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Wedding Invitations

What Time Do You Put on a Wedding Invite?

Whose name should be placed first on the wedding invitation? Here is the answer you are looking for!

UPDATED ON December 08, 2023
Wedding Invitations

Three Ideas for Unique Wedding Invitations

I absolutely love a good wedding.  It’s not only the bride and groom who look forward to the big day – it’s also their guests

UPDATED ON December 08, 2023

Your back-to-school checklist... so you don't need one!

Your back-to-school checklist... so you don't need one!

The beginning of the summer holidays feels like a distant memory! That time of the year has quickly come back around again! Yes, it’s almost time for them to go back to school. To avoid the panic and rush, sort out what they need to be back-to-school ready with our carefully put-together checklist. This will make sure they’re organised and happy for their first day back! Here’s a list of back-to-school essentials…

An organised school lunch box

If they bring in their lunch from home, it always helps to make sure they have a fresh lunchbox for the new school year! My favourite lunch boxes, especially for primary school children are Bento lunch boxes. These are lunch boxes with multiple sections/compartments. This way, you can ensure you give them everything they need and avoid any picky eaters' disasters!

School bag

A new school bag for the new year is essential for children of every age! After a year of heavy items, being kicked onto the floor and enduring all weathers, it’s important to get one that can withstand all of that for another year. Make sure they’re big enough to hold any new books they’ll be using this year, that they’re waterproof and of course fun and exciting. If your child has pride in their bags and they love them, they should be kept nicer for longer (in theory!)

Drinks bottle

If they may have lost it or are in need of a new one, it’s definitely a great idea to invest in a new water bottle. I would recommend a stainless steel or metal one. This way, they last for years to come and will keep their drinks warm in the winter and cooler in the summer. It’s also a great way of ensuring their bottles are always identifiable in the cloakroom!

Name Labels

Make sure that all these lovely new things don’t get lost within the first term back at school. It’s a great idea to keep everything labeled with their names. Shop our range of waterproof and washable name labels. Visit our Instagram for how to wash your items with our name labels in the washing machine and in the sink!

Hand Sanitisers

There are ever-changing covid levels and rises in coughs and colds as they return to school. Therefore, hand sanitiser is as important as ever. Getting them a child-friendly and pleasant-smelling bottle will encourage them to use it much more often. You can even get them attached to a key chain to hang off their brand-new school bags. This means they're ready to use at a moment's notice!



They may not need new books and planners as most schools will provide this. Therefore, make sure that they are up to date with the insides of their pencil cases. Most pens will last from year to year but it may be an idea to test-run their highlighters, gel pens, and sharpies!

They didn’t get the results they wanted…What do I do?

They didn’t get the results they wanted…What do I do?

They’ve had a fun and exciting summer before the beginning of their new journey after GCSEs, but unfortunately, they’ve been greeted with results they didn’t quite hope for. It can be stressful as their parents and/or loved ones to know what is best to do or say to them so here are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to consoling them over their results.

1. Your best show of support is just to listen.

Try not to over-stimulate them when their brains are probably going a million miles per hour still. They probably feel a lot of guilt and embarrassment from this negative experience, especially after working very hard to get the grades they were aiming for I’m sure. Be their safe space to express their emotions and allow them to share some of the pain with you as they talk it out. This way, they will have respect for your opinion much more and in turn, listen when it’s your turn to speak.

2. Reassure them of your feelings.

One thing that will be upsetting them most is how they think you’re feeling. I’m sure they wanted nothing more than to do you proud (as well as themselves) and the feeling of letting people down is a horrible one. Tell them how proud you are of them and how grades do not define this.

3. Try to keep them on a clear path.

They will be very overwhelmed by ‘what’s next’ and ‘what’s the right thing’ to do vs what they’d actually like to do. They may be wanting to quit, drop out, blame teachers, or bury their heads in the sand. Be their voice of reason and calm by helping them rationalise and think through their options in a clear and concise way. These grades are not the end of the road for them (and if retaking is an option, not even their final score is completely final!)

