Category Archives: Design and Fashion

Freebie Skull Printable

free scrapbooking printable skull

A little bit over a week ago, I posted my Harlekiini-paper for you peeps to download for free. I also posted it on my local craft FB-group and said I’d be happy to take on requests. One of the first ones was a request for a skull paper and here it is! I actually made two versions. Black on white with really small skulls and the white on black with slightly larger skulls. I used a free clip art skull from Graphic’s Fairy to create this pattern. If you don’t know, who Graphic’s Fairy, she’s someone, who has been offering copyright free clip art images on her site for years already. In fact, Ikea has used some of them in their paper collections. I know, because I have the same ones in my clip art stash :D

PiratesAhoy1 free skull printable craft paper PiratesAhoy2

The files are A4 sized but I recommend printing with scale to fit paper. Also, use grayscale printing and you can intensify the black by running it through your printer twice. ToU…Free to use in crafts made to sell but not to add to digital kits. The download links:



I have other designs lined up for Christmas, so don’t forget to come back to check out, what I have to offer.

-Thrifty Finn-

Konepajan Bruno

konepaja bruno, helsinki, flea market

Few weeks ago I heard about an indoor flea market in Helsinki, set up in an old machine workshop. It opened this summer, so it’s pretty new in the thrift shopping scene. I have never ever gone shopping there, but last Sunday I decided to have a go at selling.

This is my story. *du-duh*

konepaja bruno, tram stop, pysäkki

This is the tramstop Sturenkatu. The previous one (Kotkankatu) is the closest. You have to walk back a little bit. See that building site in the middle back? The access gate to Bruno is behind it.

konepaja bruno, opas, aleksis kiven katu, helsinki

Walk straight down (up?) the Aleksis Kiven katu until you see this sign. Turn right and you see this gate, and that’s your entrance:

konepaja bruno, helsinki, portti

Ta-dah. There’s a guard, who opens the gate for you. Well, for me he opened the door as I came by public transport. Then you walk a little bit and you should soon see this:

konepaja bruno, entrance, helsinki

See those guys in yellow, bright vests? That’s where you go in and you will see this:

konepaja bruno

Impressive space much? On the right is a café and you can meet the owner (who is not half bad to look at) there:

konepraja bruno omistaja, owner

Anyhoo…I have finally perfected my face-to-face selling and have managed to fit my  merchandise in ONE SUITCASE! No more hauling about a gazillion Ikea-bags in the public transport. Because of that, it didn’t take too long to set up my table and I had time to have a look around and see, what other people were selling.

konepaja brunon pöydät

There are two kinds of tables. Others have a frame and they have a built-in rack above the table, the others are like these (and I had one of them), where the rack hangs freely above the table. Also the latter ones are bigger. This system is slightly problematic because if you have a lot of hanger items, the customers can’t see you behind them. My advice is to take max.10 hanger items and put the rest on the table. But selling just hanger items can be done. You just have to be active yourself in making sure, that the customer knows, where you are. There was a table across me, that hadn’t been booked, so I sat on it and whenever a customer came over to browse, I went and introduced myself.

Now to the business part…Did I sell? My sales were terrible. However, had I been there also to buy, I’d have made some major scores. It really is a buyers market. I’m sure as more people will find it, the sales will improve too. But if you are on a hunt for good bargains, now is the time to go and find them. I did buy few things, one of them being this plastic wall thingy for displaying miniatures and when I came home and did some research, it turned out to be a Finnish design classic. And I was thinking about spray painting and decoupaging it. Talk about butchering classics. Committing crimes against design.

Anyways…My best sellers were in the 5 euro mark. The price for Sunday was 29 euros, so I recommend booking a table together with your friend. And DON’T stop selling until it’s closing time. I made most of my sales after 15 o’clock. It’s also very inconsiderate to leave a market really early. It creates a sad atmosphere, which is unfair to other sellers. Who YOU also depend on to bring in the crowds.

Personally I wish Bruno to succeed. The surroundings are lovely and as a seller, I appreciate that you can book the table and then pay it up after two hours of selling. There are much more impressive pics on Bruno’s website and you can also book the tables there. Here is yet another handy map by yours truly to help you find Bruno:

kartta konepaja Brunoon, map to Konepaja Bruno

I don’t mind, if you share this map. The more people the merrier.

Those little blue dots are tram stops for the tram line 9, which you can hop on at both Rautatieasema as well as Pasilan asema. If you are a seller, you can bring your stuff there by car BUT there is no parking there, so you have to find a parking spot somewhere close by.

So this how I spent my Sunday. Have you been thrifting/selling lately?

