Featuring Handmade by Monica

For this week’s Feature Friday we meet Monica from ‘Handmade by Monica‘ who makes a selection of cute, quirky and colourful celebratory bunting….


Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you and your Etsy shop?Head shot

Hi I’m Monica and I love making bunting that brings joy and happiness! My little shop is full of colourful and glittery garlands and I am always on the lookout for fun fabrics and new ways to personalise bunting for special occasions. If I create something that brings a bit of colour or sparkle to someone’s life then I know I’ve done a good job!

Do you sell on any other platforms and if so could you tell us about those?

I have my own website which runs on the Squarespace platform (very easy to set-up and maintain!). I also sell on Handmade at Amazon but have found it a bit slow-going as the products were only being marketed in the US and I imagine potential customers have been put off by higher postage charges. The platform is about to be extended to the UK and some other European markets, so I’m hoping business will improve on there soon! I also very recently started up a Depop shop (a shopping app aimed at Millennials) and have had some sales and am also investigating a new venture called Look Lane (yet to be launched). I like to have my hands in all the pies, as you can probably tell!

Tell us a little bit about how and where you work? 

My work space is actually the spare room which I share with my husband (he’s an artist) but despite having a desk and a dedicated space I can often be found spilling out onto the kitchen table with piles of fabric! I have a super cute yellow sewing machine that I make all my bunting on and my desk is covered with piles of colourful washi tapes and sharpies (I’m addicted).

What inspires your work?

I always find this question a bit tricky! It sounds a bit cheesy, but I honestly think that the element of making people happy with my makes is what drives me to create. Hearing lovely feedback and seeing pictures of my bunting hung at weddings really fills me with joy.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently going through a bit of a re-focussing of my shop and am putting more effort into occasion bunting – I’ve got a lovely collection of engagement bunting on its way soon! I’m also a bit obsessed with glittery iron on letters and hearts and have been experimenting with those on bunting too ❤

Personalised wedding bunting copy

How have you found your Etsy journey so far?

I’ve really enjoyed my Etsy journey so far, particularly the communal elements! I joined Etsy Resolution this year (a special programme Etsy runs once a year to walk new sellers through opening their shop – advice and tips provided by top sellers) and had some great support via the associated Facebook group. I am also part of the Etsy London Local team which hosts regular meet-ups and special events for London-based Etsy sellers. It’s really comforting to know there are other makers out there who share the same struggles and joys as you!

Any lessons learned so far that you would like to share with other Etsy makers or online sellers?

I would say this it’s really worth persevering with your product photography – I am literally the world’s worst photographer so I’ve had to put a lot of effort into getting my photos to a state that I would consider average! I recently went on a product photography day workshop for makers at Makelight which was incredibly helpful (highly recommended) and I’ve since seen an improvement in my photos (and sales).

Your favourite make so far?

My favourite make has to be my doughnut bunting! I can’t help but smile when I look at all the pretty colours 🙂 Who knew that there was a trend for doughnut parties?!


Your best seller?

My most popular item is my Alice in Wonderland bunting – I have been making it to order for quite a few months now! I think there is still a trend for Alice-themed weddings and tea parties – I just love the original drawings printed on this fabric 🙂


beachbouquetMy personal faves are your beach wedding bouquet, which I absolutely love, your flamingo bunting and pineapple bunting and your hessian wedding bunting… so many lovely makes! What’s next for your shop?

As I mentioned, I’m currently doing a bit of re-focusing, so I’ll be putting lots of effort into building out my occasion bunting collections and there will be plenty more party bunting in bright colours too – watch this space!

Your Etsy crush?

I am a self-confessed cat lady and I have a serious crush on the ilikecatsshop on Etsy – our flat is full of little purchases from this shop and I’m pretty sure the owner, Toby, thinks I’m stalking him on Instagram 😉

Your favourite Etsy purchase?

This has to be the hardest question! I went back to look at all my Etsy purchases and there are nine pages of them – choosing just one item is near impossible!

I’ll list a few of my favourites here:

  1. Crazy unicorn lady mug – everyone needs one of these! (by Lazylinepainterbelle)
  2. Crochet fish in a glass jar – really unique idea and always makes me smile to look at (by Eden Reborn)
  3. Vintage swan scissors – great photo props! (by Ideatura)
  4. Owl wedding cake toppers – we had these on our wedding cake, so they have special meaning 🙂 (by The Haute Box Boutique)

Where can we find you on the web to come and say ‘hi’?

