Annual HOTP Pumpkin Carving Contest!!!

pumpkin entries


Halloween has fully descended upon Hot Off The Press! Wednesday, Hot Off The Press employees submitted their entries for our annual Pumpkin Carving Contest!!! We had ten entries this year, and a lot of very non-traditional looks! As usual, our prepresser Scott (aka The Fun Dude) coordinated the event and acted as MC, and pumpkins were graciously provided by the Jarveys! Scott would tell you that this was actually a Punkin Carving Contest, but my editor’s brain won’t let me accept this.




Hot Off The Press employees gathered in the lobby Thursday morning to share some candy and more importantly, find out who won!




Out of some really wonderful pumpkin creations, four winners emerged. First place went to Gail, and her awesome pumpkin clearly inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven.




Second place was awarded to a very cute kitty pumpkin, created by Cristina in Marketing! Nice use of Hot Off The Press’ Rhapsody Paper Pack, by the way! (Sorry, couldn’t help myself!)




Third place went to Mike Jarvey for a fun and surprising disco pumpkin! Thanks, Mike—the whole office will be “Staying Alive” for the rest of the week (watch the video to see what I mean!)




And finally, our fourth place winner was Bethany, our Personal Shopper Administrator, with her tasteful and elegant Ron Burgundy pumpkin! They really make a lovely couple, don’t they?!



“Stay classy, Paper Wishers!”


So there you have it! Congratulations to all of our winners who got their choice of coffee or ice cream gift cards, and thanks to everyone who participated. Thank you also to the Jarveys, and Scott, for making this event happen each year, no matter how busy we all are! These last few days were filled with even more creativity and excitement than normal, and I’m already looking forward to next year (and plotting how I can win!) I hope you all have a very fun, very safe and slightly spooky Halloween!!!


Michelle Gustafson

Paper Wishes Blog

Like this post? Sign up for our weekly newsletter here to stay up-to-date on Paper Wishes news, promotions, and all things creative!

Swirly Christmas Tree Card With Inka-Gold

Hello everyone! Today I wanted to show you an easy-yet-awesome Christmas card, just to (gently) get those holiday wheels turning… Because eventually, Christmas WILL be here (sorry for the shocker!) I love most things kraft, but you could just as easily stencil onto different cardstock or patterned paper to get the look you want. This card was created by our wonderful LeNae, who used Hot Off The Press’ brand new Swirly Christmas Tree Stencil. Take a look!



Click for product info!


Merry Christmas Tree Card by LeNae Gerig



Designer’s Tip: Cover card with red Family Ties paper and ink edges of 4¾”x6¼” kraft cardstock black. Secure the Swirly Christmas Tree stencil with stencil tape and apply Mowed Lawn ink using the stylus and pad (or a cosmetic wedge). Apply Gold Inka-Gold randomly over the tree. Place the star/swirl at the top of the tree and apply Inka-Gold. Outline the swirl with gold glitter glue and add dots of glitter glue to the tree. Stencil a portion of the swirl on top corners with ink and Inka-Gold.



  • Family Ties Paper Pack (link)
  • Swirly Christmas Tree Stencil (link)
  • Mowed Lawn Distress Ink Pad (link)
  • Gold Inka-Gold (link)
  • Stickles™ Gold Glitter Glue (link)
  • Kraft Cardstock (link)
  • Black Ink Pad (link)
  • Stylus Handle & Pads (link)
  • Stencil Tape (link)
  • Glue Stick (link)
  • 5”x6 1/2” blank white card (link)


I really, really like this stencil! It’s perfect for your Christmas cards, and stenciling is so darn easy! Just add your ink, embossing paste, Inka-Gold or anything else (I’m sure you have something!) and it’s ready for you to embellish. Or just add a greeting—whatever look you choose, the beautiful, ornate design makes a really special focal!

Watch the webisode and join Paulette and Gail as they show exactly how to create this beautiful look!



Thank you for stopping by! Be sure to check in later this week for an inside look at one of my favorite, favorite employee events—Hot Off The Press’ Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest!


Michelle Gustafson

Paper Wishes Blog


Like this post? Sign up for our weekly newsletter here to stay up-to-date on Paper Wishes news, promotions, and all things creative!

