Monday, 10 February 2014

Little Black Wedding Book

Afternoon all!

Towards the end of 2013 the lovely folk over at Clifton Hotels in Bristol launched their ‘Little Black Wedding Book’, an intimate list of recommended wedding suppliers working in the Bristol and Somerset areas.

Little old me at The Paper Garden was lucky enough to be picked as one of those exclusive suppliers.

The two venues that this group of suppliers would be a part of are The Rodney Hotel & The Berkeley Square Hotel in the Clifton area of Bristol. If you are looking for an alternative wedding venue I’d definitely recommend either of these two. One being a vibrant contemporary venue within a private members club (I’ve seen photos of a 1920’s themed wedding that looked incredible!) and the other a quaint Georgian townhouse in the village with a beautiful secret garden which is perfect for a small intimate affair. Both of the venues are more than happy to tailor their spaces to your needs and use locally sourced food, flowers & decor. They are also a steal in terms of price so if you are keeping to a strict budget - look no further!


 In other news. I'm launching my new website this week! It's very exciting stuff. We'll be looking for weddings to feature on on on-site blog. If you have a great altenative/handmade wedding story to tell please do get in touch:


Thursday, 7 November 2013

A Paper Garden Handmade Wedding!

Hello Land of Blog!

So I did something very grown up this year and in early September I got married to my lovely partner Helen! 
We officially Civil Partnered at Bristol Town Hall a few days before our big day which was actually really lovely - just our mums at witnesses and a cheeky bottle of wine afterwards. For us this was the just the legal part, our actual wedding was going to be a few days later.

We had our wedding at Middle Coombe Farm in Devon which is stunning, wrote our own ceremony and had a dear friend as our celebrant. It was a very small wedding and, as it was on a farm, it had a very handmade, rural and eco friendly feel to it. Every part of the day was perfect.

According to the top wedding planners in the country, the average wedding budget is around £16K (whaaaaaat!!). We just couldn't afford to spend anything near that amount of money so we decided to keep costs down by sourcing materials ourselves, making decorations, finding local food suppliers & even making our own dresses. And actually by doing it this way we had so much fun and free reign to design anything we wanted! Nothing was mass produced or bought. Out of everything I think the most money we spent was on the Ceildh band (who were incredible!) !!

We sourced vintage suitcases, new & recycled materials, books & lighting. We even sourced our own flowers and produced our own table flower arrangements which was a lot of fun to do.

In the Cider Barn is where we had our dinner (local caterer who cooked us all a yummy bbq!). The barn was also host to an amazing Ceildh and some good ol' dancing! We handmade all the bunting and sourced all the lights.
We also had a marquee which we decorated with handmade bunting, fairy lights and some colourful decorations given to us by a friend. We hand painted and illustrated the blackboard and sourced hay bales for here.
Instead of spending lots of money that we didn't have, we locally sourced flowers & did our own arrangements, we hand decorated jars, handmade folded books & hand constructed and hand stamped 77 favours/place names.
Instead of buying expensive flower bouquets from a florist, we decided that we wanted to create something that we could keep. We each had a large bouquet made from handmade material flowers (satin, linen, lace, hessian) and then each of our bridesmaids had a smaller handmade posy. My bridesmaids posies had lace flowers made from off-cuts of my dress!
Each large bouquet had over 30 handmade flowers in it so it's safe to say they definitely weren't thrown!

A handmade, eco friendly wedding was perfect for us, as time consuming as it was! It made us both realise that creating this special day was something that we would like to do again. It's something that we would like to do for other people who are getting married that might need some help. Not everyone has the time or the money to throw at their wedding; so what if we could create it for you - make your vision a reality? Stress free and for those on a budget! All locally sourced, upcycled and handmade items and decor!

Watch this space - we are busy creating a business plan and website for our wedding design service launching early 2014! :)

Photographs courtesy of Fine Pair


Tuesday, 12 March 2013

DIY Wedding Decorations!

