Our second ‘Meet Our Makers’ is here! A chance to see the delights that our finest crafting talents are whipping up. Next on the list is Senior Designer Helen Starkie, with some paper crafting skills to envy.


What is your job role and how long have you been at Hallmark?

I am a Senior Designer within the Tesco Own Label team. I have worked at Hallmark for 12 years on all different teams! Brand, Handmade, Christmas, Licensing, Asda, Gift Presentation and Own Label.


Tell us about your craft and how/why you started…

I have always loved creating from paper and I am fascinated with origami and anything paper crafted. I started making flowers particularly for gift wrapping to make gifts to friends and family look extra special.

I have also made box frames for family with photographs and paper flowers to create a special gift.

The biggest project I have taken on with paper flowers however is my own wedding. I decided to make all the bouquets and button holes from paper and tissue. It was purely from a creative desire to do it but another positive was that it also saved a lot of cost towards the day.

I have previously done flower arranging courses and really enjoyed putting together small displays for table decorations.

For the wedding I made 5 bouquets and 7 button hole flowers. The bridesmaids bouquets were slightly smaller than my own and I made my niece a flower ball hanging from a ribbon.

It took quite a bit of time but I enjoyed making every single flower and it was worth seeing the final result on the day, plus my bridesmaids got to keep the flowers a they won’t wilt!

Tell us about your favourite spot to carry out your craft…

I mostly sat in my front room watching films or TV on an evening. Once I made one particular flower it was easier to create the others by cutting out the correct shape petals and piecing together.

I also have a little desk area in one of the bedrooms at home which ended up being covered in tissue/paper/wire, much to the annoyance of my husband Simon! He did help out with some of the tidying up though.

What’s your favourite piece that you’ve created?

My bouquet and Simons button hole flower. I wanted to make my bouquet quite colourful as I had a traditional white dress. Simon’s flower was a bit more involved than the others, just to make his stand out as the groom.


Where do you find inspiration for your next project?

I look at paper blogs like Oh So Beautiful Paper , Paper Crave and general Pinterest searches along with books and ‘how to’ videos on websites such as Martha Stewert.

I also like to look at real floral displays for colour and composition.

What crafty tool or piece of equipment couldn’t you craft without?

Crepe paper, it stretches and ruffles to enable the flowers to look like real petals. It really makes a difference especially if you are making a Peony for example.

What crafty books/ magazines are on your coffee table / bookshelf?

I bought a brilliant book named Paper to Petal. It explains loads of different ways to create a variety of flowers and leaves. It also has templates in the back of the book, I also made up some of my own but they are a great guide!


Thanks Helen for sharing a little glimpse into your special day and talent. I’m dashing to a craft shop now to buy all the crepe paper I can find!



Credit to Darren Fleming Photography for the beautiful photos!