Here at Paper Source, we think everyone should Do Something Creative Every Day, but our in-house designers take that to a whole new level. They are the creative geniuses behind the beautiful designs on our Paper Source planner and calendar covers, so we asked them how they get inspired and create design magic every day.
What are the first few things you do when you get to work each morning?
Erin B.: I make a cup of tea and start my list of priorities to get done for the day.
Jenna H.: I think organization is important for creativity, so I like to get started for the workday by writing out my projects and prioritizing. I always have a hot cup of coffee and usually eat breakfast at my desk while I prep for the day.
Kendra H.: I always like to complete a small task first thing to ease into the work day. Then coffee is a must and I’ll get started on something that needs more focus while listening to one of my podcasts.
What are your ideal conditions for a creative and inspiring workspace?
Alison M.: Being surrounded by fun and colorful artwork, a window for some nice natural light, some plants, and a great creative team to work with!
EB: Quiet, sunny space with non distracting music playing.
JH: Lots of plants, bright natural light, and some good music! I also have design inspiration hanging everywhere, which I like to refresh often.
What are your go-to tools for design?
EB: I am not the type of person to do much sketching before I jump right into the computer, but have been drawing more on the ipad, since it allows the same feel of paper with much quicker results. That and Adobe Illustrator.
JH: I couldn’t work without my drawing tablet and sketchbook, but I also use the Adobe Suite every day. Watercolors are also frequently in the toolbox.
AM: Really loving using the iPad lately! It’s really great for both sketching out ideas and turning them into finished illustrations.
What is your creative process? Where do you find inspiration?
EB: I find inspiration all over the place, on clothes people are wearing, galleries and museums, books, travel…
JH: I follow a lot of artists on Instagram, so I usually save posts throughout the day to find trends and new processes. Living in a city, it’s easy to see inspiration wherever you go—murals, fashion, museums, even architecture. I really love trying new illustration techniques and creating mixed styles.
AM: I find inspiration in nature, other artists and illustrators, art museums, interior design and fashion from the past.
KH: Research has always been a big part of my creative process, and I rely heavily on Pinterest for that. But more often than not, I need to step away from the computer and be out in the world to be inspired.
A lot of people work with music. What’s on your playlist that gets the creative juices flowing?
EB: Been listening to a lot of John Maus, Operators, and any new wave playlist.
JH: My music tastes change depending on my mood, but lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Fleetwood Mac, Queen, and Cake. Sometimes I’ll throw on an early 2000’s playlist for some nostalgia.
AM: Mostly been listening to podcasts lately!
KH: I’ve been more on the podcast train lately, but I love the new Black Keys album!
What colors are you currently loving?
EB: Sepia, deep oranges, bold reds, dusty pinks, emerald greens.
JH: I really like earthy colors like olive green, sage, and warm rust.
AM: I’m really loving our new Rose and Eucalyptus paper colors. I’ve been feeling earthy colors more lately, but also pops of neons and brights. Basically, I love every color when used in a thoughtful way!
KH: Right now I’m loving warm rich tones like Rust and Terracotta.
Are there any trends or themes that we should look out for?
JH: Vintage botanicals and ornamental lettering are on my radar.
CertifiKID, a deal website that helps parents find fun activities to do with their kids on a budget, sent MOM Squad ambassador Stacy Gordon and her daughter to Kids Art Camp here at Paper Source. Here is Stacy’s Real Mom Review about their experience:
My 7-year-old daughter and I had the chance to try a day of camp at Paper Source in Bethesda, Maryland! This is a great 2-hour camp for anyone with a crafty child.
We walked in and were brought back to the camp tables. My daughter was given a seat and items to make her name tag while I filled out the sign-in sheet with my information and emergency contact numbers. Everyone was sweet and friendly! The tables were filled with colored pencils, stickers, markers, sharpies, push stamps, paint and paint brushes. It was a crafty kids dream come true.
Once my daughter finished her name tag, she was able to use some watercolors to paint a unicorn. Who doesn’t love a unicorn?! Each child was given the chance to let their creativity shine through. There were two teachers, one at each table helping the kids.
