Tips for packaging your small business items

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packaging
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So you have decided to start your very own business doing what it is you love to do. Now, you have so much to think about. What your selling, what your charging, Promoting, taking photos, branding, packaging orders, the lot.

It is so exciting when it comes to getting your very first order as well. You do a little happy dance as soon as you get that notification… Once you’ve done that, it is time to sort out the order and its packaging. The packaging alone can give you so much to think about.

We all know how it feels to have the excitement of the postman coming. Especially when you know you have something exciting due to come to you very soon. But what is it that really makes getting your order extra special?

Well I don’t know about you, but for me, its the effort that has gone into actually packaging my items.

So lets talk packaging…

Want to know more about sustainable living? read more in my post, here.

Some things you should consider when choosing your packaging

Does your packaging fit in with your brand?

The over all look

When you are choosing your packaging, you want it to fit in well with your over all business brand.

There are so many options for you to get creative with what your customer is going to receive when they receive their order from you! and nowadays there are so many more options available for you to be able to do this as well. We have moved away from the times of brown paper and cardboard boxes, the plain and simple, no-fuss methods. Now you could have packaging designed and printed with your logo and in your brand pallet. Packaging has become so much more of a bigger deal. It is a massive part of making your business rememberable.

More and more small businesses are turning to bespoke packaging, to give their packaging a more personal touch to suit their business. Including your completely unique branding and keeping your designs sleek and bold are actually pretty key elements for any piece of product packaging. Although it is absolutely important that not only does your package that you send out still have its Functionality that it is meant to.

Remember it is a customer experience

You are providing your customer with an experience from the minute they receive their package. So having your packaging aesthetically pleasing is important. However, so is remembering the experience you are giving your customer when they order from you. The way that you are actually presenting their

Are you environmentally friendly?

Biodegradable packaging

sustainable products and packaging are a hot topic for any business right now.
Looking after our planet is so important and we can ensure we are doing our part in making our packaging eco-friendly! Packaging is something that without a second thought gets thrown away quicker than it is received.

Make your eco-friendlyness known!

Be loud and proud about your packaging, your packaging isn’t going to affect the planet by leaving a carbon footprint! so make sure your customers know that use stickers or maybe a little note to tell your customers that they can either recycle or place into a compost bin! doing this is giving your customer clear instructions on how to dispose of the part of the order that isn’t going to be kept.

Want to know what you can do to support a small business, without spending money! check out my post on it, here.

Is your packaging cost effective?

Think about the cost

When you are running your business. Finances come into absolutely everything. How much it costs to make your product. How much it costs to send and package the order.

have you ever received an order from a supplier for example and the very small item you had ordered came inside a massive box? And you laugh at it and moan why on earth are they wasting such massive packaging and cost?
it’s a really good point. So, if you are sending out a small item. Would you use a shoebox-sized parcel knowing that it would cost less to send in a smaller-sized packaging?

packaging
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Are your products actually safe?

The last thing you want to hear is all of that hard work you put into your product has been ruined because it didn’t arrive at its new home safely!


Honestly, that is every creator’s worst nightmare!

Think about the materials of your product.

Take a minute to think about your product that you are sending out. Would your fabric product reach its home undamaged in all weather conditions?

I once ordered a T-shirt for my partner for Christmas. It arrived on a horrendous day, pure 24 hour downpour. Unfortunately the sender had placed the T-shirt into a cardboard envelope. Meaning the brand new T-shirt i received was completely soaked. Not ideal hey?

and this does go for all items. A fragile item could be broken in transit. So ask yourself what could you do to prevent this from happening? Well, I would suggest wrapping anything fragile into bubble wrap. You can now buy environmentally friendly, biodegradable bubble wrap. I would certainly check this out. Another method I absoloutely love for protecting an order is shredded tissue paper. Not only does it look look, but it also has a lucky dip feel when your customer is taking there items out of the box!

I want to hear from you

We are all different, and there are so many unique businesses out there! I want to hear from you with your tips and tricks. As well as any experiences you have had with packaging, wether its sending or receiving!

Leave a comment for me to read in the box below and tell me your thoughts!

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Running my first ever craft stall at Bursledon Windmill.

Good morning you beautiful people, I thought it was about time I came on and shared with you my experience with my first ever craft stall. I’m not going to lie, this post is really overdue. The stall was a few weeks ago now, and I am now preparing for the next one.
I realized that lately, I have been a bit neglectful of my blog, as I really have been working on my AlexaJade Creates business. Which has taken up a lot of my time recently. So as well as getting back to posting, I also wanted to start sharing with you all, my journey with my small business.

As well as opening my online store on Big Cartel, I have been busy writing business plans, creating stock to sell, and as the title suggests, doing my first ever stall at a craft fair.

my first ever craft stall

I’m gonna be completely honest with you. Running a stall with my handmade items was a goal I have had for a while now! however, when I received a message to see if I was interested in holding a stall at a craft fair, I did panic and say no. We had a commitment that weekend, so I didn’t think at the time it was going to be possible. I gave myself other reasons why it wouldn’t work. Then my partner and family pulled me into line and told me to get back in contact and say I would. Actually, I am really proud that I did.

Although that meant, I was then faced with 3 days to get everything I have made in order and prepare. The presentation and packaging of the products, I have created was my first task! I designed jewelry backing cards, printed them, and got them all cut out. Luckily Emma was very happy to be put to work on this too!

Want to know how to support a small business, without paying any money? Check out my post, here.

Although since the craft fair, I have been rethinking my branding and packaging, I am still pleased with the outcome. We achieved so much in a short time and it all looks so good! Plus having my creations displayed like this made me feel proud of and satisfied with everything I have achieved.

So, running my first ever craft stall… The actual day.