Christmas Colorists™: Winter’s Garden Christmas Card

Happy Friday! Hooray, the weekend is practically here, and I’ve gotta say that this week has flown by. I’ve been learning my way around the Paper Wishes Facebook page which I’ve recently taken on, and I can’t believe we have so many followers (over 16,000)—it’s kind of amazing. I’m excited to be able to interact with so many Paper Wishers, so stop by and give us a “Like!”

It’s been a whirlwind of a week, and so the past two nights (after the kids are in bed) I’ve been coloring in our new Christmas Ornaments for Colorists coloring book. It’s been so relaxing! It’s this great combination of being creative while mentally “checking out” to a certain degree! And of course, after I finished, it just had to go on a card! One Christmas card down, so many to go! 🙂


Colorist Christmas Card








I colored the image with Spectrum Noir™ markers, and added Gold Smooch™ ink and Silver Stickles™ glitter glue accents. The background papers are from Hot Off The Press’ Winter’s Garden paper pack, which is fun, bright and cheery! It also plays nicely into my predilection for lime green :-D. Colorist books give you two of each design, so I was able to cut out the holly berries and foam tape a second layer on top of the first. Not perfect, but it was fun!

Definitely try one of these coloring books if you haven’t already! Let yourself unwind by coloring, and who knows? Maybe a card will be born! Have a wonderful weekend, and I hope you make a little time to create something you love!


Michelle Gustafson

Paper Wishes Blog


Click on each book for details and more project ideas!




Like this post? Sign up for our weekly newsletter here to stay up-to-date on Paper Wishes news, promotions, and all things creative!

Many Apologies (85 to be exact)!




Hi! Glad you’re still with us! Many of you received an inundation of “New Post” emails yesterday. These were the not-so-smooth result of adding Simply Ann’s posts to the Paper Wishes Blog. I’m so sorry for the annoyance of deleting all those emails!

For now, you’ll be able to view Simply Ann video tutorials by clicking Simply Ann at the top right of our blog.

And if you’re still looking for those Adorable Mini Gatefold Cards (yeah, yeah, I know…) you can view them here.


Again, our apologies!


Michelle Gustafson

Paper Wishes Blog


Like this post? Sign up for our weekly newsletter here to stay up-to-date on Paper Wishes news, promotions, and all things creative!

Adorable Mini Gatefold Card Ideas!


Happy Wednesday to all our Paper Wishers!

Today I wanted to show you two incredible cards made with Hot Off The Press’ new Mini Gate Fold Cards Template! I’ve really enjoyed this particular template because the cards are pretty quick to make, so you can get right to all the creative fun of decorating and embellishing! The cards are 4″ square when closed for a super cute “mini” card. I love them! (I realize I say this about nearly everything, but it’s the truth—a girl could have a hundred “favorites” around here!)

This versatile template allows you to create 5 different gatefold focals—butterfly, label, heart, dragonfly and flower. There’s also a Christmas version with snowflake, ornament, gingerbread man, candy cane and Christmas tree options, as well as a Mini Envelope Template that creates coordinating 5″ square envelopes! Click each image for product details.


4107443        4107444          4107445



Dragonfly Gatefold Card by Gail Booth


Designer Tip: Follow the template instructions to trace, cut out and fold the dragonfly panels from cardstock, then swipe the dragonfly wings of the panels with VersaMark™. Dust with silver embossing powder and heat to melt. Cut out wings and mini dragonflies to emboss with silver and green glitter embossing powders as shown. Use Ultra Clear tape to attach the tabs to the back of the card base.


Right away you notice Gail’s luxurious, silver-embossed dragonflies! After embossing her dragonflies silver, she simply repeated the embossing process to add green glitter embossing to the edges and the smaller, center wings. She also added Silver Baby Bling rhinestones for extra sparkle. Because a card can never sparkle too much! 😀



LOVE Card by Susan Cobb


Designer’s Tip: To create the focal, cover the heart halves with ivory/tan swirls paper, trimming the edges even with the heart halves. Ink the edges of the heart halves with brown ink. Press out pieces #2 and #3 of the paper tole rose and layer with foam tape. With the card closed, center the rose on the heart, then glue only the left side of the rose to the left side of the heart. Color Tiny Words & Phrases Dazzles™  “LOVE” with brown ink and let dry. Place the word on the lower left portion of the card as shown.


