Nothing makes a sweeter statement atop a gift than a perfectly tied bow. And with endless pattern and color combinations, it’s the perfect skill to master for any season. Follow our guide for all of the pro-bow tying tips you’ll ever need.
We are so thrilled to follow up with our Meet the Maker brand, S’well. In this exclusive interview with Founder and CEO Sarah Kauss and Creative Director, Rachel Ivey we learned about how they have made hydration a business with sustainable style. See our interview with each below!
What does the development process look like when choosing designs and shapes of your water bottles?
Our product line has grown incredibly and offers our Creative team a fun opportunity to marry style and function. We consider the current global trends each season when it comes to colors, patterns and finishes, while also making sure to stay true to our sustainable goals, drawing inspiration from the natural world. This is the fun part in working towards our ultimate goal of helping rid the world of single use plastic bottles! – Rachel
Were their any specific textiles that inspired you?
We look at trends that identify with people on a global scale – how they are feeling, what they are thinking, etc. and translate that into our designs. For our Fall/Holiday ’18 collection we took inspiration from both the natural world and global culture—from Japanese-inspired prints and vibrant European textile designs to classic American enamelware. -Rachel
What lifestyle trends is S’well focusing on in the near future?
I started S’well in 2010 with a mission to rid the world of plastic bottles by creating products that looked better and worked harder. This still holds true today, and our innovation strategy continues to communicate this, while emphasizing lifestyle in every form. – Sarah
Do you plan on incorporating more features to your products in the near future? (Magnetic? Place card holder? Water filter? Dishwasher safe?)
We have so many new developments for 2019 and beyond in the works. We have been busy conceptualizing our latest collections, innovating our next forms, and working on unique business initiatives. These are exciting times for S’well and I can’t wait to see everything unfold. – Sarah
What makes S’well water bottles a good holiday gift?
There is truly a S’well for everyone! From our new large-format Roamer to our giftable Cocktail Kit and workout-ready Sports Cap, S’well offers boundless ways to celebrate and stay hydrated in style this season! -Sarah
For more information on Founder, Sarah Kauss and how she started her brand, read her first Meet the Maker interview here.
Shop our full collection of S’well water bottles for your next holiday gift!
DIY Festive Friendsgiving Table
Friendsgiving is a time to celebrate the bounty of the harvest season without the stress that often comes along with extended family gatherings. The menu is easy enough: The host provides a turkey or vegetarian main, and the guests bring along sides, potluck-style. Getting the table ready doesn’t need to be a headache, either. With some beautiful pieces of fine paper, a touch of inspiration, and a dash of creativity, you can transform an everyday table into a feast-worthy masterpiece.
Follow our guide to craft centerpieces, name cards, and table runners that strike just the right balance of casual and elegant — just like your Friendsgiving feast.
Things You’ll Need:
- Brown Paper Wrap
- Honeycomb Turkey Placecards
- Fall Paper Leaves
- Turkey Mask Kit
- Gold Flatware
- Give Thanks Stamp
- ColorBox Inkpad
- Kraft Treat Box
- Paper Bag Card Stock
- Papaya Card Stock
- Coral Card Stock
- White Chalk Ink Marker
- Acrylic Craft Paint
- Tissue Paper
- Tape Runner
Table Runner: Make a sweet statement with a simple paper table runner. It’ll make your dishes pop, and mean one less load of laundry at the end of the night!
- Measure your table lengthwise, allowing an extra three-feet for each side.
- Using sturdy paper bag wrapping paper, lay the paper out on the table and make sure it is centered, width-wise.
- Using your hands, make a crease on the paper and mark where the table ends.
- Hand-letter your table message with chalk ink markers, centering it between the creases and the ends of the paper.
Centerpiece: With a table full of dishes and glasses, and plenty of lively conversations, you don’t need an over-the-top Friendsgiving centerpiece. A few decorated pumpkins add a dose of whimsy to the tablescape without taking up too much space.
- Choose a medium-sized pumpkin.
- Use paints in your choice of colors, autumnal-themed paper leaves, and other natural elements, like greens, berries, and pinecones, to decorate and embellish the pumpkin.
- Place the pumpkin in the center of the table, and arrange greens and paper leaves around the pumpkins.
Name Cards: Even though Friendsgiving isn’t formal, guests will appreciate having assigned seats to avoid confusion before the feast. Keep it light hearted with turkey-themed name cards that won’t take up too much space at each place setting.
- Create name cards using our honeycomb turkey place cards and pens. Simply unfold the honeycomb turkey and write each guest’s name on each individual card.
- Place a name card in the center of the dish for each place setting.
