Paper Doily Makes: DIY Gift Wrapping Bunting Tutorial

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It’s always lovely to receive a beautifully wrapped present isn’t it? As you’ll know, there are so many wrapping paper designs to choose from, the choice can be rather overwhelming sometimes. I recently bought some brown paper for wrapping parcels and happened to over estimate how much I needed… (typical!) Every time I pack orders for my shop, the paper sits in my cupboard looking very sorry for itself. I’ve finally given it a new lease of life which you’ll see throughout the post (Yay!)

Having seen so many inspiring photographs through my hours on end of Pinterest browsing, I have been itching to experiment with gift wrapping ideas. Admittedly I cannot take all of the credit for this tutorial. I purchased the Flow Book for Paper Lovers several months ago now, and have been looking for the perfect projects to use the incredible papers for, for a long time! The papers are designed by a number of incredibly talented designers and offer SO much print and pattern inspiration. I’d highly recommend it for personal craft projects.

If this sounds like something you would love to have a go at, then make yourself a large mug of hot chocolate and go and find the following materials:

Brown Paper, Patterned Paper, Bakers Twine, Glue Stick/PVA, Pencil, Ruler, Scissors, Clear Selotape, Eraser, Hole punch/ small circle paper cutter.

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As you’ll see from the photographs above, the incredible Flow Magazine included a set of beautiful templates for use as paper bunting. This made my life a whole lot easier. However, it isn’t essential to use the templates above, as you can follow my guidance below.

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If you don’t have access to the magazine templates, simply take a pencil and ruler and draw a simple flag and triangular bunting outline on your chosen papers. This will make your template, which can be used for cutting out all of your other bunting and flags. Be sure to erase any pencil marks and also measure the width of your gift, to establish how many flags are needed.

Take your gift/s and measure the brown wrapping paper. Once you’ve wrapped the gifts, take a glue stick. Simply glue the bunting in a long line as shown below. If you’re wrapping more, then that’s your first present done. Doesn’t it look adorable?!

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For the next gift, you’ll need your bakers twine. Cut out enough twine to wrap horizontally around the whole gift. You can secure the twine on the back of the gift, by joining both ends of twine together with clear selotape.

Once you’ve done that, turn the gift over so it is front facing. Take your PVA glue and dip the top of each flag into it. Place each flag one by one, on top of the twine until you have something like this below.

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If you’re wrapping a third present, then complimenting stickers are a perfect option at this point, along with some mini paper circles. Perhaps something like this below? For the tiny circles, I used a mini circular paper cutter, which is available in most craft stores. I chose some plain, complimenting shades of paper for those bits. Feeling inspired?

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Gift wrapping is definitely all about having fun and showing your friends and family how much you love them. This seems like an absolutely lovely way to put a smile on their face too. If you happen to use my tutorial then do let me know, I’d love to hear from you.

If you enjoyed this tutorial, then you may also like my DIY Envelope Liners Tutorial for complimentary envelopes? I also have a yummy, scrumptious Vanilla Cupcake Recipe which may be right up your street.

Enjoy and thank you so much for reading. See you soon!

A polite reminder: This tutorial is for personal use only and should not be reproduced or sold. ©Paper Doily Party Shop

Paper Doily Makes: DIY Envelope Liners

Beautiful envelope liners seem to be cropping up everywhere at the moment and I can definitely see why. If you’re anything like me and love print and pattern, they provide the perfect opportunity to compliment your cards, letters or invitations. They are perfect for extra special party or wedding invitations. In fact, I received a beautiful wedding invitation last week which contained an envelope liner. It created a very large smile and just felt so much more interesting and personalised than using plain envelopes.

I’ve created a tutorial for you, which I hope will be very useful if you have any special mail to send within the coming months. It’s one of those tutorials which is very simple, yet extremely effective which is always a bonus for me.

You’ll Need:

An envelope in any shape or size

Paper of your choice

Ruler

Scissors

Glue or double sided selotape

Pencil

Eraser

Blue Tack

Method:

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Step 1

Place your envelope on top of the paper you have chosen and draw around it using a pencil.

step2

Step 2

Take your scissors and cut out your template. One finished with the scissors, use an eraser to remove any pencil marks. Slip the liner into the envelope to assess whether you are happy with the shape. You will notice that the liner is covering the adhesive part of the envelope, which we do not want. This is where the next stage comes in handy.