4. Let them feel.

Even though it can be really painful to witness them crying or upset, don’t discourage them from doing so. Please remember that it’s normal for them to feel this way and important for them to let it out. As much as you prefer to see them happy and positive, try not to rush the process by telling them how to feel.

5. Keep your support uplifting and realistic.

When you feel like you’ve failed and feel hopeless, the last thing you want to hear from people is that ‘everything will be ok’, especially when that’s the exact opposite of how you are feeling. Encourage them to look at the things they have done well and praise them for this. It can also be a great idea to get them to channel the strategies that led to that success and remind them that they can achieve. If possible, it always helps young people if they feel like they can relate to another person experiencing similar troubles. If you yourself or another student/someone they admire had to retake tests or succeeded without the results they wanted, this can be a great way to provide them with evidence that it will all work out for them no matter what.

6. Give them some downtime.

During this intense period of studying, taking the exams, and waiting for results, they’ve probably had very little time to completely switch off. Take them away from this mindset for a short amount of time to recharge and allow themselves the chance to revisit everything with a reenergised mindset.

Failure is just a part of everyday life but it is important to remind them that this does not make them a failure. You can never feel and/or achieve success without failing sometimes

and you should encourage them to see it as a chance to learn and grow. The only time we ever fail in life, is when we completely give up.

Top tips for winning best picnic on Sports Day

Top tips for winning best picnic on Sports Day

That nerve-wracking feeling has come back around… yes it’s Sport’s Day. Now when we say this, we don’t mean the potential tears and tantrums of a frustrating second place or the sunburn and hay-fever from supporting your mini athlete, we mean the dreaded parent’s race. There is, however, one competition we can guarantee you win and that’s the best picnic! Sometimes, it’s about picking your battles… you know in your heart you’re no Usain Bolt but you CAN be the Stacey Solomon of the school Mums!

Here are my top tips on having the best picnic set-up on the school field that’ll get you the gold medaled seal of approval!

Pick a theme...

Having a themed picnic set-up will instantly elevate the look and give an effortless put-together feel. That feeling of having everything matching makes for a dreamy and inviting layout! For a picnic, I think that my favourite party themes are our teddy bear picnic set-up which would pair beautifully with a gingham blanket. Also, our tea party theme naturally complements all your cakes and sweet treats perfectly.

Tea Party Invitations - Royal Tea Party - Pack of 10
Tea party invitations

Get your picnic personal

To take that one step closer to perfection, you definitely need to have your items personalised! Personalising your labels and stickers takes it from a lovely picnic to ‘the best picnic we’ve seen in a long time!’. You can also keep track of your items and Tupperware that I’m sure will go travelling between all of the Mums. I love the idea of labelling with ‘James’ Mum’s picnic’ for example or ‘*their school*’s Picnic 2022’.

Top tip: We also do intolerance stickers too. This means Tupperware can be easily labelled as gluten-free, dairy-free etc to keep all of the children safe and feeling included. This means your picnic can literally be for everyone!

Pirate - Large Round Personalised Party Stickers - Pack of 12
Round personalised stickers

Make naughty treats nice for the picnic!

As all children do (and some adults), they will head straight for those sugary and sweet treats. Why not make them look even sweeter? Pop them into our sweet bags and stickers treat holders! This allows for some form of portion control for your children and allows them to keep as tidy and clean as possible. Why not try and sneak some healthy snacks in there too? By putting them in our sweet bags, it makes them seem more exciting and special than they may at first appear!

Tea Party - Sweet Bag & Sticker - Pack of 35
Tea party sweet bag and sticker

Quality... and quantity!

Who says you have to choose between quality and quantity? We definitely don’t! As you will undoubtedly be crowned as the Mum with the best picnic, we’re sure everyone will be stopping by to take a peak or even have a little taste. We recommend you come prepared to accommodate the crowds! A lot of our items come in packs of 8 or more to make sure there’s plenty of Dotty picnic luxury to share around!

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Tea party theme

Extra special detail

To go that extra mile, make sure you don’t forget about those little details! To ensure your theme runs throughout the whole look of your perfect picnic, you want to add our soft striped paper straws that come in a variety of different colours. Also, add our matching paper cups and plates. This will instantly tie together your set-up and give you the most instagrammable picnic. I’m sure even Stacey Solomon would be proud to claim it!


