Categories
General Stationery Tutorial

Still not tried bullet journaling? A simple guide to get you started.

Do you love lists? Organising your thoughts on paper? Tracking your goals? Bullet journaling might be for you!

Bullet journaling isn’t a new trend – in fact, it started to become popular around 10 years ago, so most likely you’ve heard of it. It can be used to focus your tasks, track your goals and generally organise your life; often done on dotted paper, but you can use blank or even lined. The point is to customise it your way.

As with starting any new notebook, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all those empty pages. Some people use bullet journals a bit like an extension of a diary or planner – often with a key or index for reference.
However, this can be a big undertaking at first, so my advice would be to start with one or two things and go from there; make them something you like, something fun – books you want to read, top films etc. or tracking your favourite exercise (if you have one!).

To get yourself started, you only need a few basics. 

Essentials:

  • Journal/notebook
  • Pen/pencil

Nice to have:

  • Coloured pens or pencils
  • Ruler
  • Rubber

What about paper type? A dot grid allows you to easily draw neater lines & boxes, create charts & tables, and gives you guides to draw banners and embellishments – without hindering your creativity too much. If you want to use blank, lined or graph paper, that’s fine too! 

The biggest task is setting up the pages; using templates and guides can help, especially if you’re using blank paper – draw out a guide on a spare piece of paper and you can use it to trace again and again.

It can be as simple or as complicated as you’d like to make it. Tailor it to your strengths and needs. If all you need from it is a title and some bullet points for lists – perfect. If you want to decorate every inch of paper – go for it!

These simple flags can be made any size you want, and can be used for things like titles or tabs for section headers, or just to decorate the page.

To do/To buy

This is a great one to start with: nice and simple, easy to repeat and can be customised each week/month. (It’s one I use all the time!). I used the dot grid to draw the outlines, then decorated the edges with coloured fine liners. Stars make a fun alternative to round bullet points.

Books books books 📚Aiming to read a certain number of books each month, or just to track your reading for the year? This bookshelf layout can help do that! The “shelf” was created on plain paper, using a ruler and pencil, before going over in pen. You can then sketch out the books in pencil, and outline or colour them in as you finish each book. 

Fancy having a go? I’ve got two styles of dot grid journal in stock:
Moon Phases and Smoky Keys.
Shop plain paper journals and notebooks here.

Categories
General Notebooks Stationery Stationery Tutorial

How to turn your blank journal into a diary

New year, new diary

So, you’ve got a blank-paged journal and would like to use it as a diary… what do you do? Where do you start? All those empty pages can feel quite daunting!

I’ve put together a quick guide with some ideas to help you out. 

If you’re looking to turn your blank journal into a diary, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got enough pages to last the year. My journals are 128 pages (sides) – here’s an idea of how you could use them.


If you create weekly spreads and do each one over 2 pages, it would make up 104 of the pages (see above image, created in an A6 journal). You could then allocate 1 page per month for a monthly spread, creating it at the start of each set of weeks.

You’ll need more weeks in some months; if you have each monthly layout on a right-hand page, the the next 4 or 5 sets of double pages can be weekly spreads for that month (you’d then end up with a spare blank left-hand page, opposite the next month).

To do the monthly layout, start with a 7×5 grid (days of the week x weeks in the month; it’s easiest to do 5 weeks for all months, because of how the dates fall). 

For an A6 journal, make the grid from squares that are roughly 1.5 x 1.5 cm; for A5 they can be around 2 x 2 cm (it might be a good idea to make a template to copy/trace every month). Write the days above the grid, then add the dates in the boxes.

Add a title for the month at the top of the page, as fancy as you like – make it into a banner, flag, or decorate the word. Here are some ideas:

That’s the main structure taken care of… what else will you need? Maybe a title page at the start, or a couple of pages for a yearly outlook? A page to list birthdays/important dates? You could have ideas/note pages each month, or have a few blank pages at the end for jotting things down. 

You can create your diary however you want, with whatever pages you’d like to add, but hopefully I’ve given you some ideas for a way to start it off. 

Happy journaling!

