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1023 Springdale Road, Building 6B
Austin, TX, 78721
United States

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. 

Small Business School: 2018 Year In Review

Pei Sim


The Paper + Craft Pantry: A Year In Review

And just like that, another year has come and gone! I know everyone always says how fast time goes by but I swear 2018 came and went in a blink of an eye- don’t you agree?

We celebrated SO much this year- I feel like as a small business, specifically a brick + mortar shop, we finally found our stride in 2018. We moved from our original space into the space I had only ever dreamed about. I’ve told so many of you (in real life) how our new space was the space I had always wanted- but it didn’t exist back when I was looking for a space back in 2014. It did take me almost a full year to find our original E 6th location. And I’m trusting more and more that there was a reason that was the place I was meant to be in as I got The Paper + Craft Pantry started. Our old space allowed me to really play, navigate and learn all about the business and it really allowed me to grow it where when the time came to move, it was a natural and rather seamless transition.

I’ve shared a year in review for the past few years- you can peek more at 2017 and 2016 ! It’s really fun to go back through the archives and read the words I had typed to document our years in business. I’m proud of the growth not only as a business, but also personally.

2018 was a year of growth. A big year of growth all around for The Paper + Craft Pantry- I’ve learned a lot and if you’ve been following along, you’ve seen and been a part of it all :) Here are the big 5 things that happened in business for us this year.


Making a Financial Mindset Shift

Y’all, this was the first FULL year I paid myself every. single. month. It may not seem like a big deal but it’s huge considering I was only taking out what I needed for bills etc for the past 5 years. But this year, I was able to allow the business to support me month to month. The business has also been able to continue to pay our lovely and hardworking studio assistants- which in turn has allowed me to pursue other opportunities for The Paper + Craft Pantry.

I allocated funds strategically this year- anticipating for inventory purchases, for marketing and event expenses, and even for our move this summer.

I really believe that I finally got comfortable and acquainted with the business’s finances even though for a long time I told myself I was not good at it. This book really made a huge impact for me and if you’re interested in getting more familiar with your finances, particularly your business’s finances, I highly recommend it!

2018 was a good year because I was able to release a lot of stress in relation to money and was able to come from a place of abundance.

Saying No more

I’ve learned how to graciously say no. I don’t think it will ever be “easy” for me, but I’m getting better at setting boundaries. I have declined meetings, sponsorship opportunities, media opportunities, partnerships for a variety of reasons. But I know my limits. I know the limits of my business and I’m okay with giving myself (and the business) space. I no longer feel the need to fill every day with a meeting, or an event or anything that isn’t a 100000% yes.

Hiring + Growing a Team

Growing pains y’all. The more we grow as a business, the more I’m realizing I need support. I needed to create space in the business to allow for more help in running the day-to-day. It’s been difficult, personally, to allow the right people to step into the business as well as a huge learning curve to identify the right people and have them in the right roles so they can flourish.

I’m someone who likes to take my time, I don’t like feeling rushed to find the right people. I also feel like it’s so important for it to be a right fit on both sides. To me, every one who works at our shop is an extension of our business, a representation of what our business stands for. I also know the importance of a first impression with a guest who comes into our shop- I don’t think it should matter if I’m the one there, or a new studio assistant, the experience should be the same.

This was a year of filling out the people side of the business, getting systems into place so we can grow our tiny but mighty team, and learning how to onboard as quickly as we transition through our team members. Because in full transparency, turnover is very real in part-time retail!

Elevating Experience

From the moment someone walks through outdoors, my single wish is that they know they are welcomed. They’re greeted by our signature shop scent (now available in a diffuser oil blend!) even before they are warmly greeted by myself or our studio assistant. They’re able to browse our shop at their own pace as they discover new stationery treasures at each turn.

The same goes for our workshops, thought goes into everything- down to the last and seemingly minute detail. I know that our guests and workshop students can take their business (and money) elsewhere but the fact that they choose to do so with us, means the world and I want it to be evident for the entire time they are in our shop + studio.

We’ve been brainstorming, dreaming and planning how to continue to deliver the most top-notch experience. To continue to surprise and delight every single person who comes in!

New Product Launch

It’s been a long time coming (literally, I said I wanted to do this right after we opened in 2015) but opening a physical store was a lot more work than I ever could have anticipated. I run the retail shop as it’s own entity and the workshop side of the business as it’s own. So it’s very much felt like I’ve been growing and building on two separate businesses for the past few years!