Thank you so much for reading. I'm sure with these tips and ideas you will be hosting the perfect picnic this Sport's day and throughout the summer holidays!

Shop all our party themes on our website!

How to Say Thank You to Your Teachers: 101

How to Say Thank You to Your Teachers: 101

We asked local teachers what their ideal present would be and got some stories of their favourite gifts and cards through the years!
The Complete Back-to-School Shopping Lists for School

The Complete Back-to-School Shopping Lists for School

It's nearly time for kids to go back to school! We know how chaotic this can be - and with COVID-19 to consider this year, it's bound to feel stressful. To help you de-stress, we’ve put together a complete checklist of items that you will need for back-to-school:


Here at Dotty about Paper, we are obsessed with all things stationery! Here are the main things that you will need.
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Sharpie pens
  • Highlighters
  • Erasers
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Colouring pencils
  • Glue stick
  • Notebooks
  • Calculator
  • Protractor (optional)
  • Tip-ex (optional)
  • Post-it Notes
  • Pencil case
  • Stickers (optional)
  • Homework planners (optional)
Football Crazy - Personalised A5 Exercise Books - Pack of 2 Featured Product: Football Crazy - Personalised A5 Exercise Books - Pack of 2 Personalised exercise books make working so much more fun, and can be used for so many different things - whether that's planning homework or doodling. Zoom image Featured Product: Cute Animals - Personalised Kids Stickers - Pack of 35 Some cute personalised stickers can also help make learning more engaging.


Next, think about hygiene. With COVID-19 still going on, you'll need to make sure your child has that little bit of extra protection, and is keeping hygienic at school.
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Name labels
  • Face Masks (optional)


When it comes to lunch, keep things very simple. All you need is:
  • Lunch box
  • Snack box
  • Water bottle
  • Name labels
50 x No Iron Medium Personalised Stick On Waterproof Washable Name Labels Great for Clothes, School Uniform, Equipment, Shoes and Much More. School, Nursery, Day Care, Hospital - Unicorn Magic Featured Product: Medium Personalised Stick On Waterproof (Equipment) Name Labels - Unicorn Magic - Pack of 42 We have a wide range of handy name labels available, in so many different designs, from plain styles to cute unicorns, rainbows, and games consoles!


With a new year, you may find that your child has slightly grown out of their uniform. Make sure they're looking smart with some fresh new uniform. You will need:
  • Polo shirts
  • Jumper / Cardigan
  • Trousers
  • Skirt
  • Socks
  • Waterproof Coat
  • Hat, scarf, and gloves (depending on the weather!)
  • A change of clothing for younger children
  • Iron-on Name Labels
PE Kit Don't forget their PE kit!
  • Gym Bag
  • Gym Shoes/Plimsolls
  • T-shirt
  • Shorts
  • Socks

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Featured Product: Personalised Iron On (Clothes) Name Labels - White All of their uniform can be labelled, too. Our iron-on name labels are so easy to use, and are highly reviewed by parents. Plus, they're so affordable, too - at just £4, you can't go wrong. Once you have sorted all that out, you should be ready to send your kids back to school (and finally get some peace and quiet!). We hope you have found this blog useful! For more helpful back-t0-school content, check out our other blogs.

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How to Choose Which School Name Labels to Use

We all know how easy it is for children to lose their supplies at school. Name labels are the perfect way to make sure you don't lose track of your child's equipment, but what kind of labels should you use? Here is our guide for choosing the right school name labels for the job!


When labelling your child's clothing, it's important to select a waterproof style of sticker. It will have to endure a lot of washes, after all! We would also recommend labels with rounded corners, as these won't irritate the skin. Zoom image Many suppliers will offer stick-on or iron-on styles for clothing. Here at Dotty about Paper, we offer both, so you can choose the kind that is most convenient for you!