Don’t forget, you can shop my range of blank handmade journals and notebooks in my Etsy shop 👇

Categories
General Origami Paper Tutorial

Step by step origami star tutorial with pictures

Have a go at making this origami star! It may seem fiddly, so have a practice run first on a scrap square of paper to get the hang of it.

It’s a four-pointed star, so a lot of the folds you’ll be repeating the same thing 4 times on all 4 sections/layers (often 2 front, 2 back) – bear this in mind when following along.

You’ll need a square of fairly thin paper (if your paper is double-sided, start with the plain side facing up). Don’t forget to fold neatly and crease firmly!

  • Start with the paper square on in front of you.
  • Fold in half from top to bottom, crease and unfold, then fold in half from side to side, creasing well.
  • Open back out into a square
  • Turn the paper over, then fold from corner to opposite corner; again, do this both ways.
  • Open back out into a square.
  • Pick the paper up and press the centre upwards, bringing the edges down.
  • You should end up with a folded diamond shape, with open layers at the bottom.
  • Taking the top layer only, fold the outside bottom edge to the centre crease.
  • Repeat this step on all bottom edges, front and back.
  • Next, you’ll need to open up the folds you’ve just made and, using the creases from these folds, push them inside…
  • They should look like this!
  • Repeat with all 4 folds. You should have a lot of layers at the bottom now!
  • Using the top layer only (the long triangle at the bottom), fold the bottom point upwards.
  • Repeat for all 4 points in turn.
  • At this point, the model should end look like a triangle pointing upwards.
  • Take one of the bottom outside corners and fold it in to meet the centre crease.
  • Again, this step will need to be repeated with all 4 bottom corners in turn, so fold the front 2 up…
  • …then turn over and fold the back 2 up in the same way.
  • Pick the model up for the next step.
  • We’re going to open up the star, taking all 4 of the top points out and down.
  • It helps if you stick a thumb either side of the central point, to help you ease it open – the middle of the model should kind of lift and flatten into a square.
  • Press all the creases flat and you’re done!
  • Ta da!
Categories
Craft Origami Paper Tutorial

Simple origami pencil holder – step by step tutorial with pictures

Learn how to fold a simple pen or pencil holder from a piece of paper! This origami tutorial gives you pictures with step by step instructions.

You’ll need a square of paper – I’ve used standard origami paper, which is 15x15cm and fairly thin, but you can cut a square from an old magazine, newspaper, or sheet of printer paper. You’ll also need some glue or tape.

My two main rules of origami are fold neatly and crease firmly; if you don’t have a creasing tool you can run the back of your thumb nail over the creases to make sure they’re nice and sharp.

Ready? Let’s fold!

  • If you’re using paper with a different pattern/colour on each side, start with the pattern you want to be on the outside facing down.
  • With the inner side of the paper facing you, set the paper square ready for folding.
  • Fold in half from side to side, bringing one edge over to meet the opposite edge.
  • Crease & unfold.
  • Taking one side, fold that edge to meet the centre crease you’ve just made.
  • Do the same with the other side, folding the edge over to meet the centre.
  • Unfold both sides. You should have three evenly spaced vertical creases.
  • Take the top right corner and fold down so the top edge meets the centre crease.
  • Take the top left corner and fold down to meet the left-hand crease.
  • The next step is folding it all up, using the existing creases. Fold the left-hand crease to the center…
  • …then fold from the center crease over to the left…
  • …and lastly, turn the model over, then fold the remaining flap over the back.
  • This is basically the model finished, but we’ll need to fix it together so your stuff doesn’t fall out! So, open it all back up…
  • Run a thin layer of glue along the bottom edge – where the arrow is!
  • Then do the same up the short side edge.
  • Now, just follow the steps to folding it all up, making sure you press firmly where the glue is to secure.
  • You can also use tape to hold it in place – you just have to fold it all up, then cut a piece of tape to fold over the bottom opening and another to tape up the side.
  • You’re done! If you’ve used a roughly 15x15cm square, you should be able to fit 3 or 4 pencils/pens in – but you can easily make bigger or small ones using different sized pieces of paper.
  • These make a really nice way of wrapping stationery to give as a gift.
Categories
Craft Gifts Lunchtime Lusting Origami Tutorial

Gift for Geeks, Origami tutorial & Meet the Maker

Hey! How’ve you all been? Ready for Spring? Me too. I’m not good at small talk, so let’s skip that and go straight to the fun stuff!