On the day, I got my mum to came to pick me up and we loaded all of the bits into the car. I didn’t think I was going to have enough, but it definitely filled the car. My mum has always been an inspiration to me when it comes to crafting. I remember when I was younger she ran many craft stalls selling her paper creations. I grew up in her footsteps exploring my own ways to be creative. At this point, there are not many crafts left, I have not tried my hands at!

my first ever craft stall, Bursledon windmill

I had never actually been to Bursledon Windmill, considering that it is only a 10-minute drive from where I live, I did not know how beautiful the place was until we got there.

It didn’t actually take me long to set up my stall. I spent a lot of my setup time faffing around with how the stall looked! Knowing now, that I need to invest in some baskets and holders for the stalls, to display my stock.

Making lots of sales wasn’t even something I was focusing on for the day. I said from the set, that I would have been happy to have sold 1 item. I honestly, was nervous that I wouldn’t sell anything. Actually, I was just nervous in general! Originally I thought running a stall felt outside of my comfort zone. However I did it! and as the day went on, and I started speaking with other stallholders, my confidence grew, and really helped me. Being able to network with others really inspired me on what to do for future events.

I was pleased that I sold a few of my items on the day and I did make a profit. Actually, I would not have managed any of that if I didn’t have such a supportive family, and partner. Of course, I am so grateful. That they all came to support me and help me organize for the day.

Have any tips for running a craft stall?

Experience always trumps any planning and learning in this case, as well as many others. However, I love to learn from other people, so, if anyone has any tips for running a craft stall, I would love to hear them. So, leave a comment below.

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12 Ways to get back your creative motivation

Don’t you just hate it when all you want to do is be in your creative flow, creating your art, writing your heart out, or crafting whatever it is you create that day? but all you can do is sit and do nothing because of your lack of inspiration and motivation to actually be creative. It is even worse when your sole income is dependent on your ability to actually be creative. So, In today’s post, I am talking about something that affects all creative minds, lack of inspiration, So I wanted to share the ways you can get back your creative motivation.

The creative flow is something that we all have within us, whether it is art, writing, craft, or something else. Whether your creating for a hobby or creating for an income, Creativity comes in all different shapes and sizes, but when it comes to actually inspiring creativity, we can all read from the same page.

One of my favourite creative quotes!

So what can we do to get back our creative motivation?

Take a step back

Sometimes the best thing you can do for your creative mojo, is just this, Take a break. Step back, and recharge your mind by having a break! It doesn’t matter whether your creativity is a hobby or a job, taking a break from your project is necessary!

Sometimes forcing yourself to be creative and achieve something is the worse thing to do when you are really not feeling it. Your best work comes from your most spontaneous thoughts and moments, so instead of trying to force yourself to achieve, let creativity come back to you when it is ready.

Focus on yourself

Call me cliché, but creativity really does come from the soul. What I mean is, our emotions and feelings do have a massive impact on creative output. are negative and positive energies are reflected in our creations. It can be heard in your art, as well as your words. So if you are aiming to create something bold, and positive, but you are feeling down and stressed, this can show. Think about what it is your feeling and if you are in the mindset you want to be.

Go for a walk

Not only is getting out and going for a walk so good for your mental and physical wellbeing, getting out in nature, and taking a break into the fresh air is so good for your creative motivation also.

Honestly, getting a change of scene from going for a walk also is really beneficial, It’s always good to get away from things that are starting to become overwhelming.

Listen to music

It might sound cliché but honestly, music is inspiring. I love to have something on in the background when I am working. I try to stick to music, or I have a program playing that doesn’t actually require an attention span. However, I do recommend music over a program, as it is proven to motivate workflow, as well as creativity.
Some people prefer complete silence, so if this is not for you whilst you are working, think about taking some time away from your projects and work, to listen to some music, for inspiration, and then try going back to what you were doing.

Reorganize your creative space

Your creative space should be your happy space, as well as your workspace. and if your anything like me, once you have been working on a few projects your space can go from tranquil to messy organized chaos.

Having a cluttered working space doesn’t take long to become overwhelming and too much. So it is no surprise your work space has an impact on your creative mindset. So take 5 minutes and reorganise and de clutter your space! then you can go back to your projects with a fresh mind and tidy space!

Wanna check out my creative space? come have a look around my craft room post, here.

creative motivation

Try something new

We all get into our comfort zones, and we like to stick to what we know most of the time, but let’s be honest, doing the same thing all of the time can become pretty boring after a while. If your feeling like this then it is definitely worth having a go at something new and certainly time to get out of your comfort zone! Do something completely random, Something that you have never tried before. It doesn’t matter what it is, like picking up a guitar, Joining a dance club, try a new craft, or even just reading a new book genre! We, humans, thrive on new experiences and encounters, so doing something new, is one of the most common ways to inspire ourselves. It doesn’t even matter if it is just a one-time thing! we all learn and adapt by our experiences. 9 times out of 10, if you are inspired in one area, that inspiration you have starts spreading to other aspects in your life.

Look for inspiration

Inspiration seeking is something we all do, especially when we are looking for creative motivation. Whether we admit that we do it or not! and we have been blessed with some amazing tools to be able to do this!

The tools I recommend the most, for pretty much anything you are doing, is Pinterest and Instagram. My two favourite platforms to be inspired by others. Pinterest is a search engine in its own right, so you can literally find anything on there. I find that I start looking at one thing, and before I know it, its been an hour, and Im 8 suggested pages down and found something completely new to look at and think about! seriously its genius!

And its completely the same when it comes to instagram, I like to search the relevant hashtags to be inspired by what others are doing. This really works when it comes to looking for inspiration, before you know it, you’ve seen something that’s given you some incredible idea of your own to try!

Keep an ideas notebook

A notebook really can be your best friend at times! there are so many useful things that you can do with one! I tend to keep my notebook with me 99.999% of the time for this reason! It is full of lists, reminders, information, everything I need to keep myself going and organized, well, As organized as I can be anyway.
Whenever you have a new idea or thought, drop it down in your notebook so when you are stuck for ideas, you can go back and look for the ideas you have already thought of.

Take a look at my list of things to use a notebook for here.