School Equipment

School requires a lot of different supplies, from lunchboxes and drinks bottles to bags and notebooks. That's where stick-on name labels come in! Waterproof stick-on styles are perfect if you're labelling a smooth, hard surface. They're even ideal for shoes. Make sure to choose a supplier who offers no-smudge, no-fade stickers. The labels are sure to face a lot of use during a busy school day, so they need to be up to the task! Name labels can be fun as well as useful. Dotty about Paper offers lots of designs and colours, letting your child show their individuality. Pick a label in their favourite colour or choose an emblem picture that matches their interests. Zoom image If your child has an allergy, you can clearly communicate this to teachers using an allergy warning design. We supply personalised warning stickers that feature your child's name alongside their allergy. The range covers food, medicinal, and outdoor triggers. They help to keep your child safe while still looking colourful and appealing for kids. Zoom image


School name labels aren't just useful for clothing. You can use them for pens, pencils, rulers, and other essential stationery. Make sure to check the size of the items you want to label before you purchase any stickers. This will help you select a product with the correct measurements. Even though their stationery likely won't be cleaned in the same way as their clothing and equipment, we still recommend choosing a waterproof sticker. This will protect the label's clarity after light cleaning, in case of exposure to rain, and other situations. Zoom image
What Gifts to Buy Your Teachers World Needs Teachers Teacher Sign

What Gifts to Buy Your Teachers

We can all relate to the confusion of what to buy your child's teachers when the school year comes to an end. We want to show our appreciation for what they do, but we also don’t want to go overboard. So, what are the best presents to give teachers?


A lovely idea for a gift is something with real meaning. It could be an item that includes a photo of the whole class and a message written from each student, like a photo album and collage. It requires a bit of extra organisation from the parents, but it's sure to be a fun group project that shows how much the kids care! Another classic keepsake is a mug, which every teacher needs throughout the day. You could personalise it with their name or find a design with a keepsake message that will always make them smile. What Gifts to Buy Your Teachers Personalised Teacher Mug Helping Me Grow Featured Design: 'Personalised Teacher Mug - Helping Me Grow'


What is more useful to teachers then stationery. There are many products in the genre that you can buy and is of a particularly good price. For example, pens, stickers, notebooks, or even classroom signs. These gifts can also be improved by being personalised with either the teachers name or a simple ‘Thank you’ or ‘Best Teacher’. An example of a good product that we have at Dotty About Paper is our range of personalised Notebooks or note cards. You can even make some of these yourself, like a handmade classroom sign. Featured Design: 'The World Needs Teachers - A5 Personalised Teacher Sign' What could be more useful to teachers than stationery? There are so many products out there, with a wide price range to suit any budget. Pens, notebooks, stickers, and even classroom signs are available - useful and thoughtful! These gifts can often be customised with the teacher's name or a simple message, like 'Thank You' or 'Best Teacher'. If you're feeling creative, you could even have a go making some of these yourself by decorating a plain notebook, making a classroom sign, or creating a unique pen selection. What Gifts to Buy Your Teachers Smart Stationery Pattern Blue Exercise Books Featured Design: 'Smart Stationery Pattern - Blue - Personalised A5 Exercise Books - Pack of 2'

Something to Relax

Every teacher needs to relax and wind down after a day at work. So, a present that can help them unwind is a good gift idea. A candle is a great example - useful, beautiful, and a necessary household item. Or you can create a hamper with cosmetic products, like face masks. Just remember to be careful what you pick, because the teacher may have allergies.


Tasty treats will always be appreciated! The likelihood of the receiver liking the present is very high and they are not too expensive. You can even go that extra mile and get chocolate, cookies, or cakes personalised with a message. Once again, though, watch out for allergies! It's also always best to get shop-bought treats rather than making them yourself when presenting them as a gift. Rainbow Cupcakes
How Much to Spend on a Gift for Your Teacher Thumbnail

How Much to Spend on a Gift for Your Teacher

Leaving school can be an expensive time. There are presents and cards to buy for those you are saying goodbye to, as well as the price of celebrations. But when it comes to teachers, how much should we spend on gifts?

