styling by: Love Ding

Photography by: Diana Ascarrunz Photography


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D.I.Y. Donut Dessert Bar

Pei Sim


D.I.Y. Donut Dessert Bar For Your Next Brunch or Gathering

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? 

If you've got brunch plans, you're going to love this fun dessert bar we whipped together! Trust us when we say that your brunch guests will have a blast at this dessert station, because nothing says fun like donuts!

All you have to do is pick up a box of donut holes from your favorite neighborhood donut shop, and snag a few of your favorite toppings. We set up little bowls full of chocolate hazelnut icing, cream cheese frosting, a few types of sprinkles, and chocolate chips. But feel free to get creative with your combinations—the options are endless! We also included a fun D.I.Y. below👇🏼  for our favorite way to jazz up party foods: tissue paper tassel toothpicks! 

D.I.Y. Tissue Paper Tassel Toothpicks

  • MATERIALS
  • Toothpicks
  • Colorful tissue paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors

STEPS

1. Cut 1" x 3" strips of tissue paper in your desired color scheme.
2. Snip the edges of each strip, creating a frayed edge.
3. Wrap a strip around each toothpick, and dab the ends with glue to secure the paper.
4. Allow to dry & use them to add extra flair to your donut dessert bar! 

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