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Books Craft Notebooks Paper Stationery

Upcycling & reusing materials = Unique & One of a Kind Binds

When it comes to making notebooks and journals, I’m a huge fan of using upcycled materials for a number of reasons, which I’ll share below.

Take this map-cover book, for example. The cover paper is taken from an old map of Brussels. The map made a couple of A5 notebooks and there’s some left over to make smaller books; and every book is different. Sure, I could get specific maps of places of interest/print maps off and get consistent covers, making bigger batches of each book. But I don’t want that. I love that every single one of my map books is different- one of the reasons I love handmade is that you’re getting something unique!

Even if I’ve got more of a certain material, I still like to work in small batches, making a couple of each different book. I get inspired by the materials on hand, and having just a little of a lot of different materials really gets my creative brain going. The spine of the above book is has been upcycled from an old leather jacket; using it for just the spine allows the material to go further and enables me to use all those thinner, smaller sections of materials. Sure, I could buy new leather in bulk and make bigger batches of notebooks that were all the same; but the way I work means you really are getting something pretty unique!

Also, I like to use as many of the little scraps as I can. The above pocket book was made from an off-cut of soft grey leather; it had small slits all down the sides, but because I made small A7 books from it, it works fine for me! See the thin leather strap? That’s an off-cut from the same leather jacket used for the spine of the key print book. If I’ve got scraps left, I try and think how I can use them. Mostly they make my mini books:

I’ve put together a short video on this subject and you can find it over on The Craft Fantastic YouTube channel, or watch below. I’m still getting used to doing videos and this is less than perfect; but perfection’s overrated, right? Listen out for me getting my words the wrong way round towards the end 😀

To see my selection of hand bound notebooks, bullet journals, travel journals and more head over to my etsy store.

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Craft Notebooks Paper Stationery

New notebooks roundup

Recently, I’ve been trying out a few different things. It’s generally quieter over the summer months, so once I’d got all my wedding orders out of the way it was time to play! I think trying new ideas and learning new was of doing things is very important; you’ve got to keep moving and keep doing things to keep your brain working.

These new notebooks have hard covers and a firm but flexible spine – my own take on a hollow back binding. It was definitely a learning process for me but I’ve loved making them. My first attempt was the silver swirls book on the right; it’s less than perfect but is still beautiful:

  

Now I think I’ve got the hang of it. I’ve got more papers which I’ve not used yet, so look out for those! Plus I’m planning a new YouTube video on reusing and recycling, and will also be sharing with you my first attempts at book restoration and rebinding. Stay tuned! x

Categories
Craft Gifts Notebooks Origami Paper Stationery

Wanderlust: make an adventure to remember

Summertime is upon us and the world is calling. Whether you’re taking off for far off places or exploring closer to home, why not chronicle your adventure in a handy handmade travel journal? Blank books are fantastic for planning your holiday, making check lists for what to take and where to go, plus you can take as much space as needed to write about your travels. I love looking back over my old holidays and the check list I write helps me remember what I need to take on the next trip 😀

Over at The Craft Fantastic’s Etsy store you’ll find a wide variety of hand bound blank notebooks for all your journaling needs. Here are some map cover books to help inspire your wanderlust:

Ready for an adventure – A5 – £14
Ready for an adventure – A6 – £9
Off we go – A5 – £14

There’s also a range of miniature books– they’re set on chains to wear as a necklace, so you can easily take it with you on your travels. All the pages are blank, too, so it can be used for jotting down a few things while you’re on the go. Small writing required 😀

*First wedding anniversary = paper! These items make great gift ideas. For more inspiration, take a look at this article from The Wedding Secret.*

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Lunchtime Lusting Paper Stationery

Lunchtime Lusting – Letter Writing: The joy of snail mail

There’s nothing quite like getting a handwritten letter through the post. They seem so much more personal; reaching out and staying in touch through putting pen to paper, we think more about what we’re going to say than when we email or text. It really helps to have something nice to write on and send your letter off in, so I’ve been looking around to see what letter writing sets are out there. Here’s what I’ve found.

One of the main reasons I love this one is because it comes in a gorgeous box. It’s simple but extremely pretty. Containing 20 A5 sheets and 10 envelopes, you can pick one of these up for £8.

This set from Not On The High Street boasts a retro pen and ink pot design. It’s £6.95 for 6 sheets of writing paper and 3 envelopes.

There’s almost bound to be a WHSmith on your high street, so you can be sure of being able to find a pretty stationery set in town! They don’t have a huge amount of choice, but this bird and flower adorned set is all you’ll need. It’s a great budget option at £5.99 for 30 sheets, 15 matching envelopes and a sheet of stickers. Stickers!!

Over on Etsy you can find The Crafty Red Button. With so many pretty sets to choose from, you’re bound to find something to suit and inspire you to get writing! This set with the blue envelops is my personal favourite; the colour and design is gorgeous. The lined envelopes are handmade and the paper is high quality –  120gsm – so no pen bleed through to the other side of the paper. This set is £13 for 6 sheets of A5 and 6 envelopes, which come in a beautiful box.

What are you waiting for? Get yourself a set, grab a pen and write someone a letter! It’ll be just as much fun to write as it will be to receive.

