Last week I shared some wonderful gift ideas from Anthropologie for under $25 that reassured me it’s very possible to give something unique to a loved one without breaking the bank. I wanted to share some more beautiful gift ideas that are from $25-$50 this week for those people you wanted to splurge for! Rest assured though, it’s not the amount you spend, it’s how you treat them throughout the year too! Okay…now for the pretty eye candy!

Henri BendelHenri BendelLaura MercierLaura Mercier Almond Coconut Honey BathMaiLin JewelryMai Lin JewelryKate SpadeKate SpadePeppermint BarkWilliams-Sonoma

One of my all-time favorite shops and the reason for my love of letterpress is McBitterson’s. They display everything I love about letterpress: cute, detailed designs, and most importantly sharp wit. My all-time favorite holiday card to give is the “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” card so much so I order extras to keep for myself. Every time I think they can’t come up with any more clever creations, McBitterson’s does and this year they certainly didn’t disappoint! Not just with the holidays, but year round fun occasions.

McBittersons Shop GrandmaMcBittersons MistletoeMcBittersons Your BirthMcBittersons You Go GirlMcBittersons ShaveMcBittersons Unicorn BabyMcBittersons Penguin

I was smitten with Token by Token Print & Press at first sight for the delicate lettering and metallic gold details in each piece. Brittany is the creator of Token located in Portland, Oregon and she’s as pretty and sweet as her work. I’ve been a fan for quite some time and figured the holidays were the perfect time to share her creations with you on 8Balloons! I cannot wait to add a beautiful touch to my holidays with Token’s gorgeous tags and cards.

Token Merry ChristmasToken Happy Holidays CardToken Merry Christmas TagsToken Thank youToken Best WishesContinue to follow Brittany here:



With 2015 fast approaching, it’s time to start planning ahead for the perfect planner for all your needs. It’s great to go into the new year with the best of intentions to be organized and plan ahead, but unless you pick the right planner that works for you, it likely won’t happen. As much as I love beautiful prints on planners, I still like to focus on the inside and how it will work for my needs. In other words, don’t fall into the “style over substance” trap!

Mon Cahier Planner

mon-chaier-journal-5-new_grandemon-chaier-journal-13_grandeSugar & Type 2015 Planner (Rule the World)2015 Planner Rule the WorldRun the World Inside

Is your budget affecting finding great gifts for friends and family this year? I sat down last week to write a list of all the amazing people in my life that I want to show my appreciation for and the list was long! I love giving to loved ones, both friends and family, but I started to stress because all of a sudden each name became another dollar sign to me. With a few weeks still left to search for the perfect gifts, I wanted to start with one of my favorite stores, Anthropologie and some of there very budget friendly perfect gifts under $25. I will share a few more fun ideas under $25 and $50 next week!

Rest assured, it is very possible to give beautiful and personal gifts that are extremely budget friendly. Remember, gifts don’t have to be expensive to be perfect, they just have to be given with some love…and a little presentation (gift-wrapping) doesn’t hurt either!

Hot Chocolate on a StickRoyal ApothicOmbre NotesForest Critter Garden PotTrinket Box CandleGilded Pretzel Bottle Opener

One of my holiday rituals is to write cards while watching Love Actually and sipping mint hot chocolate (or tea). It’s the perfect way to create a holiday ambience and to enjoy crafting heartfelt notes.

One Canoe Two is one of my favourite card lines. I adore the script, muted colour palettes and the painterly feel of the cards.

One Canoe TwoOne Canoe Two Seasons

I love Lichia Liu’s card line, Gotamago, featuring her beautiful watercolour illustrations.

gotamago pineconesgotamago spirits

Carolyn Suzuki, a California-based designer offers up a line of fun, graphic cards. The fronts and backs of these cards often differ, with complimentary designs. I like the bold black & white and black & gold combos – a little something different for the holidays.

Carolyn Suzuki

What’s not to love about Hello!Lucky? These letterpress cards are well-designed, unique and all-around fantastic. They’ve also got some super-sweet city specific cards featuring iconic architecture and holiday themes.

Hello Lucky

Another awesome letterpress line is Egg Press. Their hand drawn aesthetic is so appealing and distinct, with cards that are sweet and quirky. Some of the cards are reminiscent of textiles, with lovely repeated patterns.