Take a digital break

Social media has its pros and cons, it can be amazing and inspirational at times, but in the same breathe, social media can be a drain on our motivation to actually produce. 5 minute scrolling time never really lasts just those 5 minutes, do they?

There are 2 pretty big reasons why we should allow ourselves to take a break from our devices. Firstly Taking a step back from our online world gives us the chance to relax and actually get to grips with our creative mindset naturally.

As much as I rate our fabulous social platforms for the inspiration they can give us, there is a side to be wary of also. It is easy to become over pressured to be posting our creations to the internet, comparing our work to others. which can then bring us down. If this is happening to you then it is definitely time to take a digital break.

Take a look at my post on the impacts of social media, here.

Create a mindmap

Remember in school when they got you into a group that gave you a massive bit of paper and a really thick pen, and then they’d ask your team to plan something? Then you’d decide who had the best handwriting and plot all your ideas down in a massive brainstorm. Well, this is exactly that, Grab a piece of paper, Write your focus in the middle, and let your mind wander with all of your ideas and plans jot them into a mind map. It doesn’t need to belong to sentences either, just some keywords. Maybe just some words that inspire you when you’re creating. It does not need to be neat, or anything set in stone. A mind map is just a perfect way to encourage yourself to get thinking about what it is you want to do and create, leading you to find the creative motivation that you need to get on with things. Once you’ve made your scribbles you can then go into deeper planning and things after. Mind maps are so useful for a brain dump.

Create a mood board

Mood boards are literally so useful when it comes to lack of creative motivation. I love them! it doesn’t matter whether it is a digital collage of images that inspire you or a physical mood board that you have created. The whole idea of creating a mood board is to keep you inspired with the things that inspire you the most. It could even include pictures of where you want to be in 5 years’ time, Something you are working towards. Maybe it’s saving for a house or a dream car. It literally could include whatever you like. It is your personal board, to inspire you. So it is no good copying anyone else’s, it has to come from your heart.

Just enjoy yourself

At the end of the day, what ever it is you are doing, You should be gaining enjoyment from creating. If your no longer enjoying it. It may be time to ask yourself these simple questions, Why are you doing something that you are not enjoying? or Is there something you could change to make your activity more enjoyable? Having the answer to these could help your inspiration to be creative again very quickly!

So what helps you get back your creative motivation?

We all work in different ways, and sometimes these ideas work, and sometimes they don’t. It is worth trying different ways to bring you back to doing what it is you want.

I’d love to here your suggestions on what gets you out of a creative slump! Is there something different that you do that helps you? leave a comment below! I can not wait to hear them.

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What I’ve learned 6 months into making Resin art.

This post contains affiliate links and that if you choose to purchase from them. It will earn me a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Honestly, I love being able to play with different crafts. I found resin art a long time ago and then I spent actual months looking at resin art and wanting to have a go with this stuff. When I finally managed to get my hands on the set up, that was it. I was completely obsessed with what you can actually create with this stuff. Especially since having more space to do things like this in the craft room.

My first beautiful resin make!

What the actual flip is Resin?

When I say resin, I am actually referring to Epoxy resin.

Basically, Resin starts in a liquid form, of 2 different compounds. When you mix the 2 together, it creates a solid form (after curing for a few days). Once the resin has cured the end result is a high-gloss and durable product with a clear surface. Epoxy resin is not a new thing, It has been used for years for a multitude of things such as floors, tables, and industrial reasons. Not forgetting resin is used for resin art.

So, How do you make resin?

Mixing your resin up is really simple. It will depend on the resin you have purchased. most resin is mixed at a 1:1 ratio, but to be certain make sure you are checking the instructions from the manufacture.
The 1:1 ratio literally means half part a, half part b. So if you are mixing 80ml of resin, you need 40ml part A and 40ml part B.
if you have purchased a resin that is a 1:2 ratio, you are pretty much doing the same thing, except it becomes 60ml and 20ml.

making resin art
Using cake sprinkles to decorate my trinket trays!

Is creating with resin expensive?

This is a bit of a hard question to answer. I wouldn’t say that Resin for a hobby is the cheapest thing, however depending on how much you are creating, and your purpose for creating, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Amazon, & eBay have some amazing starter kits, to help get you started on the resin journey, however you do need a few bits before you can start creating.

What you should have to make resin art, A full list.

Epoxy Resin

The main ingredient to making resin art, you will need your epoxy resin. I highly recommend Dr. Crafty Resin starter kit. I regularly buy this one, and I have had no issues with it!

Silicone mat

I have a silicone mat to protect my work surface! it really has been a godsend having this, because no matter how hard you try not to drip your resin it does have a tendency to managing to get in places you don’t want it to be.

Safety bits

So like I have touched on already, You will need safety bits to keep yourself safe whilst playing with Resin Art.

Make sure that you have Vinyl gloves and a respirator as a bare minimum. But you may also want to get some protective goggles.

Measuring cups, and stirrers

Annoyingly it took me ages to realize that there are reusable measuring jugs! and they are honestly the best thing I have discovered for resin, you just use your jug, and allow it to dry, then peel the excess resin away! and clean, then you have a cost-effective and manageable resource. You can do exactly the same with silicone stirrers to mix your resin with.

Thinking of other ways to be creative whilst stuck indoors? check out this post, here.

Mica powder & Inks

Mica powder is what you use to add the colours you want to your resin mix, there are hundreds of pretty colours to choose from and this dont seem to be too expensive considering they will last a long time. you only need a small amount of mica powder to colour your resin.

Alternatively, you can also use Alcohol Inks to color and create amazing effects! This is something I haven’t yet tried! but I am currently waiting to buy this set of alcohol inks.

Other pretty things.

There are lots of things that you can use in your resin art. Glitters, Dried flowers, small embellishments, anything you fancy including in your resin art.

Silicone moulds.

Moving on to the most addictive purchasing part of Resin Art. Buying Resin Moulds.

