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!

Employee Holiday Cards

Store holiday card submissions from (left to right, top to bottom): Scottsdale, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Ann Arbor, Denver, Brooklyn (Smith St.), Santana Row, Pasadena, Deer Park, Santa Barbara, Oakbrook, Austin.

Every year, we put our store teams’ creative skills to the test with an Employee Holiday Card Contest.  Over the past couple of weeks, brightly-decorated envelopes have been showing up in our mailbox and now all the submissions are in!  Votes (from employees in our HQ) have been tallied and winners have been selected – but we can’t tell you who they are quite yet!

Look for our post in January to learn who came out on top!  And in the meantime, take a look at some of our favorite submissions (and feel free to predict which cards landed 1st, 2nd and 3rd place).

We hope you are feeling inspired, because it’s not too late to enter our customer Holiday Crafting Contest!

 

Holiday Crafting Contest

Crafting Contest

One thing we love about this season is that it sparks wonderful handmade moments.  We see so many customers in our stores who have inspiring ideas for card making, food gifting and wrapping.  So, along with celebrating the holidays, we are celebrating your creativity!

We are seeking submissions from avid crafters and beginners alike for our Holiday Crafting Contest.  If your creative side has been dormant, now is the time to awaken it!  Whether you get the prize or not, your project will be displayed on our website. Winners will be featured in a blog post and receive a Paper Source gift card.

There are three categories: Food Gifting, Wrapping and Card Making.  Each category will be awarded a first, second and third place prize.

Entering is easy! 

  1. Take a photo of your project
  2. Follow this link
  3. Upload your photo

We can’t wait to see what you’ve created!  For more details on the contest, click here.

Check out last year’s winners here.

Let’s Wrap About Food

Hear that sound?  It’s the sound of recipe books cracking open, their contents ripe for gleaning holiday cookies, cakes and pies for enjoying at home or better yet- sharing with others!

We’ll leave the expert baking (or tasteful selecting) up to you, but where it concerns presentation, we’ve got you all wrapped up.

For small treats, like candy or chocolates, our favor bags are crisp and classy!  Cello bags come in both clear and holiday stripe varieties.  We also have a nearly endless array of paper favor bags that can stamped, embossed and washi-taped to your decorative desire.  Burlap bags are a perennial favorite and all can be ‘darlingly’ addressed to your lucky recipient using baker’s twine and hangtags!

For larger items, gift bags always fit the bill.  Show your friends they truly take the cake (or bread!) with our individual loaf pans.  And for those who would rather drink than dine, a bottle of wine or a special liquor is never out of place under the tree, especially when enrobed in one of our endlessly customizable wine bags.

Of course, as much as we love our bag offerings, not all edibles were made to travel in anything other than a box.  Luckily, we’ve got plenty of answers for you there as well!  Square Favor Boxes and Pillow Favor Boxes dress up easily with satin ribbonKraft boxes  make homemade treats handsome, and with the swift addition of a bit of holiday wrap and ribbon, twine or string, you’ll make your gift the envy of all poor cookies smothered under red plastic wrap on a paper plate.

Let baking be the hard part, because with Paper Source, wrapping it up is easy as pie!

Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

Continuing our Holiday Gift Guide, here are some ideas for stocking stuffers! The best gifts don’t always come in big packages. Give these ‘small somethings’ in stockings or on their own…they’re sure to make a big impression!

 

Fun & Silly

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Fun & Useful

  • Survival Credit Card: Be ready for anything with this handy tool that conveniently fits in any wallet. Includes can opener, knife edge, screwdriver, ruler, 4-position wrench, butterfly screw wrench, saw blade, 2-position wrench, key chain hole and bottle opener. Stainless steel. $4.95
  • Gold Stripe Minimergency Kit: Everything a girl might need for an everyday challenge. Includes everything from hairspray to stain remover to nail polish. $16.95
  • Power Bank Charger: For those unexpected power failures. Contains a mini USB cord and charge adapters for the iPhone 4/4S and 5, and Samsung devices. Store in the colored zipper pouch. $21.95
  • Kate Spade Erasers: Fun erasers with bright pops of color! $14.95
  • 8-in-1 Screwdriver: A handy multi-tool with storage for 8 screw bits. $5.95

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Festive & Yummy

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Holiday Gift Wrap for Every Style

Wrapping is like an art form to some, but it’s easy enough that even a novice can create a masterpiece… and we have wraps, ribbons and adornments to make anyone look like an expert.