Spending for One Teacher

You don't need to feel like you have to buy expensive gifts for each teacher. If you have one teacher that taught all the subjects, then it might be a good idea to spend more on them than you would if you had several different teachers to consider. Up to £15 is very generous and gives you a good range of product options to get them. Or you could make something for your teachers by hand. This will not only save some money, but it's also more personal. They're sure to be thrilled to receive something so unique and special!

Spending for Several Teachers

If you have several teachers to show your appreciation to, spending about £5 on each person would be a good budget. You can get something small, like a stationary product that they will find useful. But there are other options, too. Boxes of chocolates are also a classic that most will appreciate!


Featured Designs: Fun Kraft Paper Flowers and Neat Stationery Collage - Green - Personalised A5 Exercise Books and Fun Kraft Teacher Thank You Cards

If you wanted to make the item a bit more personal, but don't feel confident making something yourself, you could order a customised product. Spend that extra bit of money and get something personalised with the teacher’s name. For example, with just over £10, you could get a unique sign with their name on it, exercise books, or handy note cards. You do not have to spend lots to be thoughtful and generous. Just keep your teacher in mind and find something that suits them!


Featured Designs: Neat Pencil – Red – Personalised A5 Exercise Books and Neat Pencil – Blue – Personalised A6 Note Cards

What Do You Write in a Leavers Book?

What Do You Write in a Leavers Book?

A leavers book is the perfect way to keep memories alive. It is always sad when things come to an end, especially when it involves saying goodbye to people you would normally see every day. But a leavers book can help you to leave on a high note! Writing in each other’s books shows your appreciation for the friendships you've built. So, what should you write?

Add memories

Adding a personal touch with one of your favourite memories makes your message unique. A funny or sweet story, like the time you first met, is always a good idea. Other recent memories will create a snapshot of your time together. You could even go on to say that you will continue to make new memories in the next stage of your lives. When they look at the book in the future, reading all these special memories will take them back to a specific time that you both treasured. Fun Doodles Leavers Book Featured Design: 'Fun Doodles - Personalised A5 Wiro Bound School Leavers Book'

Keep it short and sweet

You can keep your message short and sweet and still give the same memorable effect. For example, just saying something about what you treasure most in your friend makes it personal. Maybe it's a comment on how your friend always makes you laugh or how much you admire one of their talents. Classic goodbye phrases, such as ‘I will miss you’ and ‘Good luck in the future’, will bring the message to a perfect end.

Add photos to make it personal

Adding photos will create visual memories and give a very personal touch to your words. Photographs showing memories or stories that you write about will help bring the book to life. There is nothing better then looking back at old pictures, after all! This is especially true for an important event like leaving school. If you can, adding pictures both old and recent will show how far you have come together. This will all give your message an attractive look that has had lots of effort put into it. Navy Scattered Flowers Leavers Book Featured Design: 'Navy Scattered Flowers - A5 School Leavers Book'
How to Work From Home With Kids

How to Work From Home With Kids

Working from home with your kids can seem daunting. If you haven't been in this situation before, then it can be tricky to handle. But, it can (and will) be done successfully! Here are our top tips for working at home with kids:

Establish a routine

The first step in being able to successfully work at home with kids is to establish a routine that works for both them, and you. To prevent both you and your kids from mindlessly snacking, set up meal times throughout the day. This will be beneficial for your health, as you will get some much needed time away from the computer screen, and won't be having unnecessary nibbles. You may want to prepare your meals the night before or in the morning, to ensure your time throughout the day is used efficiently. How to Work From Home With Kids Play time is also an essential for kids! Set them up with a wide range of toys to keep themselves occupied, and be sure to join in every once in a while. If you have younger kids, be sure to add nap time into this routine. This will allow you some time to seriously buckle down and get things done. Remember to be realistic with your schedule. You may struggle to fit everything that you had planned in - but that's okay!