I'm not someone who talks excessively about getting married but this is mainly craft and paper based so I thought I'd blog about it...
So we've been busy making decorations for our wedding in September. Lots of different things and things that I have replicated so that I can spread the love by putting them in my Etsy wedding shop. (I know the shop is looking quite lonely at the moment - I'm working on it!)

So, working with a teeny tiny budget means a lot of DIY which is amazing and actually one of the most fun bits to planning a wedding!
As we are getting married on a beautiful eco farm in Devon, used and recycled materials are perfect for us and perfect for our budget too :)

Pinterest is an amazing place to find inspiration for these type of things

Some of the things we've been making :


 The jars are recycled anything jars! Wrapped in pretty off-white lace and twine tied in a bow! Not going to be able to put this type of thing in my Etsy shop but thought I'd pop the pictures on here. Instead of spending a ridiculous amount of money on bouquets that will be used for a couple of hours - handmade flowers made from hessian, quality,but upcycled, cream material and upcycled lace put together with a few green ferns from the woods at the farm and we have handmade bouquets that can be kept forever!  (I will post a picture when they are all finished)
I will bulk making these using several different materials and colours (the organic eco colour theme is my favourite though!) and putting them online. Ready made and seperate in a sort of 'make your own bouquet' kind of way.

I got some small veg crates from my local greengrocers, treated the wood and varnished it (can see the colour in the first picture). Stack them around a wedding venue, great cases for wedding favour displays - loads of things they could be used for and they look lovely. I have also been making cute litte star garlands. Made from quality ivory hammer white paper and using origami techniques to create a 3D star. Have made them in several different lengths so they could be used in a variety of different ways.


 And finally! I've been experiementing with making paper flowers - quite tricky to start with but after a bit of trial and error they got there, they just take a bit of time to make. I've also made a few in different colours - red, yellow, green and blue. I've also strung some together to make a chain/garland. I think if they are long enough they will be really stunning.



Thursday, 21 February 2013


I have been just awful on the blog front this year! But I have been busy busy busy making lots of different things : here is one of them :)

I found something on pinterest that I kept on looking at over and over again, thinking about how much I loved it and if I would be able to make one myself. It was a coffee table/bookcase-shelf type thing made from an old electrical cable spool.
After searching and searching for a cable spool that was free (I didn't want to buy one from an electrical company) after about 2 weeks I came across one next to a skip outside the Artrageous Scapstore in St Werburghs. Hurray! :)

It was covered in a lot of dirt so I spent a couple of hours making it sparkly clean and sanding it down...

What it looked like : when i got it home // after it had been sanded // after parts of the wood were treated

And then this is what it looked like when everything was finished. I ran out of dowel so the back of it is missing two little bits until I can get to the hardware shop. I think if I made another one, i would use thicker pieces of dowel for the sections,but this will do and I like it! And Samson seems to like his new chair :)


Sunday, 30 December 2012


Hello all!

The Winter months have been amazing for The Paper Garden so I thought I would celebrate with an end of year sale! 
 Everything in my Etsy shop is 25% off! 

All you have to do to receive the discount is enter the coupon code 'NEWYEAR30' on check out!

Sale ends on 7th January!



Thursday, 27 September 2012

New in my shop today!


A cup of coffee at 8am means I get into photographer mode and start listing things in my Etsy shop early! Royally preparing for the (fingers crossed) Christmas rush! I'm going to make sure I list at least 2 new things in my shop every day. These are some new things from today:

'The Avengers' envelope&notecard set:
'The Hulk' envelope&notecard set.
Vintage maps paper chain/garland.


Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Recycled wedding


Well I have been going through all my scraps and all my old books that I have rescued from various places over the past couple of days. I started making paper garlands from these books and thought that they are the perfect decoration for a handmade or vintage themed wedding. I am hoping that for my wedding next year we are going for that vintage feel so that I can use a lot of the things that I have been making recently. 

I have just listed these in my shop - you can have a look at them here: Paper Garland