Arts + Crafts

Pretty Crafty Things

April 29, 2011

I love pretty crafty things, don’t you? Sometimes just being in a craft supply store can make me feel creative even though I’m simply browsing. I like to look over each object wondering what I could do with it or how I could apply another item to it to create something more personal. Though I find most craft stores to be a bit boring display-wise, I’m lucky that where I live in Germany we have some interesting stores that display crafts and some of the ideas aren’t bad at all… they often are a springboard for me as I examine the projects on display and wonder how I can make them different. I find crafting rewarding, good for the self esteem and particularly helpful for relaxing. I also find that when you give handmade things that you are often cherished even more so by your friends because of the work that went into your creation. Even simple crafts, which I’ll show you below, can be a personal reflection of your style as well as a generous gesture when shared with others. For instance, if you received a business card tucked into a tiny vellum bag inside of a greeting card from a friend, and it was wrapped like this… Welllll….

Pretty Crafty Things

…Would that not make you smile? Would you like to receive a business card in a tiny vellum bag (also called glassine) embellished with cute things? I’ve not received anything like this before which is why I thought that maybe I should think of some easy ways to give my cards a handmade vibe.

Pretty Crafty Things

All you need is permanent glue, scissors, scrap papers, Japanese tapes, fabric bits, small vellum bags, string or ribbon, and other little things that you can adhere to your bags and when you are finished, you can slip your card inside. Keep a few in your desk drawer so that the next time you send a gift or card, you can tuck inside a business card that is in a sweet little bag.

Pretty Crafty Things

Pretty Crafty Things

Pretty Crafty Things

They need not be fancy or elaborate, but if you are in a creative field and want to show your crafty side, why not have a little fun and create artsy bags of your own? I think these days, especially for creatives, you have to seek opportunities to set yourself apart and to also show your personality. I may not hand these to business contacts in the corporate world, but to present your cards to friends, family, and others who you know will admire them then why not give it a whirl?

While you’re at it, you can use the same materials and add some cardstock or vintage wallpaper, and hand cut and create your own greeting cards. Here are a few that I made recently below using wallpaper, pages from a vintage dictionary, tapes, and other sweet embellishments. Each card was tucked into a transparent paper sleeve that I made and left beneath the silverware at each place setting for the Liberty launch party tabletop demonstration.

Pretty Crafty Things

Pretty Crafty Things

You can even pretty up plain paper notebook covers with the same materials, here are some notebooks that I made that could be a nice source of inspiration for you. I used lots of Japanese tapes for these and they came out very nice.

Pretty Crafty Things

AND using the same elements, you can even add some charm with a few garlands that you can use for a party, at weddings, at home, anywhere you’d like really.

Pretty Crafty Things

Pretty Crafty Things

The idea is to try to use your things in many different projects in order to stretch them a bit farther and this exercise helps you to challenge yourself a bit to think of alternate ways to use what you have – one idea springboards to another idea. I love to make things, though I don’t always make time for it as I should — you must be able to relate! It’s fun to get crafty, don’t you think!?

(images: holly becker for decor8)


  • Reply Eliza April 29, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    I love this idea! Those vellum bags remind me of getting something sweet, like a cookie or something. What a great way to add enticement to business cards!

  • Reply Ana April 29, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Those look adorable. Crafting is like therapy. I see lots of relaxation in your future.

  • Reply vosgesparis April 29, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    I am all into Japanese tape these days an think this is a nice idea.. although I personally would have used some stronger colors ;)
    I just made a collage on my wall with black and white pictures and some summery blue Japanese tape ;)

  • Reply Francine April 29, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Pretty crafty things are my life :) And yours are just fab! I am very inspired right now!

  • Reply sally April 29, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Very cute. I think being creative is wonderful. It is one of my favourite things.

  • Reply Mey April 29, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    I love washi tape! (very used in scrapbooking :))
    Your little envelopes are so beautiful! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply ishtar April 29, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Oh PLEASE PLEASE HOlly!! more posts like this one!! I absolutely LOved everything!!!!!!!!!!!! SSSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOO inpsiring! THANK YOU!!!!!

  • Reply carly April 29, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    super cute idea!!!!! just to clarify so there is no confusion, glassine and vellum are not the same. here is what wikipedia describes each as:
    Paper vellum is made from plasticized cotton and glassine is a very thin and smooth paper that is air and water resistant. i believe the product you used is a glassine envelope.

  • Reply Antje April 29, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    This is a wonderful idea – and as you wrote: it is somehow important to be a little different. I will make those little bags for the next market. And I know: it will make me happy to make them, ;-).
    Best, Antje

  • Reply kalanicut April 29, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    I spent several hours the other day making lots of gift tags from scraps of paper. It was such fun. You’ve inspired me to pick up a few other things to get creative with. I love personalizing and these creations of yours are absolutely gorgeous.

  • Reply jen April 29, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Loved these thoughts + ideas… especially for the business cards! A great way to set yourself apart from the crowd. Thanks for the inspiration, Holly!

  • Reply Barbara April 29, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Crafting is adorable and relaxing.
    Such a great idea for buisness cards! And those notebooks are just too cute!!
    – Barbara

  • Reply bonitarose April 29, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    ohhhh fab idea.. love love it! I blogged about your book today!

