Paper Source’s New Year Paper Lantern-Themed Party


Things get mighty hectic around Paper Source during the holiday season, so this year, we decided to start a new tradition with a New Year’s Party.  Our Human Resources director came to us with a picture of Moroccan lanterns that inspired her, and a theme centered around light, warmth and renewal.

Check out our instructions for creating the pear-shaped Lantern (top, middle) and geometric lantern (top, right) at the bottom of this post!

With a palette of White, Cream, Silver, Bronze, Mint, Royal and Coral, paper lanterns of all shapes and sizes were created for the event, and accented with coordinating ribbon and orchids.  With battery-operated candles inside, a warm, convivial glow was cast over the whole event.

These accent lanterns in the cupboard are super easy to make (you may have even done so as a kid!)  If not, check out the instructions at the bottom of the post!

For instructions on creating this megastar lantern, check out the bottom of the post!

The designs came from the minds of many contributing employees.  Here are how to make just a few of them!

Accent Lanterns

These little guys are simple to make and sturdy enough to stand on a table by themselves, but are also ripe for hanging as well!

  1. Fold a piece of paper in half along its width.
  2. Cut lines across the fold towards the outer edges.  Leave a margin of an inch or two.
  3. For an extra-fancy touch, you can punch holes along the outer edges.
  4. Unfold and bring the paper’s lengthwise edges together and adhere them with tape, glue or staples!

Pear-Shaped Lantern (featured in the second photo)

This is a really easy one!  Simply cut strips of paper of equal lengths, then connect all of the strips at one end using a brad.  Join the other end of the strips together at the top and finish off with another brad, add a string and hang!

Geometric Lantern (featured in the second photo, on the right)

We followed this Megan Allan Cole‘s terrific tutorial video on  All you need is an exacto knife, paper, a cutting mat and a lust for triangles!

Megastar Lantern (last photo)

This lantern was certainly the belle of the ball!  Grab a stapler and 15 sheets of equally-sized paper.  It doesn’t matter the size, as long as they are all exactly the same.

  1. Fold each piece of paper once, lengthwise.
  2. Fold each corner of each paper in towards the center fold-line, as if you were making a paper airplane with two noses.
  3. Arrange your first 5 pieces of paper so that they are lined up across your work surface, width-wise.
  4. Staple adjoining creases together.  It is very important that the staple lie precisely within the crease!
  5. Arrange your next 5 pieces of paper so that they are lined up both across your work surface, length-wise, and flush to your previous row of 5.  Staple adjacent creases.
  6. Follow suit with the last 5 pieces of paper.  As you adjoin creases, you will eventually close the lantern together into its final, starry shape!


We’ve just fallen in love with paper lanterns since the party and would like to know… do you have any paper-lantern tricks or patterns of your own you’d like to share?

Looking Back: The Best of Paper Source 2013

As we sit at the beginning of a new year, we’re taking a little time to reflect on all the good times and get-togethers we’ve had with families and friends in 2013, facilitated by a little creativity and a lot of gorgeous paper! (Hint: don’t miss a chance to win at the end of this blog!)

wedding invitation

We first revisit Stephen C.’s gorgeous train-ticket inspired wedding invitations. His invitations demonstrate that minimal, high quality materials like our #10 gold shimmer envelopes and #10 notecards are enough to really make your own design ingenuity shine!

Oscars Party

Next, we created a simple yet glamorous Oscars Party using gold chevron as our theme. Last year, we used wrapping paper for placemats, but now, we have fantastic, customizable placemats in a variety of colors and designs including the very Oscar-worthy Gold Confetti!

space themed onesies

 In the summer, we threw an outer space-themed baby shower for our beloved art director, Karen. Small details and simple supplies made all the difference in this ethereal bash: a sundae bar with celestial-themed toppings, hand-painted onesies themed after the solar system, and a gorgeous, hand-painted keepsake box to hold them in!

