Tag Archives: washi tape

The store that’ll change your life (or at least, your shopping habits)

3 May


In case you missed it, last week was ‘National Stationery Week’ (yes, I know, there’s a ‘week’ for everything these days). Having been a stationery geek ever since I first collected novelty shaped erasers at school, I decided this was the perfect excuse to treat myself to a few extra office essentials. Ahem, well, if you can count beautiful gold notebooks, stylish pens, quirky sticky notes and glass mason-type jars for making my pencils look pretty as ‘essential’..!


And my shopping destination of choice for these goodies? Not Paperchase or some trendy stationers, but HEMA, an amazing shop stuffed with everything from stationery and craft materials to kitchenware and food, makeup and jewellery. Originating in the Netherlands (where HEMA is a household name), it’s a mini department store with a difference – everything they sell is designed at their Dutch headquarters and is well-made, simple, good-looking… and great value. Think the marketplace section at IKEA, crossed with the jaw-droppingly-low prices of Tiger Stores.

HEMA stationery display (orange)

The shelves of my local store in Bromley (above) are groaning with gorgeous, quirky and bargainous bits that you won’t find anywhere else. On my last visit, I had a gift voucher to spend, and quite frankly, it’s a dangerous place to let someone like me loose. The jars pictured at the top? They were just £2 and £3 each; while the pens and sticky arrow notes below them cost 75p each; and the notebooks were £2 (spotty) and £3 (faux leather cover).

It’s also a brilliant place to shop for presents, and my new go-to destination for giftwrapping supplies. Just check out these shelves:

UntitledFor example, this amazing geometric wrapping paper below was just £1.50 a roll; the handy gifting stickers £1.50 a pack; the fun mini bunting £2 (which would look great wrapped around plain giftwrap or brown parcel paper); and the matching washi tape £2.50:



The cards are fab too, and very reasonably priced at between £1 and £2.50. Check out these lovely modern designs:

Untitled 2


There are five HEMA stores in the UK so far (in London, Kingston, Birmingham, Stansted Airport and Bromley), but if there isn’t one near you, don’t fret – you can buy everything online at  http://www.hemashop.com/gb/ (delivery is £4 to the UK).

What are you waiting for? Load your baskets now!

The thrill of the Paperchase

23 Jan

Paperchase sky lanterns collection display

Ever since I was a little girl I’ve been slightly obsessed with stationery. My favourite thing about going back to school each September was buying a new pencil case; and whenever we went on family holidays to France, I’d drag my parents round a hypermarket so that I could stock up on their bargainous and exotic-looking notepads, pencils and folders.

So, it’s not surprising that Paperchase (www.paperchase.co.uk) is one of my all-time favourite shops . It’s almost impossible for me to go in and come out empty-handed.

Anyhow, their new themed collections have just arrived and I felt it was my duty to check them out for you all!

The two stand out designs are the Japanese-inspired Sky Lanterns (above left) and the brilliantly-named Budgerigaga (pretty pastel budgies, above right).

On my wishlist? From the Sky Lanterns collection, I love the List Book £5; the Shopper bag £12.50; the Notelets £7.50; the washi paper tape £3.50 for four rolls; the Wash Bag £10, the fabric-covered Push Pins £3 and the mechanical pencil £3 (all below):

Paperchase sky lanterns list book

And from the Budgerigaga collection, I love the A4 Scrapbook £10; the Bird House storage box £8; the Foldaway Bag £4, the Magnetic List Pad £5 and the Sticky Notes £4 (all below):

Paperchase budgerigaga A4 scrap book

PS: Live outside the UK? No problem – Paperchase will ship internationally! Visit http://www.paperchase.co.uk for details.

I wishi for washi

27 Jul

My new obsession is for washi tape (“what-y tape?” asked my other half). It’s Japanese masking tape, which comes in different widths and is printed with pretty patterns.

You can use it in so many different ways and you don’t have to be particularly crafty to get good results. The most obvious is to wrap presents with. It’ll stand out more if you use brown paper, white paper or a single plain coloured paper or tissue. Don’t just use the washi tape on the ends – stick little strips randomly all over for a really pretty effect.

Another great use for washi tape is to decorate stuff – wrap it around glass jars for candles, trinket boxes, pens/pencils, travelcard wallets, kitchen storage containers… or put strips on picture frames, mirrors, or notebooks/diaries to jazz them up.

There are loads of great ideas on the web. Check these out for starters:

Jars and clothes pegs:

Pretty clothes hangers:

Washi tape magnets:

Storage jars:

Gift bags:


Chairs decorated with washi:

A Pinterest board with other washi tape ideas such as cards, penpots and boxes:

Feeling inspired? All you need now is some tape! The best place to start is www.washitapes.co.uk – they have the biggest selection in the UK.
You can also get your mitts on tapes at www.dotcomgiftshop.com, http://www.papermash.co.uk, http://www.lovelytape.co.uk and on Ebay (search for “washi tape” or “Japanese masking tape” or “craft masking tape”).

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