After that warm-up, the instructors explained that the kids would be making accordion memory books. They were super cute! Each child was given their own book and paper to cover the ends. The teachers went around with glue and helped anyone who needed it. Everyone was very hands-on and no one was left out. It was great to see!
Once both ends of the accordion memory book were covered, the kids were asked to pick out a ribbon of their choosing for their book. My daughter chose a color close to Tiffany blue. They explained where to place the ribbon and glue it down so it would work best. They glued their ribbon and then placed the accordion center in with glue. The instructors went around helping and checking on each camper.
After everyone’s book was ready, they showed the example that had already been made and handed out little envelopes if anyone wanted to glue them in. This was the time to let the creative juices flow! My daughter was in her happy place, stamping away and cutting adorable papers to fill her accordion memory book! They had the cutest printed scrapbooking papers, some with ice cream cones, lemons, mermaids and so much more. The campers were able to work on their books for more than an hour.
While my daughter was decorating to her heart’s desire, I checked out Paper Source. It’s a crafty momma’s dream! The store has so much to offer, including camp. They have lots of adorable items for sale and basically anything you could imagine for scrapbooking or making a cute project.
We loved everything about Paper Source. My daughter loved that she could let her creativity flow without making a cookie cutter project which I often see with school art projects. She was free to decorate as much or as little as she wanted. As a mom, I loved that I could browse the location for gifts while she was in camp!
Recommended Age Range for the Activity
My daughter is 7 years old. I’d highly recommend this camp for ages 6 and up. The campers at my daughter’s table ranged in age from 6 to 13.
Would Your Family Visit Again?
We will definitely be back to visit! After camp was finished we were also given a 10% off coupon on our next purchase! It’s a great store with friendly staff and so much to choose from!
Looking for a creative way for your kids to spend their summer days? Sign them up for a week-long experience that is sure to inspire and delight every junior crafter. Each week, kids will be encouraged to discover, design and craft with a variety of materials and will come away with several finished projects ranging from paper crafts to fashion accessories. Classes run for two hours every Monday – Friday for $155. Reserve your kid’s spot here!
Our curated Watercolor Floral Creativity Box is now available at Paper Source! The box is valued at $100 and available in limited quantities. You can order yours online here, but to give you a preview of the project possibilities inside, we created a guide for making a couple of adorable crafts using the creative components of this new box.
This craft is all about making flowers that pop off the page of your paper project. To start, select what kind of card or paper base you want to create your bouquet on. We used one of the A2 Luxe White folded cards that comes in the Watercolor Floral Creativity Box. If you’re looking for other colors and sizes for your specific project, there are so many different types to choose from in our Paper Bar.
Paint Watercolor Leaves and Stems:
Once you’ve picked a card, you’re going to want to paint a few leaves and stems for your flower bouquet. The texture of our luxe papers works especially well to highlight watercolor painting, but any paper will work. The metallic accents watercolor set in your box contains twelve opalescent colors and comes with a brush and mixing tray. All you need to do is choose your color and activate the paint with water. We chose Astral for our leaf and stem color, but you can try blending two paint colors for a more complex and unique look! Allow watercolor to dry.
After the paint has dried, it’s time to make your paper flower arrangement! One of the coolest products that comes in this box is the pack of plantable flowers. These adorable and colorful paper flowers are handmade with natural, biodegradable fibers and are embedded with the seeds of annual and perennial wildflowers. This means that however many paper flowers you don’t end up using in your crafts can actually be planted and will turn into real flowers! But definitely make sure to save enough to make a beautiful bouquet for your card, of course.
For this part, you will want to use both Zots Dots and 3D Foam Squares to adhere these cute little flowers to the paper. Use the Zots Dots double-sided adhesives to make flowers lay flat to the paper, while 3D Foam Squares are used to make flowers stand slightly off the paper. By using both types of adhesives, you can add dimension to the card and make the flowers pop. Now, just choose which flower colors you want to go together, arrange them in the middle of your painted leaves and stems, and alternate between flat and raised adhesives to give your bouquet a layered look! For instance, we chose pink, yellow, and white flowers and paired it with one of the A2 Sunshine envelopes.