Later in the year, we were inspired by Houston customer Kristina’s paper wedding décor! Kristina proved that a small wedding budget makes for a no less gorgeous experience than an expensive one. Her pool-colored pompoms, pinwheels, and large-scale paper flowers created a festive and personal atmosphere; after all, most of the decorations were made by herself and a bridesmaid. She even created her own miniature pinwheel cake-topper!

We’re looking forward to 365 more days of making everyday celebrations extraordinary! That’s what we love so much about partying with paper: it’s beautiful, economical, and best of all– with the advice of any Paper Source store associate or this blog– incredibly easy to realize your creative vision for your next event.

So, to send this year off right, we’d like to turn it over to you: what is one of the best party hosting/decorating tips you’ve ever learned from Paper Source? Tell us in the comments, and one lucky winner will receive a $100 gift card!

Comment by January 9, 2014. Winner will be selected at random on January 10th and notified via email.


UPDATE**  We have a winner!  Thank you Amy B. for this little gem: “I especially loved the how-to tassel garland you shared with us back in July. So festive and fun, this garland will truly make any occasion extra special. Your tutorials and great ideas will definitely help as I prepare to host my sister-in-laws upcoming baby shower! I love you Paper Source!”

A great, big thank you to all of you for your readership, participation and creativity!

How-To: Tissue Pom Pom Garland with Sugar Skulls

sugar skull craft

Nothing is as sweet as our Sugar Skulls! Patterned after traditional Mexican Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) decorations, our Sugar Skulls can be found on Paper Source glassware, as masks, in our kits, and more! Today, we bring to you an easy, colorful Sugar Skull Tissue Pom Pom Garland project that will set your Halloween decor apart from all the rest!

Materials Needed:


    1. Fold a sheet of tissue into fourths length-wise and then into fourths width-wise.
    2. Cut squares of tissue measuring approximately 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″.
    3. Create stacks of 10-12 squares of tissue.
    4. Gently fold the square in half making a small crease to locate the center of the square.
    5. Unfold and staple stack at center point using crease as a guide.
    6. Turn stack over and staple again, perpendicular to the first staple.
    7. Using scissors, cut off each of the four corners of stapled stack.  Repeat steps to create desired number of pom poms.
    8. Thread needle with desired length of Baker’s Twine.
    9. Pierce needle through all layers of one tissue stack near the staple in the center of the bundle.
    10. To keep tissue pom pom from sliding on thread, bring the needle back through the center, over staple, securing pom pom in place.
    11. Continue threading tissue squares onto twine in the same manner.
    12. Gently crumple each stack of tissue to create texture and then separate each layer of tissue carefully, working from the outside towards the center.
    13. Fluff pom poms to schieve desired fullness.

We added Sugar Skull Masks to the garland for Day of the Dead, but this easy garland can add color to any day!

Amazing Autumn Kits

If you picked up our catalog, you probably noticed that we’re kind of crazy about kits. These expertly coordinated paper projects are great because they are a fun DIY project for any skill level and can be styled to suite many tastes.

Whether you’re looking for color, class, or crafting fun, these autumn kits are pretty amazing.

feather garland

One of our favorites this season is our Feather Kit. These are bold and bright and add a festive touch to any room or party, which is great for kids (they love to make them too!).

fall decor

Or bring bright, bold color to more a sophisticated adult settings, by creating an incredible place setting for your next dinner party, shower or at your Thanksgiving table.

wreath kit

If you appreciate a more subdued color palette, try our new Burlap Wreath! Made from burlap, metallic shimmer papers, and glitter paper with alternating shades of cream and gold, this wreath is a showstopper without overshadowing your existing design! A great accent that’s appropriate throughout season.

fall wreath

Looking for something that has a classic fall feel? This Fall Leaf Wreath is a favorite. Great to re-use season after season, because these leaves won’t wilt and the colors will stay vibrant long after nature’s leaves die down. This can also be used as a captivating centerpiece (picture it flat on your table with a vase of flowers, or gourds in the middle!).

