Origami Pen Pal Letter Tutorial for Valentine’s Day ~ Sunray Sister


Today I published a new video on my YouTube channel, check it out below or head straight to my channel for more creative fun!

here is the video description as it appears on my channel:

☆ Send some creative love via snail mail! ☆ Click play to find out how… ♥︎

In today’s video I show you how to make a cute origami heart, and then I share some crafty ideas for using your hearts in a fun and creative pen-pal letter!

I hope this video inspires you to get crafting and send something a bit different in the mail. Let me know if you try it out, I’d love to see your interpretation. Find me via my links below!

Check out all my other craft projects in this handy playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLstnzXE4MVTQuJZLpCnLESrWvlJKfvmVe


Thanks for watching, feel free to ask any questions in the comments or just say hi! ☺︎

✿ Peace and love ✿
Rachel x

☆ My links ☆

♥︎ Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SunraySister
♥︎ Portfolio & blog: https://sunraysister.wordpress.com/
♥︎ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sunraysister/
♥︎ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sunraysister/

☆ Music ☆

♥︎ ‘Water Lily’ by The 126ers
♥︎ ‘Lonesome Star’ by Unicorn Heads
From YouTube Audio Library: https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music


Peace and love,

Rachel x


Inspiration Wall ~ Sunray Sister YouTube Video


I have a new YouTube video to share with you all! And it is my first one of 2018!!!

Here is the video description written out as it appears on my channel:

☞ Hello! ♥︎ It’s Rachel here with my first video of 2018!!! ☺︎ all info and links below! ☆

✿ In today’s video I show you how to turn a boring, blank wall into a beautiful, inspiring collage! ✿

I have written out the steps below, and included as many of the image sources as possible. Also check out the links to my portfolio, shop & social media profiles!

Thanks for watching! ☺︎

Peace and love,
Rachel x

☆ Steps ☆

1. Choose a playlist, or podcast (I was listening to ‘Hashtag Authentic’ from Me & Orla – https://meandorla.co.uk/hashtagauthentic/)
2. Gather your inspirational material
3. Select a sticking method
4. Find a blank wall
5. Start arranging everything!

☆ My links ☆

♥︎ Portfolio & blog: https://sunraysister.wordpress.com/
♥︎ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sunraysister/
♥︎ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sunraysister/

I also have an Etsy shop!
♥︎ https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SunraySister
♥︎ Video about my shop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxxbtkGjVuI&t=439s

☆ Artists & image sources ☆
(from left to right, top to bottom)

♥︎ Fairy painting – ‘Titania’ by John Simmons
♥︎ Black & white sun & girl – unknown for Lionheart magazine
♥︎ B&w circle image – unknown
♥︎ B&w, and colour detailed illustrations – Brittany Davies
♥︎ Long artwork from ‘Shallow Bed’ album by Dry The River
♥︎ Long card with rabbits – Mark Hearld
♥︎ Colour penguin & bunny postcard – unknown (possibly Japanese?)
♥︎ Vintage b&w postcard – ‘La Primavera’ by Botticelli
♥︎ Balloon & bike photo – Dara Scully from Oh Comely magazine
♥︎ 3 pastel watercolour girls – And Smile Studio
♥︎ Fairy, head, mushroom & flowers illustration – Marie Gardeski/Imaginary Animal for Oh Comely magazine
♥︎ Flower photo – unknown
♥︎ ‘I’m Ok’ blue illustration – Naoshi for Lucky Dip Club
♥︎ Purple fairy queen postcard – ‘Queen of the Night’ by Susan Anderson
♥︎ ‘Today Is Going to be Awesome’ quote poster – Becki Clark for In The Moment magazine
♥︎ Dark tree and white circles photo – Richard Long
♥︎ Pottery piece photo – cut out from Oh Comely magazine
♥︎ Staffordshire postcard
♥︎ Peak District postcard
♥︎ Kikki’s Delivery Service Studio Ghibli postcard
♥︎ Urban map illustration – unknown from Oh Comely magazine
♥︎ Trees & lake illustration – Bon Iver poster, by Gregory Euclide
♥︎ ‘I think you are really nice’ dog (business card) – Nikki Miles
♥︎ ‘Have a lovely day’ (business card) – And Smile Studio
♥︎ ‘A little magic’ quote card – Kikki.K cute paper lovers book
♥︎ Horses card – Mark Hearld
♥︎ Ceramic baby with flower (business card) – David William Sampson
♥︎ Lion mini card – Nikki Miles
♥︎ ‘Do your thing’ marbled mini card – Pup Tart
♥︎ Circle maps illustration – Katie Green
♥︎ Purple embroidered fabric – my own work
♥︎ Ikigai floral poster – Holly McCulloch for In The Moment magazine
♥︎ Girl reading poster – Yelena Bryksenkova (LOVE her work!)
♥︎ Sunflower girl photo – Julia Aumann for Oh Comely magazine
♥︎ Mini cat cut-out – Kikki.K cute paper lovers book
♥︎ B&w blobs (business card) – Jo Parker
♥︎ 3 mini cards – Annelinde Tempelman for Flow magazine
♥︎ Wizard poster – Adventure Time
♥︎ Large b&w poster from ‘Helplessness Blues’ album by Fleet Foxes
♥︎ ‘You are brilliant & beautiful’ girl image – unknown from an old diary
♥︎ ‘Give yourself time’ scrabble letters – from Mollie Makes magazine
♥︎ ‘Votes for Animals’ rosette – Lush campaign
♥︎ Fabric owls in hand (business card) – Grace Gatley Textiles
♥︎ Abstract landscape (business card) – Liz Salter