-Thrifty Finn-

Freebie Pattern Paper Printable: Harlekiini

free printable craft paper Harlekiini, halloween themed craft

Yesterday, after I posted my Halloween shelf art project, I thought about designing something seasonal and share it for free with you peeps. I went through my digital image stash to look for an inspiration but I actually got one from a Finnish paper crafting group on FB. There’s this one girl, who has been ooh’ing and aah’ing over the harlequin patterned paper I’ve been using in my Halloween projects, so I thought I shall make her one!

free printable craft paper Harlekiini, halloween themed craft

See how fancy and graphic looking it is! I even added my logo at the bottom. And the title! Harlekiini means harlequin in Finnish. Rule number in art and design is that you can’t fall in love with your own work, but I already did.  Looks totally like it was bought from a shop.

free printable craft paper Harlekiini, halloween themed craft

Some tips for printing and ToU…Print in grayscale and print as ‘scale to fit’. If you want really deep black, try running the paper through your printer twice. You can use this paper for physical products you make and sell them, but not in digital collages or kits. It is also okay to take the file to a print shop and have them print it for you. Here is the download link:


If you like the pattern, please leave me a comment telling me so! I’m also happy to receive suggestions for what to design next to share with you.

I’m linkin at these Linky Parties…Merry MondayThe Crafty Blog Stalker...Something To Talk AboutTalented Tuesday…and Turn It Up Tuesday.

-Thrifty Finn-

Helsinki Craft Shopping Map

free printable helsinki craft shopping map

Update! After I published this map on a FB-group, I was told about another craft store, that’s within this area. I also decided to add Nappitalo, which is focused on sewing supplies but has tons of buttons and ribbons, which are definitely paper crafting supplies too.

The other day I was in Helsinki and decided to have a look around at all the arts & crafts stores within walking distance from where I was. Admittedly this didn’t happen by choice but because I was looking for basic black hobby cardstock and for Halloween reasons, I didn’t find it until the 5th store. I nearly burst into tears by the 4th store because I couldn’t believe I still had to walk to yet another shop.

But not all is lost. I had the forethought to snap some pictures of the stores I went to and now I can make a blog post about them! All these stores are in the Kamppi/city center area, and within walking distance from each other. Even with browsing around and stopping at other stores, you can visit all of them within couple of hours.

hobby point Helsinki

So my first stop was Hobby Point. The biggest selection of all the 7 places I visited. They also have model building supplies. The address is Fredrikinkatu 61. I bought some double sided sticky tape and glitter paper.

askarelli helsinki

Askarelli. They have mainly paper crafting supplies for weddings and events, if I make any sense. I bought some transparencies and a snowflake punch from there. The address: Annankatu 35. They have an online store as well in HERE.

And really close to Askarelli…Sinelli:

sinelli helsinki

Image via

The biggest craft store chain in Finland. They also have an online store at Just around the corner, on Yrjönkatu, is another Sinelli, which is focused on jewellery making but there are the fabrics and paints as well. I buy most of my basic supplies from here. Like gel pens, 3d foam stickers and glue tapes.

tuubi helsinki, art supplies, arts and crafts

Tuubi is an art supply store on Lönnrotinkatu 23. They have paper, canvases, acrylic and oil paints, and other things that an artist may need. So not directly a craft store but crafters need water colour paper too ;D As I visited, there was a sale table and I scored Letraset’s Flexmarker set for 10 euros.

Meder, askartelu, Helsinki, craft shop, DIY

Meder is located on Fredrikinkatu 30 and they offer various craft products mainly for porcelain painting and paper crafts. They also organize craft classes and they can be found HERE. I’d call the style of paper craft items available as Swedish vintage nostalgia. Think shabby chic version of Magnolia.

tempera, art supplies, Helsinki

Tempera advertises itself as an artist’s department store and it is much bigger than Tuubi. It’s here, where I found the basic hobby cardstock and they were 1,05 per sheet. I also found a transparency paper pad for little over 7 euros. It’s much more economical to get the artist pad, than buying them from a craft store per sheet. I have some last minute Halloween ideas for those and since there is 50 sheets per pad, I have room for experimenting as I don’t have to watch, how many I have left. They have all the known art supply brands in stock and they have an online shop as well. It can be found HERE.

On my way the next store, I stopped at Granit, which is like a Swedish Muji and I got some washi tape from there. I decided to exclude it from my list as it is not a craft store per se, however they have tons of stuff, which would be perfect for organizing said craft supplies. So I might write about it some other time.

nappitalo helsinki, sewing, buttons, ribbons

Nappitalo on Yrjönkatu 12 is the place to go for buttons and ribbons. It’s not the cheapest but there usually are some ribbons and bits and bobs in a discount bin. They also always have a well stocked zipper selection, which is important as everyone needs to change a zipper in their clothing every now and then, and it’s annoying if you have to hunt the right size all over the city. So not strictly a paper craft/art store but has tons of relevant supplies.