Reward Systems

Having a reward system with your kids is perfect for this situation. You can reward your kids for keeping themselves entertained and behaving well whilst you're at home. The positive reinforcements will motivate them to keep up these good behaviours. How to Work From Home With Kids - Unicorn Magic - Personalised Reward Chart & Reusable Stickers Featured Product: Unicorn Magic - Personalised Reward Chart & Reusable Stickers A reward chart is the perfect way to do this. Every day your child will collect stickers for their good behaviour, and at the end of the week will get a treat. Such as pocket money or a movie night.

Set boundaries

Don't be afraid to set boundaries! You can't be there for your kids all the time, and you need to let them know this. Explain that you will be spending most of your day working, and that it is important for you to have alone time. Reassure them that you will still be there to play with them, and that you won't be far away.

Have a dedicated workspace

Another tip that is sure to help you out is having a dedicated workspace to do all of your office work. You will find it hard to work if you're using your laptop on the sofa. Instead, set up a table, add a touch of desk stationery, and keep all your work related things together. It will help you get into the right head-space, and will keep your work and home life that little bit more separate! How to Work From Home With Kids - Be-Leaf In Yourself - Desk Planner Featured Product: Be-Leaf In Yourself - Desk Planner If you have younger kids, be sure to set up your workspace in the same room that they will be spending most of their time, so you can keep an eye on them. For more tips on creating your workspace, check out our other helpful blog 'How to Create the Perfect Workspace'.

Take breaks

Ensure that you are taking regular breaks, and that you are using this time to give your kids your attention. Play a game with them, or read them a book. This will keep you both happy, and ensure that you're still having quality time together. A 20 minute break every 2 hours will also break up your day into more manageable chunks.

Let go of perfectionism

Some parents really struggle when working at home with their kids, as they want to be giving both their kids and their work 100%. This is not possible! During this period of working from home, you need to let go of perfectionism. This may mean that you do let your kids watch more TV than usual, or you let them have a few extra snacks throughout the day. This is okay! As long as you know that your kids are healthy, safe, and happy, then that's all that matters.

A helping hand

If you live with your partner, you should also ask them if they are willing to split the kids time with you, so that you have more time for work. Splitting tasks will help you both stay sane when working from home! We hope that this blog has given you some useful ideas for how to work from home with kids! Check out our other blogs for more advice on working from home, and much more.
What to Include in a Year 6 Leavers' Book

What to Include in a Year 6 Leavers' Book

There's nothing better than making sure that your children have wonderful memories to look back on and primary school is the perfect time to help them do that. It's a bit sad when it comes to an end, but with a leavers' book, you can ensure that your little ones have lots of good wishes and fond messages to revisit whenever they feel like it. With so many pages, there's tons of space in each one to let your kids leave their mark in the most original way. We've put together a few suggestions to get you started:

First and foremost: leavers' messages!

Your students have just spent years perfecting their handwriting skills, so let them show off what they've learned and leave special messages dotted around the book for each other. Perhaps encourage them to write down a special memory that they have with the person who owns the book. You might even want to suggest that they tell each other their favourite thing about the other person.
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For a wacky and creative option, select the Fun Doodles - Personalised A5 Wiro Bound School Leavers Book.

Add photos to bring your book to life

Using the extra pages in the leavers' book as a scrapbook is the perfect way to showcase all of your photos of your children throughout primary school. You can get them to help you select a few with their best friends or ones that capture important school trips and momentous events. Perhaps they have awards that they've won during primary school that you could also add to the leavers' book to keep them safe and secure in one place.
Sports Jersey - A5 School Leavers Book
You can choose a shape and size of book that will accommodate these extra items. For an upright A5 version, for instance, you could select the Sports Jersey book.

Make them totally personalised

There's nothing children like better than a customised item that bears their name and the school leavers' book is no exception. With our personalised options at Dotty About Paper, you can opt for a cover that has your boy or girl's name right on the front. Not only will this be a delight for your child, but it will also help you quickly identify which book is theirs amongst all of the other students.
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You can try the Neat Pencil Personalised A5 Wiro Bound School Leavers Book in red, or opt for another bright colour.
Browse our full collection of school leavers' books on our website or contact us today for more information.

What to Write in a Card for a Teacher Who Is Leaving

Writing a card for a teacher who is leaving can be tricky. What should you write? How personal should it be?