  • Letterpress Double-Sided Paper Pack (link)
  • Letterpress 3-D Paper Tole (link)
  • Mini Gatefold Template (link)
  • Mini Envelope Template (link)
  • Tiny Words & Phrases, silver (link)
  • Thin Lines Border Dazzles™, gold (link)
  • Dark Brown Cardstock (link)
  • StazOn® Timber Brown ink pad (link)
  • Zots™ Adhesive Dots (link)
  • Foam Tape (link)
  • Fine tip black pen (link) or computer printer
  • Glue stick (link)
  • Font: American Typewriter

This version uses the heart focal shape, and coordinating Letterpress Paper Tole, which is a wonderful way to get a really extravagant look. Simply layer the numbered, die cut pieces with foam tape, and you’ll have a gorgeous, dimensional focal in just a couple minutes! It’s a really sweet card, and I could see creating some of these in advance so they’re ready to decorate as needed!


Click on the video to see Gail’s step-by-step instructions for creating Mini Gatefold cards!



I hope you’re having a great week, and be sure to come back soon for more inspiring cardmaking ideas and behind-the-scenes news!


Michelle Gustafson

Paper Wishes Blog

Like this post? Sign up for our weekly newsletter here to stay up-to-date on Paper Wishes news, promotions, and all things creative!

Super Spooky Halloween Card With Dazzles™ & Vellum + Trick or Treat Page!


It’s Friday! And I have to say, I’m SO ready for Halloween! For me, Halloween is like the big kickoff to the whole holiday season! So to get in the spirit, here are a couple hauntingly creative project ideas—a card and a page. I couldn’t bring myself to choose between them, so you get both! These projects use Halloween papers from Hot Off The Press, which feature a really fun mix of spooky themes and patterns.




The card you see was designed by Susan, and I just think it’s awesome. Backing her Spooky Dazzles™ cobwebs with vellum is so clever! The other cool thing Susan did was chalk her background text and flourishes papers with orange to get the exact look she desired.


BOO! Card by Susan Cobb






Designer’s Tip: Back the Spooky Dazzles™ spider webs with white vellum, and then burnish the back of the vellum inside the Dazzles™ with the stylus against the foam pad for a 3-dimensional look. Add pieces of 3-D Zots™ to the back of each piece to hold the shape.


  • Darkroom Double-Sided Paper Pack (link)
  • Halloween Papers (link)
  • 1 White Vellum Sheet (link)
  • Spooky Dazzles™ (link)
  • Silver Jewel Dazzles™ (link)
  • 5”x6 1/2″ blank white card (link)
  • Basic Chalk Set (link)
  • Paper Blossoms Paper Tool Kit & Case (link)
  • 3D Zots™ adhesive dots (link)
  • Black ink pad (link)
  • Glue stick (link)
  • Craft pen knife (link)
  • Foam pad or mouse pad


The other project I chose is this scrapbook page from LeNae, and really, it’s pretty amazing how she created such great visual impact from relatively simple supplies, like black ink, Halloween papers and Spooky Dazzles™ stickers!


Neighborhood Trick or Treat Page by LeNae Gerig



Designer’s Tip: Embellish photo surfaces with Spooky Dazzles™, placing them along the tops and corners. Add spiders climbing around!


  • Halloween Papers (link)
  • Spooky Dazzles™ (link)
  • Black Cardstock (link)
  • White Cardstock (link)
  • Black Ink Pad (link)
  • Foam Tape (link)
  • Glue Stick (link)
  • Fine tip black pen (link) or computer printer


The long, vertical rectangles are a fun backdrop to your favorite Halloween pictures—in fact, I’d like to create my own version of this page sometime (if my girls would all hold still for the camera)! Are you doing any fun Halloween or harvest season papercraft projects? Share a picture or tell me about it in the comments below!


Have a wonderful weekend!


Michelle Gustafson

Paper Wishes Blog


Like this post? Sign up for our weekly newsletter here to stay up-to-date on Paper Wishes news, promotions, and all things creative!

