Happy Customer Photos

Happy Customer Photos

One of my resolutions for 2018 is going to be to do these posts every month because I keep forgetting! Now there’s loads of your cute photos to share from the last couple of months.

moon's creations

Marcy of Moon’s Creations found the golden ticket in my anniversary surprise box and won a mug. She wrote a really cool review of the box and the mug on her blog so go check that out.

Pandacat Productions sewed up some Jammie Dodger mini pillows with my cut and sew fabric. Didn’t they turn out well?

kawaii space pencil case

One from Etsy where this cute photo of my Solar System pencil case was added to¬†jormeow’s review.

A post shared by Laura Bertinelli (@lauraa.ber) on

Laura shared this super cool collection of pins including my Little Ghost.

Ghost Gangs are my favourite thing to see and Kim has almost the full set! I love this so much.

little ghost halloween garland

Elisa shared this spooky cute photo of the Halloween garland she made with my free printable.

And Phoenix is still keeping up with my free paper craft tutorials. Love this happy ghost.

A post shared by Frances Wong Scurek (@fran_ws) on

It’s always lovely to hear that my packages cheer up someone’s day. Frances has a fun photo set of my stickers and enamel pins so click through to see the rest.

Just a sweet photo of my wooden brooches from Marina, who is always posting cute photos of my stuff, thank you!

And finally, there have been so many cool photos of our craft fair zine, but Sally‘s was one of my favourites. She also has a hilarious piece in the zine so go buy one if you haven’t read it yet.

I think the Ghost Gang was my favourite photo this time! I send out a little surprise package to my favourite photographer each time I do a post like this so make sure to share yours with me – just tag @marcelinesmith on Instagram, share on my Facebook page, or leave a photo with your order feedback using the Etsy app.

News, On-Demand News

2018-2022 5 Year Diary Now Available

If you’re already thinking about new year resolutions, a 5 Year Diary is a great place to start. It’s an easy way to record your daily life and makes for a great memory book to look back on.

Kawaii 5 Year Diary

My spiral bound 5 Year Diary has been updated for 2018-2022 and has a cute new design featuring my Kawaii Skies characters. They appear in a full colour pattern on the cover and on each diary page.

Kawaii 5 Year Diary

If you’re not familiar with the format, a 5 year diary has 5 years per page and only a small space to fill, so you can easily jot down the day’s events at bedtime. It’s especially fun once you get past the first year and can start comparing your days. I get a kick out of spotting all the similarities and seeing how my monthly and annual tasks line up with previous years.

Kawaii 5 Year Diary

There’s also profile pages for each year so you can keep track of big life changes, goals and favourites.

Kawaii 5 Year Diary

As always, you can also buy an updated edition of last year’s Happy Nature design. Both are available on-demand from Lulu. This works out best for everyone as Lulu have printing facilities worldwide so can offer affordable shipping wherever you are.

If you previously bought my paperback 5 Year Diary and would like a matching one for next year, please let me know! I can only make them available if I get a few pre-orders.

News, Sales & Offers

New Fabric Coin Purses + Sale!

It’s been a while since I added some new fabric coin purses to my range, but now there are two new ones! The space designs are the most popular so I’ve added Planet Earth to the gang and Mt Fuji seemed like an obvious choice too.

kawaii fabric coin purses

These coin purses are all handmade by my mum. They’re small enough to fit in your handbag or pocket, with zips to keep everything safe inside.

kawaii fabric coin purses

Now that there are 14 different coin purses, it’s getting difficult to keep them all in stock and I’ve decided to cut things down to just the most popular designs – Planet, Sun, Ghost and Cookie + Earth & Fuji. I’m clearing out the rest with 25% off so go get one while you can! I’ve split them between my shop and Etsy, so if the character you want is sold out, check the other shop.

cut and sew coin purses

Of course, you can still sew up your own purse as all 14 characters are available as cut and sew fabric in my Spoonflower store for only $5 apiece.