The silicone moulds are what you pour your resin mixture into, the mould will shape your resin. So you can buy moulds for a variety of things. So if your planning to make a trinket tray, you will use a desired trinket tray mould.

The reason I say that this part is the most addictive part or resin make purchases is before you know if you have loads of moulds and still want more!

TIP: Wish and SHIEN have Silicone resin moulds to purchase and they are ridiculously cheap!

Heat gun

A heat gun is actually used in a few ways, one key thing for having a heat gun near by when creating your resin art, is to use the gun to remove any unwanted bubbles from your work.

making resin art
My most recent resin haul!

Keeping it safe.

Resin is a totally fun craft to get your hands on, however, one important thing to remember is to make resin, you are playing around with chemicals.

Epoxy Resin has been known, to have effects on peoples breathing, especially overtime. I would highly recommend to anybody before they start doing resin to do plenty of research in to safety before starting using it.

Another thing I would really recommend you looking into is the Facebook group ‘Epoxy is not my friend

Tips and Tricks (I’ll update this the more I learn)

  • Make sure you are wearing PPE before you start the resin process
  • Clean up any spills straight away, Resin is hard to remove from a surface once this has set.
  • Use a heat gun to remove any bubbles that you have in your pour. (once in your mould)
  • Plan what it is your doing! don’t just wing it.

What are your thoughts on Resin Art?

I would love to know what your thoughts are on Resin art, What do you love and what don’t you love about Resin?
Leave me your thoughts in the comments below! I would love too hear all of your opinions.

Before I go…

Want to support me with my small business journey? I have started selling my Resin products in my online store, here. I have been creating resin products, Stickers, jewellery and a few more pretty bits for you guys to check out!

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What to know before buying a Cricut setup.

This post contains affiliate links and that if you choose to purchase from them. It will earn me a small commission at no extra cost to you.

When it comes to what we have in our craft room, without a doubt, my favorite equipment, is my Cricut setup. I know that I have posted about my Cricut machine before, about why I love the Cricut so much, So I thought it was about time I did a more detailed post. I have received a lot of questions about buying a Cricut recently, So I am going to include everything I possibly can in this post! I’m creating this post as a 2 part series, as I will be posting again soon, on what to know once you’ve brought your Cricut.

buying a cricut

What actually is a Cricut?

Well other than one of the best crafting tools ever… Ok Jokes aside, the chances are if you are already considering making a purchase and buying a Cricut machine, then you already know a bit about what a Cricut is… Don’t worry if you don’t I am going to tell you anyway!

The Cricut is essentially a cutting machine, with the ability to cut a large variety of materials (some depending on the type of machine that you have). The machine is able to cut images by using the Cricut design space which is the software that is compatible.

Is the Cricut actually worth it?

Honestly! my answer to this question is always going to be yes! because the Cricut machines give you the ability to expand on what it is you are making.

You are either considering buying a Cricut as a Hobbyist, or a business investment.

What machine is best?

There is literally no right or wrong answer when it comes to what the best Cricut machine is. It is all down to your own user needs what would be the best machine for what you want to be able to create.

The question is less of which machine is best, more which machine is going to suit my user needs best?

Cricut Explore Air 2

The Cricut Explore Air 2 is the machine that I currently own. I have been using this version of the Cricut for over 2 years now! and oh my goodness, I absolutely love this machine! To be honest, I would say that the Explore is the middle-sized machine of them all.
The Cricut Explore Air is perfect for anyone who will be working with Paper/card-stock, or the various types of vinyl.

Cricut Maker

The Cricut Maker is the largest machine in the family. One that I hope to own in the future. The Cricut maker has the ability to cut even more materials, such as wood leather, fabric, and way more. As well as being able to be adapted with other blades, and an engraving tool that looks badass! As I don’t personally have a maker at the moment, this machine Is something I won’t be speaking about too much as I only write from my experience! so hopefully one day I will be able to afford and talk about the Maker as well.

Cricut Joy

The Cricut Joy is the baby cutting machine of the family! and honestly, it is such a cute little device! perfect for small and fiddly projects or anyone who is wanting to make labels etc.

The Joy machine cuts the same kind of materials as the Explore, however, the particular difference of this machine is smaller in size. The mat size for this machine is 6x12inches. Therefore, if you’re looking to cut bigger projects, I would say you need to at least look at getting the Explore Air 2.

I am probably in my corner right now! cutting something out!

Is buying a Cricut worth the expense? and how expensive is it in the long run?

So let’s be real about the cost of the Cricut, and what comes after.

Depending on what machine it is you are thinking and what your purpose is for wanting to invest in this beauty, expense is always something you. No, the Cricut is not a cheap machine to buy at first, however I would always say that the decision to purchase should be based on your personal passion and user requirements.

Once you have brought your Cricut, there is an optional subscription cost that allows you access to the wide variety of images in there library as well as a few other perks.

The only other cost is your materials, to be able to create, and any upkeep of the machine, such as replacing mats and blades, however if you are not using your Cricut machine every day, then this will not effect you too much.

Where can I buy the Cricut machines?

The Cricut may have originated in the US, however, it is becoming increasingly more easy to purchase here in the UK. I would always suggest that you search for deals and bundle options, as these change all of the time.

I personally purchased my Cricut through Hobbycraft, however, since then, I buy most of my supplies for using with Cricut from Amazon.

What is this Cricut subscription stuff about?

There is one more expense you should consider before you purchase your machine.

Cricut have a subscription for their design studio, which costs £7.49 (converted from dollars) called Cricut Access.

The Cricut access subscription gives you access to 1000’s of cut & print and cut images to use from their library!

What is Design Space and do I need it?

The Cricut Design Space is the software that you will be using to create your projects. So basically yes, you do need it! and it is something you will learn to love to be able to create with your Cricut machine.

This is what Design Space looks like…

Design space pretty much looks the same wether you are on a Mac/Windows, a Phone or Tablet.

What is included when buying a Cricut?