Book mentioned at end is ‘Steal Like an Artist’ by Austin Kleon, more on that in the follow up video, out in a couple of months!

☆ Music ☆

‘Cooperation Road’ by Unicorn Heads
‘New Land’ by ALBIS
Both from YouTube Audio Library

Inspiration Wall_still3
My finished inspiration wall

Next week I will have another video! Stay tuned. In the meantime keep up to date with my daily art challenge via Instagram and Facebook. Stay creative sisters!

Peace and love,

Rachel x

Pen Pal Letter Ideas // Sunray Sister Shows You How


On this lovely blue-skied Wednesday I bring you a brand new YouTube video! Recently I found a couple of new pen pals, and decided to share the process of making a pen pal letter.

This video includes five simple steps for putting together a cute letter, with lots of sweet crafty ideas for you to try!

Below is a summary of the steps and ideas included in the video for reference.

1. Introduce yourself

  • Write some basic facts about you in a pretty card.
  • Sketch a map of where you live/your country.
  • Draw a self-portrait and add labels, such as eye-colour and favourite jewellery.
  • Give some recommendations for films, T.V., music and books.
  • And of course, write a letter! Talk about what you’ve been up to and your dreams for the future.
  • It’s also nice to add stickers and stamps for a finishing touch.

2. Make something

  • I made a small notebook. You can see how I did this in my simple notebook tutorial video.
  • You could also paint or draw a picture.
  • Make a collage or mixed media piece.
  • Sew something small or weave a friendship bracelet.
  • …or make anything else that is easy to post and isn’t breakable!

3. Add cute art and craft supplies

  • Fun stickers.
  • Bookplates – these usually have nice illustrations and are self adhesive.
  • A washi tape sample.
  • Some sticky notes on a postcard.
  • Buttons and ribbon.

4. Wrap them up

  • Use pretty paper bags to make sweet packages for your pen pal to open.
  • Close these with washi tape, and write a label.
  • You could also use a wax seal on the envelope with your letter.

5. Put it all together!

  • Finally put everything together in a large envelope.
  • Make the package extra special by adding some doodles (this is easier when the envelope is still empty).
  • Add your pen pal’s address, as well as your own address (in case they don’t have yours yet, or the letter gets lost).

Then all that’s left to do is post your lovely letter! Let me know if you try any of these ideas, and what you thought of the video.

Have you sent any happy mail recently? Do you have a pen pal? If so what do you send to them? Share your stories and ideas in the comments below, or join me on Instagram or Facebook.

Coming up I will have a blog post this Sunday, and then (hopefully) another YouTube video next Wednesday! I’m taking things slow around here so I can concentrate on creating top quality content, rather than a large quantity of posts, and get back to drawing and painting as well.

Have a beautiful day sisters!

Peace and love,

Rachel x

How to Make a Notebook in 10 Easy Steps // Sunray Sister Shows You How

Hello sisters! How are you?

Today I have a new YouTube video for you! This took quite a bit of work, and I was close to giving up, so I’m glad I stuck with it and got it done for you all 🙂

Follow the 10 easy steps to create your own simple notebook. Then find some extra ideas at the end for how to fill a notebook. Hope you like it!