Thank You Floral Card:
Use this craft as a way to thank the people in your life in a cute and creative way!
Gold Thank You Stamp:
Once you choose a card, use the handwritten thank you stamp and gold inkpad to stamp your message of gratitude in the upper right corner of the card.
Add Washi Tape:
Next, add 3 strips of washi tape to the bottom third of the card. The washi tapes in the set that comes in the creativity box all pair well together, so we matched the pink in the floral washi tape with the thin pink polka dot tape on either side to make a colorful ribbon or stripe.
For the finishing touch, add a colorful dimensional flower sticker! This sticker pack complements the pink and gold of the card and looks gorgeous paired with the A2 Fuchsia envelopes. After that, your card is ready to be sent and brighten someone’s day.
Summer is on! Fill your extra hours of sunlight by getting crafty and socializing with friends. Our new workshops are here for skill-building fun. Read below for an overview of each class and visit us online to reserve your spot now!
Colorscope Discovery Workshop
Wednesday, July 10th
Learn more about the meaning of colors and the significance they play in everyday life. Find the color that you identify with the most and create handmade accessories inspired by your personal colorscope. Learn to make your own charm, paper collage and tech wall paper so you can be surrounded by your power color wherever you go!
Handmade Cards for Summer
Saturday, July 13th
Be your own designer at our Summer Art Prints and Cards Workshop. Learn collage and printmaking techniques that you can use to create stationery or art prints for your desktop or gallery wall.
Saturday, July 20th
Unleash your inner artist at our Watercolor Workshop! Learn different watercolor techniques, paint patterns, create watercolor collages and more at this beginner-level class. We will use all these techniques to create a mix of stationery and frame-able art.
Paper Weaving Workshop
Saturday, July 27th
Learn how to make woven works of art out of recycled materials and fine paper from around the world. We will provide you with multiple patterns to work with and give you the materials you need to customize your weavings with your favorite colors. All beginners are welcome! We will start simple with smaller weavings that can be mounted to folded cards as stationery and then move on to a larger art piece. Once you learn how to weave paper, it opens up a whole world of creative projects, including gallery art, placemats, bowls and more!
Handlettering and Creative Lettering Classes
Classes vary by location and offer a variety of options for crafters at every skill level! Begin with Hand Lettering Hacks and then work your way up to Creative Hand Lettering or Brush Hand Lettering for next level penmanship.
We also offer lettering classes for Kids and Teens to refine their handwriting skills.
Paper Source Kids Art Camp
Camp sessions do not start until June, but this is the last month to sign up early and save! Our full class list is now available and seats are going fast. Learn more and reserve your spots today.
Can’t make it to one of our scheduled classes? Book your own private party! Get inspiration from one of our private party packages or contact your local store to coordinate your own event.
You did the research, made your shopping list, and found the perfect gift for the birthday, graduation, wedding, or other event worth celebrating this summer. Now, it’s time to show off your hard work by dressing up your gift with style and creativity. Before you begin, start by visualizing what colors and themes will make you even more excited to hand over your gift. We think summer is the time to explore colorful and whimsical designs, especially when it comes to choosing wrapping paper.
Pick Your Wrapping Paper
If your existing collection of wrapping paper isn’t following your vision, the Paper Source Wrap Shop is here to help with a vast array of options to choose from. Whether you’re looking for fine paper, flat wraps, or wrapping paper rolls, our collections make it easy to find the right look. We picked 3 of our summer designs to get you thinking about the types of fun icons and patterns you can choose that pop off the paper
The Summer Icons wrapping paper and flat wrap includes a few of our favorite things: little flamingos, fruits, swimsuits, sunglasses and more beachy items on a light blue background. The Synchronized Swimmers flat wrap shows whimsical figures swimming and diving, making this the perfect paper for a pool theme. For a more tropical feel, the Tropical Leaves wrapping paper and flat wrap’s beautiful color scheme (and cute pineapples) is fun and festive for any occasion this season. Make sure to browse the Wrap Shop for more fun prints!
