D.I.Y.: Simple Holiday Garland

Alyssa Nguyen

D.I.Y.: Simple Holiday Garland

We love the holiday season because it gives us an excuse and reason to decorate! But it is a little bit sad having to stow away all your decorations after the holidays. It got us thinking that maybe, adding some D.I.Y. decor that transitions from the holidays to every day.

This simple garland, and we mean simple because it's done in just three steps and uses seasonal greenery that can easily be picked up from any grocery store. We picked a variety of eucalyptus and boxwoods that not only bring the outside in, but smells incredible too! Get creative with your garland, no one said they had to just go over the fire place. You can dress up your favorite shelfie, drape it over your entry way mirror, or simply lay it over your entertainment console to instantly add some holiday flair. 

p.s. The one we created for this D.I.Y. has dried up beautifully and we love knowing we can leave it up even after the 25th!


  • Greenery (silver dollar eucalyptus, baby blue eucalyptus, seeded eucalyptus, boxwoods)
  • Garden scissors
  • Floral wire
  • Optional: Small bucket with water

1. Gather up all your supplies and snip your branches of greenery into 6"-8" stems.

Pro-tip: Soak your trimmed stems in water so they can hydrate.

2. Pick a variety of your greenery (about 5 stems) and bundle them using a strip of floral wire.

3. Once you've created your bundles, join your bundles together using more floral wire until you have about 5ft of garland! 

Pro-tip: Mist your garland every couple of days to keep it hydrated while live. Your live garland should stay fresh for about 3-4 days. 

How-To: Shop Small + Local Year Round

Alyssa Nguyen

How-To: Shop Small + Local Year Round

Can you believe 2017 is coming to a close?

We hosted our last Small Business School #IRL panel in the studio at the end of November, focusing on the small business lifestyle and what it means to support small businesses. We had an amazing line-up of panelists who all owned their own businesses right here in Austin- April Onebane with Pieceology Vintage, Ashely Chinni with Ash Grove Studio and Celeste King with Catapult Creative Logistics, moderated by Chelsea Francis with Chelsea Laine Francis. It was the perfect mix of product based + service based businesses. 

Although the holiday season is important for most businesses, we wanted to really dive into the conversation of how to truly shop small and local year round. How many times have you heard of someone saying that their favorite local coffee shop, or mom & pop bakery closed? It's more important now than ever to really put your money where it can have the biggest impact right here in your community.

With the ease and immediate turn around of free, even same day deliveries, it's difficult for a small local business to compete. Mass production allows big box shops to offer much lower priced items than artisans who hand make all their wares. Shopping small doesn't need to just be for the holidays or for special occasions either. Small businesses depend on folks who intentionally shop local and loyal customers all year long! Check out what our panelists had to say below.

I love a good Amazon Prime deal, but I make a conscious effort to shop small knowing how much small businesses depend on the holiday season!
— Celeste King, Catapult Creative Logistics
I shop small as often as possible, even with day to day life stuff. Shopping at local pet shops in Austin, so not just things or material objects. There’s a lot of pressure out there to buy and own certain things that look good online/on Instagram, but I try to stay true to thoughtful items that mean more to me.
— Ashley Chinni, Ash Grove Studio

When you shop small, your dollar goes much farther. It goes into supporting the business owner's livelihood, it goes towards them growing their business, reinvesting in their business, adding value into this community. It trickles down from the actual product or service you purchased and makes such a huge impact!

Buying something from someone in person, makes you think about that person overtime you use it. There’s an investment into not only the product but the person. 
— Celeste King, Catapult Creative Logistics

Shopping small and local definitely costs more, and perhaps you're not able to gift presents in large quantities but it can be more meaningful and personal.

Investing more into things that are sustainable is really important to me. I have a lot of friends who own businesses, so I support them as much as possible. 
— April Onebane, Pieceology Vintage
You have to be okay with not getting “as much” because you can probably find something cheaper online. But it is a trickle effect on our economy when you purchase from a small business, and when you gift something that’s form a local business- the person who receives it is then exposed to this small business.
— Celeste King, Catapult Creative Logistics
It pushes me to be more thoughtful on what I choose to buy- there are people in your life you want to really get meaningful goods for. Being able to connect with the person behind the business means a lot to me.
— Ashley Chinni, Ash Grove Studio

Will you be shopping small and local this holiday season? What about throughout the year? Have any great local businesses you think we should know about! Let us know in the comments below! 

Small Business School: Vision Boards For Business

Alyssa Nguyen

Small Business School: Vision Boards For Business

Some may call it their real life Pinterest board, or maybe even consider it a mood board of sorts. But the reality is that a vision board is so much more than that! 

A vision board allows you to dig a little deeper and discover what you truly want for your life, and business. It enables you to use visuals to tell the goals and dreams you have for your future. And we think it can be even more powerful than written goals. Because let's face it, we're all visual beings and having something that serves as a collective reminder is so, so powerful! 

When we were scheduling a community event for December, we knew we wanted to bring back our 3rd annual Vision Board Party, but this year, we're co-hosting this really fun event with Maggie of MaggieGentry. There's no better person to work on this event with because Maggie is a living, breathing supporter of The Paper + Craft Pantry and honestly, just an incredible fellow business owner. 

We asked our owner, Pei and Maggie some questions to get an insight on how they use their vision boards for their business. 

And if you're in Austin, be sure to RSVP below to our 2017 Vision Board Party next month! 




For me, the most important first step is to ask two questions, "What is it that I specifically want this board to embody?" and "How do I ultimately want to feel?" For me, it's important to first gain clarity around what question I hope this vision board will help me answer, or what goal I hope this board will help me visualize, and then use the second question of understanding how I want to feel to help me find the perfect images when I'm flipping through the magazines.