You can read more about our product launch here and you can now shop our entire collection online!

Putting your work out there can be really difficult and I almost forgot what it felt like- for all the stationers and designers who reach out and the ones we work with. They constantly put themselves out there with their work not knowing what the response could be. And let me tell you, that’s some scary stuff! But none the less, they push through the fear and just continue to create. And that’s so freaking admirable in my opinion!

The response over the past few weeks since our launch has been nothing short of warm and just incredible. I am so thrilled to be able to share even more paper with y’all in our shop as well as send some P+CP goodies out in the world.


TLDR;

2018 was a year of:

  • getting comfortable with the financial side of the business- which enabled me to come from a place of abundance and to focus seriously on growing our business as a whole

  • saying no more to keep space open for myself and the business. Something that I

    plan on continuing into 2019

  • growing our small but mighty team with intention

  • elevating our guest experience in store and online

  • launching our new product line



See you all in 2019 :)

xo, Pei

D.I.Y.: Holiday Place Cards + Gift Tags Printable

Pei Sim


The Paper + Craft Pantry Holiday Printable Place Cards and Gift Tags.

We couldn’t pass up one more chance to share a little D.I.Y. fun with y’all this year!

The holiday season can feel very full and busy- so this printable is great for you busy bees needing an extra hand with adding a little holiday fun to your dinner table and gifts! All you need is access to a printer and a little bit of creativity to add a hand made touch to his holiday season!

Sending you all the merriest and happiest Christmas this year :)

D.I.Y. PLACE CARDS + GIFT TAGS

D.I.Y. PROJECT TIME: 5 - 10 MINS

  • MATERIALS
  • Card stock
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon or Twine
  • Access + use of a printer
The Paper + Craft Pantry Blog: Our printout, ribbon, markers, and scissors.

Each printable comes formatted with four wreaths that you can turn into either gift tags or place cards! We chose to cut our tags out into squares so there would be room for the hole punch and cut closer around the wreath for our place cards.

Personalize each wreath with your friends and family’s names, et voila! You now have a special handmade touch to your holiday party and under your Christmas tree!

Scroll to the bottom of this post to print your own!

The Paper + Craft Blog: The printout before and after being cut for use.
The Paper + Craft Pantry Blog: After being cut out we lettered and are using them as place cards!
The Paper + Craft Pantry Blog: Our decorated table with place cards.
The Paper + Craft Pantry Blog: We also love using them as tags for gifts!
The Paper + Craft Pantry D.I.Y. Holiday Wreath Gift Tags

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We’ve created printable holiday place cards + gift tags for you and yours to enjoy this Christmas season :)

We hope you have a lovely and magical holiday!


The Paper + Craft Pantry Austin- Pinterest printable diy holiday gift tags + place cards

Round-up: Favorite New Stationery

Pei Sim


The Paper + Craft Pantry New Local Stationery Product Line 2018

It’s finally here!

Our very own in-house stationery line here at The Paper + Craft Pantry! From the day we opened up our doors, it’s been a dream of mine to be able to get back to designing and creating paper goods. Fast forward through the past few years of learning the ropes of running a physical shop, hosting hundreds of workshops and events (which honestly feels like it’s own separate job!) there have been a ton of reasons as well as excuses why I’ve put it off.

To be really honest and vulnerable with y’all, a huge part of it was fear. I get to stock our shop with SO many beautiful things from truly talented artists and designers and it felt intimidating getting back to creating because I definitely fell into the comparison trap…

I’d been dreaming up the products and designs for several months but finally decided to just go for it one day in October. I know, what you’re thinking, you whipped all of this up over night? Kinda. But really I think it flowed naturally since it had been something on my mind for literal years! It also helped a ton that before I started The Paper + Craft Pantry, I had my own small stationery line soI already had a lot of the resources and was able to navigate through design + production and packaging fairly seamlessly.

Let’s also take a moment to think about how October was truly a horrible time to start all of this (insert face palm here) It’s right before the holiday season, with two big weekends of the East Austin studio tour in November, the Thanksgiving break and holidays…. but then again, no one said opportunity and going for your goals happen when it’s convenient right?