If niche gifting is what you’re after, this site has got it covered. Present Indicative describe their site as “Thoughtful gifts for curious people”. Blood vessel embroidery? They’ve got it. Make your own catapult? Why not! Soft toys shaped like microbes? Who knew Amoebas where so cute. Being a music lover, I think one of my favourites is this musical domino set.

Gifts can be tricky, though; and gift cards are great, but can sometimes seem a bit boring to give… so how about making a fancy holder? All you need is a sheet of A4 paper. You can find full instructions here; it’s really simple, just a few basic folds! Add a ribbon if you’re feeling extra fancy. I bet you are. Go on, add a ribbon.

Over on Instagram, the lovely Joanne Hawker runs March Meet The Maker. A chance for makers and creatives to share their stories and find other makers and creatives! So why not pop over to Instagram and give the hashtag a follow? I’ll be joining in over on my Instagram account and sharing to Facebook too. 

Categories
Craft General Origami Paper Tutorial

Origami gift card holder – step by step tutorial

Why not fancy up a gift card by whipping up one of these simple origami card holders?

All you need is a sheet of A4 paper! After every step, remember to check the fold is neat and then crease firmly. If you don’t have a creasing tool, you can use the back of your thumbnail. Ready?

  • If you’re using paper with a pattern or colour on one side, start with the plain side facing you.
  • Fold in half (from side to side).
  • Crease and unfold.
  • One side at a time, fold the left and right edges in to meet the centre crease, then unfold.
  • Taking each corner in turn, fold in to meet the crease made in the previous step, until all 4 corners are folded.
  • Now fold in the left and right edges in to meet in the middle again.
  • Turn the model over.
  • Fold in half, top to bottom – crease and unfold.
  • Take the bottom and fold up to just past the horizontal crease from the last step.
  • Next, do the same with the top – fold down so it overlaps slightly.
  • Now you should be able to tuck the top bit you’ve just folded down into the bottom bit…
  • And we’re done! A standard gift card should fit into one of the pockets, then you can fold it in half ready for gifting – add a ribbon if you’re feeling extra fancy!
How to make a simple origami gift card holder. Step by step tutorial with pictures.
Categories
Origami Paper Tutorial

Easy Origami Rabbit Tutorial – Step By Step

I chose this for my next tutorial as 2023 is the Chinese year of the rabbit! There are lots of origami bunny tutorials; this is one of the simpler ones.

All you really need is some thin squares of paper and a pair of scissors.

If you make this out of double sided paper, the inside of the ears will be a different colour! Not got any? Use two thin sheets of different colours (that’s what I’ve done here).

Don’t forget to fold neatly and crease firmly – you can press the creases with the back of your thumb nail if you don’t have a creasing tool.

  • If you’re using two-colour paper, start with the colour you want the inside of the ears to be facing upwards.
  • Start with the paper in a diamond shape, with a corner pointing towards you.
  • Fold in half from top point to bottom, crease and unfold.
  • Take the bottom left sloping edge and fold in to meet the centre crease.
  • Do the same with the top left edge.
  • Take the right hand point – fold it back to meet the edge you’ve just made, then fold the tip back the other way so it sticks out over the flat edge a bit (this will be the tail!)
  • Flip the whole thing over.
  • Fold the left hand point over to the right, so it almost meets the flat edge.
  • Next, fold the whole thing in half, bringing the centre crease upwards and the edges down towards each other – it’s easier if you pick it up to do this (see last picture).
  • Now we’re going to make the ears! At the moment, they look like they’re laying along the rabbit’s back.
  • Hold the bottom of the model in one hand and gently bring the points of the ears up with the other.
  • Stop when the back of the ears are roughly perpendicular to the base. Crease well.
  • Ok – so the next step involves separating the ears! Take a pair of scissors and very carefully snip down the centre crease between the ears, being careful not to cut all the way down.
  • To give the ears a bit more shape – stick your finger in them 😂 You can open them out a bit at the bottom, which will show the contrasting paper (if you’ve used it).
  • Lastly, lay the model down and go over all the creases on the body one last time.
  • Bunny is finished! Stand bunny up.
  • 🐇
Categories
Craft Origami Paper Tutorial

Simple step-by-step origami boat tutorial

This simple origami boat is a fun model to fold. Use a fairly thin square of paper, and remember to fold neatly and crease firmly after each step.