Utensil Holders: Keep cutlery organized on the tabletop with a handmade utensil holder. A sleek paper sleeve will tidy up forks, knives, spoons, and napkins.
- Using your choice of fine paper, measure out two or three inch paper strips. They should be long enough to easily wrap around a folded napkin. Optional: Cut a slightly larger band of colored paper and place it below the first for a layered effect.
- Choose a stamp and ink to personalize the band.
- Wrap each band around a bundle of cutlery atop a napkin, and afix the band in the back with a small strip of tape using a tape runner.
- Place each package to the side of each guest’s place setting.
Treat Boxes and Festive Masks: Cute, creative gifts make special mementos for your Friendsgiving guests to remember a night of gratitude and great food.
- Fill treat boxes with tissue paper and nestle a few tempting candies, like salted caramel chocolates, into the paper.
- Using our Turkey Mask Kit, craft a mask for every guest, and hang them over the back of each chair where they’ll be ready to grab for a photo opp.
These small, personal touches will make your table shine so that you and your friends can focus on enjoying the company and feasting on every delicious dish.
‘Tis the season for holiday cards – display them with a beautiful wall hanging. This lovely DIY uses just a few materials and is quick and easy to make. Follow these steps to create a display worthy of showing off cards from friends and family!
Meet the Maker Series: Wild & Wolf
This design forward brand brings whimsy and wonder to their product. Learn more about this maker in our interview below!
How did Wild & Wolf get started?
We started out in 2005 in the historic city of Bath, in the UK, which is where you’ll find our headquarters today. In our first tiny office, we identified a gap in the market for garden tools that were functional but that also made beautiful gifts. Wrapped in pretty floral prints, our innovative 6-in-1 Hammer Tools, trowels and shears soon attracted the attention of the V&A, the world’s leading Museum of Art & Design, and we collaborated on our first licensed product program creating a range of tools featuring iconic prints from the archive of William Morris, William Kilburn and others.
Where do you find inspiration for your products?
We take inspiration from everywhere! There’s the inspiration we get from research and data, such as pouring over trend forecasts, looking for emerging trends in fashion, visiting leading design shows around the world as well as looking on social media. The more fun way is when inspiration strikes when we least expect it: out and about for a walk and spotting some architecture, a pattern, a texture, a color palette, anything visually interesting that inspires us in our daily lives. For example, the palm leaf print on our Pretty Useful Tools packaging was the result of a jolt of inspiration from one of the team’s designers whilst out on a stroll in an urban city centre!
Tell us about your design-forward thinking approach to developing products?
Rather than creating products for the sake of it, we pride ourselves in our thoughtful approach, both in terms of the materials we choose and the function and utility that the product offers. Our products are often described as being a perfect marriage of style and substance. In the early days of Wild & Wolf we often made reference to the William Morris quote “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” This quote still resonates with us today, so much so that we have it printed on our wall!
How do you differentiate your offering from the many gifting items on the market?
We understand that people are navigating very busy lifestyles and therefore we love to develop original, design-led products that offer useful solutions to enhance daily life and solve everyday challenges. When designing our Pretty Useful Tools Credit Card Tool, for example, our talented designers brainstormed 6 key tools that would offer practical uses for the urban young professional. This resulted in a multi-tool with a comb, bottle opener, nail file, box cutter, screwdriver and the ever important emergency hair tie holder!
Since excellent design is at the heart of what we do, we devote just as much time and love to the product packaging as we do to our products. We take an approach of challenging the throwaway giftbox culture by making our packaging part of the gifting experience, which makes it that much more special and considered. This can be seen in our beautiful, premium gift tins that present products such as our Gentlemen’s Hardware Key Multi Tool and our Pretty Useful Tools Credit Card Tool as previously mentioned.
What trends are you currently seeing?
A trend not showing any signs of going away: Avocados! The cute green fruit has steadily remained a favorite over the past few seasons and we just had to join in the fun with Avocado Smash, our fresh take on the popular card game of Snap. Really tapping into the love for Avocados, we went beyond just an ‘Avocado-themed’ game by creating Avocado shaped packaging featuring a lifelike texture that also drove inspiration for the ‘avocado-textured’ playing cards..
Organic, non-toxic, ‘reductarianism’ and vegan design approaches are propelling the trend for “Clean Living”. As people become more concerned about non-toxic ingredients, ethical sourcing and sustainable living, we’re anticipating a rise in products that seek to promote health and actively improve the environment.
We’re also seeing a nostalgic decades influence, mostly in the form of a revival of retro color combinations and 90s inspired typography. This trend was the perfect inspiration when designing our new season’s collection of products for Yes Studio, including our ‘WAKE UP!’ and ‘It’s Not You, It’s Monday’ mugs, ‘Don’t Panic’ notebook and Mixed Emotions Club double-ended nail varnishes.