Here are some of our favorites for the holidays…

If you’re not sure where to start, we’re featuring our holiday gift wrap in collections this year — making inspiration easy to come by! Our design team grouped many necessities together to make coordinating your packages a painless task.

One of our favorites is the Merry Mistletoe series, which features our Watercolor Mistletoe Wrapping Paper; a classic theme with an updated and modern look.

If you want a sleeker look, check out the ever-popular Sophisticated Classics. The deep colors and classic icons create an elegant story. One of the best things about our wrapping paper is pairing traditional (like our Slate Pine Branch design) with modern (like our Slate Chevron or Red Glitter styles) for a fun yet cohesive look that carries across all your packages.

If you (or Santa!) are looking for ways to save time this year, our gift bag and gift box options offer the same great style you’ll find in our gift wrap and they save you time.

We also have a large assortment of single sheet styles that offer even more ways to personalize and style a package this holiday.

Add a flourish to your gift with decorative ribbon, gift tags, stamps and stickers. Or, pick from our collection of gifts and ornaments to accents your gift. We like the idea of adding one of our whimisical ornaments as a finishing touch. Here are just a few of our suggested pairings.

How will you wrap this year? Share your expert tips or tell us what style will take the stage this holiday.

Holiday Gift Guide

 

The holiday season is in full swing and we might not be Santa Claus, but we’re pretty sure we’ve got the perfect gift for everyone on your list! Enjoy our top holiday gift picks below, brought to you by our Gift Buyer, Katie Mulligan.

 

For Her: 

  • Kate Spade Pencil Case: This delightfully chic collection of items make great gifts for anyone who has an affinity for Kate Spade or who appreciates beautiful and bold graphics. I love the idea of using this as a chic clutch! $29.95
  • Chevron Tote Bag: This durable yet chic tote bag is the perfect carry-all bag for any occasion! A stylish gift for women of all ages. $26.95
  • iPhone Covers:  From bold and bright to soft and sweet, to fun and quirky–we have iPhone covers (for iPhone 4 and 5) sure to match any personality! $29.95 and up

 

For Him:

  • Buff & Shine Shoe Polish Kit: This shoe shine kit is the perfect gift for working Don Drapers men everywhere.  Contains two tins of polish in neutral and black, two brushes each with ‘Looking Buff’ and ‘Rise & Shine’ inscribed, plus cleaning cloth. $25.95
  • Beardo Hat: For the quirky guys in your life! A hilarious way to keep warm this winter! $29.99
  • Fish Flask: Drink like fish…from a fish! A great gift for some who loves to fish or simply appreciates a funny flask. $27.95
  • Guide to American Whiskey, Bourbon & Rye: This book is a perfect suggestion for someone interested in how to assess and pair whiskey with delicious foods. Each Whiskey suggestion comes with a large, glossy photo of the bottle and color of the whiskey— making it easy to find at your local store for an at-home tasting! $24.95

 

For Kids/Teens:

  • Flip Flop Bracelets: These trendy bracelets come in a spectrum of colors, making it easy for your teen to accessorize any outfit.  They also are environmentally conscious – handmade from recycled flip flops in Mali, West Africa! 10 for $9.50
  • Secret Message Writing Set: Let your kiddos practice their espionage skills with this Secret Message Writing Set. Whatever they write with the special pens remains invisible until it’s viewed with the UV “blacklight” in the pen cap. $7.95
  • Light Up Football: This cool 8 inch long foam football has LED glowing light-up strips along the side, making it bright and colorful for night time play! Lights can be turned off and on. Lasts over 24 continuous hours. $19.95
  • Fun Loom KitThe ultimate gift for girls of all ages! This Fun Loom kit allows them to create awesome silicone band bracelets and more and comes with one loom, one hook and 300 loops.  $14.95

