Making Room, Making Plans & Making Deals!

This is the time of year when all the paper craft industry companies begin showing their new designs and upcoming releases.  It’s always so much fun to preview all the great products, design collections and ideas!  It’s also always a BIG challenge to decide what to bring in to the store!  There is only so much space, after all!

So while we make our selections for all the new products for fall and winter, we have a lot of planning to do.  Making room requires rearranging and making decisions about not only what we will begin carrying, but also sometimes what we will not carry going forward.  For example, we will soon be stocking Tombow Dual Tip Markers in  a wide range of colors, along with blending kits and watercolor paper.  Watch for news about the arrival of our new stock of Tombow, as well as classes on how to use them!

At the same time, we’ve place all remaining Spectrum Noir markers on sale at 50% off!  We will no longer be stocking these pens, but we will continue to serve our customers who’ve purchased them in the past.  If you need refills, replacements or other items for your Spectrum pens, we can order those for you.  Stop in soon to pick up color sets from what we have left – they are going fast.

Watch for sneak peeks of some of the paper collections we’ve pre-ordered so far – those will be posted all next week!  Of course, we still have MANY products to review and select from, too!  The most important thing we always consider when making product buying decisions is YOU – our customer!  That’s why we offer you the chance to give your input on some of the products we are looking at.  Come in to see some samples of paper collections right now from BoBunny and Kaisercraft.  Let us know what you think!  Love it, hate it – we want to hear from you!

Our regular customers also know by now that when we start talking about NEW products, that also means existing items going on sale!  As we begin to make room for all these amazing new releases, stop by to see the latest great deals and discounts!

Since we know many of you follow blogs and watch for updates from your own favorite companies, if you have seen a sneak peek of something that you just can’t wait to see in person, tell us about it!  Leave us a comment about any new or upcoming release you’d like to see in our store and tell us why you love it!


Small Business Saturday in Washington

SBS_Summer_WebUsually, Small Business Saturday is held on the Saturday following Black Friday, but last November the town of Washington – along with East Peoria and other communities around Central Illinois – was still reeling from the devastation of a string of severe tornados.  So the Washington Chamber of Commerce decided to postpone the event until summer.  Washington is rebuilding and going strong now and we want everyone to see all that this great town has to offer!  So THIS SATURDAY, come out to Washington to shop, eat and visit some terrific locally owned businesses! There is a coupon flyer compiled by the Chamber of Commerce with special offers on everything from coffee to eye care, from collectibles to dining (and of course, scrapbook supplies)!  We will have special reusable tote bags to carry home your new purchases, copies of the coupon booklet and more. The Paper Forest is proud to be a part of this community and we are very grateful to all our loyal friends & customers for the support and caring that kept us going as the town struggled in the wake of the November storms.  Having been open barely one year when the storms brought such an impact, it was the support of the community that helped us to stay strong.  We love serving each and every one of you and hope you will show the same kind of support to other local businesses so we can all grow and build together!  Let this Saturday be a chance to discover something new right here in your own backyard – a new favorite shop, a new hair stylist, a new favorite restaurant or just rediscover one you’ve missed for a while.  Download the complete list of Washington Summer SBS Coupons or just come by and pick up a copy in the store!  Hope to see you Saturday!

Final Make ‘n Take for Christmas in July!


Join us Friday, July 25, from 5pm – 7pm for a mini-album Make ‘n Take!  This adorable little pocket-size album is made using cardstock, patterned paper and simple embellishments.  All base pieces will be pre-cut to make this easy & fun for all!  No need to sign up ahead of time, we will take everyone on a first-come first-served basis.  Cost is just $6.00, available while supplies last.




New Lawn Fawn Coming Soon!

Attention all Lawn Fawn fans:  All NEW stamps & dies are now available for pre-order!

If you are already a fan, you know how awesome and versatile the stamps from Lawn Fawn are… if you haven’t yet started your collection, this is the season to begin!  There are stamps for fall, winter, Christmas and all occasion – of course with matching high-quality steel dies.  Some of our favorite classic sets have new matching dies as well, such as “Critters in the Sea”, “Hats Off to You” and others.  Two new alphabets, stitched nesting rectangles in two sizes, new background & border dies are in this upcoming release too!

All of these great new products are expected to ship in mid-late August, but why wait?  Come in to see the preview images & place your order now!  This is the best way to make sure you get your favorites as soon as possible without worrying that we’ll be sold out before you can get here.  All preorders must be paid in full at the time the order is placed and must be placed in person.  Come by soon and see all the fun new designs!!

What’s that?  You want a little sneak peek?  Okay – here are just a FEW: (click on the images for a larger full view)







LF706_JoyToTheWoods_large LF723_SnowDay_large  LF775_StitchedSnowflakes_large


Make ‘n Take – 7/16/2014

Join us for the first of our Christmas in July Make ‘n Take projects on Wednesday, July 16, from 12noon until 3pm!  You’ll learn how to easily make a decorative tag with a dimensional flower.  The flower is made using basic circle punches and can easily be adapted to any season or theme!  For our Christmas tag, we’re going for a poinsettia look.  Here are a couple of samples:

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There are a selection of cards to use so that you can give your tag your own look.  Cost to do this project is just $2.50!  Come by anytime from 12pm – 3pm and we’ll show you how easy it is!

New Must-Have Products and a Giveaway!

We have two new products that are quickly becoming favorites among crafters who’ve tried them:  The Perfect Crafting Pouch from ScrapPerfect and Klearly Krafty Stamp Storage Trays from Totally Tiffany.