What you need:

  • Card – one piece for cover, any size you like! I used A4
  • Paper – 8-12 pieces for inside pages, same size as cover
  • Patterned paper – for endpapers (optional)
  • Ruler
  • Craft knife
  • Pencil
  • Awl/sharp pointy tool
  • Strong thread
  • Large needle
  • Scissors
  • Clips – paper clips or bulldog clips
  • Plastic bone folder (optional)

What to do:

  1. Fold cover in half with short edges together. Use bone folder to get sharp crease.
  2. Stack inside pages together and fold as in step 1.
  3. Trim long edges of closed inside pages, using ruler and craft knife.
  4. Open out cover and inside pages, and secure together with clips. You can also add ‘endpapers’ between cover and inside pages using a piece of patterned paper.
  5. Mark three points along inside spine of notebook, using pencil and ruler. First find the centre. Then measure an equal distance either side between centre and edges, for the second and third points.
  6. Create three holes where you marked in step 5 using an awl/something sharp. Remember to protect your surface and be careful!
  7. Cut string, three times the height of notebook.
  8. Thread needle.
  9. Sew spine:
    1. Inside centre hole > outside, leave excess to tie at end!
    2. Outside centre hole > bottom hole
    3. Inside bottom hole > top hole
    4. Outside top hole > centre hole
    5. Outside centre hole > back to start position
  10. Tie ends and trim excess.

Finished!!! How easy was that?!

Ideas for filling a notebook:

  • Lists: to-do, favourites, wish-lists, playlists
  • Ideas, projects, planning, brainstorming, note-taking
  • Daily/weekly/monthly/yearly schedules, plans, appointments and meetings
  • Personal thoughts, feelings, reflections
  • Creative writing: lyrics, poetry, stories
  • Gratitude journal
  • Collage, mixed media
  • Drawing, sketching, designing


What do you use notebooks for? Have you tried making your own notebook before? Leave a comment below or over on my YouTube channel if you try my tutorial. I’d love to hear your feedback!

Remember to subscribe to my channel for more tutorial videos in the future, as well as adventures outside, plus more personal and creative-process/behind-the-scenes videos coming soon!

On the blog this week:

  • Friday: Class resumes with part two of Love Lessons. Have you done your homework from the last lesson yet?!
  • Sunday: Playtime number 10. A mixtape from me to you!
  • Wednesday: My next YouTube video. This time I will be sharing another outdoor adventure!

See you soon sisters 🙂


Peace and love,

Rachel x

Another Introduction: Creative Alternatives by Sunray Sister

Hello again beautiful sisters! Happy Friday!

Last Friday I introduced ‘Love Lessons’; the first of two new post series starting soon on the Sunray Sister blog. Today is the turn of the second new series:

Creative Alternatives

This second new series of posts is going to be about finding alternative ways to live our lives, which require a little creativity to reduce our harmful impact on this beautiful planet. In these posts I aim to encourage:

  • creativity
  • thinking outside the box
  • less waste
  • more natural products
  • reducing harm and suffering
  • simplifying

In each post I will highlight a specific item/behaviour/habit that is considered ‘normal’ but causes unnecessary waste/pollution/suffering. Following this I will provide my creative alternative! These will often be natural and DIY projects, as well as basic replacements that you can invest in right now, including a metal water bottle, instead of the standard ‘convenient’ plastic version. These alternatives may also require a gradual adjustment to your habits, so remember to forgive yourself as you learn! It’s a journey and I am always learning, forgiving and moving forward.

I will also be referring back to the zero-waste movement quite a lot; explaining what this is exactly, along with the importance of the many ‘R’s, the least important of which (but the one you’ve probably heard the most) is recycling.

We need to take a step back and ask ourselves, what could I do before recycling? Could I reduce my consumption, and buy less? Could I refuse that paper bag? Could I get a bag to reuse? Could I repair that coat? Could I repurpose this glass jar? Could I rot this cardboard packaging?

Recycling is not the only solution. Recycling says that it’s ok to continue producing waste. Instead we need to say let’s stop creating this waste in the first place. We need to think about the energy that goes into something being made, and the fact that all that energy in disposable items is sent to landfill. We need to respect the physical items in our lives, and not just dispose of them.

Some ideas for ‘creative alternative’ topics:

  • plastic/paper bags < reusable cloth bags
  • plastic water bottles < reusable metal bottle
  • take-away drink cups < reusable ceramic or glass cups
  • tissues, napkins + cotton wool pads < washable handkerchiefs + cloths
  • disposable straws + cutlery < reusable alternatives
  • packaging in general < bulk stores? farmer’s markets?
  • make-up < make your own!
  • plastic toothpaste +  brush < DIY toothpaste + bamboo brush
  • deodorant + other toiletries < DIY or support local package-free business
  • razors < safety razor with replaceable + recyclable blades
  • disposable feminine products < reusable ones!
  • standard laundry powder < DIY + natural
  • animal product diet < Vegan diet

Structure for ‘creative alternative’ posts:

  • Introduce the topic
  • Outline the issue, use statistics and examples
  • Show the creative alternative, explain why it is better
  • Include a mini-tutorial, or provide links to purchase related items, which may sometimes lead to my own Etsy shop!
  • Conclusion, and open discussion for further ideas

This is all a lot to ask, I know. But with forgiveness, and baby steps, and an acceptance that perfect does not exist, we can make the impossible completely possible. And yes, one person can make a difference. Because when one person sets an example, others follow in their path. I hope I can set an example, for you to set an example for someone else. Together we can make a difference!