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Craft Inspiration Notebooks Stationery

An introduction to bullet journals

Hand bound good ideas notebook

If there’s such thing as a natural bullet journaler, I am one. Long have I been a lover of lists; a maker of orginised notes; an extravagant underliner; a margin doodler.

What is a bullet journal? Well, it’s pretty much whatever you want to make it. Start with a notebook, something to write with, and get creative. A completely blank notebook is my personal favourite, as it’s the most versatile; however some people prefer gridded or lined paper.

Leather spine key bullet journal

Though it may have started that way, it’s actually not just lists of bullet points. There’s a trend for people using notebooks to create a personal space for them to write and draw and catalogue. Layouts and doodles. Headers, banners and frames. The best thing to do is to try a few things out – just get going and you’ll soon get a feel for how you want to go and what you’ll use your journal for. A few bullet-pointed lists and a few doodles to go with them. Take inspiration, but have a go at making your own systems so that they work for you. What to put in it? Lists, logs, plans, charts, dreams, goals… I actually started with a list of the lists I wanted to make.

Bullet Journal list of lists

Leaving enough space for bigger projects is essential, so think about what you need in advance. A new one for me this year is a garden plan; I’ve laid it out so that I’ve got space for each month, and within that month space for a list of jobs that need doing and things that need planting. I’ve a small garden, so I didn’t need a huge amount of space:

Bullet Journal garden plan

 What else is there? Pens? There are so many! Sharpies are good for bold, solid lives. Stabilo fineliners are my favourites for a wide choice of colours and a slim line. And the Uniball Eye in black is the best I’ve found for your everyday black pen.

Stabilo set

As for blank notebooks, head on over to my etsy store to browse handmade notebooks, sketchbooks or journals in a selection of covers and sizes – there’s bound to be something to fit your bullet journal needs, and if not, email me for a custom order!

Blue floral coptic main

Categories
Craft Gifts Inspiration Notebooks Stationery

Argh! Panic! Last minute Father’s Day ideas

Father’s Day is Sunday 19th June – that’s THIS SUNDAY people – and if you haven’t got anything yet, there’s not much time left!

If you’re thinking of ordering something handmade made from Etsy or Folky, I’d say you’ve got until Wednesday 15th to guarantee delivery in time. And if you’re not sure what to get, never fear! The internet is here to help!

Any online store will have a search facility, and of course that’s the ideal place to start; but head on over to Esty and they have a Treasury section. This is where lovely Etsy members have done the hard work for you and hand picked a selection of relevant goodies. For example:

Father's Day treasury

You can also head over to Folksy and take a peek at their Father’s Day Gift Guide. I really like this Superhero Report:

Dad's Superhero report

This Beer Time key ring/bottle opener:

Beer Time

And this fancy schmancy Shaving Bowl:

Shaving Bowl

Last of all, what kind of craft business woman would I be if I didn’t plug my own shop a wee bit? I’ve got a range of compact hand-bound notebooks in my Etsy store, perfect for the back pocket of your dad’s jeans. My favourite is this one here which fastens using a pencil – so you’ve always got something to write with to hand:

Dad's pocket notebook

I hope that’s given you last-minuters some good ideas! And if you really leave it too late, take him out for ice cream 😀

 

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Craft Craft fairs Notebooks Origami Paper Stationery

Updates! Recent makes, stall bookings, latest Etsy stock

Lilac guest book spine

 

I’ve been busy making Coptic-bound notebooks lately – and they’re all up for sale in my Etsy store. All hand stitched, I’ve done an A6 one and a couple of A5 books; use them for what you will – notebooks, sketchbooks, guestbooks, journals – they’re all very versatile! Here’s a peek at the newbies:

As well as stock, I’ve been playing with my new origami paper – making these gorgeous gingham elephants!

Origami elephants

I’m thinking they’ll make lovely greetings cards – what do you reckon? What other things do you think I could use them for?

Last but not least – I’ve booked a summer fete for later in the year. It’s a local affair for a good cause; my stall fee went straight to the hosts Just Giving page for SWAN – syndromes without a name, supporting undiagnosed children. It’s on July 24th at The Elgar Centre in Northampton, more details on their Facebook page.

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Books Craft Notebooks Paper Stationery Weddings

Handmade Wedding Guestbooks – now available!

Floral ribbon guest book - £18
Floral ribbon guest book – £18

Lately I’ve been working on my wedding stock and I’m pleased to announce that I’ve got the first handmade guest books up for sale on etsy!

These have both been covered in beautiful paper, with lovely open-view hand stitching and ribbon fastenings.

Wedding book pink heart ribbon

Guest book stitching

These ones are A5 and are £18 each – P&P is £2.50. You can order these ones from my etsy shop, or contact me directly for custom orders if you would like a particular colour/style.

 

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Craft Notebooks Origami Paper Stationery

New on Folksy!

Finally! After taking a gazillion photos and agonising over my product descriptions, I have managed to get my first lot of stock up on Folky.

Check it out here.

Bright coptic

Etsy to follow very soon… unfortunately my camera battery has run out and I’ve lost the charger!!

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Craft Notebooks Paper Stationery

New Year, new notebooks

I’m currently working to stock my online shops with my handmade notebooks, plus I’ve got some products into a shop in town – so it’s all go! Here are some samples of what I’ve been doing:

Light leather

Leather 1

Leather 2

 

Bright coptic

Coptic spines