So this is what to expect when you open your box, obviously, I am basing this on opening the Cricut Explore Air 2. The box includes your Cricut Explore Air 2 machine, Design Space software (app and details), German carbide premium blade, USB cord, and power cord, an accessory adapter, 100+ free images, 50+ free project ideas, a guide to getting started, a pen and cardstock sample and a 12 x 12 inch Light Grip cutting mat.

The card stock you receive in the box will help you create a cute little card that helps get you used to use your machine!

What else do I need to be able to use my cricut?

There are a variety of things you may, or may not need when it comes to Cricut projects. So when you are buying your Cricut there are a few other things you may want to have a look at as well. Again it does depend on the type of crafting that you are planning to do, I mean If you are a paper crafter already! the chances are you have a ton on card stock and paper stock that you can dive in with, but if you are planning on expanding what you can create with vinyl projects, you will need to consider a few little buys.

The Cricut has the ability to draw with pens for you as well, there are pens that are compatible with your machine like these.

Why not check out my post on how to make 3D flowers with Cricut, here.

If you are planning to use Vinyl or HTV (heat transfer vinyl) you will need some weeding tools. (tools for removing the excess vinyl from your project). I highly recommend using the Cricut basic toolset. Or a toolset similar to this. You will also need some transfer tape, to be able to apply your adhesive vinyl to your canvas, (you won’t need this for HTV projects) Unless you have a lot of patience for attempting to apply without this! Not having transfer tape isn’t something that I would recommend.

Another accessory I 100% recommend having if you don’t already own one is a craft cutting mat. I use mine to weed my projects on as I tend to use a craft knife and tweezers a lot to take away the excess viynl, this protects my desk from taking a beating too!

Speaking of Craft knives, I thought I would mention that the Cricut knife particularly this one, has been my favorite craft knife that I have owned throughout the years. Cuts so nicely and smoothly. and the blades seem to be really durable.

What can I make with a Cricut?

The question is, what can’t you? Since owning the Cricut machine I have expanded my crafting capabilities majorly! Personally, I use my Cricut Explore Air 2 to cut a variety of card stock, stick paper as well as a mixture of Vinyl projects.

When buying a Cricut machine there are a few bits that come with the Cricut to help you get started. This is a small project to test your machine out on.

What does the Cricut actually cut?

The Cricut machines can cut a large variety of different materials. From paper and card stock to vinyl, foam… All sorts, honestly!

The Cricut Maker can cut materials up to 2.4mm thick. So definitely a tougher machine if your planning to be doing a lot of cutting with thicker materials!

Can the Cricut machine print?

The Cricut machine is not a machine that can be used to physically print. However, if you own a printer then you will be able to create things with the print and cut option. This would involve printing your image with a printer, then placing it on your Cricut mat to be cut out.

Do I need a computer or can I use a tablet?

You do not have to have a computer system to be able to run a Cricut machine. In fact you can use your Cricut machine with any phone or tablet device. I tend to use both my laptop and my iPad to create with Cricut. However, it is mainly down to user preference.

There are some features I find easier to use from a laptop, but it definitely isn’t the end of the world if you do not have a computer system.

Any money-saving tips?

Firstly, it is always good to make sure you do some reasearch and shop around before making any kind of purchase, but when it comes to Cricut, I would always suggest, to ensure you are purchasing your machine from official Cricut stockists.

There are some brands that provide Cricut compatible tools, such as mats, pens, blades, etc. One brand particularly that I have noticed being used with Cricut, is Nicapa, Their resources are very reasonable and work perfectly!

By taking some time to learn some ‘Cricut hacks’ as well will also help you along your Cricutting journey. I often see videos on TikTok and YouTube showing really cool hacks on how to keep mats clean, so they last longer, and how to sharpen your Cricut blades! Definitely have a search.

Still have questions?

If you are thinking of starting your Cricut journey but you still have a few I am always happy to help! Leave a comment in below, or send an email to thealexajadeblog@gmail.com

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The Craft room tour!

Hello again beauties I hope your doing well! This post has me absolutely buzzing. I have been planning to write this for months! honestly! I do not know why it has taken me so long! Today I am giving you a little peek into my creative space! with a craft room tour! eeeeeee.

not only is the craft room our creative space and office. It’s definitely my happy room of the house.

When it came to me and Emma searching for our own home, having our own craft room/office was the top things on both of our lists of what we would like in our home. I mean, Ofcourse… It would be right?

having a separate crafting room/home offices dream is something I am so grateful for. Especially as in this household, we live for creative lifestyle and making. I know many people who don’t have the space to do this so again. I am grateful for this beautiful space that we have.

we used to have as much of our craft supplies as possible in an otter man and boxes. It was so inaccessible that it really unmotivated us to peruse our hobbies and talents!

The craft room is where we spend alot of time, particularly myself. so we have been reguarly adding to it, and making changes where possible over the past year! (oh my goodness I cant believe its nearly been a year since moving in already).
we have so many more ideas and wishes for the room still aswell.

anyway. Let’s get into what we actually have.

So about the craft room…

Our craft room is where most of the magic happens! If not all. It’s where I go to sit and concentrate on blogging, planning and the most obvious thing and the things I am most passionate about Creating. Making. Crafting.

so obviously I’m gonna start with my corner. Especially since sometimes I pretty much live in that corner!

my desk is close to all of my sublimation printer, Cricut and my heat press. Which I love because although it may look snug! I have plenty of room and my laptop cables reach the machines.


Next to my desk I have this beautiful creative chaos. my craft cart! which is where I hold all of my go to stationery supplies, my happy planner stash and pen palling stash. Its my very own colourful chaos. And I promise it is more organised than it looks.

Both myself and Emma are spending a lot of time at the moment focusing on our small businesses. Emma is currently running EmmaCraftsGB, as well as running BAE Boxes with me. Ofcourse my focuses are still my blogging, and running a small stationery and sticker business! Which I am posting about on my instagram a lot now!