We officially launched our entire new line to the world on November 24th at our Small Business Saturday Market. I’m in the process of slowly uploading all our goods to our online shop so everyone can get their hands on a little bit of this shop’s heart and soul.

I hope y’all love each piece as much as I do. I poured over so many design options to really create a collection that I felt really lent well to our aesthetic, day to day use and functionality with a whole lot of fun (and sprinkles of our favorite mint color :)

p.s. Now that we are in December and everyone is out shopping for gifts, I’d love to encourage y’all to shop small this holiday season. No matter where you are, no matter your budget, I know that I (in addition to other small business owners) would love if you’re able to find that special something with us.

Shopping small makes a huge difference, directly in YOUR community. In YOUR town. In YOUR city! If you ever need a recommendation for a local business, you know where to find us- we’re so happy to point you in the right direction!

Without further ado- I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite things from our new collection below- let me know what you think?

The Paper + Craft Pantry: Our sticker set, daily mini journal, and envelope enamel pin.

(From left to right) How cute are our stickers? You know how passionate I am about properly spelling stationery :) And also, there’s an actual paper person! I was so excited to partner with Jess, owner of Tiny Deer Studio, for our extra large enamel pin. Our little spiral may be my favorite thing because of it’s convenient size, but also, the inside pages are BOTH lined and graphed!

The Paper + Craft Pantry Blog: Our official small and large candle, plus essential oil mix.

(From left to right) We partnered with one of our favorite local candle makers to create a custom candle scent for the shop! I told Priscilla, with Herland Home, that I wanted a candle that smelled like writing a letter at a vintage secretary desk. And she delivered- because she’s magic! That little dropper bottle is filled with the scent we diffuse in our shop, it’s kind of become our signature scent that everyone swoons over when they come in our doors.

The Paper + Craft Pantry Blog: The beautiful standard notebook, weekly calendar, and color block notepad.

(From left to right) Our color block note pad adds some colorful fun and features 100 pages! We created a monthly calendar notepad spread that will last you several years! It also features a section for notes and place for making lists! Our larger spiral features graph paper and will likely become your new best friend if you get your hands on one :)

The Paper + Craft Pantry In-House Stationery Line Debut.

Check out more of our product line online!

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D.I.Y.: 5 Simple Holiday Ornaments

Pei Sim


The Paper + Craft Pantry: Austin’s D.I.Y. Blog- Holiday Ornament Craft

Whether you are ready for it or not, the holidays are officially here!

We’re in full swing holiday mode over here in the shop as we prepare to close out 2018 and we’re also already planning for the first quarter of 2019. We’ve got all of our holiday stationery and goodies out in the shop, holiday music streaming through our speakers, and just a few Christmas themed workshops left on our calendar.

The holidays can be a time of joy, wonder and happiness. But it can also mean a lot of hustle and bustle! We hope that our shop + studio can continue to be y’alls little slice of holiday time oasis :)

We also couldn’t pass up sharing a quick and simple D.I.Y. themed craft with y’all. This D.I.Y. takes less than 5 mins- which let’s be honest, anything longer is too long during the holiday season!

The Paper + Craft Pantry BLOG: Threading new ribbon for our 5 clear ornaments.

EASY HOLIDAY D.I.Y. ORNAMENTS

D.I.Y. PROJECT TIME: 5 MINS

  • MATERIALS
  • Clear plastic ornament
  • Ornament fillers (confetti, tinsel, mini trees, foiliage, holiday type)
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
The Paper + Craft Pantry Blog: All of our supplies for the easy D.I.Y. ornaments.

Y’all, seriously, this is such a fun and easy way to decorate this holiday season. You can get super creative with personalizing the ornaments for your tree or as gifts. We just rounded up a few of our favorite things to add as fillers into clear ornament globes.

We added some holiday inspired type that we cut into strips to fill an ornament, stuffed extra holiday foliage clippings into another, added tinsel garland, confetti and mini holiday trees to the others!

The Paper + Craft Pantry Blog: Prepping and cutting the supplies needed to fill the ornaments.
The Paper + Craft Pantry Blog: Holding all of our finished ornaments.
The Paper + Craft Pantry: Austin Holiday Blog
The Paper + Craft Pantry Blog: The finished product of our 5 simple D.I.Y. ornaments.
Paper Craft Pantry Austin D.I.Y. Blog: Holiday Ornaments

D.I.Y.: Painted Pastel Pumpkins

Pei Sim


Paper Craft Pantry D.I.Y. Pastel Fall Pumpkins

Hey everyone, happy November!