Number eight on my list is Akateeminen Kirjakauppa:

akateeminen kirjakauppa, bookstore, Helsinki

Image via

AK is a bookstore, spread over several floors and it’s an actual architectural gem. The part I’m talking about is the basement level. There are some artist supplies and stationary items AND Stockmann’s (the department store) OUTLET shop. The artist supply section isn’t huge BUT according a Finnish papercrafting FB-group, the price for ProMarkers is very competitive. I had a quick look around the OUTLET and there were some home decor items, which I think would be perfect for altering projects. The discounts were very good. Up to 70% off and like Nanny Fine says, it’s not sale, if it is less than 40% off.

suomalainen kirjakauppa aleksanterinkatu helsinki

Image via

Suomalainen Kirjakauppa probably is the biggest chain of bookstores in Finland. They really have been able to keep their focus on books but they have some nice craft supplies as well. The prices are okay too and there are sometimes deals to be had. This particular store on Aleksanterinkatu (opposite of Stockmann) is one of the bigger ones I think and it’s the one, where authors go launch their books and have Q&A’s. The image over here is the back entrance as I didn’t have a picture of the front, and I couldn’t find a good one from the interwebs either. I bought some satin finish laser printer paper and a tiny snowflake punch. They don’t have Halloween stuff for sale at all BUT they already had their Christmas craft things on display. And the stuff looks good:

suomalainen kirjakauppa, christmas, jouluaskartelutarvikkeet

As soon as Halloween is over, I’m going to go and hoard some of those ribbons. This is, BTW, what a good craft store should look like all the time. Sinelli is bit lacking and I’m not the only one, who thinks that. They renovated their Simonkatu store earlier this year and when I visited them this week, they had some things they had for sale BEFORE the renovation, back on the shelves for full price. And I’m talking about years old Graphic 45’s. They also have a habit of selling ‘we don’t have it now’, followed by ‘check the online store’. They seem to be forgetting that crafters are tactile shoppers and we do not want to buy everything online and we most definitely don’t want to pay ridiculous postage for them.

helsinki craft shopping map

So here are the 9 craft stores in the Helsinki City Center. You can download and print the map yourself and the link is here:


-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. Remember that hobby cardstock I was hunting for? I forgot them in the train. I am not amused.

Mad As a Hatter

mad hatter, alice in wonderland craft, diy, graphic 45, thrifty finn

Am I smart, or am I smart? For once I’m on time to post my Halloween crafts! Reason being, I began crafting them few weeks ago already. *furiously pats herself on the back* Here’s my first craft, which is a before/after kind of thing.

Last Christmas, on my trip to Lapland, I dropped by the local arts & crafts store Taidekehystämö Hyvärinen  to see what they had to offer. Of course I found my way into their discount room in the basement and in there, I spotted papers from the 2010 Graphic 45 collection Halloween in Wonderland. So what is girl to do? To buy as many as she can, just in case she comes up with something cool to use them with. And that cool came in the shape of a hideous, broken lamp my landlady gave to me “since you are so crafty and can probably use this”:

diy mad hatter lamp, thrifty finn

This lamp screams 2002, don’t you think? It’s not too bad though. The base has some weight to it, and the proportion is alright. To transform this, I painted the lampshade black. Then I used black washi tape to reinforce the corners of the lampshade AND to attach it back to the white support thingy. Then I covered the sides with distressed scrapbook paper cut few millimetres smaller on each side, to show the black corners.

At this point I realized the painting was unnecessary, so I didn’t do it for the base. I just washi taped the corners and covered the top part of the ‘pyramid’ to hide the wood. Then I covered all the sides with scrapbook paper, again cut few millimetres smaller. For the wire part I cut a small notch and punched a circular hole in the paper. After gluing the paper down, the notch is barely visible. Here’s the finished lamp:

diy mad hatter lamp, thrifty finn

diy mad hatter lamp, thrifty finn

diy mad hatter lamp, thrifty finn

diy mad hatter lamp, thrifty finn

diy mad hatter lamp, thrifty finn

The total cost for the lamp was around 4 euros, including the used glue and washi tape. Not too bad, don’t you think?

There will be tons of Halloween posts coming up, so don’t forget to drop back in later this month. If you have written about your Halloween crafts, feel free to leave a link in the comments. I’ll be sure check them out.

-Thrifty Finn-