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Step 3

Take the liner and position the top of it directly underneath the adhesive seal, ensuring it’s in line with all sides of the envelope. You’ll need to turn the envelope over, so you can use some blue tack at this stage to temporarily keep it in place. You’ll notice the excess paper at the bottom of the envelope. This needs to be trimmed off. Take your ruler, measure the excess and make yourself a straight cutting line. If you’re unsure about the measurement, just cut small amounts of paper off at a time and continue to place it into the envelope to check the size. Erase any pencil marks and remove the blue tack.

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Step 4

Once you’ve trimmed the excess paper off from the bottom of the liner, place the liner into the envelope and position it. It should look like this. If you’re making a lot of envelope liners, then I would suggest making a template out of plain paper at this stage, which you can use for the rest.

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Step 5

Keeping the liner secure, fold the envelope over as if you are sealing it (but don’t). You can use a ruler to score it at this point. Your liner should now have a sharp fold. Take your glue stick (or double sided selotape) and glue the envelope as shown above. Position the top of the envelope liner over the glue and it should all match up nicely. Rub your hands over the paper and fold the envelope over and back again just to make sure everything stays where it should.

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Voila! You have yourself a beautifully patterned envelope liner. Don’t feel like you have to use the same paper either, you can experiment with different pattern and colour combinations and go wild! You may have seen my earlier post on illustrated stationery? If so, these envelopes are made for this kind of thing. At present, I have a small range of illustrated cards and I’m really considering offering custom designed printed envelope liners as an extra option. How amazing would that be?

Do let me know if you decide to get creative and use my tutorial. I would love to know! Do you have any special mail that you’ll be sending within the coming months? If so, have fun and I hope you enjoyed reading.

A polite reminder: This tutorial is for personal use only and should not be reproduced or sold. ©Paper Doily Party Shop

Paper Doily Bakes: Heart Shaped Funfetti Pancakes Recipe

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If you have a birthday party coming up, or you are planning a special birthday breakfast, then this recipe has been pretty much written for you. Birthdays are the perfect time of year for showing somebody how incredibly awesome they are, and what better way to do it than heart shaped pancakes? If you think about how many birthday cakes the (very lucky) average person consumes over their lifetime, it certainly makes you want to mix it up a little and make something different…. (Just for one year at least, as birthday cake is a hard one to beat!)

I’ve been making a LOT of pancakes for breakfast over the past few months, particularly when I’ve had friends staying over. I decided to invest in a heart shaped pancake mould. Let me tell you, they are the best invention ever. However, do tell me if I happened to miss a trend several years ago and this post has arrived ten years late. (I’ll forgive you!)

These pancakes look absolutely beautiful placed on your best china plates with some added sprinkles on the top. If the person you’re making them for is extra special, then the addition of candles should let them know how amazing they are.

Pancake recipes are everywhere online. I tend to use the same recipe which so far, hasn’t let me down and has been delicious every time. To make my recipe you’ll need:

Ingredients:

125g Self Raising Flour

2 Medium Eggs, Beaten

170ml Milk

6 Tablespoons Maple Syrup

1 tsp Butter

3 tbsp Colourful Sprinkles

Heart Shaped Pancake Mould

(This recipe makes approximately 5 pancakes, depending on the size of the mold and thickness of batter. However, it can easily be adjusted)

Method:

1. Place the flour in a medium sized bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the beaten eggs, milk and 2 tablespoons of Maple Syrup. Whisk together until smooth. If you’re making funfetti pancakes, then add the sprinkles to the batter at this stage. If you don’t feel like adding them to the batter, you can sprinkle them over the cooked pancakes.

2. Warm a pan over a medium heat. Add the butter and leave it to melt. Place the pancake mould on the hot pan and pour the batter into it. Cook for about 1 minute and flip over for a further 30 seconds until both sides are golden. The pancake mould takes a bit of getting used to, but it becomes easy once you’ve got the hang of it.

3. Drizzle with the remaining maple syrup, add some extra sprinkles and enjoy. Do let me know if you decide to make these!