We wanted to continue the Fall celebrations with this very simple Painted Pumpkin D.I.Y. These were such a quick and easy way to add some fun color to the studio and we’re certain it will do the same in your home!

Try out different color palettes that aren’t the “traditional” fall colors- have fun playing around with colors :) And I mean, you can never go wrong with a pink pumpkin :)

MINI PLANTER MAGNETS

D.I.Y. PROJECT TIME: 30 MINS (for a few days to let the paint dry in between coats!)

  • MATERIALS
  • Pumpkins in various sizes
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes

To start this easy D.I.Y. project, it’s all about deciding the amount and color palette of your pumpkins. We hosted a “Fall Festival Market” during this past October at the shop and wanted a bright and playful pastel rainbow ombre look in lieu of the more traditional and warmer autumn colors.

The finished product made for the perfect piece for our front door to welcome guests in to our event and now, these pumpkins have a home in front of our beloved card wall!

The only thing is you need to have patience. Because of the texture and slickness of the pumpkin it takes several layers of paint and time to let each one dry. And afterward it’s still incredibly easy to scratch off that paint so be careful when moving them and keep some extra paint on hand for little touch ups!

We learned after doing this D.I.Y that we would likely redo this but using faux pumpkins from the craft stores. That way, you can keep and enjoy them for many many years!

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Do you have an alternative fall color palette you are loving? Let us know in the comments below!

Round Up: Our Favorite Halloween D.I.Y. Party Projects

Pei Sim


Paper Craft Pantry blog round up of easy halloween party decoration ideas!

Call all your friends because we are going help you throw the best Halloween bash ever!

It’s time to use all your creativity and make some D.I.Y decor that will add that perfect personal touch to any event! Here are a few fun projects and pictures to help you get inspired.

We’ve done the research for you and rounded up some of our favorite halloween inspired D.I.Y.s just in time for some last minute party ideas!

SPIDER WEB TABLE CLOTH/PHOTO WALL

This is a perfect and super versatile project that can be used in many different ways to decorate! Although we may not love having an ACTUAL spider web in our house, we will let this one slide. (:

The Paper + Craft Pantry Blog: Spider Web D.I.Y table cloth spread out on a table with other decor.
The Paper + Craft Pantry Blog: Spider Web D.I.Y. table cloth hung up and used as a table cloth.

Photo Credit: The House that Lars Built

GHOST PINATAS

BOO! How could you be scared by these adorable ghost pinatas?!? They make for the perfect decor piece and as traditional use - hitting them for candy!

The Paper + Craft Pantry Blog: Black and white D.I.Y. ghost pinatas hung up making for the perfect decor or for the traditional use.

Photo credit: Make and Tell

PUMPKIN BALLOON BACKDROP

Depending on how big of an event this is, you could go ALL OUT with this pumpkin balloon display that seriously makes for the perfect photo wall. It might look like an overwhelming task to create, but this tutorial shows that it’s easier to do then you might think!

The Paper + Craft Pantry Blog: Pumpkin ballon backdrop hung up on a large wall making for the perfect photo wall.

Photo credit: The House that Lars Built

SPIDER STICKS:

Anyone with a fear of spiders might not want to participate in this D.I.Y. but we think it makes for a super fun party prop! It’s super easy and quick to make while still looking amazing.

The Paper Craft Pantry Blog: Spider D.I.Y. ballon being used on a stick as a party prop.

Photo credit: Oh Happy Day

PRINTABLE PARTY FAVOR POPPERS

Did you say printable? You know we’re all about those freebies! This project makes for a great (and delicious) thank you gift for your party guests. It also gives you an excuse to eat a few pieces of treats while you stuff them inside your popper (it’s okay..we wont tell).

The Paper + Craft Pantry Blog: D.I.Y Halloween party poppers make for the best gift and fun activity for any event.

Photo credit: Oh Happy Day

We hope you enjoyed this round up and that it helped you get ideas for any Halloween celebration you join!! And thanks to all of these amazing creators that constantly inspire with their creativity and talent. How will YOU be spending Halloween this year?