HandCrate: A Festive Subscription Box Made by Crafters/Artists

I’ve been busy launching my subscription box, HandCrate !  This monthly, seasonal subscription box includes various crafts and samples from small handcrafting businesses.  For only $13/month with free shipping, we already have 15 boxes going out for our Halloween box!

Each monthly box always includes a greeting card, confetti, a banner, washi tape, and paper straws to match the holiday.  🙂   Plus other fantastic goodies handcrafted with love.

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Sneak Peek Into Halloween Box

The excitement around the project is really exploding, and the best part is the box helps promote small crafting businesses.  Seasonal sales can become a speedbump for some etsy shop owners during the down months, but by adding a small sample to HandCrate, there’s a good chance of drumming up some more business!

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Confetti for the Halloween Celebration Box, shipping Sept. 9th

Plus, craftprenuers who participate also get a free celebration box!  Even more to celebrate!  If you are interested in featuring your work in a celebration box for a particular month or want to review the box for your blog/website/YouTube Channel, message me at handcrate@handcrate.com for more details.

Here are some exciting samples from some craftprenuers already to be included in the Halloween box scheduled to ship out on September 9th:

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Halloween Celebration Box Featured Artist: Vinyl Styles’ Chalkboard Labels – “A classy way to personalize your home & events!  We are small family business that proudly designs and produces our unique products for you in our Colorado home.  We hope you enjoy our one of a kind creations and service!”     You can check out their shop on etsy here.

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Halloween Celebration Box Featured Artist:”Fright Night” Greeting Card by Heather Hansen of Hansen’s Handmade.  About Heather: “I’m a scrapbook addict, amateur photographer and avid crocheter.  I own Hansen’s Handmade, and my hobbies include scrapbooking, crocheting, reading, painting and spending time with my family.”  You can purchase her products on her shop site.

This will be the only post I do on PaperCraneWishes.com about the project, but you can check out the HandCrate blog through the website.  I am excited to start writing some blog posts about managing your craft business, pitfalls, and what I’ve done to overcome some of my biggest challenges running a shop.  I will also be doing Q&As with featured artists about their experiences as business owners.

I should be getting close to doing some more blog posts on this site.  🙂  I am just awaiting the arrival of my new Canon Rebel camera!   I am very excited to give a clear window of my world to you fine readers.  🙂  Stay tuned for better photos and more exciting DIY craft projects to amp up any of your celebratory events.

Thanks for following and as always, happy crafting!!!

❤ ❤


FREE 4th of July Printable, Memorial Day Weekend Project Ideas


Of all my addictions, Pinterest may take the cake.

For any festivity, food is always important.  Memorial Day and the 4th of July always include red, white, blue, stars and stripes.  That being said, here are some amazing recipes I found that are not only easy, but fun and perfect for celebrating America’s independence!





I love simple, easy and self-explanatory.

Celebrate these sweet treats with a sign, available for free with this 4th of July Printable, or thru my online store in a foiled kit.


Currently, I am selling these wonderful metallic foiled party kits for your DIY 4th of July event including sparkler tags, tic tac labels, beer bottle labels and even this sign too.



Trying to save some money during this 4th of July? (Who isn’t, right?)  Download this FREE printable I made, print it out on any color print, cut the squares, use a hole punch or some other tool to make the holes, string them together, and hang!  Easy and done.  “Take A Treat” sign is available in this free printable to place near your 4th of July Treats.  Recommended to be printed on cardstock.


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Thanks to all my customers who recently sent in their project photos!  Seeing these photos always makes my day.  If you let me share your photos, I give $5 off your next purchase of $10 or more.  Message me on etsy, or email at papercranewishes@yahoo.com for more information.


Tony, Illinois, USA


Laura L., Dublin, Ireland

Thanks so much for following my blog!

Happy crafting!

Beer Bottle Labels, Kisses from the MRS, customer scrabble projects

Is it Mercury that is out of whack this month or something?