So one thing we have a lot of in the room is storage. I love our drawers! Although I would like to replace the clear set with block colour! As it can look messy! (the drawers have a-lot of supplies in)

all of our drawers are organised by the craft or the project we are doing, which makes finding things so much easier.

Finally here’s a little peak at where the magic happens with Emmas beautiful creations. She has a bit of a theme with her desk, can you tell what it is?

I would love to hear any storage tips that you use in your craft room and how you set up your work space. Where do you go to work?

If you would like to support me in the creative journey to run my small business check out my Etsy store, or give me a follow on Instagram!

Lots of love!

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How to start living a creative lifestyle?

This post contains affiliate links and that if you choose to purchase from them. It will earn me a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Todays blog post pretty some s up everything in my life, especially recently. That is, Living a creative lifestyle.

Creativity, in my life, is something that I have been so passionate about from pretty much all of my life. In fact I had been planning to write this blog post for a little while now.

When you hear the word creative, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

Having had a few conversations about being creative with a variety of friends. I got some very different answers.

creative lifestyle
my creative area is my happy place

Although there’s no actual right or wrong answer when it comes to someone being creative, there does seem to be a small misconception from a few that to be creative you must be into ‘arts and crafts’. This is not true.

To be honest, you do not need to be a pro with a paintbrush, or a a dab hand with the knitting needles, to have a creative mind. However of course in some cases this will help you a bit! (no matter what your media is).

Creativity can be as big or small as you like. It could be taking the time to grab your favourite colouring pencils, and colour

What is it to lead a creative lifestyle?

Living a creative lifestyle is the way of living a life to the full. Seeking new opportunities and possibilities. Using your time to explore, experiment, discover and be able to express yourself in a multitude of different ways.

It is being able to embrace things as they are, and use your mind and imagination to see what you could create out of those things.

Some people are already living a creative lifestyle without even knowing it, because they believe that being creative is just a small part of life, when really it is everything.

Being creative allows you to speak within media, to show your passions, and emotions, without even saying a word.

Using inspiration to then be developed into something amazing,The creative process is what we do to create beautiful work, and a beautiful life.

Creativity is known for being a valuable workplace skill. Being creative is useful for being able to create new ideas, as well as being able to find solutions to complex issues. So next time you are in an interview or having to dust off your CV consider including your creative skills as a way to impress your possible future employee!

Ways you can start living a creative lifestyle…

Surround yourself with Creatives.

There are so many people in this world that thrive from the ability to be creative, and express themselves in a creative nature. surround yourself with the people that value creativity the most. So many people are already living a creative lifestyle and these people thrive on inspiring you as well as themselves.

There is a multitude of creative spaces where you can connect with people that have similar interests as yours. Places such as Facebook groups, specialised apps, Instagram feeds and hashtags, online forums, Pinterest, Skillshare, and online teaching communities.
I would recommend taking the time to join these groups and check in with them. Making friends with other creatives is also so good for your mental health.

Think outside of the box.

one of my favourite things about leading a creative lifestyle is being able to think about things in a different way! like the ability to find an unexpected solution to an issue in a completely unique and imaginative way.

another thing I love about thinking outside of the box is being able to look at things differently.
Taking something blank and picturing and creating something amazing out of it.

Make time to actually be creative.

when it comes to being creative, and leading a creative lifestyle one thing that you need the most. Time.
think about it. Allowing yourself the actual time to follow your creative inspiration allows you the ability to create the life you want to live and express yourself in so many different ways.

Stop setting limitations.

One of the biggest blocks when it comes to creative mindset is setting yourself limitations! especially the ones that you don’t need to have. Limitations such as not knowing how to achieve something. However that does not need to be an obstacle of stopping you. In some aspects you can take the time to research and learn. Whilst, in other aspects, going back to thinking outside of the box, look for more unique ways of being able to achieve.

There are some limitations that we face that are not being caused by our mental state. Obviously, we all have limitations in life, things that get in our way, obstacles such as money. Money is a major limitation when it comes to being able to afford being able to achieve goals that you are setting yourself, which is something that I struggle with alot, as I have some exciting plans that I have had to break into very small milestones to be able to reach where I want to be.

Don’t pressure yourself.

Especially when it comes to a creative block, the last thing that you want to do is pressure yourself. Learn when it is necessary to take a break. stop pressuring yourself into productivity. By pressuring yourself to achieve you are causing yourself more harm. The feeling of, ‘I haven’t created in a while’ should not exist. the best creations and creative flow comes from a relaxed heart, and the ability to take your time. A rushed piece of work will not be your next masterpiece!

As I very well know, it is so easy at times to beat yourself up when your in an lack of inspirational state. However, just because your not feeling creative and productive 24/7 doesn’t mean you should put yourself down over it! it is ok to take a break and recharge, when you need too.

Ways to show your creative spirit.

  • Art.
  • Paper craft.
  • Knitting or crochet.
  • Embroidery.
  • Uplifting.
  • Writing.
  • Photography
  • Woodwork

This is just a very small list out of the thousands of options there is to express your creative spirit. If I wrote a full list of each specific thing, we would be here for hours.

What ever your media is, each and everyone of us has the ability to be creative in some kind of aspect. It doesn’t have to be a physically created product however, it could be the way you have done something, by using a creative process.

For example, the way you organise, the way you display something, or even The way you use an object for a different purpose then would normally be expected.

What does creativity mean to you?

I would love to hear from you guys your interpretation of what it means to be creative and lead a creative lifestyle?

Is there something you do that is different to others, I love to hear new ideas that involve the aspect of being creative.

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Therapeutic craft projects to help destress.

This post contains affiliate links that if you choose to purchase from them. It will earn me a small commission at no extra cost to you.
knitting supplies and cup of coffee placed on bed
Photo by Flora Westbrook on Pexels.com

When it comes to feeling stressed, anxious or depressed. There is one thing that I like to do, that helps me with my mental health, Craft. Especially therapeutic craft projects. I wrote a post similar speaking about how craft has a positive impact on your mental health, here. However, I am now sharing with you what crafts really do help with destressing you.