Instagram http://instagram.com/handmadebymonica
Etsy shop: http://handmadebymonicauk.etsy.com
Website: http://www.handmadebymonica.co.uk

Thank you so much to Monica for sharing her story and introducing us to some lovely shops and makes! Please pop over to Handmade by Monica and take a look or go and say ‘hi’ on social media to keep up to date with Monica’s latest ranges and offers. 

Leanne x

Beautiful birds

For this weeks #treasurytuesday I’ve curated a collection of gorgeous bird items including beautiful illustrations, hand printed cushions, jewellery, coasters, sculptures, ceramics and even some edible art to celebrate our feathered friends! You can buy any of these gorgeous goodies on Etsy: Beautiful Birds by Leapup


The Leapup ‘Feature Friday’ starts this week!

I’m really excited to announce that Leapup’s first ‘Feature Friday’ will start this week. This is your chance to meet an Etsy artist, maker, designer each week and find out about what they do, why they do it, their learning curve selling on Etsy and of course gives a fantastic opportunity to showcase their latest makes and best sellers. This feature will be published each Friday and is currently only open to Etsy sellers.

If you’re wondering how you can promote your Etsy shop, details on how your small business can be featured will be posted on Friday.

Our first feature will be Megan Heffer from ‘Little Stitch of Nature’  – I look forward to sharing her talent with you and hope you’ll come and say ‘hi’ on Friday!


Birds of a feather

It’s Treasury Tuesday, a day aimed at highlighting some of the lovely finds on Etsy. After a slightly traumatic mid-week when Oscar my King Charles killed a bird in the garden . I decided to do a treasury based on birds in an attempt to get over it and well…. because I love birds so much. My in-laws who live in the North West of England are very superstitious about birds and think they bring bad luck so won’t wear clothes or anything with them on – I hadn’t ever heard of anything like that and pretty much love any item with a bird on it. Have you ever heard of anything like that?

Anyway take a look at the treasury, if anything catches your eye please click in and take a closer look, all items are available to buy now on Etsy.

This week the pink block printed feather pillow from Pauline Plug really caught my eye, I wasn’t planning on including pink items but it was just so lovely I couldn’t leave it out and how cute and intricate is that key ring from Ellies treasures UK? So many lovely goodies so please do take a look!

You can purchase any of these items by visiting the treasury here: Etsy ‘Birds of a feather’ Treasury by LEAPUP




Lots of walks at the beach this week and dare I say that it felt mildly warm? It had me dreaming of sunny summer days which has inspired this weeks ‘Treasury Tuesday’. I’ve gone quite nautical in my theme this week sticking to the classic blue, red and white colour combo.

So this weeks finds range from hand made bunting, to seagull mugs, to nautical stripes, to beach huts… and of course the essential doggie bow tie (I’m a sucker for dog accessories). Lots of little sunny seaside snippets that paint a very pretty picture. These finds have me dreaming of lapping waves and take make away on my summer holidays.  You can find out more about these summery seaside goodies here: Etsy ‘Seaside’ Treasury by Rose Filtered


I’ve got that Friday feeling… sort of.

Not very long a go ‘Yay, I’ve got that Friday feeling’ would have meant something entirely different to what it means today. I would have got home kicked off my shoes, run upstairs and slipped on my PJs, pored myself a glass of wine and planted my self firmly in front of Netflix, snuggling with the doggies and the hubbie.

Since the end of January however my ‘yay’ has come to mean I can run home: update Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and my blog; potentially start uploading some listings; possibly work on and improve my SEO; obviously check the weather to see if there will be any product photography this weekend; and then maybe, just maybe the small possibility that I might actually make something?

When I signed up for the Etsy Resolution 2016 I’m not sure if I knew what I was letting myself in for. It’s proving to be very hard work and an incredibly slow slog. Having nothing to show for it i.e. not one sale yet, I’m sure some would argue that I’m ‘a busy fool’, should get a ‘proper job’, wasting my time etc. I guess the key thing is I’m still saying ‘yay’ when I get home. I’m excited to be doing this stuff and it means not having to work for anyone else, so for the time being ‘yay it’s Friday’.