Free Things!, Guides and Tutorials, Paper Craft Tutorials

How To: Make Paper Cut Christmas Star Cards & Decorations

paper cuts header

Time for one more paper craft tutorial to help you¬†make cards and decorations featuring¬†my cute characters! This is the last full tutorial for the year but I’ll have some more paper crafts ideas next month.

kawaii christmas cards paper crafts tutorial copyright marceline smith

This month I’m going to show you how to¬†make a 3d effect Happy Star card. This was my personal Christmas card two years ago but can also be used for other festive holidays and thank you cards. I’ll also include a basic card and some decoration ideas at the end.

kawaii christmas cards paper crafts tutorial copyright marceline smith

What you’ll need:

Instructions:

kawaii christmas cards paper crafts tutorial copyright marceline smith

Download my templates sheet and print it out at full size on to any colour of card or paper, then either cut out or trace the star shape. You can also trace the face, instead of drawing one yourself later. If you don’t have a printer, just draw a 5 or 6 pointed star that’s the same size as your card aperture.

kawaii christmas cards paper crafts tutorial copyright marceline smith

Draw around your template or transfer from tracing paper and cut out.

kawaii christmas cards paper crafts tutorial copyright marceline smith

Erase any visible pencil lines and you’ll have a star.

kawaii christmas cards paper crafts tutorial copyright marceline smith

Time to add a face!¬†Once again, you can practice with¬†my free¬†Draw Kawaii Faces¬†printable which has eight cute faces to choose from. If you’re still not confident, you can use tracing paper to copy a face over. Pencil it in then go over with a black marker pen.

kawaii christmas cards paper crafts tutorial copyright marceline smith

Now to add it to your aperture card. The one I’m using has two folds so you can hide the star inside and have plenty room to add a message. You could also just use a one fold card and write your message under the star.

kawaii christmas cards paper crafts tutorial copyright marceline smith

Add foam dots to the back of your star at each point. These are thick foam dots that will make your star look like it’s floating inside the card.

kawaii christmas cards paper crafts tutorial copyright marceline smith

Fold up your card and place the star inside the aperture, sticking down the dots.

kawaii christmas cards paper crafts tutorial copyright marceline smith

Open up the card again and place two more foam dots on the corners and stick to the aperture piece leaving the other fold open.

kawaii christmas cards paper crafts tutorial copyright marceline smith

You should now have a blank card at the back where you can write your greetings without damaging your star. For a dark colour like this, you’ll need a white or metallic pen, but that’s even more fun.

kawaii christmas cards paper crafts tutorial copyright marceline smith

The front view will look like this. The 3D is really cool and makes it look way more complicated than it really is.

kawaii christmas cards paper crafts tutorial copyright marceline smith

Now you an add text by hand or print a greeting separately and cut it into a shape.

kawaii holiday card paper crafts tutorial copyright marceline smith

If you don’t want to make an aperture card, just glue your star to plain folded card.

kawaii christmas stars paper crafts tutorial copyright marceline smith

You can also make lots of stars in different colours or sizes for a garland or tree decorations. Or make mini Stars on sticks for table decorations or cake toppers – just follow the instructions at the end of my Ghosts tutorial.

kawaii christmas stars paper crafts tutorial copyright marceline smith

I’ve just used mini pegs to attach my stars to sparkly twine. That makes it easy to take down and store after the holidays.

If you make some Stars, I would love to see them! You can tag me on Instagram (@marcelinesmith) or Twitter (@marceline).


This tutorial is for personal use only! Please do not sell items you make or use this tutorial for profit. As with all content on this blog, the images and instructions are copyrighted © Marceline Smith 2017 and may not be reposted without credit and permission. Thank you for respecting the rights of artists and makers.

10 Year Anniversary, Ask Me Anything

My 10 Best Business Buys

When you’re running a tiny business by yourself, it’s so hard to spend what little money you make, but sometimes it’s more stupid not to.¬†I’ve come to realise that my time is my most valuable asset so it’s worth investing in things that can make my business more efficient and free up my time for more fun tasks.