Whatever it is, I have been overflowing with some great, creative ideas!  I’ve been working on a Fourth of July party pack and thought of these creative stickers to put on some beers. Even better news?  These can be customized to say things like “Lou’s Big Birthday Bash” or “Jennifer’s Bachelorette Party”.  Be on the lookout at the shop for the new product, or message me on etsy, or email me at papercranewishes@yahoo.com to see your free proof.


Other ideas that have flowed to me as of lately include these cute stickers to put over chocolate kisses.  My lumberjack’s birthday is soon (tomorrow actually!), so I gave him some “kisses from the MRS”.  Great way to amp up a party or to make someone you love feel special.

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That being said, I would love to show off some projects created by some customers!


Danielle A., IL


Aimee G., NJ

If you share your photos and allow us to show them off too, you will get $5 off your next order!

Thank you again so much to all of you jolly good fellows, and happy crafting!  ❤

How To Make An Iron-On With A Cricut Explore, Mother’s Day Gift Ideas


I am always trying to think of fun ways to celebrate big events like Mother’s Day.  Who better to spend all your crafting efforts for than someone who deserves it – – – MOM!  I put this cute little Paris-themed tote together for my mom.  (Tote was only $10 on sale today at Joanne’s Crafts & Fabrics!)


I love personalizing everything with my die cut machine.  I’m always surprised how much friends and family treasure the custom, personalized gifts I make them (coffee cups, totes).  It’s hard not to like something with your name on it!

Surprisingly, with all the things I have been able to learn how to do, I had yet to venture into iron-ons.  I wanted to personalize the saying “NAENAE” (the name my daughter calls my mum 🙂 ).   I even still had the iron ons from the Cricut Explore original material sample pack.13177376_10153739617096443_2032665887239677956_n

Place the iron on material shiny side down.


So I typed it up in a nice, sturdy font and printed it out with the “iron-on” dial.  Be sure to check the unchecked box “mirror for iron-ons” in the design program too, I hadn’t checked that box.  (Ever wonder what that check box was for?  this! lol)  So, check that box.  lol.    Or else it will be printed in the incorrect way and come out reverse on your work (like my first one did….sigh)!


After I printed in a mirrored image, I had to remove the liner.  It took me a few minutes to figure it out (like I said, I’ve never done this) but I did eventually find where it peeled open, and then it pulled off smooth into an amazing decal!


Place the decal over where you want it to go.

The directions said to place a nice dishcloth above it to avoid damaging the decal…



The letters didn’t exactly stick on when I tried this method, I started to worry that this whole mother’s day gift may botch, but I tried to keep it together….


So I just went all in and placed the whole iron over the decal.  I just wanted to see if it was even sticking….


and it worked!


Stuck on there good!

Perfect Mother’s Day Gift!

I also included a sun hat made from Iman’s Global Chic line, a ladybug shaped bubble bath bar from LUSH (buy handmade!), and this amazing book “Creative Lettering and Beyond”.  I was telling my mom how she should get into calligraphy, she has such beautiful cursive handwriting already, she could probably start an etsy shop on her handwriting alone!

Here are the actual, specific directions created by Cricut:


Happy Crafting!

Thanks to all the customers

who posted their projects on social media this month!



Share your photos with PCW products (instagram, etsy, facebook)

and get $5 off your next order!  I’ll send you a coupon code and

post the picture on the next blog!

Welcome to PCW!

Hi there!

The site is currently under construction as we try to amp up our game and integrate some more features here.  However, if you want to shop our products, just click on “Shop Online Store” above.

Also, if you would like to see a free proof of your custom tag/project, message us at papercranewishes@yahoo.com to see yours today!


Heidi Swapp Mink Foil Applicator Review & Projects


(okay, I don’t know why I added quotations to the five stars, but it makes it feel more official.  lol, what I am trying to say is I LOVE this machine.)

I think it was about three weeks ago when I saw the Heidi Swapp Minc Foil Applicator machine.  It was right next to the Cricut Explore products in Hobby Lobby, so naturally I  gravitated towards the item, mostly because of my fascination with shiny things.