Paper Wishes Dogs Know How To Party!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Things are buzzing right along here at Paper Wishes. I’ve been busy this week testing new templates, double-checking samples of a brand new line of embellishments (coming in January!!!) and yesterday I even tried my hand at video work, filling in for our cameraman John, who is out on vacation. One thing about working at Paper Wishes is that you definitely acquire new skills along the way!

Needless to say, it’s been busy, but I just had to take a moment to share these photos with you! We had a little birthday party for Eva, our warehouse “assistant” who just turned 2. She got a (mostly) frosting-less cupcake, and just look at her poise and self-control!




Eva balanced her cupcake until she was given the OK. I’ve never actually met a dog who could do this! Such talent!




Happy Birthday, Eva! Thank you for giving us love, entertainment and a great excuse to eat cupcakes!


I hope this brings a smile to your face! I’ll be back later this week to share another amazing card with you! Thanks for stopping by! 😀



Michelle Gustafson

Paper Wishes Blog



Like this post? Sign up for our weekly newsletter here to stay up-to-date on Paper Wishes news, promotions, and all things creative!

Fall Catalog Project Favorites: Camo Truck Card

Hello everyone! Fall “Special Edition” Paper Wishes catalogs have started arriving in homes, but I wanted to give you a special, up-close look at one of my favorite projects (of the year, really)!

Debbie created this card using Truck O’ Goodies cutting dies from Hot Off The Press! Use these dies to create a cool, vintage pickup truck and lots of fun little seasonal accents to load into your truck—perfect for year round creating!



Designed by Debbie Samples





Amazing card, Debbie!

For this gorgeous, metallic camouflage look, Debbie die cut her truck and star from cardstock that she covered with IndigoBlu’s FlitterGlu, and then Yorkshire Dales Mega Flakes! This is an ingenious effect you could apply in lots of different ways for your masculine cards. The papers you see are from Hot Off The Press’ Trail Blazer Double-Sided Paper Pack.


Click the image to view product!


This set reminds me of an old, red Ford truck my dad had (I was probably 3 or 4 years old) and I can still remember how fun it seemed to sit in the back! The truck shape is timeless, and will be perfect for his birthday card in December, and probably a few Christmas cards too!

I hope you enjoy this very masculine card—it’s definitely a fun one, and we all love a little bit of adventure!


Thanks for stopping by! 😀

Michelle Gustafson

Paper Wishes Blog

Like this post? Sign up for our weekly newsletter here to stay up-to-date on Paper Wishes news, promotions, and all things creative!

WCMD 2015 Sketch Challenge Winner!!!



WOW!!! I’m just stunned, not only the number of entries we had, but also by the quality of your work! This is the biggest response we’ve ever had to a Paper Wishes Blog Sketch Challenge. Incredible job, ladies! I printed every single entry to share with the Paper Wishes team so they could see firsthand the creativity that poured forth! I asked my Paper Wishes coworkers to vote for their favorites, so here are your winners, as chosen by the in-house Paper Wishes family!


Ist Place ($25 Paper Wishes gift certificate)

Designed by Darlene Crosby

Designed by Darlene Crosby

Supplies Used: Painted Flowers Double-Sided Paper Pack, Off-White & Black 12×12 Cardstock, Botanical Frames Stamp Set, Versafine black inkpad, Copic pens, Spectrum Noir™ Blendable Pencils, Spectrum Noir™ blending solution, Starform Stickers (Gold #1241 Vine), 7/8″ lavender ribbon, 3/8″ purple ribbon, Zots™, clear adhesive tape, foam tape

I love that this card matches a new stamp with an older paper pack! And lovely, lovely coloring :-).


Runner Up ($15 Paper Wishes Gift Certificate)

Designed by Karen Lacina

Designed by Karen Lacina

Supplies Used: Dee’s Distinctively Dies (2 Candle and Pine Sprig sets), Red and Gold Holographic Ripple Specialty Papers, Christmas Cheer Ribbon Set, Cardmakers Personal Shopper Christmas Paper Book, 12X12 Classic Cardstock (kraft and natural), Gold Stickles™, Medium Zots™, Glue Stick, Paper Blossoms Paper Tool Kit, sheer red ribbon, Mini Foam Squares

This card has great texture going on, and Stickles™ on the edges of the candles is so striking!!!