Ribbon and Twine
Now that you have your wrapping paper, it’s time to develop the color scheme. Take a moment to notice all the colors in the paper and think about which ones to bring out as accents. Adding ribbon or twine is a great way to do this. For example, the Tropical Leaves paper includes so many beautiful colors, but we chose the darkest hue for our choice of ribbon to make the lighter colors pop even more. The Navy Satin with Gold Edge Ribbon complements the other colors while standing out at the same time, and is wide enough to create a dark background for the light tan Natural Raffia Ribbon to go on top, adding to the tropical feel. We recommend picking one or two types of ribbon or twine with different colors and widths to create a layered effect and bring out the colors in the wrapping paper
Bring your gift tag or label to the next level by making a fun paper craft to go with your theme. Our DIY Paper Crafting Kits are a great way to do this. To go along with the Summer Icons paper, we used the Pool Party Animals Kit to create a decoration and a gift label at the same time. This kit includes multiple animals with summer accessories floating on inner tubes, but we chose the flamingo icon to go with the theme of the paper. The nice thing about these kits is that they come with pre-cut shapes and helpful instructions while still leaving room for creativity and customization. We chose not to decorate the inner tube and instead used the empty space to write a personalized message.
If you’re looking for that one final touch to complete your gift’s presentation, remember that decorations can be gifts too! Browse through our Summer Splash and Pool Accessories for smaller items that can be added to the outside of the package. We opted for quirky sunglasses and swim goggles that can be taped to or wrapped around the packaging. With options ranging from pineapple glitter, starfish, popsicle sunglasses and more, these accessories can be the pièce de résistance that completes your gift wrapping masterpiece this summer!
Share your ideas for a guest welcome bag using #papersource.
Warm weather is here and it is time to have fun in the sun! Our June tech download will give you summer feelings and head out of the office.
Our exclusive print highlights the icons of summer to bring you every day cheer while you are on the go. We hope that our print encourages you to dive right into summer with a big splash!
Embrace the season with a few of our favorite essentials that are must-haves for when you’re “Out of Office”! Our avocado pool float and pool boy tumbler are perfect for an afternoon at pool. We highly recommend visiting the beach with our “Out of Office” beach towel and a pineapple cooler to keep drinks chill all day.
Click the links below to download our exclusive summer icon print!
Summer wedding season is here! Let us help you find the perfect and most thoughtful gifts for the newlyweds with our wedding gift guide. Be inspired to off the registry and the happy couple will thank you.
This is our go-to gift for many occasions. Above all, stationery is at the top of our list for wedding gifts because along with being so thoughtful, it is so practical! Creating custom stationery for the new couple is symbolic of their union and new household they will be starting together. Similarly, with marriage sometimes comes a name change and new stationery is an exciting, simple way to debut the change. Not only is personalized stationery a special, one-of-a-kind gift, but it will come in handy with the many, many thank you notes that couples will have to write!
Our newest collection is a fun way to toast and celebrate the new couple! Choose from an array of colors to create monogram acrylic coasters, drink stirrers and skewers with the couple’s new initials. Elegant and bold, these laser-cut custom gifts are a way to add a personal touch to their home. This gift set will be something the newlyweds will want to show off as they host their first party together. Try pairing with a fun cocktail book or their favorite spirit for the ultimate, well-stocked bar cart.
A Treasured Moment
We are big fans of a handmade gift! Our Treasured Moment DIY project will truly be a one-of-a-kind gift. Weddings have many celebratory moments that the couple will want to remember. You can capture the sentiment in your thoughtfully-crafted creation. We suggest framing the wedding invitation or beautiful displaying the couple’s vows. Other treasured moments could include passages or poems that will be inspire the couple as they start this next chapter in their lives. Artful and handmade, this sentimental gift will be treasured for many years.
Handmade Memory Book
Chances are, the new couple has a ton of digital photos of special people and events, yet how often do they look at them? Why not create a handmade memory book where the couple can easily view and appreciate these moments that make them smile! Follow our “How to Make A Memory Book” guide to capture memories from special events, vacations, everyday moments and more. Invite those closest to the couple to share their photos for an easy, inclusive group gifting option.