There is currently a huge trend for products that are designed specifically with social media in mind: creating that eye-catching and scroll-stopping product that is totally Instagrammable. Products, for example, with a beautiful design aesthetic that lend themselves to the popular Instagram flatlay and that feature snappy or fun captions, like our ‘Feminist’ and ‘I Did Not Wake Up Like This’ mugs from Yes Studio.
When developing new brands, what key qualities are important for you to consider?
We love the detail of crafting thoughtful products that spread happiness, mean more, and live longer. We aim to create thoughtful gifts for every occasion – ones that you’ll be as excited to give as you are to receive. It’s very important that our new brands fit our Wild & Wolf umbrella brand’s ethos and values: creativity, innovation, approachability, integrity and above all excellent design. We also put a lot of thought into the individual brand’s identity: for example Yes Studio, our vibrant brand with something to say! The hallmarks of Yes Studio are the sassy and playful messages on drinkware, stationery and beauty accessories that help you to say it loud, proud, and like you mean it!!
What do you envision for Wild & Wolf in the future?
Our ultimate goal is to become the world’s most thoughtful gifting company. Whether you’re looking for a unique gift for a friend, something special for a family member or a fun new toy or game to excite a little one, we want Wild & Wolf to be the preferred choice, and a household name for unique, design led gifts. Being a creator of gifts is such a privilege because it means that we’re able to help people spread joy and happiness to friends and family. We envision a future where hopefully, when it comes time to buy a gift for a loved one for their birthday, Valentine’s Day, Christmas or any other gifting time, Wild & Wolf will be top of mind as a one stop shop for the perfect gift for everyone, from a stylish and functional unique tool, to a beautiful, sustainably-sourced children’s toy, and everything in between.
On Saturday, October 27th and Sunday, October 28th Paper Source will be hosting a Halloween Trick-or-Treat Party at all store locations! Our delightfully frightful celebration will include spectacular party activities to get you in the Halloween spirit. Check out the full list of activities below and be sure not to forget your costume!
Add Paper Source to your trick-or-treat route this year because we are welcoming all the kiddos in their favorite costumes to stop in for a sweet treat! Our store team members will also be dressed in their creative costumes and ready to greet you. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered for the ultimate candy haul this year with our spooky Bat Bag and friendly Feline Tote!
Halloween Crafting to DIY for!
Stop by our crafting table and learn new DIY tricks for making Halloween cards that are a sure treat. Friendly faces, glitter, and washi tape make these cards delightfully frightful! We also have easy paper crafting kits, like our Super Cool Ghouls or Halloween Friends, that can be purchased to keep the DIY fun going at home.
Each store is creating a pop-up photo booth in store with festive Halloween décor and playful photo props. This is the perfect opportunity to show off your costume and your newly crafted DIY cards! Get the gang together to capture the fun on Instagram. Follow us @papersource and share your photo using #papersource.
Delightfully Frightful Product Demos
Have you ever seen a color changing cat, melting witch or glowing eyes? We’ve got them all! Come visit us and get a first-hand look at all the newest Halloween gifts. You may even find that our favorite llama has us under a spell with the cuteness of their costume!
Get to counting! Enter to win your store’s raffle prize by accurately guessing the number of candy corns in a jar. The person who guesses correctly wins a free workshop seat to our upcoming holiday crafting workshops! Each store will have one winner and the winner will be announced on October 31st. In a sugary sea of orange, yellow and white, will you be able to make the best guess?
Find your local store for more information. See you there!
When you see the first pumpkin at the market, it’s a telltale sign that autumn has arrived. And while we all love their cheerful color and festive fall appearance, carving them can be a rather messy endeavor. For a less messy and more kid-friendly approach, try adorning your pumpkin with paper embellishments instead. Use our easy-to-follow guide for decorating pumpkins without ever having to touch a carving knife.
Meet PS Planner Ambassador: Amber Kemp-Gerstel
Amber will go on record to say she “would rather lose my big toe than lose my calendar” and that is exactly why she has been the perfect fit as our next PS Planner Ambassador. Formally, a child psychologist turned ultimate craft blogger she is always dreaming and planning her next project to share with her followers. Her carefully curated and thoughtfully planned content has helped her define her space as a expert maker that has been featured in Domino Magazine, Food Network Magazine and HGTV. Amber has several techniques for staying organized and making plans, including using a monthly calendar to have a large overview of her tasks.
See our interview with Amber below for more on her creative organization tips and an inside look at her dream workspace.