Pretty Paper Studio. Not your ordinary art and craft store. Ordinary would mean a local shop for art and craft supplies somewhere in the throes of the city, period. What makes them extraordinary is the courses and workshops they offer to hone your skills, the DIY Kits they devise from time to time to help unleash your creativity in addition to, an unlimited stash of everything-crafty-under-the-sun available online and through their on-going pop-up store.
A couple of days back, Nieluphar from PPS got in touch enquiring if I’d like to try out the November edition of their DIY FOR ME KIT. String Art, the activity of the month uses colored thread or yarn between points to create some kind of a pattern. Confession: I’ve never been the dainty, crafty kinds. Impatience, if at all, is my second name. After confirming that the ‘level of difficulty’ was indeed easy, I said yes.
For the creative in me
The DIY KIT has three designs to choose from – Cacti, Rainbow Heart and Arrows, and the supplies are put together by Turquoise Boutique Studio. It contains everything you need right from that piece of wood, nails to tracing paper and thread; and is further equipped with a printed guide to making String Art besides access to a private video tutorial if required. Job half done, really.
What makes it even more special, is the underlying sentiment. The idea is to give knackered adults, especially mums a breather, an avenue to relax, an opportunity to enjoy your own company. In recognizing how busy our lives can get, it comes as a self-sufficient kit. All it asks for is a hammer, pencil and tweezers besides an investment of your time.
Fortunately, the wow factor doesn’t end there. In an attempt to promote local craftsmanship, every kit also contains a set of hand-picked goodies sourced from small businesses in the UAE (because buy local or bye bye local). The November edition, for example had cute little surprises in the form of an organic towel from Earth & Ethics, hand-made studs & a hand-painted candle from Rodrigo Creations as well as a fridge magnet from Marshy Doodles.
Time: the most precious commodity
The kit can be pretty much tackled in 3 hours, from start to finish. Pressure points include hammering the nails in the design and even so, getting them to be of uniform height. Stringing up the design is enjoyable to say the least, especially when it starts taking shape. Although, given the design in question, you might face difficulty at some point, just as I did around the curved edges of the heart. This is where the written guide and video tutorial are of help.
I was given the kit for the purpose of a review but would I go ahead and buy it if I have to? Absolutely. To begin with, every DIY KIT comes with an opportunity to master a unique skill. In November, it was String Art; in May, it was Pom Pom Tote making and in January this year, it was all about the Watercolor Rainbow Wreath. These are skills we might have been exposed to in school/college but it is oh-so-refreshing to revisit them.
Besides, the one, single reason we probably do not indulge in enough crafting as adults is the hassle of running around town securing materials according to our taste and budget. Enter the DIY FOR ME KIT by PPS, crammed full of essential supplies delivered right to your doorstep at no extra cost, so that nothing comes in the way of bringing your project to life.
They say the reward of crafting goes far beyond creation. Not only will this me-time leave you rejuvenated beyond measure, the daily thrill of seeing the masterpiece adorning your walls will be far more valuable than the AED 215 you paid to secure the kit in the first place.