Category Archives: Design and Fashion

Helsinki Craft Shopping Map

free printable helsinki craft shopping map


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.

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.

Number six 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 7 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-

Kauppa & Galleria Talli

kauppa & galleria talli espoo, flea market, gallery,

Hello, hello, hello…Last Sunday I was selling my second hand clothing and crafts at a flea market here in Espoo, which was organized by a local gallery slash design store. Let me tell you…The surroundings were fantastic! I’m always putting down Espoo, as it’s a city that combines the worst of cities and countryside, plus all the buildings are designed by dimwitted engineers, which makes all the neighbourhoods generally seem void of all that it’s nice in humanity. But I digress…

Kauppa & Galleria Talli literally translates as Shop & Gallery Stables, and the name is quite apt. The whole shebang is a converted stable and the event room (where the flea market was) looks like it’s fit for all those gorgeous Pinterest barn weddings.

Let’s collectively ooh and aah at this point.

Anyhoo, I thought  you’d enjoy some pictures…

kauppa & galleria talli espoo, flea market, gallery, Talli9 kauppa & galleria talli espoo, flea market, gallery,

I don’t know what’s up there but the entrance to the event hall is to the right and the entrance to the shop is somewhere on the left. The shop itself is very cute and they sell artisan type of design things. There is even a small café corner in there.

Talli5 Talli6 kauppa & galleria talli espoo, flea market, gallery,

They don’t only sell ceramics, but they were the only things I had an okay picture off :D The master of photography hits again :DDD

But the best part was the event hall. I can’t get past how cute it is! It’s not that big and I love the intimacy of it.

Talli1 Talli3 kauppa & galleria talli espoo, flea market, gallery,

I made okay sales, although I did joke on Twitter, that my salary for the day would have been good in Cambodia. From the crafts I sold the boxes and the one card just peeking at the bottom of the picture. Customer flow was okayish but there was one lull, when there were only sellers present. Overall I am pleased with the location and the pricing for the table was good too. There are only couple of things, that I see needing improvement. The first is lighting. It was a bit too dark in there. The second is music. The owners played this jazzy lounge music from Spotify, and I can understand, that they thought it would work as a non-offensive background music, BUT we sellers are there to sell. And easy listening jazz is not for selling. I don’t mean the music has to be blaring the TOP 40 like in H&M BUT it has to be upbeat. Upbeat sells.

The next flea market will be there on 1st of November from 11 till 16 o’clock. You can get there by car or by the busses 156, 158 and 543. I hope to see you there then ;)

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. Apparently I was the only idiot there, who carried their stuff to sell there by a bus. But for my credit, I’ve managed to build my second hand selling inventory into such as I don’t have to carry a lot but all of the items make somewhat cohesive collection. (Apart from the clothes I’ve actually worn myself. I sell them for couple of euros each).

DIY Maxi Skirt Inspired by Vincent van Gogh

DIY maxi skirt from old curtain

I’ve been sitting on this project for a while and today, I’m finally sharing it. In July I made this fabulous maxi skirt out of a vintage curtain and I love it so so much. I’ve had the curtain in my stash (and sometimes up on my window) for years, because I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t waste it. And here it is:

DIY maxi skirt from old curtain

There’s only one seam and it’s in the back. I flipped the curtain sideways as I felt, that there is no noticeable direction on the floral banners, so I could A. have horizontal stripes and B. I could save the other curtain for another project.

DIY maxi skirt from old curtain

The waistband is the wider hem of the curtain. The belt is the narrower hem. One wasn’t enough for the belt though and I cut the narrow hem off the other curtain. The belt is attached on the back, where buttons would normally close the waistband:

DIY maxi skirt from old curtain

The belt is attached little bit off center. I tried to figure out a prettier way of doing this and this was the best my mind could come up with. The cotton in this fabric is very thick and strong, so I could get away with this ‘industrial’ look.

The pockets…I’m lazy and can’t be bothered to look up the name of the exact technique I used but if you sew, you should be able to recognize it:

DIY maxi skirt from old curtain

The visible portion of the pocket was cut from the other curtain and for the pocket facing I used grey, lattice patterned cotton. No one can see it, but I know it’s there and it’s nice to know it matches the skirt’s colours.

DIY maxi skirt from old curtain

Ta-dah! I wear the skirt with the stripy shirt and a huge sun hat. Of which I don’t have a pic (well I did take a shot but I managed to get my boob in the picture too and I don’t think you are too keen to see that). Here’s an Insta picture. It’s not a good one as I just took it to show to my friend.

DIY maxi skirt from old curtain

And here I am, wearing it in the park:

DIY maxi skirt from old curtain

Hopefully you like it as much as I do. Originally I paid under 10 euros for the curtains and I had the facing material, thread, and the zipper already in my stash. Very thrifty indeed!

-Thrifty Finn-

Inspiration: Ottobre

The other day I was asking on Reddit for links to European online fabric stores. I’m a little bit of embarrassed, that I had completely forgotten the existence of Ottobre. Not the magazine, but the fact, that they sell fabrics too.

They host their shop in Etsy. It’s selection is not huge, but there are some serious amazeballs prints available. Feast your eyes…

Victoire, printed viscose elastane jersey, Ottobre, fabrics, Etsy

Victoire, printed viscose elastane jersey

Is it a bookshelf or a paint sampler? Either way…Very beautiful.

Flaming Feathers, printed viscose elastane jersey, Ottobre, fabrics, Etsy

Flaming Feathers, printed viscose elastane jersey

Dramatic feathers. This screams maxi dress to me. Ottobre used this one for a little girl’s shirt in their pattern magazine, but personally I think this is too grown up print for kids.

Scarlett, printed viscose elastane single jersey

Scarlett, printed viscose elastane single jersey

If you follow my Instagram, you know that I looooove botanical prints. But they seem to be really hard to find :(

Girona, lightweight woven  viscose, Ottobre, fabrics, Etsy

Girona, lightweight woven viscose

I actually have some of this fabric. I found it in the bargain bin at my local fabric store. Now that I know what’s the real retail price of it, I’m going to think twice, what I’m making of it. Ottobre also has it in pink jersey.

Jujuy, viscose elastane single jersey

Jujuy, viscose elastane single jersey

Digitally printed jerseys are a HUGE thing in Finland right now. No wonder. There’s pretty much no limit of what kind of images you can turn into a print. So far I haven’t bought any though. I don’t have an overlocker and I have an issue with sewing stretchy materials on my sewing machine. Might have to bit the bullet though. I feel Iike I’m missing out on something utterly creative.

Fly Feather, cotton popline, Ottobre, fabrics, Etsy

Fly Feather, cotton popline

Another thing that’s hard to find in Finland, is cool quilting cotton. Ottobre used the bottom two to make a really cute girl’s skirt. Looked very expensive and designey. At 10 euros a meter, not too shabby. The middle fabric would make an amazing pencil skirt too.

Secret Garden, printed cotton, Ottobre, fabrics, Etsy

Secret Garden, printed cotton

Last but not least…Some more florals! I have a quilt in the design process and I’ve already started collecting fabrics for it. These would bring in the much needed sophisticated pinky-ness in it. Only 9 euros per meter. Me likes.

Just in case you didn’t know…Ottobre is a Finnish company and it’s located in Rovaniemi, Lapland! YEAH! DEM MY HOMEGIRLS!!! They have an English language blog too, and you can check it out HERE. All the images here are linked to their respective Etsy-postings and they are not affiliate-links.

-Thrifty Finn-