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Original line of screen printed patterned paper that will be used to create a new line of products featuring decorative frames.
129 backers pledged $6,545 to help bring this project to life.

About

Craftbelly: Screen Printed Decorative Paper Made in the USA project video thumbnail
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$6,545

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UPDATE :: MARCH 26TH :: STRETCH GOALS

I am beyond excited and incredibly grateful that we reached our funding goal of $5000 in just 19 days! Thank you so much to everyone who backed, shared and believed in my project!

Once the campaign is over, it's over, and since I'm in this unique situation that I might not be in ever again, I want to make the most of it. The original funding goal is enough money to complete our project, but if we raise a little more, we will be able to do more. We can print even more paper, (maybe throw in a few limited edition colors!) we can buy a larger drying rack and help offset some of the Kickstarter and credit card processing fees (5% and 3-5%, respectively) that I will pay on the final amount raised.

So without further ado... 

Hello! My name is Lizzie and I make decorative picture frames by covering wood frames with handmade patterned paper from around the world. 

I'm ready to take Craftbelly Frames + Mirrors to the next level by designing and printing my own line of screen printed paper to make my products truly original and entirely made in the USA.

I am a maker and graphic designer who, after working in the design field for a couple years, decided to take a detour to see what else was out there. After moving to Chicago in 2009, I began working at an independent stationery shop where we were given the unique opportunity to design and sell items we made ourselves. I was inspired by the beautiful decorative papers that we sold in the store, so I started to make frames using them. It was such a different creative outlet for me and I loved it. 

I quickly found myself immersed in the handmade culture here in Chicago, surrounded by passionate people selling things that they designed and created themselves. I was completely inspired and Craftbelly was born. Since then I've created a real business featuring ready-made and custom decorative frames and mirrors. 

A couple of years and many craft shows later, I knew something was missing from my work. Two of my biggest passions are art/design and supporting local, independent businesses.

While my design skills were still being utilized to design and build my brand, I wanted to do more. I have always been captivated by color and prints and had even started playing around with pattern design, yet I was still using paper designed and printed by someone else. 

I'm a strong advocate for local and independent companies sourcing all of their materials and manufacturing in the USA, and yet here I was purchasing paper that had to cross an ocean to get to me. 

Something had to change. Everything, really. 

During the summer of 2012 I printed my first test run of an original pattern with help from my friends of Reuse First, who run and operate a screen printing studio here in Chicago. I experienced love at first sight after seeing the pattern come to life on that first printed sheet.

Frames made from original run
Frames made from original run

Fast forward to the winter of 2013: During a night of merriment with these same friends, passions and dreams were discussed. We decided that not only did I need to continue to design my own paper to use for frames, but that I should create a full line of wrapping paper and they would silkscreen it. My friends even talked about investing in a larger automated press to print larger sheets. (They did.) No pressure or anything! 

After this enlightening evening and rousing conversation, I couldn't get out of my head how amazing it would be to build an original line of papers to use not only to make frames with, but also to sell to people for use in their own projects. After all, that's how I was inspired to start my whole business.

After a few test runs with smaller sized paper, I am ready to take the next step and print large sheets that are 19" x 25". The goal is to print about 2000 sheets of a mix of uncoated text and cover weight paper. With these two weights of paper, I will be able to create a variety of high quality products, including frames, notecards, postcards, envelopes liners, etc. 

Printing: The screens will be made and all sheets will be printed at Reuse First here in Chicago, Illinois.  

Paper: I have chosen to use paper from French Paper Company, a sixth-generation, family-owned paper mill located in Niles, Michigan that uses fully renewable hydro energy to power their plant. They use recycled materials in their papers and have a great selection of colors.

French Paper Co. Mill
French Paper Co. Mill

Color/Patterns: I have created 3 patterns, in six ink/paper combos. 

The Brights will be printed with gold metallic ink.

The Neutrals will be printed with silver metallic ink. 

Your Pledge: Thanks in advance for helping make this dream a reality! The money raised in this Kickstarter will go towards:

  • purchasing and setup of the screens 
  • purchasing the paper
  • all printing costs
  • creation, packaging and shipping of all rewards

Made in the USA: I currently source the unfinished basswood frames that I use from a manufacturer in Ohio. With the addition of this new paper to my business, I will proudly be able to say that my product and all of its materials are 100% made in the USA. 