Congratulations to you both! I will be emailing you each very soon to get your info so we can issue your prizes!

And a big thank you to everyone who participated in World Card Making Day—all of you made it a huge success! I’m so impressed with the gorgeous cards you posted, and I can’t wait to start planning for next year!



Michelle Gustafson

Paper Wishes Blog

Like this post? Sign up for our weekly newsletter here to stay up-to-date on Paper Wishes news, promotions, and all things creative!

Stamping How To: Paper-Pieced Lacy Things Card

This gorgeous card was designed by Susan Cobb, our lead in-house designer. In her instructions, she shows you how to create a flawless, paper-pieced stamped focal using Hot Off The Press’ Lacy Things stamp set. Stamping on patterned paper provides an extra rich look, and the butterfly also has dimension provided by foam tape placed between the layers. I love that she chose black ink too—what a striking contrast! Who says lace has to be white?! 😀


Just a little inspiration for World Card Making Day which is tomorrow, October 3rd! Click on the link to learn more about how you can win a Paper Wishes® gift certificate just by making a card!




Susan’s Tip: Stamp the butterfly image on 3 different patterned papers, then cut out different portions of the butterfly from each paper. Foam tape the pieces together for a beautiful paper pieced effect.





Front: Place your blank card with the fold on the left. Ink the outer 1/4″ of the card with black ink all the way around the card front. Cut 4 7/8”x6 3/8” Roses & Lace green border paper with the roses corner at the top left corner. Glue it centered. Stamp the lace border on Roses & Lace dark pink textured paper with black ink. Trim around the edges and foam tape it across the card, even with the bottom. Stamp the small swirl/lace image on the upper right corner of the card.

Stamp “WISHING YOU A Beautiful DAY” on Roses & Lace light green textured paper. Place the Design Tool Kit #7 Beveled Label centered over the words and trace the shape with a pencil. Remove the template and cut out the shape. Ink the edges and mat on dark pink textured paper with 1/16” borders. Glue on the card, 1/8” from the right side and 1 1/4″ from the bottom.

Stamp the large butterfly image twice on Roses & Lace pink textured paper, and once each on Roses & Lace dark pink and light green textured papers. Trim around one pink butterfly (cut off the antennae), even with the edges of the image. Cut out the center portion of the light green butterfly including the body. Foam tape it centered on the pink butterfly. Trim around the center of the dark pink butterfly with body and foam tape on the light green area as shown. Finally, trim around the center of the second pink butterfly (with body) and foam tape in place. Position the butterfly angled on the upper left side of the card, overlapping the words label as shown, to check for spacing. Use the pencil to mark the paper just above the head of the butterfly. Clean your large butterfly stamp. Cover the image, except for the antennae, with cellophane tape or sticky notes. Ink the stamp, quickly remove the tape or sticky notes, then stamp the antennae with the base on the pencil mark. Glue the paper-pieced butterfly on the card, aligned with the stamped antennae. Repeat the stamping and paper piecing process for the small butterfly image, using pink paper for the base, light green for the center, and dark pink for the bottom center. Position the small butterfly overlapping the upper right edge of the words label.

Use 1/8” wide green grosgrain ribbon to tie a bow. Zot™ the bow on the lower left edge of the words label. Embellish the stamped images, label, and background paper with Silver Jewel Dazzles™.



Beautiful! I hope this has you feeling as inspired as I do! Click the image below for all the details about our World Card Making Day Challenge! I wish you all a beautiful and creative weekend! 🙂


Michelle Gustafson

Paper Wishes Blog




Like this post? Sign up for our weekly newsletter here to stay up-to-date on Paper Wishes news, promotions, and all things creative!

Welcome to Paper Wishes’ Papercraft and Scrapbooking Vlog! Our card making and scrapbooking vlog is the place to visit for inspired project ideas, the latest craft techniques, and the inside scoop on all things Paper Wishes! Visit our card making and scrapbooking vlog to see the latest card designs and scrapbook layouts from the Paper Wishes Design Team, discover new paper craft tools and products, and to learn about upcoming events! Make sure to visit our card making and scrapbooking vlog often so you don’t miss a moment of crafting fun!