I always like to spend some time journaling before I create a vision board to help me solidify an intention. It always helps to have your favorite music playing, too!

Other logistical tips: Have glue sticks and tape because you never know what you might need to fashion together. Lay it out first, take a picture for placement, and then go back to glue it down. I like to put some craft paper down on the table so that I can use my glue stick with abandon and not worry about messy clean-up afterwards!

Creating a space to create your vision board is really key. I actually carve out designated time for this, limit distrations and try to clear my mind of all the daily to-dos and other miscellaneous thoughts so I can pour what I truly want into my vision board.

I take a few moments to take some deep breaths and visualize my business in the future, without any limitations, without any expectations... It's so important to visualize your future without anything or anyone interferring what you truly want for yourself and your business!

While that vision is still fresh in my mind, I flip through magazines and articles and snip out images or words that are in line with my vision.




Pei: Yes and no! I think they are intertwined for sure, and there's obviously a lot of overlapping. I create my vision board separate from my goals, typically after I've set some goals. They do serve as a visual reminder but have a little bit more of an abstract feel which lends to more ebbing and flowing than structured goals!

Maggie: I think they complement each other really well. Goals are helpful to speak out loud or write down somewhere, but what we often do is write them in a notebook, and then forget about them. The beauty of a vision board is that it's visual! And it's meant to be displayed where we can see it often. Vision boards can often help us express a certain aspect of our goals that we can't quite put into words just yet, or maybe we're too scared to voice it out loud, or maybe we weren't quite even sure we wanted that until we see how the vision board came together, and that one element has prominent placement. It is a tool that can help us reflect on if our goals are on the right track, and also to remind us on a daily basis to keep moving forward, especially on those tough days.




Maggie: It's hanging on the wall right above my desk, so I see it everyday! I like to look at it right before I sit down for a morning meditation, and it's a helpful respite if I'm feeling like I'm drowning in work——I can sit back in my chair and remind myself why I'm doing this.

Pei: Having it front and center in my work space is a great reminder. It's something I have to look at daily and it's a wonderful check-in as to how I want my day to go, and what I can be doing (even little things) that's going to get me towards the things on my vision board.




Maggie: It's a bit one in the same for me. The particular vision board that I have right now above my desk, I created with the question, "What do I want for my business in 2018?" So it is a nice reminder to keep me going on those days when I feel like I'm losing all hope and direction.

Pei: It's so easy to feel overwhelmed with owning a small business. There are some days when things feel so great, and other days when I'm still wondering what on earth I am doing. I love having my vision board to look at, take a breath or two, and pull me back in to why I do what I do.




Pei: A specific example would be a potential partnership or collaboration, I'm naturally inclined to say yes to everything. But an easy way for me to be sure these opportunites are in line with my business's core values is to take a little peek at my vision board and see if this particular relationship or project "feels" like it fits in it.

Maggie: As a small business owner, I feel like we have face our fears often. Since I created this vision board to help me visualize growth for my business, looking at my board helps me gain the confidence I need when things feel scary or when I'm nervous to make a decision about something. It helps me stay aligned with My Why.




Pei: I keep my vision board on a bulletin board right across from my desk. And I re-do/re-create my vision board at least twice a year, around the same time I revisit my goals!

Maggie: Mine is hanging eye-level on the wall in front of my desk at home. I look at it all the time! So far, I've been creating one vision board a year to help me plan for what's ahead in the upcoming year.

Holiday D.I.Y. Round Up

Alyssa Nguyen

Holiday D.I.Y. Round Up

Happy Thanksgiving Week (and almost December)!

We don't know about you, but we're definitely the kind of folks who decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving, have classic Christmas movies playing and listen to Christmas music as soon as we get our first cold front, and we're not sorry about it at all!

Okay, we're officially 10 days from December and 35 days away from Christmas! Anyone else already guilty of listening to Christmas music or already decorating for the holidays? 

We've been scouring the internet for some of our favorite holiday and Christmas D.I.Y.s to share with you. So without further ado, here are our top 6 holiday D.I.Y. to try this year including one of our very own! 

BRB while we craft our little hearts out this week as we take a break from the shop to spend time with friends and family...

p.s. We're doing something fun for Small Business Saturday on November 25th that you're not going to want to miss - more details at the bottom of this post and how to RSVP!

Nothing gets you in the holiday spirit than hanging a wreath on your front door don't you think? This simple D.I.Y. can transition through the seasons by adding or removing accent pieces! 

No time to redecorate every single room for all those holiday visitors? This wood + metal D.I.Y. is a great and fun way to spruce up your guest bath for all those holiday guests! 

Photo Credit: Live Free Creative Co.

Bring a little bit of the outdoors inside with this adorable paper cacti D.I.Y.! Such a fun twist on traditional holiday decor and table shapes! 

Photo Credit: The House That Lars Built

Toss the traditional reds and greens aside for a more modern and updated dinner table this season! This colorful D.I.Y. is just the way to do that! p.s. Sewing isn't totally required for 2 of the 3 napkins pictured! 

Photo Credit: A Beautiful Mess

You didn't think we would get through this D.I.Y. roundup without one about dessert did you? This is right up our alley with how busy the holiday season can get. Baking from scratch is always lovely, but sometimes, all you have time for is store bought. But don't fret, these 3 delicious and gorgeous D.I.Y. ways to dress up a cheesecake will certainly wow your guests! 

Photo Credit: Sugar & Cloth

This may be one of our favorite ornament D.I.Y. that's floating out in the internet. I mean, do we really need to say any more? 

Photo Credit: A Kailo Chic Life