Egg Presseggpress Holiday

Continue to follow Andrea’s 365 days of letter writing challenge and her beautiful finds on:

Everyone knows I love all things letterpress but every so often something really stands out that makes my heart go pitter patter and that’s exactly what happened when I stumbled upon Capital Society’s 2014 holiday cards. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited until I saw their “Happy Challah Days” card. It was so unique and perfect! Not to mention the intricacy of the “Warm Wishes” card as well.

Shelli is the creative brains behind Capital Society, where she designs some of the prettiest custom wedding invitations a gal (or guy) could dream of. Her style is modern, clean, with a touch of perfection and her holiday cards add a touch of wit. Now if only I could decide who the lucky recipients will be this year. Time to find out who’s been naughty or nice this season!

Cap Society Happy Challah Days Letterpress CardWarm Wishes CardLetterpress Snowflake Series CardCustom Stencil Rubber Stamp WeddingWarmest Wishes Gift Tags

Keep up with Capital Society here:



One of the perks of being a blogger is connecting with some of your favorite fellow bloggers and collaborating with them. I’m a huge fan of the ladies over at RompWorthy, a site filled with beautiful inspirations ranging from travel, music and everything fabulous. I’ve been fortunate to share my journey to Japan for their “When In Series” and they recently shared with me that they took a card making class at the lust worthy Paper Source and knew it would be perfect for 8Balloons. 

To get in the spirit of giving, A. and I decided to sign up for the Paper Source card-making workshop. Paper Source has several locations in Chicago, though I frequent the location on Armitage the most. We signed up for the card-making workshop, not knowing what to expect. Of course, Cady was on board to get crafty with us, so the three of us set out after work to get our creative juices flowing.

We arrived at Paper Source around 6PM, and they had all of the supplies ready for us to get crafting.

Card Stock

Our gracious host and craft leader informed us that we would be putting together four fall-themed cards. I’ll admit that at first I was nervous, because my crafts typically do not end well.

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Luckily, for us newbie crafters, we were given step-by-step instructions on how to make our adorable cards. We even conquered the power tools that were presented to us in order to add a 3-D effect.

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As we continued to craft, our cards slowly, but surely, started coming together.

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Finally, our finished cards came to life! We were able to take home our masterpieces to send to four fortunate friends.

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We love Paper Source not only for there renowned stationery, but also because they are a Chicago-based operation. They opened their first store in 1983, and started expanding nationally in 2007. Since then, 70 stores have opened nationwide—including two new stores in Naples and Palm Beach, Florida!

To find the best stationery in town nearest to you, check out their website!


C. of RompWorthy

Keep up with the ladies of RompWorthy here:



My undying love of all things paper has opened so many wonderful opportunities for me. These include not only being able to share my favorite lines with my loyal readers, but the friendships I have made, many from all over the world. Meg of Nocturnal Paper located in Hong Kong is one of those special friendships I have made. Her greeting cards evince her personality; modern, cute, playful and extremely witty. Her illustrations are whimsically designed and filled with beautiful colors, so it’s hard not to fall for them. I will be traveling to Hong Kong next June and she was awesome enough to send me such a pretty note with shops and restaurants to visit, not to mention I am so excited to meet up with her for an afternoon as she promised to go on a paper shop tour with me and get cupcakes from the famous Ms. B’s We cannot forget the cupcakes!

Starbucks Greeting Card Nocturnal PaperNocturnal Paper Mistletoe KissNocturnal Paper Holiday EsteemNocturnal Paper I love you very mochiBest Friends Nocturnal PaperKeep up with Nocturnal Paper here:



The countdown to the holidays are officially here! Every year I look forward to this time for obvious reasons but also for all the fun creative posts to share including my Gift Wrapping Series. This year I am planning ahead, not only to make sure I get everyone on my list something special, but to display the gifts in a more personal and crafty way. I am the school of thought that believes the wrapping of the gift is just as important and can only add more sentiment to the actual gift itself. I have been smitten over all things glitter and gold this season and I thought we would start with a ***sparkle*** for the series. Maybe these inspirations will lead to other ideas for you. Here’s to wrapping that is just as great as the gift you are giving!

DIY Gold WrapC.R.A.F.T.Metallic Gold Polka DotGold Glitter Wrapping Paper Wrap and RevelWrap and RevelDIY Glitter WrapLove from Ginger