There are a few therapeutic craft projects that if you have a go at, you may notice the calming and relaxing effect that crafting can have on you.

If your impatient and don’t like fiddly things, as they increase your stress level, I don’t think that you should give up on crafting completely.

Diamond Painting

I am currently waiting to complete this kit, here. I am excited for this one to be done and put it up in the house. Diamond painting is a great craft to sidetracks you for ages! I got so involved with the full drill kits that I literally would find hours go by before I even noticed.

Cross Stitch

Did you see my review of a LoveCrafts cross stitch kit, that I did during the lockdown?

Cross stitch is one of my favourite methods of stress-relief I am currently working on a rather large one that will eventually be ‘The lady and the tramp’ Spaghetti scene, from the movie. The repetitive motion is what helps you relax! I’m pretty certain. I always find finishing a cross-stitch project pretty rewarding as well, since it takes a while to finish some projects.

Therapeutic craft projects

Origami

Grab yourself some cute origami paper, load up youtube and teach yourself how to make some beautiful things out of paper, for fun! It’s completely relaxing to do as a project.

Cricut (vinyl weeding)

I love a complicated Cricut project for therapeutic craft projects! like a Mandala to weed or something like that! The more fiddly the more time it takes to weed, and I just find this action so relaxing. I often print out projects for the purpose of weeding for no reason! That’s me!

Therapeutic craft projects

Knitting or Crochet

Knitting & crochet I thought I would combine together because both crafts are so similar. You could attempt some knitting by buying wool and needles from the pound shop! that way if you don’t get on with it you have not wasted too much money!

As for crochet, I’ve been slowly teaching myself this one, and now I am wanting to have a go at a kit! My mum brought me the Crochet set by step book for Christmas, which made understanding how to crochet so much easier! Hopefully, I will be a confident enough crocheter to do a kit soon, I would love to have a go at making the Hooked unicorn.

Therapeutic craft projects

Paint by numbers

Paint by numbers, or even painting, in general, is a really relaxing hobby for distressing. I would especially recommend paint by numbers, as it keeps your brain distracted when it comes to searching for the numbers. This Cityscape took me ages and kept me calm whilst I was having a really stressful time!

Jewellery Making

There are so many different ways to create Jewellery. Whether its simple friendship bracelets, beaded jewellery or something a little bit technical. Making Jewellery is a really therapeutic way to relieve your stresses. They’re also a very good make to sell project!

Felting

Felting is one of those crafts that I have yet to master, I do however enjoy having a go. There is so many Dover craft simply make mice are so cute to start you off!

What therapeutic craft projects do you do to keep yourself from stressing?

I would love to hear what therapeutic craft projects you turn to, to help you destress when life is being hectic and crappy! As a crafter obsessed with all crafts, I love to know if there is anything else I could be trying.

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30 Creative uses for your empty notebooks!

AD – This post contains PR samples (Gifted items) but all thoughts are my own.

Does anyone else get that super satisfying feeling when you buy a new notebook? its so clean and exciting. I don’t really know how I became so obsessed with notebooks but I really do love buying notebooks!

There really is something exciting about having an empty notebook though. A blank canvas for your creative thoughts, keeping organised and just having fun in. I generally keep a notebook for everything I can.

I have been so excited to work with Old English Company. They kindly offered to send me a personalised notebook over to try out, (How cool is this! Personalised stationery!) When it came to actually choosing a colour and design it was so difficult to choose, they have so many brilliant designs.

Fancy buying your own personalised notebook from the Old English Company? You can receive 15% off of your order with code: OESPECBR15

After finally coming to a decision I choose a blush pink ‘My brain has too many tabs open’ Notebook. With ‘AlexaJade’ of course.

So to show off my beautiful Old English Company notebook I thought I would write about what you can do with your empty notebooks.

Things you can do with your empty notebooks…

1. To-do lists

Starting out with quite an obvious idea and something I’m honestly obsessed with, lists. I literally love to keep a book filled with everything that I need to do.

Something I do when I keep my book of lists of what I need to do codes each item with a symbol based on the priority of how important it is, (whether it needs to be done sooner than anything else).

2. Journal

What better to fill up empty notebooks with your personal memos. Documenting your life and expressing your feelings on a daily basis. I love keeping journals, I haven’t actually written in one for a little while, but I go in phases of keeping one and going back to it whenever I have a lot of my mind. Keeping a journal is so good for your mental health as well.

4. Gratitude log

Keep a notebook filled with everything you have been grateful in life. Every time your feeling grateful write the date is and what it is that made you feel this way.
Sometimes we naturally forget the things that we should be grateful for, so reminding ourself to be thankful is such a beautiful thing.

5. Sketches/doodles/art

Grab a notebook and a pen, and just start doodling away. Doodles are such a therapeutic activity for when you are feeling stressed and anxious. I’m always finding myself absent-minded and just filling a page of random doodles and drawings. It’s something that makes me giggle when you look back and you randomly see a doodle of something that makes you smile or laugh.

notebooks

6. Bullet journal

If you read my recent post on finding the right planner for you, you will already know how much I think bullet journals are a good idea. And you really can use any empty notebook to do this with!

7. Goal tracker

A book filled with goals and milestones is a great way to stay inspired and on track of what you want to achieve out of life. Keeping goals is a brilliant idea when you are in the middle of a project, especially one that takes a lot of work. Goals help you stay motivated and accomplished as you achieve them. It is always rewarding seeing how your progressing.

8. Meal planner

Having a Meal planner is a brilliant idea for keeping organised when it comes to food shopping and what to have for dinner each week. As well as being a great way of inspiring yourself with different meals, when you can’t think what you want to eat!

9. Letters book

This one is perfect for those soppy couples out there. Even the not so mushy couples might enjoy this. Writing dated letters in a book to each other and then looking back on these in years to come. Writing happy messages of love, memories and feelings. Sometimes you can write down more than you can say, so a letters book is absolutely perfect for this!