Fall is a great time for feasting with family. Once you have your table set, give it a fall feel with any of these fun critter accents. Not only are they the perfect afternoon craft for kids, but the finished piece can be used separately or can be combined with other sets to make a forest of friends right on your table top.

Whether you use the foxes, hedgehogs, owls, or acorns, the kids are sure to love transitioning their outdoor fun to the indoors with these playful characters.

Find these and other fall crafts online or at your local store. With just a few steps, we’re sure your home will look awesome this autumn!

Paper Source How-To: Chalkboard Pencil Box

DIY Pencil Case

Claudia, a member of the Paper Source Design Team, creates many of our terrific kits. Today, she offers up a project that is perfect for back-to-school. Learn to make an extra-special Chalkboard Pencil Box using one of our paper maché boxes.

Start with the following materials:

  • Dexter Pencil Box
  • Chalkboard Paint
  • Teal and White Twill Ribbon
  • Neon Washi Tape Set
  • White Chalk
  • 1″ Poly Brushes
  • Heavy Duty 1/8″ Punch
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Instructions:

    1. Paint top, sides and inside (optional) of pencil box using chalkboard paint and poly brush.  Paint 2-3 coats, allowing box to fully dry in between coats.
    2. Decorate with washi tape as desired.
    3. Use a ruler and pencil to mark the center of the box approximately 1/2″ in from the bottom edge of the lid and on the front side of the box, approximately 1/2″ from the bottom.
    4. Punch holes and thread a length of ribbon through each hole, securing ribbons in place with knots on the inside.
    5. Prior to use, rub the entire surface you will be writing on with chalk.
    6. Wipe off and use chalk to write desired name, message or a design of your own!
    7. Now your custom box is ready to fill with back-to-school goodies!

    With a craft this easy, you can make one for all of your kids. (And maybe the teacher, too.  Who knows?  There may be bonus points awarded!)


    Ice Pop Garland Kit (Recipes Too!)

    Just because the kids are heading back to school doesn’t mean that summer is over. The new Ice Pop Garland Kit is the perfect reminder of refreshing, sun-filled days ahead. The promise of something sweet and cold in bright cheery colors is enough to inspire a party.

    Since these colorful paper treats are a hit among kids and adults, we scoured Pinterest for equally delightful recipes that would complement a summer party or after-school gathering.

    ice pop

    Take a bite out of these delicious treats:

    1. Apricot & Strawberry Yogurt Pops from 3191 Miles Apart
    2. Nutella Fudgecicles from The Daily Waffle
    3. Stawberry & Banana Pops from Williams-Sonoma
    4. Assorted Fruit Pops from Chez Beeper Bebe

    Kids love making their own treats. And, the best part for you?… It’s still nice out, so they can enjoy them outside, where sticky hands can be hosed off afterwards!

    Run + Sun + Fun: My Chevron Accented Summer Party

    When I committed to running the Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon earlier this Spring, I immediately started dreaming of the finish and — to keep my eye on the prize– I suggested we host a party to celebrate the finish and a sunny afternoon with our family and friends. My husband, while not at all eager to run 13.1 miles, had his own secret ambitions of smoking meat. Cookout time!

    chevron invitation

    My colleagues have taught me that a good invite is always appreciated, so the talented Ann (hostess of numerous Paper Source events) whipped up something fun for this summer party. Somehow, she tied together my love of chevron, the cookout factor and the summer sunshine to create this party invitation. (The 4Bar size was just as fun as the sunshine and chevron design!)