A polite reminder: This tutorial is for personal use only and should not be reproduced or sold. ©Paper Doily Party Shop

Paper Doily Party Shop: Stationery Collection

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I’m very excited to finally reveal what I have been working on over the past few weeks. Since opening Paper Doily Party Shop in July of last year, I’ve had a huge amount of fun experimenting with different products and designs. In this time, I’ve been designing a wide range of handmade party products, which were all inspired by the amount of fun I had designing and making my own wedding decorations in April of last year.

After graduating with a Textile Design degree from Chelsea College of Art and Design several years ago, I decided that I had spent far too much time on the computer, having specialised in Digital Print Design and felt that I really wanted to re connect with the making side of things. It just so happens that within this time, I’ve really missed being creative on the computer and have decided that Paper Doily Party Shop will be moving towards beautifully illustrated stationery.

I’ve received an amazing level of support so far. Part of my stationery range was chosen to be featured at the Etsy Wedding Fair in London this weekend. I’ve also been featured in Perfect Wedding Magazine, Homemaker Magazine, Bustle and Sew Magazine and a Salt-Water Sandals campaign. I’m also gaining a lot of support from all of my lovely followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you as the reader and all of my customers, which I am incredibly grateful for, so thank you.

I’m feeling very positive about the change in direction and I’m looking forward to sharing the rest of my journey with you. What are your thoughts on my designs so far? Have a lovely Sunday and speak very soon!

A peek into my workroom

I thought it would be really lovely to show you where all of the work happens for Paper Doily Party Shop. If you’ve happened to read my about section, you’ll know that Paper Doily Party Shop was born from my love and excitement for handmade party products and is my full time job. I’m very lucky to have a workroom to myself, completely dedicated to the business. I’ve tried to make it as inspiring as possible. I will admit that at times it’s a job in itself keeping it tidy, so I’ve tried to utilise the space to the best of my ability, by placing a lot of my items in pretty storage jars, useful shelves, storage trolleys and baskets. I hope you enjoy having a peek into this special little workroom of mine! craft-room1craftroom2 First of all, welcome to my inspiration board. I completed a Textile Design degree at Chelsea College of Art and Design several years ago, and absolutely loved having my own little inspiration board above my desk. This is something I’ve always continued to have since graduating, and something which I absolutely love adding to. Whenever I see a beautiful card, print, quote or anything else worth pinning up, (mostly from the rather amazing Flow Magazine) I grab one of my pretty pins and find a perfect spot for it. This was made from a large cork board from a stationery shop. I covered it in foam and fabric to make it prettier, and will eventually add ribbon to it to protect the fabric and change the look. craftroom5craftroom8 I recently purchased this beautifully vibrant sewing machine to expand my party decoration range. I’ve used it several times already and I absolutely love it! Not only is it perfect for small sewing projects, it adds a much needed splash of colour to the entire room and never fails to put a smile on my face! craftroom3craftroom10 Here is a close up of some of my trusty storage jars. The spotty colourful ones are from Tiger and are super handy for storing crochet bits, garlands, paper decorations etc. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have several unfinished craft projects on the go. These jars are great for storing these kind of projects, as unlike being stored away in a draw, they will be fully visible to your eye, longing to be finished! I’ve contemplated moving them to the kitchen, but they look far too good alongside my sewing machine to remove from my workroom. The rather large sweet jars pictured directly above, were actually purchased for our wedding dessert table last year. If you’ve browsed my etsy shop you’ll know how much I love wool felt, washi tape and twine. These jars are the perfect storage solution for all of these little bits! craftroom4craft-room-11craftroom6 All workrooms need cute little ornaments, candles and paper decorations right? Mine certainly does and I love glancing over at them whilst working. The peg board pictured behind them, is also super useful for storing general craft tools, particularly pastel coloured craft materials (obviously!) For any of you who aren’t aware, I run a local crochet group in Bath, UK, so I like to have somewhere pretty to store my crochet hooks. This Cath Kidston tin is the perfect solution! Notice a yellow theme? craftroom7 I really enjoy having plants and flowers in my workroom. I do have to try my hardest to water them, (and sometimes fail miserably) but feel it’s definitely worth it when they are this vibrant. The beautiful plant pots and tray are from the extremely friendly Sue from Yay Retro, one of my favourite vintage shops. 11123724_423192984528884_302785730_n Here is my favourite corner of the room. I adore my ikea trolley. After several months of deciding whether to take the plunge and buy one, I’m very glad I did. It’s very handy for storing my wedding stationery range, cards, wrapping paper, pretty bags and anything else handy. The other white storage unit is currently filled with yarn for a blanket I’m making. One day I hope to finish it, but right now I’m lost in a never ending sea of crochet squares! Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed my workroom tour. I would love to know if I’ve inspired you, so do come and say hello if I have!