Currently, this machine offers 10 great color options and only require you have a standard laser printer in your home (not ink-jet).  The minc foil applicator machine only works on materials printed on a laser printer.

I was so intrigued I actually went and bought a laser jet printer because I don’t own one.

After reading some mixed reviews online, I was a little apprehensive to buy a Minc considering some people said the foil machine disappointed them, that it had “spotty” results.

Yes, I will admit that sometimes there will be a knick here or there in the foiling, but considering the technology, it’s still amazing.  The foil is really stuck on there too, it doesn’t bled or fade or rub off at all.

The lure of shiny things led me to beg my husband for this machine on my next birthday.  What a nice husband I have, because on my next birthday, it was mine!

Here are some photos of a cute gift basket I made for a baby shower.  I think all the fun little gifts I added with my Minc foil applicator really made the purple come out and also gave the gift a bit of elegance.




I was especially impressed with just how small the gold foiling can get and still hold quite a bit of detail.



Customize a tumbler with a vinyl decal (on my cricut).  Add some AVEDA tea and you got an amazing gift basket to give a friend!


I’ve only tried the pink and the gold so far but I must say I am loving this machine.


If you are looking for foiled custom tags/stickers/etc for your next big event, message me through etsy and let’s get a custom order started for you.  These DIY projects are so easy and affordable when you purchase your own TicTacs/lip balm and get the customized stickers from PCW!

And in case I don’t say it enough to my lovely readers and fellow crafters….

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Affordable, Cute & Fun Party Favors!

Are you trying to find an affordable way to amp up your big festivity soon?  Adding a custom wedding tag to an affordable item is one way to create a memorable impression for your guest.  I’ve started creating them in my own shop, and I have found people raving about them!

Coffee, mints, s’mores, honey, plants are just to name a few of the popular wedding favors going on these days.   Fun, trendy tags are popping up all over too like “S’more Love”, “Meant to Bee” (honey), “Spread the Love” (jam), and sometimes just a cute little hangover kit with items to help alleviate the night after.

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If you are interested in any of the tags you see here, you can purhcase them at my shop through this link, or just by clicking on the photo.  Tags are affordable ranging from .20-.30, making this a very easy add on in terms of DIY wedding favors.

States are always a big trend, as we are all a little biased to our home states (in some ways).  I’ve developed a collection of state themed tags in case you want to celebrate state pride on your wedding day.  I am also selling blank silhouette tags of most states in case you want to do your own DIY project with them.

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Check them out at my shop here.

Planning for your wedding doesn’t have to be expensive, and there are so many creative and whimsical ideas that are just as special and won’t break the bank.

This week it’s my birthday, and being the crazy crafter obsessed person I am, my husband is going to be buying my a MINC machine.  SO EXCITED.

What is MINC, you ask?  I saw it in the aisles of Hobby Lobby the other day, and well, let’s just say that I am on my way to making some beautiful gold foil items in the near future, with practically any metallic sort of color you want.

If you want to learn more about the MINC machine, check out this blog from Artsy Fartsy Mama as she reviews this amazing machine:


Can’t wait to show my new creations on my next blog post!

First Bouquets of Wedding Season, Love is in the Air

I am getting a couple bouquets ready for wedding season, and I am excited to do make bouquets ahead of time now.  This allows the customer to get the item in 1-3 business days, allowing very fast shipping times.

Something called me to start making bouquets from my mind’s eye.  After making customized bouquets for the last few years on etsy, I thought it would be great to start making some of my own designs, designs I could see brides absolutely in love with the day of their wedding.

I’ve named these two the “Great Gatsby” bouquet set.  Some of the flowers in the big bouquet set are made from vintage pages of the book, “The Great Gatsby”.  I’ve created a tiny throw bouquet (to keep your own bouquet safe and treasured for a lifetime) filled with all kusudama origami flowers folded from the book.

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Without further adue…

The Bridal Bouquet


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The “Toss” Bouquet

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Each one of my bouquets is one-of-a-kind, never to made again.  If you like any of these models, definitely purchase them from my shop this season before they are gone.