  • Start with your paper square as shown above. If you don’t have a creasing tool, you can use the back of your thumb nail to help crease. We’ll be folding it horizontally then vertically to start with, creating a grid of quarters. Ready?
  • Fold in half from side to side, making sure the edges line up; crease and unfold.
  • Do the same thing, this time folding the other way, to create the horizontal fold; crease and open up fully.
  • You should be left with folds dissecting the paper into neat quarters.
  • Turning the paper 90 degrees, fold the bottom point under and up to meet the top point.
  • The next picture shows how the creases sit.
  • Take the bottom point and fold it up to meet the centre.
  • Do the same with the top point, so they meet in the middle.
  • Next, fold the left point into the centre…
  • …then fold this point back, but instead of folding from the original crease, fold a little way in from that.
  • The next step can be a bit fiddly, but the previous folds will help you out! Pick the model up and press gently in the centre; the middle should go down and the outside edges should come up!
  • Gently press the bottom together to encourage the creases – you’re after a big triangle at the bottom and 2 smaller triangles at the top.
  • Once your model looks right, press and crease all the folds well.
  • Lastly, fold the bottom point back to form the bottom of your boat. If you get it just right, it should stand up by itself!

Hope you enjoyed this model. They look great in different sizes to make a whole fleet.

Don’t forget, you can subscribe to my email list for updates, fun stationery finds, handmade joy and the odd treat!

Categories
Craft Origami Paper Tutorial

Tutorial: Simple origami bat

This simple origami bat is fun and quick to make and makes great decorations for Halloween. All you need is a square of thin-ish paper.

Remember, with origami you need to fold neatly and crease each fold firmly as you make them.

  • Start with the square of paper in a ‘diamond’.
  • Fold in half horizontally, bottom corner to top corner.
  • Fold in half vertically, bringing the left point over to the right point.
  • Open up the last step.
  • Fold the bottom edge up, but not all the way – just so there’s just a small triangle of the underneath layer showing.
  • Fold this little triangle down, over the edge you folded up in the last step.
  • Pick the model up and fold in half, backwards along the central crease, wing tip to wing tip.
  • Now you just need to fold the wings up! Fold the top wing only, by taking the outside point towards you and up, so the bottom edge is now in line with the central crease from the previous step.
  • Turn the model over and repeat the last step with the other wing…
  • …open out the wings slightly and you’ve got yourself a bat!

You can experiment with adding more folds in the wings to make different bats. Made this model? Share it on social media and tag me in your pics.

Categories
Craft General Inspiration Lunchtime Lusting Stationery Tutorial

Desk tidies, creative inspiration & crafting for self care

Ahoy there! If you’ve not already signed up to my newsletter (and why not? It’s THRILLING! Check out the handy pop-up and stick your email address in there!) then this is for you to peruse. A little of this, a little of that, just some stationery, fun and creativity. Enjoy!

Like a dress with pockets and a wallet with enough slots for your cards, having a desk tidy with ample spaces for all your different stationery essentials is a much searched for item. But is there such thing as the perfect one? I think this one comes pretty close. Plenty of places for pens and pencils, plus a couple of drawers to hide all those bits you’re not quite sure where to put.

Creativity is great when it’s running free, but how do you motivate yourself when your mojo is running low? Here are a few hints and tips for you to try out:

  • Brainstorm your ideas – just go with it and write down everything that pops into your head.
  • Carry a notebook with you, to capture all those on-the-go random thoughts.
  • Take a break from social media! It can be a great source of inspiration, but try and mix up your input. 
  • Try something new – break out of your comfort zone.
  • Listen to music – how about something completely different to usual?

It’s been proven that craft can be great for your mental health, and I think everyone could do with a little boost at the moment! Why not take a break and try something simple? Pinterest is a goldmine of ideas for fun crafts to try, often using just a few items you can find around the home. You can find a few over on my ‘Craft Tutorials & DIY‘ board. Go get your make on!