How to Make the Perfect Cupcakes

I’ve been baking for a good number of years now, and my love for cake decorating is still very strong. Whenever I have friends or family visiting or a party to prepare for, I always turn to my cupcake recipes for some inspiration. With so many recipes, tips and ideas out there, it’s very easy to get lost whilst planning. To help you to avoid this, I’ve put together my top ten baking tips, alongside some adorable styling ideas and a tried and tested vanilla cupcake recipe, so you can enjoy a stress free baking session in the kitchen. If the cupcakes pictured below look like just your cup of tea, then read on!

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1. Use the best ingredients you can afford

2. Bring the ingredients to room temperature before using them

3. Don’t over mix the batter

4. Try to be as precise as possible with weighing or measuring

5. Always sift the flour and baking powder to avoid lumps

6. Use an electric hand mixer where possible, mainly for consistency and time

7. Use the appropriate sized cases for your muffin tray and recipe

8. Ensure the oven temperature and cooking times are accurate

9. Do not open the oven door whilst baking. Even a small amount of cold air will cause the sponge to sink

10. Before icing, allow the cupcakes to cool completely, and do not refrigerate them

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Vanilla Cupcake Recipe:

Makes 12 regular cupcakes

Ingredients:

110g unsalted butter, at room temperature

225g golden caster sugar

2 large free range or organic eggs

150g self raising flour, sifted

125g plain flour, sifted

120ml semi skimmed milk, at room temperature

1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract

Method:

Preheat the oven to 160c (fan)/180c/350F/Gas mark 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tray with cupcake cases.

Cream the sugar and butter to a pale consistency. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix for a minute or so after each one is added.

Combine the sifted flowers into the same bowl. Measure the milk and add the vanilla extract to it.

Gradually fold the flours into the creamed mixture, using a large metal spoon. Add the milk.

Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases. An ice cream scoop or measuring scales will help you to achieve an even amount of batter into each case, meaning the cupcakes should be of equal size and baked consistently.

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until fully cooked. Insert a skewer into the middle of the cupcakes when baked. If they are cooked through, it should come out clean.

Leave them in the tin for about 10 minutes before placing on a wire rack to fully cool. Once they are completely cooled, you can ice them using my delicious vanilla buttercream recipe below.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing

Ingredients:

110g unsalted butter at room temperature

60ml semi skimmed milk at room temperature

1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract

500g icing sugar, sifted

Method:

Beat the butter, vanilla extract, milk and half of the icing sugar until smooth. This can take up to 5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining icing sugar until your buttercream is smooth and creamy. There are several ways to decorate cupcakes with buttercream icing. To achieve a finish similar to the cupcakes pictured above, you will need to invest in a piping bag and large nozzle. If you don’t have those tools, you can alternatively spread the icing on top of the cupcakes with a pallet knife. Top with cake decorations of your choice and serve with pride! Enjoy!

A polite reminder: This tutorial is for personal use only and should not be reproduced or sold. 

Paper Doily Makes: Paper Heart Cupcake Toppers Tutorial

Cupcake toppers can be purchased pretty much anywhere now, but can sometimes become an unnecessary expense, particularly if you have a large number of cupcakes to decorate. Cupcake toppers can easily be made at home to suit any party theme, and only require a few relatively cheap materials. You’ll be pleased to know that you should be able to find most, if not all of these materials in your local supermarket and craft store. If you have any cake to hand, go and find yourself a beautiful plate, some pretty napkins and make yourself a tea. All of which are the perfect accompaniments to any craft project of course.

Materials: 

Decorative Paper/Wrapping Paper

Double Sided Selotape

Large Heart Paper Cutter

Small Cocktail Sticks

Paper Scissors

Method: 

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1. First of all, decide on how many cupcake toppers you require. For 12 cupcake toppers, you will require 24 paper hearts, to ensure the hearts are all double sided. Take your paper cutter and cut out all of your hearts, placing them in pairs. There is a very wide selection of paper cutters, available in most craft stores. They come in all shapes and sizes, so you can definitely adjust the tutorial to your taste and theme.