  • Reply Janneke April 29, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Wow, what an inspiring post! Great to see your crafty ideas here on Decor8. Hope we will see more of it! :)

  • Reply Jennie April 30, 2011 at 2:40 am

    Wow Holly! Thank you for the inspiration! What a fabulous idea and can be applied in many ways!

  • Reply pixie April 30, 2011 at 5:09 am

    Oh this is so pretty! I have a few prints tacked to my wall with japanese tape as it doesn’t seem to harm the print or the wall. It’s actually quite pretty until I can get things in a proper frame.

  • Reply Nat@ dear little house April 30, 2011 at 5:12 am

    Such great ideas! Thanks for sharing. I love the notebooks in particular, nothing like a cute notebook to make list-making even more fun! (Perhaps best explained by me obsession with writing lists…)

  • Reply Sara April 30, 2011 at 5:26 am

    These are gorgeous. I would love to see more posts like this too please. I would love it if you could tell us where you got the supplies (especially the vellum bags). :)

    • Reply decor8 April 30, 2011 at 11:39 am

      @Sara – The bags were a present and everything else is from various Etsy shops. I will dig around for some sources and post next week. :)

  • Reply Jane April 30, 2011 at 7:46 am

    I love the glassine bags, Holly – I’ve found so many Etsy stockists. I want to compare their prices with those in stamp collecting shops as they use them, too. And I’m just wild for washi – I can’t get enough of it!

    Oh, and I’m just *so* delighted that your gorgeous book finally arrived in my letterbox in faraway Hobart, Australia yesterday. What lusciousness! As we’re just about to move house, its arrival is so timely. J x

    • Reply decor8 April 30, 2011 at 11:38 am

      @Jane – THANK YOU for purchasing my book – I’m so happy that you like it. :) :)

  • Reply isavirtue April 30, 2011 at 10:52 am

    haha! what a coincidence, i already decorate glassine bags and put my notes/cards with my etsy orders in them before i mail then out!

    also, that’s exactly how i am in craft stores (except maybe a little more craaazed!)

  • Reply Mareike April 30, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    this are sooo cute! What a lovely idea! As i live in germany as well i would like to know which craft shops are you talking about? would be great if you could let me know some nice shops as i am desperatly looking for some good supply outside the internet =)

  • Reply April (iam_artisan) April 30, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    I just love how you can make simple materials to a lovely look… I will surely not forget your card if I were to received it an met you the first time…

  • Reply Shell April 30, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    The notebooks you made are so sweet. I love Japanese tape, something I want to get for myself when I do collaging in my journals.

  • Reply Katie May 1, 2011 at 12:30 am

    Wonderful – thank you for the much needed boost of inspiration

  • Reply Diane @ kitchen-dreams May 2, 2011 at 5:45 am

    Japanese tape…I have never seen it before and now must have some! Lovely post!

  • Reply Jessica May 2, 2011 at 8:28 am

    These are fab! I’ve just bought some to play with packaging ideas for my knitting – was looking for days for stockists in the UK (washi tape, kraft and glassine bags) but in the end went with an american Etsy shop. It seems absurd to me that the stuff is coming so far but when the shipping is reasonable I just couldn’t wait. Found good stocks of washi tape here:

  • Reply Shannon May 2, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Those Japanese Washi tapes are my new obsession! Etsy has lots of sellers with great selections. Thanks for the project ideas!

  • Reply City Chic - Jamie May 2, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    These are lovely Holly! When we ship our orders we include a business card in a glassine envelope like this along with a fabric swatch of the item they are purchasing, then close this with a piece of cute tape. And we use a paper doily to write a nice thank you note. I’m inspired by yours now! I can’t wait to see some of your resources. So much fun!

    • Reply decor8 May 3, 2011 at 3:56 pm

      @Jamie – That sounds beautiful, makes me want to order something just for your cute packaging! :)

  • Reply Margarita Lorenzo May 2, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    nice nice an nice, I wish I had more time to do more craft projects for myself, the BC little envelops are gorgeous. I love going to stationary or craft shops and buying materials, right now I ma working on tea lights…

  • Reply Orit May 2, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Thank you for Decor8!!! love to be here … will you share what kind of Paper Doilies did you used here , looks top quality , is it paper ?

    • Reply decor8 May 3, 2011 at 3:55 pm

      Just regular doilies Orit, nothing special.

  • Reply ArticulateArt May 3, 2011 at 4:30 am

    Looks quite lovely!!! Must get some fabric tape!

  • Reply Conspicuous Style May 4, 2011 at 3:51 am

    I just dd a post on chevron today, and then popped over here and saw some in this post. It really is everywhere!

  • Reply Conspicuous Style May 4, 2011 at 3:52 am

    So cute…going to try with my daughter

  • Reply Bouboulette May 4, 2011 at 6:53 am

    So cute !! I love it, very interresting ideas, thank you very much !!

  • Reply Annie // Lovely Tape May 4, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Whaou that’s very inspiring and beautiful ! Thank you ?????

  • Reply Lisa May 5, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Wow – what great inspiration! Lovely :)

  • Reply Sheila Earhart May 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    I love it ALL! What great ideas! I’d be thrilled to get something like that in the mail instead of a regular old business card!

    You ROCK!


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