For the Cook:

  • iSpoon Stylus: Whether you’re snacking while browsing your next Pinterest recipe or referencing your iPad while you cook, this spoon stylus keeps your gadget mess-free in the kitchen! $8.95
  • Obsessive Chef Cutting Board: Cooking is as much a science as it is an art, and science requires precision. I always watch in awe at my favorite sushi restaurant at the great care the chefs take in cutting their tuna into millimeters thick slices. This cutting board is sure help guide your knife with exacting measurements, precise angles, and handy definitions. Learn just how small a julienne is, and get it right next time! $26.95
  • Rifle Recipe Box: Each box Includes 12 letter-pressed dividers & 24 recipe cards.  For a special touch, handwrite a few of your favorite recipes for the recipient.  I particularly love this as a gift for winter brides! Help the happy couple start off their new adventure with a beautiful recipe box and some treasured recipes to pass from one family to another. $34.95

For the Host/Hostess:

  • Host Wine Aerator: No need to let wine breath for hours! This one-of-a-kind aerator contains a flow meter for dependable aeration levels every time. Covers up to 6 hours of decanting instantly and strains out unwanted sediment. Bring with a bottle of wine for the perfect gift! $39.95
  • Corkcicle Wine Chiller: Keeping wine at just the right temperature is tough for any hostess. Keep wine the perfect temperature with the Corkcicle which won’t dilute! $26.95

 

Custom Holiday Accents

There are a lot of ways to celebrate the holidays this season, but one of our favorite ways is to create a custom experience for you and your loved ones!

In addition to our gift wrap (we have everything from cute critters to bold solids, to Christmas classics), you can spice up your packaging with these customizable tags–sure to make your gift special before it’s even opened!

Having a holiday soiree? Whether you’re serving eggnog with all the traditional fixings, or planning a more contemporary fete, these napkins and coasters can be customized to fit your party’s personality. (We also like the idea of letting guests take home the coasters to re-use and remember the fun!)

What’s a party without some goodies to take home? Send your party go-ers home with treats nestled in these cutomizable bags! It’s the details that make the difference, and we love that these are pretty enough to display throughout your event!

We offer holiday accents that will help you celebrate the season with festive finishes and personal touches. See these and other personalized gifts and our assortment holiday decor online or at your local store.

Holiday Greeting Ideas

Can you hear it?? It’s the sound of the holidays slowly but surely making their way towards the present. And, this year, our designers have come up with so many lovely ways to personalize your holiday that you’ll never get caught in that dreaded “I like the picture but the sentiment, not so much” trap again!

holiday cards

From baby pictures to family portraits to that hilarious photo you snapped of Fluffy mid-freakout, you can make sure your friends receive both a beautiful and personal card this upcoming season.

Extra treat for you: For a limited time your Holiday Photo Cards and Custom Holiday Invitations are 30% (envelopes included!)

holiday labels

But we haven’t stopped at cards — envelopes are a card’s first impression! Personalized Holiday Labels  are both easy and polished-looking and come in an array of coordinating patterns (we love the terrarium and glitter chevron!)

return address stamper

Another gorgeous way to address your envelopes with homemade, holiday flair is with our Holiday Address Stamps. We love the happy little gnome and the gorgeous “All is Calm” stamps, especially!

The perfect thing for the letter enthusiast would be our Return Address Embossers. Both elegant and understated, they add an impressive, three-dimensional aspect to your correspondence that will make your friends run their fingers along the raised letters and just say, “wow”.

But whether embossed, stamped or labeled; personalized or not, what’s most important is that it came from you.

Check out all of our holiday greeting ideas online: http://www.paper-source.com/cgi-bin/paper/holiday-cards/index.html