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2. Take a pair of sharp scissors and cut 3 strips of double sided selotape for your first cupcake topper. The reverse side of 12 of your paper hearts will contain 3 strips of double sided selotape. There will be one long strip in the centre of the heart, which the cocktail stick will be placed on top of, and 2 smaller strips either side of that, to stick the paper hearts together. Repeat this process for half of your paper hearts.

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3. You should now have 24 paper hearts. The reverse side of 12 of them should contain double sided selotape and a cocktail stick, and the other 12 paper hearts should be plain. These plain paper hearts can now be placed on top of those with cocktail sticks, ensuring the pattern is visible on both sides of the cupcake topper. You should now have something beautiful which looks like this.

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When finished, they will definitely impress your guests and give any dessert table that extra special touch! Enjoy!

A polite reminder: This tutorial is for personal use only and should not be reproduced or sold. 

Paper Doily Bakes: Malteser Chocolate Cake Recipe

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We welcomed family into our home for dinner today, and I decided that it was the perfect opportunity for some chocolate cake recipe testing! I absolutely love chocolate cake, and think it’s the perfect kind of cake for any special social gathering or party. It’s simple to make, it’s a crowd pleaser and it is super versatile in the way that it can be modified or decorated to suit different tastes and requirements. Place it on top of a beautiful cake stand, polkadot doily and tablecloth, and you have yourself something absolutely delightful!

Obviously it’s fairly clear that chocolate cake is not groundbreaking stuff, and certainly hasn’t been invented by me (sadly), but there are so many variations of it and so many different recipes out there. My bookshelf is overflowing with baking books, so I’m guessing I probably have about 30 different chocolate cake recipes. Over time, I’ve tried and tested many of them, often sprawling hand drawn notes all over the pages. This recipe has derived from all of those little notes, alongside all of the baking mishaps I’ve suffered along the way to get to this point! (I’ll spare you the details!) If you feel like having a try, or you are baking for a special occasion, pop some music on, grab an apron and some pretty spatulas and have some fun with my recipe.

Ingredients

For the Cake

230g soft butter, plus extra for greasing

230g caster sugar

3 large eggs

180g self raising flour

60g cocoa powder

1 level teaspoon baking powder

For the Filling and Topping

350g icing sugar

80g cocoa powder

100g soft butter

4 tablespoons milk, to mix

To Decorate

Chocolate balls such as maltesers, if you’re looking for something similar to my cake. If not, you can use simple sprinkles or other cake decoration.

You will need:

Two 20cm round sandwich cake tins, greased with butter and lined with baking parchment

Makes 1 medium-large cake (serves 8-10)

Method

1) Pre heat the oven to 180c (gas mark 4)

2) Place the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. With an electric mix or a wooden spoon, cream them together until they are fluffy and pale. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Do not mix for anything over 2 minutes, as the sponge needs to be airy when baked.

3) Measure the cocoa powder, flour and baking powder and sift into the bowl. Fold this in gently, preferably with a large metal spoon, until all of the ingredients are evenly combined.

4) Divide the mixture between your 2 prepared tins. At this point, you may want to use some weighing scales to ensure even dividing. Bake in a pre heated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until fully cooked through. (Inserting a cake tester or knife into the centre of the cake is a good indication on whether it is cooked through. The cake tester/knife should come out completely clean if it is cooked)

5) Leave the cakes to cool in their tins for 10 minutes. After this time, turn them out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely for approximately 30 minutes or longer. Do not ice the cake until fully cooled, or a baking disaster may strike!

6) Mix all of the filling and topping ingredients (apart from the milk) together in a large bowl and mix until smooth. The milk should be added 1 tablespoon at a time, should the icing need loosening.

7) Spread half of the icing on one layer of the cake, which will make the buttercream centre. Take the remaining cake and place on top of this layer. Carefully spread the remaining icing on the top of the cake. Decorate with maltesers, or other chocolate/sprinkles of your choice.

The cake can be made the day before and will still taste delightful if stored in airtight containers or tins, but if possible, ice on the day of the event for added freshness.

Enjoy!