We've printed a small run of Pattern #1 so you can see the actual color combos, which you will see in the images below. 

Pattern #1 shown in all 6 color combos
Pattern #1 shown in all 6 color combos
Two frames from the Neutrals.
Two frames from the Neutrals.
Stacks of wrapped gifts.
Stacks of wrapped gifts.
A delicious stack of frames featuring all of the styles.
A delicious stack of frames featuring all of the styles.
Front and back of finished frame. Includes glass insert, easel back and 2 sawtooth hangers. Frames are finished with a coating of non-toxic sealant.
Front and back of finished frame. Includes glass insert, easel back and 2 sawtooth hangers. Frames are finished with a coating of non-toxic sealant.
Examples of envelope liner and notecard
Examples of envelope liner and notecard

In the end, it's all about YOU! My goal has always been to give people who love color and pattern a unique, handcrafted option for framing. With this new line of paper, not only will I be able to offer a truly original product, but also a whole new line of goods for all the fantastic pattern-loving people out there! 

Kickstarter backers, you will be the FIRST to receive any of these new products, and at special discounted prices! So for example, Reward #7 is a killer deal because the retail price for those three frames will be $114 plus shipping, so backers are getting 35-40% off! 

Please note: All rewards include the price of shipping!

Note: Rewards #1-3 will be a pre-selected assortment. For rewards #4-7, backers will receive a survey to choose what style frame they would like to receive if the project is successfully funded. 

If this project excites you but you are unable to assist financially at this time, I would appreciate even just spreading the word via your favorite social media outlet or passing on to that crafty person in your life that saves wrapping paper after opening a gift. Every little bit helps!

I definitely could not have put this campaign together without the help of some talented people...

  • Jeremiah and Michelle Catalano-Reilly of Reuse First for their support and partnership in this project.
  • Catherine Lynch for the awesome video.
  • Joshua Wentz of Sidedown Audio for the sweet tunes heard in the video.
  • Stephanie Keller, owner of Inkling, for hosting an event at her shop to promote the campaign. (click here for details)
  • Emily Martin of Orange Beautiful for helping me grow the confidence and cojones to make this dream a reality.
  • All of my family and friends who have guided and assisted me through this adventure. Your support means everything!

My favorite thing to frame is artwork and I showed you a lot of my favorite prints in the images and video above. Here's where you can find all this goodness:

Risks and challenges

If my project is successfully funded, we are going to hit the ground running. I am not venturing into unexplored territory (except maybe the sheer excitement that will come, in which case, I'll take a chill pill.) For the last 5 years, I've been in the business of making things, especially using paper. Whether it's designing, printing, assembling, cutting, gluing, scoring, folding, packaging, shipping... you name it, I've done it. Over and over again.

The fine folks of Reuse First are professional and talented and I have full faith in them to help me create an exceptional product.

I am ready to take on the production of creating all the rewards and am confident we can deliver everything on time.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    THANK YOU POSTCARD: One postcard sent in the mail to you featuring one of the new patterns!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    NOTECARD SAMPLER: Assortment of six folded notes with envelopes.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    PAPER SAMPLER: Six sheets of paper featuring an assortment of patterns and colors.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    4x6 PICTURE FRAME: Choose your favorite pattern and color combo.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    5x7 PICTURE FRAME: Choose your favorite pattern and color combo.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    SUPER AWESOME ASSORTMENT: 5x7 picture frame, assortment of 6 sheets of paper, and set of 10 notecards.

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    Limited 12 backers
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  7. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    INSTANT FRAME WALL: Set of two 4x6 frames and one 5x7 frame. Choose your favorite pattern and color combos.

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    Reward no longer available 20 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    (you can still get the) INSTANT FRAME WALL: Set of two 4x6 frames and one 5x7 frame. Choose your favorite pattern and color combos.

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    Limited 1 backer
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  9. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    CUSTOM PAPER COLLECTION: Choose any color of paper and we will print it with gold or silver ink in one of the three patterns. Receive 20 sheets of your very own set.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)