PerfectPouchThe Perfect Crafting Pouch

The Perfect Crafting Pouch can best be explained by watching the introduction video.  This little felt pouch is filled with a magic substance that is 100% non-toxic, safe, non-allergenic.  When you see how many ways you can use the pouch to make your crafting projects easier AND improve the results, you will wonder how you managed without it!  These are in stock now for just $7.99 and like so many products we carry, you can see it in person and try it out in the Tool Shed before you buy one for yourself.  Come in and ask to see how the Perfect Crafting Pouch works for yourself!


Klearly Krafty Storage Trays

Anyone who uses stamps has, at some point, struggled with finding a way to efficiently store and organize them.  While the abundance of cling rubber and clear stamps makes this a little less cumbersome, it can still be a challenge.  The organizing experts of Totally Tiffany, makers of the ScrapRack system, have come up with a new solution that is worth a look.

We OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhave this featured in our online Tool Shed at the moment including a video on how they work.  The 12×12″ trays are just a tiny bit too big for use in a 3-ring binder or scrapbook album (we’ve tried it!), but they are great in a vertical-storage system.  Of course they are designed to be part of the ScrapRack binder system, but they also are fantastic for travel in your rolling or shoulder craft tote. Watch for updates – there is a travel binder that we are looking into as well.  Next time you shop with us, ask to see how we’re using them for some of our store-use stamps.  It’s truly amazing how many stamps can fit into a 12×12″ space!  You can also adhere magnetic sheets into the trays to store matching dies right with your stamps.

Win Your Own Perfect Crafting Pouch!

What’s your current favorite “must have” paper crafting product?  Post a comment with your own “must have” to be entered in a drawing for a free Perfect Crafting Pouch!  One name will be drawn at random on July 31.  Good luck – and thanks for sharing your faves!

The Tool Shed Goes Digital

If you have visited our store, you know that we love to take our customers to the Tool Shed!  This is not the old garden shed where grandpa might have given your dad a stern talking to, so don’t worry.  The Tool Shed is our demo & work bench where we can show crafters how to use tools & techniques that are new (or at least new to them!) and share tips for using the tools you already have.  This hands-on area where we get to help our customers gain & improve their skills is one of the things that makes The Paper Forest special!

With our new website up & running, we really want to bring some of that experience to you online as well, so we’d like to invite you to pay a visit to the Tool Shed on your visit today!  Along with a section for assorted videos as discussed in our previous post, you’ll find a page featuring New Tools & Techniques.  This will be where we highlight great tools and cool new ways to use them.  Just added today – a video that introduces a brand-new product from Totally Tiffany, the makers of the ScrapRack® system:  Klearly Krafty Stamp Storage Trays.  We have these in stock now and have begun using them for many of our store-use stamps.  They are versatile and easy to use, holding an incredible number of clear and cling stamps.

Also found on the New Tools & Techniques page is a video on using “Perfect Layers” rulers for matting photos, cards and more.  This has been a recent addition to our inventory of tools and it is quickly winning fans.  These handy guides make it possible and EASY to create clean, perfect mat layers every time, with NO measuring. With just a little bit of practice you can create beautifully layered cards and photo mats as narrow as 1/16″!  Check out the video overview, then come in to try them for yourself.  We can show you some tricks to really get the most from the guides, too.

Remember, the whole point of the Tool Shed is that hands-on personal experience & assistance you just can’t get anywhere else.  Once you view a video or read a tutorial online, come by the store to see the products in person and even try them for yourself before you buy!  Your happiness and crafting success is our number one priority – so come in and let us take you to the Shed!

Have You Seen Our Video Page?

There are probably as many videos online now as there are stars in the sky, or pieces of paper in Melissa’s stash!  It’s great that there is so much out there to help learn techniques, discover new products and develop new ideas – but it can be overwhelming to wander through all the offerings!  We’re here to help.  We will be regularly previewing videos that go along with the products you love to highlight some of the coolest ones to share!  Our Video Tutorials page will have a constantly-changing collection of videos to inspire and inform you.  When new videos are added, older ones will be removed – but we’ll keep an archive of links where you can go back to see them again (for as long as the original posting remains active).

Most of these are short and easy to follow, so take a few minutes and check a few out!  Just added today:  Using 6 x 8 Pocket Pages in Your 12 x 12 Albums, presented by Simple Stories.  Mix things up and see how adding smaller pages in your album can be a fun & exciting new way to bring more to your albums!

Christmas is Coming – Sooner Than You Think

No, we’re not trying to add to the “earlier than ever” pressure about the holidays!  We just want to have a little cool fun in the summer by celebrating Christmas in July!  All month long we’ll have special offers on remaining winter & Christmas items, sneak peeks of the holiday collections that will be coming from our favorite companies this year, Christmas-themed classes and make & takes…. everything but the snow!

Watch for more information & announcements coming soon.

Vinyl Versatility

One of the hottest new trends is crafting with adhesive vinyl.  Using any of the die-cutting systems available, you can create designs from intricate to bold that can be added to just about anything!  Monograms, sayings and images can be the perfect touch for a blank wall in your home.  Add a little flourish and personality to a mirror.  Personalize cups, coolers, frames, even shoes!  Use vinyl to cut out delicate items to add to a scrapbook layout or card.  The possibilities are endless.  Here are a just few examples:

4thjulyflowers childroom coffeegiftset dailydotcalendar LegoLabels singlesocks











We carry a large assortment of solid colors, glitter colors and dry erase vinyl.  In addition to the colors in stock, we can special order for you from a selection of nearly 100 colors to get just the right shade for you!  Heat-transfer vinyl is also available in a range of colors, allowing you to add your creative touch to clothing, table linens, pillows, etc.  If you have never worked with vinyl before, our knowledgeable staff can help get you started and give you tips to save time and get just the results you want.

So come by today and ask about adhesive vinyl to add to your next project.  You’ll be amazed at how easy and fun it can be!