Print Love

This weeks Treasury Tuesday I’ve curated a collection of beautiful prints, all originated through the traditional printing methods of lino cuts and screen printing. When I started out this week I wasn’t sure where it was going but I enjoy it so much and am just overwhelmed when I start looking and find so much amazing talent. I’ve pulled the collection together with the colour scheme of predominately orange and teal/turquoise as well as black.

On reflection the central images from bottom left up to top right might slightly over dominate and steal the lime light, maybe I’ll try and make sure that the selection is more balanced when I make a treasury in the future. Nonetheless I think they are all really beautiful pieces of art work in their own right. If anything takes your fancy you can buy the items on Etsy by clicking here: Etsy ‘Print Love’ treasury by Leapup


Just a card

I’ve recently been reading about a new campaign called ‘Just a Card’on Twitter. Basically it’s a campaign to support local businesses like mine in a  world dominated by corporate giants. The campaign is asking people to think before they buy and if they can support local artisans, crafters and creators by thinking of buying from them first before leaving your card or present shop and picking up something last minute in the likes of a 24 hour Tesco shop. There are so many makers out there who rely on you to spend even the smallest amount, for example on a greetings card, these small amounts help keep people in business.

You can read about the campaign here: www.justacard.org and can follow the campaign on Twitter.

JUST A CARD - A4 Poster

Let’s go to the beach!


This weeks Treasury Tuesday is full of lovely blues and sea greens as well as nautical patterns and beach shapes. This week we’ve got a mish-mash of items from jewellery to shopper bags, camera straps to fine art. I think (or at least hope) that these gorgeous sea greens and blues pull all of these items together. Obviously I’m not forgetting a dog collar and lead in lovely beach colours for the pooch!

I’m really loving the unusual beachy bridal bouquet from Handmade by Monica for anyone thinking about taking their vows whilst feeling the sand between their toes. The sophisticated, yet laid back, nautical rope mat by The Lazarette has me hankering after a weekend in a beach house by the sea. I can’t forget to mention the gorgeous Tynemouth print by Louise Flintoft of the Little Blue Girl Co, my screen printing buddy who is also on the Etsy Resolution journey with me.

You can find all of these lovely beach goodies here: Etsy Treasury ‘Let’s to to the beach’ by Leapup

Let's go to the beach

You can find these gorgeous goodies here…

Teal Tuesday

This week’s Treasury Tuesday is based on one of my all-time favourite colour combinations – teal and orange. This week’s treasury highlights some of the amazing talent of the Etsy Resolution intake for 2016. Lots of hand made goodies, made here in the UK.

As you can see they are all gorgeous products but my standouts have to be: the beach huts scene from Eliston Button. The print is originally made from scraps of fabric, if you look at in detail it is unquestionably unique and beautiful (it’s going on my birthday list). The gorgeous Cornish sea glass necklace from the very talented Charlotte Reed of Grace Baskerville is also on my wish list, the colour of the glass is just mesmerising. Lastly but by no means least I’ve included local designer and handbag maker Tori Lo Designs with her exquisite tan handbag, this is simple sleek design direct from a Newcastle upon Tyne designer.

Who would have known that starting an Etsy shop could lead to such temptation – how is a girl to resist? You can see these gorgeous goodies in more detail here: Etsy ‘Teal Tuesday’ Treasury by Leapup



Since starting the Etsy Resolution course back in January I’ve been meaning to pull together my first ‘treasury’. After trudging through lots of items on my ‘to-do’ list this weekend I’ve finally taken the time before work this morning to figure out, what one is and how to do one, yay! Basically my understanding is that it is a collection of beautifully made objects/items pulled together that can help signpost other users of Etsy to find nice things. There are so many sellers that it helps highlight especially nice finds to others, ‘helping to spread the love’ and support other sellers which seems like a great (but also slightly addictive) idea.

I knew it was going to be an enjoyable job with so much talent out there and so many beautiful products to look through it was fun! I can see how (like Pinterest) creating treasuries could become a little bit addictive so maybe I’ll limit myself to a treasury a week for now. I’ve named it ‘The Sky’s the Limit’ after a lovely sunny walk out at the beach with the dogs yesterday, it feels like spring is just around the corner. I’m lusting after all these gorgeous handmade goodies…


If you’re interested in any of the items I’ve featured then you can visit my Etsy treasury here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/treasury/MTMxNDAwNjN8MjcyNTcyMzI1NQ/the-skys-the-limit?ref=pr_treasury