10. Positivity

Keeping a book of positivity is a brilliant idea to keep a positive mindset. By writing things such as positive affirmations. Have a look back at your positivity when you are feeling down, and remind yourself of all the lovely things about you, including everything you like, and what makes you happy.

11. Handwriting practice

It took me ages to get my handwriting neat and readable, I found using a spare notebook to practise my penmanship skills, so helpful.
It is a very simple idea however so useful for improving your handwriting skills.

12. Event planning

Planning an event keeping notes, ideas, and plans. I found this so helpful when I was planning surprise parties. I made lists of everything I needed to do, everything I needed to buy and who I was going to invite.

13. Budgeting

A subject I hate, well hate is a strong word. Highly dislike. Budgeting is something that we all need to do to be able to keep on top of our finances. Giving us the ability to enjoy our money as well as being able to afford our monthly bills.

14. Blogging notes

Calling all blogger friends out there! This is one for you. Keeping a blogging notebook is so helpful, in fact, I go through so many notebooks making blogging notes, including post ideas, post planning, specific blog to-do lists, keeping stat records, resources reminders and notes when researching and learning.

Want to know more about blogging, how about checking my post on how to start your own blog, here.

15. Random thoughts

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night thinking something, then it stops you sleeping so you go to add a note on your phone… then your brain starts waking up and getting distracted so your planning on your phone now instead of going back to sleep? Well, I couldn’t tell you how many times I have. Keeping a notebook by you is not only a way of making sure you actually see the note you’ve made yourself (instead of it being hidden on your phone to suddenly remember by the time it’s too late) but it is also a way of ensuring that your not distracted and you can concentrate on getting back to that beauty sleep.

16. Learning a new language

Thinking you need a new hobby? How about grabbing a notebook and writing our words and phrases in a different language so you can become a multilingual pro.

17. Writing a story/Poems or song lyrics

Use a blank notebook to completely get creative and plot and write a novel. Who knows you could be writing the next award-winning story. Or if story writing isn’t quite your thing, a book of poems or song lyrics. Whatever you decide, your definitely fill your notebooks up with these options.

Want to improve your writing skills, read how I’ve been improving mine, here.

18. Travel journal

Are you a lover of travelling? Why not start a journal of where you have been, what you have done whilst travelling and what you loved, disliked about the trip.

19. Recording your progress

Working on projects. You could use this space to record what is going well, what isn’t working so much and how you think you could improve. It’s quite rewarding to keep record of your progress in anything. Since you can look back and see how much you have grown.

20. Christmas planning

This is something that I love to do every year! Christmas is such a hectic time and so having a dedicated place to plan is a must for me. As well as being a brilliant use for an empty notebook, or section of a project book! I honestly end up writing out so many lists, including ideas for Christmas, shopping lists, what we actually brought and for who, as well as the food planning. Honestly one of the best ways to get your Christmas period as organised as possible!

21. Vision board in a book

I love vision boards, they are so much fun to create, and so very useful to keep. One idea for using your empty notebooks is to keep an ongoing vision board in one of your notebooks. Filling the pages with inspiring things that you would like to achieve as well as being a positive source to look through.

notebooks

22. Passwords

How many times have you gone to log in somewhere and you have had to reset your password? I know sometimes there are apps and ways to save these digitally, however, it is not always the most reliable way of storing thing, as there is always a risk of losing your saved information.

23. Special memories

Journalling daily is not for everyone. Sometimes life just doesn’t give us the time to sit and write when we would like to, but keeping a book of special memories is a good way to keep down the special things that you want to remember in the years to come. Using your notebook you could spare a page per special day.

24. Shopping lists

Shopping lists are so handy when it comes to shopping. On the times that we haven’t bothered to write a list were left with a mess of buying things we don’t need, and things we don’t use. Wasting more money then we need to. So not only does writing a shopping list make uses for filling up notebooks, it helps you stay organised with the weekly shop.

25. Recording your dreams

Recording dreams is such a cute idea, sometimes our dreams tell us things that we don’t know, but our subconscious is letting us know. Writing our dreams down provides so many benefits to us. Benefits such as Reducing stress, helping us to solve problems, produce amazing ideas and learn from our mistakes.

26. Trackers

Pretty much like bullet journalling but just plain and simple trackers. you could design a tracker for anything. From tracking your habits, periods, to activities you have done. I have a book and a film tracker in my bullet journal.

27. Recipes

I love recipe books, however, I hate clutter. I like to keep all of my favourite recipes in one notebook. It is a much more convenient way, then keeping a recipe book and having to flick for all the recipes you’re never even gonna try to find the one recipe you want.

old english co notebooks

28. Health log

Keep track of what’s going on with you. A personal notebook that no one else has to see but is so good for keeping records of things you might need to look back at later. Such as when you have your periods, you can use the record to be able to work out your ovulation as well as notice any changes.
Another good thing about keeping a health record is if you are suffering from any kind of illness, you can keep a pain record or a sickness record, that may be useful to show to the medical professionals.

29. Inspiration journal

Keep track of the things that inspire you, whether it is pictures, words, quotes. Anything that makes you feel motivated and inspired. Almost like keeping a vision board in a book. Which vision boards are really great for keeping yourself positive.

30. Crafts and projects to try.

Another new idea for a craft or project? Jot it down in your notebook, with what equipment you need to complete the project. So it is almost like a craft planner. Which is ideal for when you are stuck for something to do. Brilliant for having an ongoing list for what you are going to make. Which as a crafter myself, I get so many crazy ideas of what I am going to make, so keeping lists of projects is a brilliant thing!

How about finding ways to stay creative with my post ways to stay creative indoors, here.

What do you use your notebooks for?

I would love to hear what it is you use your notebooks for? Do you have any random uses for your favourite notepads? and better yet, do you have notebooks that are just too pretty to use, or maybe you are like me and have a massive pile of notebooks ready to be creative with.

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