Here’s ten of the best things I’ve bought for my business over the last ten years, in no particular order.

thermal printer

1. Thermal Label Printer

Let’s start with my newest purchase – a thermal label printer. I had been pretty happy printing postage labels on my laser printer but once I moved to Click & Drop, the A4 labels were so wasteful. It was hard forking out ¬£200+ for this printer but it doesn’t need any ink and the labels are free from Royal Mail. Since Click & Drop is also proving to be much quicker to use, it’s really going to pay for itself over the busy Christmas period.

2. Professional Web Hosting

I’ve always paid for web hosting because why hand control of your website and domain name to a free service that might vanish or change completely overnight just to save a few pounds a month? Last year I finally got around to consolidating all my sites into one professional account at Media Temple and it’s been amazing. Moving multiple websites and domains was pretty painful but now I barely have to look at it and the uptime and customer service has been excellent. I would include my Shopify monthly fees here too except I joined up so early that I don’t ever have to pay any. I totally would though.

photography setup

3/4. DSLR Camera + Studio Lighting

The windows in my current flat are huge so I can usually get decent lighting, but it’s been too gloomy and rainy this year. I bought some soft box lights and they’ve made such a difference! I can take a perfectly good photo on rainy days and at night so I no longer have to wait to share things or put up with a bad photo in a rush. I recently upped my game even further by investing in a DSLR (i.e. a fancy professional camera). My compact camera (which I reviewed, previously) is great for traveling but it was not cutting it for product photography any more. The photo quality is so much better, especially with a tripod. My whole setup cost less than ¬£500 and now I no longer have to drop everything when the sun comes out. They do take up a lot of room, but everything packs down quite small.

paper cutting - marcelinesmith

5. Silhouette Portrait

This was kind of a random purchase at the end of the tax year but I love my paper cutting machine. It’s a little more trouble than I imagined so never led to much in the way of saleable products but it’s been great fun. I still play with it a lot and it’s given me plenty blog and social media content, so it was worth buying. I certainly wouldn’t have created a whole year of paper craft projects without it.

6. Not on the High Street membership

Not on the High Street approached me quite early on but I couldn’t see the point of paying hundreds of pounds to join a marketplace when there were new free ones popping up every day. I held out until the prices dropped but ¬£150 still seemed like big investment. It was well worth it though and I had the most profitable Christmas ever. I realised then that I was paying for promotion and NOTHS have a big audience through their TV advertising, catalogues etc. The site does have a lot of problems and they take a big chunk of commission off every sale but I should have done it sooner, even at twice the price.

sumup card reader - marcelinesmith

7. SumUp Card Reader

When I think back to all the sales I lost at craft fairs because people didn’t have enough/any cash on them, I could kick myself for not investing in a card reader. I may only do one or two craft fairs a year now but it’s easily covered its costs. There’s a few different readers to choose from, and they all seem to get good reviews. I went with SumUp as there’s a great deal through Folksy and it’s so cute (even without a happy face) and easy to use.

8. Software

I used to be a total miser about software and hated spending money on it but if it makes my job so much easier, why should I grudge paying for it? Luckily, I get a free Adobe Creative Cloud account from my p/t job but if I lost that I wouldn’t hesitate to carry it on myself – I rely so much on Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. And after years of complaining about Microsoft Office, I downloaded a trial copy to finish my ebook and discovered it was now so much better than Apple’s versions that I promptly signed up for a monthly account. Who even am I any more?

ipad - marcelinesmith

9. iPad

While I do mostly use it for reading comics (sorry, Tax Man), it’s been great for my work/life balance. I turned off all my work-related notifications on my phone so I don’t get distracted by sales and Etsy messages and the bigger screen on the iPad makes it easier to deal with business stuff when I’m on holiday. The Apple Pencil has made it even more worthwhile as I can doodle ideas and try out new styles.

10. Badge Making

I used to make all my badges myself but came to loathe the task so much that I dreaded getting orders. Now I have them made for me by Awesome Merchandise and I couldn’t be happier. I do have to plan ahead and sometimes I run out of stock, but it’s a much better solution for me.

Obviously, everyone’s businesses and priorities are different, but hopefully some of these ideas can help you as your business grows. I’ve included links (some affiliate) to the actual products I bought so you can find out more.