    My parents, who are no strangers to my ridiculous athletic endeavors, immediately responded to our invitation as if this event were any of the volleyball tournaments, soccer matches or basketball games they were forced to attended over the last 30+ years. My in-laws also enthusiastically agreed to cheer on myself and their daughter (who I roped into running), but to also oversee my husband’s culinary adventure. They even offered up their skills and cooked us a wonderful pre-race meal.

    gift bags

    With out-of-town guests this special, I decided to create little welcome bags full of treats, beverages and reading material to have at their hotels. A stranger to “theme” I even went so far as to coordinate these with the rest of the party, using chevron gift bags, baker’s twine and gift tags (made from Sunshine paper)!

    Race day comes early, so I went over my table “plan” with my mom the night before.

    My excuse for employing her help? I didn’t know how much time there would be for me to set up.

    The truth? She’s just so much better at this stuff. (Gasp! But you work at Paper Source?! I know, I know, but my love for our products is really because of her!)

    My mom can create accents from anything, rifle through her pantry to make a meal and tie a few bows to make something look like it wasn’t a mistake. She’s was the lady for job, not me.

    party decorations

    She and my mother-in-law took my random collection of goods and set a table that complimented the theme. They tied in a few rustic elements like a wood crate and canning jars.

    ball jar ideas
    With the help of some paper straws and baker’s twine, they also made cute drinking glasses for the racers and our birthday boy and girl.

    party accents

    They wrapped loose leaf tea containers in chevron gift wrap, which were used for forks, knives and spoons. The wrap also came in handy as a way to mark the stations of the table.

    custom napkins

    I was really excited to put out the custom napkins we ordered. While I was off running through Chicago, my husband stood watch over a Boston Butt… it took all evening, morning and afternoon to prepare this pork treat. I wanted something fun to celebrate his achievement (and his sense of humor) so we created these chevron napkins for the party.

    summer party

    With a little inspiration from my Paper Source family and some perspiration from my own family, I was successful in morphing from Runner-in-Training that morning to Hostess-in-Training that afternoon. Learning that Run + Sun + Fun = SLEEP!

    – Liz

    Favorite PS colors: sunshine & slate
    Favorite PS product: Chevron Table Wrapping Paper

    We Love Foxes!

    What weighs about 13 pounds, can run 30 mph and has completely taken over Paper Source?  Why, foxes, of course!

    These clever creatures have made their way onto gift wrap, file folders, kitchen aprons and so much more! Their persimmon fur positively pops against the night and white backgrounds, and the fox design is absolutely charming alongside hedgehogs and mushrooms in our Woodland Animal Journals set.

    There are so many cute, fox-filled Paper Source products to choose from — what creature will our designers get into next?

    Navigating Nautical: A Summer With Paper Source

    Don’t get tied into knots! Get in ship shape for your summer party or weekend cookout with our nautical finds. Not sure what floats your boat? Let us navigate you through the waters.

    Set the scene for your best party yet with a little help from our Nautical Garland Kit. This Paper Source exclusive garland looks great on walls, hanging from ceilings, or draped across tables!

    Go coastal by decorating your home with rustic accents printed with heart-warming summer mantras like All You Need Is Love And The Beach or This Is My Happy Place. Or, get a helping hand in the kitchen with the octopus hook (great for wet towels!).

    Fill your cupboards with creature-friendly accessories designed exclusively by Paper Source. Our Nautical Glasses and Sea Life Plates are sure to be a hit with kids and parents all year round!

    Looking for a simple ode to the clear, blue waters of the season? Available for only one year (to celebrate the 100th anniversary), Ball is producing their iconic pint jars in a beautiful blue hue. Fill with your signature parfait, adorn your beverages with paper straws, personalized goodies with labels, or decorate with washi tape, these special edition jars are perfect for a nautical summer.

    nautical crafts

    Our nautical crafts are another great way to celebrate the sun. Create a pirate perfect invitation or a sweet treat with seaside flair.

    maritime knot

    Attending a summer birthday? This maritime knot accent is a great way to celebrate their day. Find instructions to make a maritime knot accent on our blog.

    And that’s just the beginning. Steer your ship to our website or your local store to check out our entire fleet of nautical gifts and accents.

    Bon Voyage!