Holiday Photo Cards
The big day has come and gone, now the couple will be left with an abundance of pictures that captured all their favorite moments of the wedding. One of the most exciting ways to share these photos as a new couple is on the Holiday photo cards that go out to all their family and friends. The couple will be thankful for your forward thinking. Giving the gift of Holiday photo cards is a unique way to extend their celebration! We have specific wedding-themed holiday photo cards and we feature a wide selection of exclusive design partners for the couple to choose a photo card that matches their personal style. For this gift, simply find your favorite greeting card and slip in a Paper Source gift card with instructions for future use.
Artful Gift Wrap
We are here to help! We offer gift wrapping services no matter what gift you decide to give the couple or what registry it came from. With our expert gift wrap services and our curated collection of luxe gift wrapping materials, we can transform your gift into a thoughtfully wrapped package and beautiful presentation. Stop into your local store for more ways we can help you during life’s big celebrations!
Our newest maker has been a fan favorite in the stationery community for a while, but we are excited to share an inside look at their brand and how they are helping us create our own in office oasis!
“At Elūm we believe in celebrating life. We’re makers and doers, dreamers and collaborators, endless learners and glass-half-fullers.” With this enthusiasm for life, it is only fitting that we feature this maker at Paper Source where we inspire our community to give, live, create and celebrate each day.
Below is our interview with Elūm that gives us an inside look at their brand and appreciation for quality goods.
What does being a “Maker” at Elūm look like?
Our design philosophy is, “If we can dream, it we can make it.” Creativity is valued and celebrated and we are empowered to cultivate ideas and develop concepts from scratch. One day we’ll be sitting around sketching unicorns, the next day we’ll be brainstorming a dozen different products for Valentine’s Day. We’re a hands on bunch: painting, drawing, drafting and crafting. And we collab like crazy! With so many talented people on board, we’re incredibly lucky to work in a tight knit team where we support and encourage one another. We laugh, cry, daydream and create together. Being a maker at Elūm is like being part of a big joyous and rowdy wedding party. Something wonderful and unexpected is always happening….and someone always brings cake.
How does Elūm celebrate daily life?
We are celebration professionals. We value and appreciate one another, and are incredibly fortunate to work in a culture that encourages us to express our gratitude, joy and creativity. If someone has a birthday you bet we’re going to celebrate. Happy hours, yoga, dog walks, taco fests: there is always something fun and social going on. We thrive on creating connections and special moments for one another. It fuels our creativity and sense of shared purpose. Our products are designed to help folks celebrate, create and connect, and our work environment embraces this goal. We’re not doing our job right unless someone is sweeping confetti off the floor!
What is Elūm most recognized for?
Our roots are in hand-crafted letterpress printing. We’re proud to be spearheading the movement to reintroduce artisanal, high-quality, hand-finished paper products and stationery to the marketplace. We are passionate about design and strive to bring beauty, quality and a lightness of touch to all our products. Our hope is that when you pick up one of our journals or cards or passport holders it makes you smile. Our stationery is about joy and whimsy, about personal little luxuries, unexpected details and award winning design. From our hand-printed wedding invitations to our Wine and Naps Pouch our mission is to help create and celebrate one-of-kind moments in life.
What are the must have items for summer?
Sunscreen! We’re based in San Diego, where it’s always sunny, so we need all the protection we can get. And beer! Seriously, our office is located right in the center of a hub of local breweries and micro-brewers and as the weather warms we are obsessing about cold and fruity IPAs. A lot of us have kids so cute beach towels, Minnidip Inflatable Pools, paper plates and block parties are also on our minds. And as we never stop dreaming about Island getaways our adorable Luggage Markers and Turquoise Travel Journal are must-haves for us this summer.
What is something Paper Source customers should know about Elūm?
We are passionate. We are inclusive. We are always ready to party! Elūm is a small company with a big love for paper and a mission to create amazing stationery and home-goods. We believe in supporting and empowering women and lead by example. Our all female design team is led by a female Art Director and Creative Director, and we engage with our community and actively work to raise fierce and fearless girls here in San Diego. We believe the world needs more female engineers, scientists, leaders and makers. We also believe in Thank You notes, good times, good friends, unicorns and disco. We never stop learning and celebrating, and every single day we go to work, we focus on creating one-of-a-kind products that bring people joy.