DIY Valentine Stones, Heart Stones, Love Crystals


I saw this pinteresting and came across it on No Time For Flashcards .   This is a great craft to do with kids because it’s really hard to mess up.  Luckily, Darbysmart sent me some acrylic paints in the mail and I always have vinyl cut hearts on hand (I am a crafter-dork like that I guess, LOL).

I have been subscribing to DarbySmart  (and also selling there as they also have a crafter marketplace).  Last month’s box of DarbySmart was out of this world as we made wood-burned leather coasters.  I gave them to my sister as a gift.  This month’s box was less than exciting, a calendar made from strings and wooden tags?


Hmmm….. I think I will pass but since I am a crafter/maker/artist extraordinaire, I was happy with some of the tools in the box, including the paints and brushes that made this project possible!  I am trying to focus all of my blog posts around more diverse crafting projects, getting new materials every day makes me think outside the box.  What’s great is that if you subscribe to Darbysmart, you can always come here to see alternative ways you can use the materials they sent you.


I like the acrylic paints!  And two paint brushes is awesome.  A person could probably paint a whole picture with the paints they sent (get a canvas, some wine, wine and paint in your home ❤ ❤ )  Washi tape: let’s be honest, who doesn’t love washi tape.  A GOLD paint pen, I frikkin LOVE paint pens, so this made the whole thing worth it.  I used a white paint pen in my previous blog about how to make your own handpainted wedding signs.  So that made me do a cartwheel and was totally worth it.  As you can see they have other materials, wooden tags.  Since I don’t want to do this months darbysmart project I am going to keep the wooden tags for gift tags in the future (maybe personalize them with my Cricut??)

Anyway, so if you don’t want to do this month’s project with DarbySmart, no problem!  I am going to try and think of some super fun crafting projects to do around this, including this cute tutorial on how to make your own “Valentine Stones”.

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Materials needed:

Acrylic Paints and Brush

Heart Stickers

(I printed mine out on the Cricut Explore)

River Stones


Put the stickers on the stones.  So easy!


Paint away!  I like funky colors, so I thought I’d do a pink/red/purple mix.  ❤


Cover them in paint!  Yay!  Like I said, so easy.


Happy little Valentine Stones!  I am going to put these in some organza bags and give as gifts.  I love stones in general, such an earthy feeling and a simple, solid valentine!  it’s one of those things your friends will keep around, or find years from now when they are cleaning out their closet.  Something that can make them smile even years from now.  🙂

Thanks for checking out my craft project!  For those who have already signed up for the newsletter, I will be trying to send out the first one at the beginning of February featuring a whole bunch of fun valentine day projects!  If you haven’t signed up yet, you should!  I will only be sending out one email a month, so your box won’t be clogged with a bunch a stuff, just a once a month mailer filled with fun DIY projects and crafts.

How is everyone else preparing for Valentine’s Day?

How To Make An Origami Heart, Love is in the air



Loveee is in the air, or at least it is for me!  But that’s definitely an annual thing.  I thought it would be fun to show how I make origami hearts so that you can make them for any of your craft projects (or if you want to purchase some instead, you can buy them in my shop here).

These hearts are great for any sort of Valentine’s day project you may be working on.  They are nice just put into an envelope alone as a Valentine, if you are just looking for a simple valentine this year.


Or you can use them in your FUN crafting projects to just give it that extra “WOW” factor.  Origami can make any hand crafted project come to life.  I made these cards for all the couples in my life, I also used scrabble tiles to connect their names.  Super cute.  Add a gift card out somewhere and each couple has a date night to look forward to!



Just as a side note, if you are looking for these cute scrabble tile hearts for your craft project, you can also order those in my shop too (along with the scrabble tiles).

With that, here is this great tutorial I made about how to make an origami heart.  I hope all you pinners out there pin your heart out! LOL


Happy crafting!!!!!

What kind of Valentine’s Day projects are you looking forward to do?