Could you take on some creative alternatives in your life? What alternative habits do you already practice? Let me know in the comments or on social media.

Before you go, make sure to watch my latest YouTube video where I show you how to make your own toothpaste. Like and subscribe while you’re there too!

See you on Sunday for my next blog post. Have a brilliant weekend full of love and fun!

Peace and love,

Rachel x

YouTube: DIY Natural Toothpaste // Sunray Sister Shows You How

Welcome back sisters!

Today I would like to share my brand new sparkly YouTube video with you all. I have created a tutorial with a little twist; how to make toothpaste! Yes that’s right, you can make your own safe, healthy, natural, and effective toothpaste. And all you need are three very basic ingredients, plus a bowl, a spoon and a jar. So simple.

Additionally you can reduce your waste by purchasing your ingredients in larger quantities or in bulk stores (where you can bring your own containers). I was only able to find the ingredients packaged (at the moment), but I selected those in cardboard, paper and glass, over plastic. A bamboo toothbrush is also recommended to reduce your plastic waste even further.

Now, let’s get to the tutorial!

What you need:

  • Small clean jar with lid
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Coconut oil
  • Bicarbonate of (Baking) Soda
  • Essential oil – I chose spearmint

What to do:

  1. Measure 3 tbsp of coconut oil and 3 tbsp of bicarbonate of soda.
    • If you want to make a different quantity of toothpaste, simply use equal parts.
    • If this is too thick for you, just use less powder or more oil.
  2. Mix oil and soda in bowl with spoon.
  3. Add 10-20 drops of essential oil. Add more to suit your taste.
  4. Mix essential oil into the paste.
  5. Put your toothpaste into the clean jar and secure the lid.
  6. Brush your teeth the natural way!


Let me know if you try this recipe, or if you have made something similar already! I would love to compare notes. Join the DIY and zero-waste movement to reduce your impact, simplify your life and get creative. One person CAN make a difference!

This month I am introducing not one, but two new post series here on the blog! Last week I introduced the first, which is called Love Lessons, all about my love of learning, and my aim to bring you new and interesting knowledge on unusual subjects.

This Friday I will be introducing the second new series, called Creative Alternatives. These posts will be focused on reducing our impact on the planet, by being creative and daring to go outside the box of convenience and what’s ‘normal’. Find out more on Friday! See you soon!


Peace and love,

Rachel x

DIY Embroidered Mini Purse // Sunray Sister Shows You How

Welcome back sisters! How is your week going so far? I’ve managed to get a cold again, and it’s raining outside… but otherwise I’ve been feeling positive, and getting productive; preparing for my first exhibition, reading lots of library books, working at my part-time job and making content for my YouTube channel.

Speaking of YouTube, my second video is now live!!! This week’s video is another episode of ‘Sunray Sister Shows You How’, a craft tutorial teaching you how to make a mini embroidered drawstring purse. Hit play below, or go straight to my channel.


What do you think? What videos would you like to see in the future? I made a post recently about all my ideas, but let me know if you have some more ideas for me!

Coming up this Friday on the blog will be a new edition of my music playlist feature, Playtime. Enjoy the rest of the week!


Peace and love,

Rachel x

Starting the Next Chapter // Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love Re-cap

Welcome back sisters, did you miss me?! It’s felt weird not having to publish a post every day. I don’t think I will be doing it again any time soon! I am ready to focus on sharing some new content with you on the blog, building my YouTube channel AND creating some new, more natural, minimal and zero-waste-promoting products for my Etsy shop!

Before we move forward, below is a recap of every single post from my 14 day challenge, in case you missed any! Make sure you don’t miss another post by following my blog. It would mean a lot to me! (Simply click the menu/three lines in the top right corner, and hit the blue follow button.)

  1. Launched my first Instagram giveaway
  2. Celebration of my love story
  3. Love themed playlist
  4. Assessed where I am and where I’m going, along with some anxious thoughts
  5. Happy Birthday to my love
  6. The beauty of handmade cards
  7. Alternative gift giving; skip the flowers and chocolates
  8. Some problems with love being misused
  9. My favourite self-love and learning resources
  10. My recommended love themed films
  11. Step 1: love yourself
  12. Step 2: love others
  13. Step 3: love the planet
  14. My YouTube channel launch! (see below!!!)

Have you watched my first ever YouTube video yet? I had a lot of fun making it, and video number two is in progress already. I hope you enjoy my new creations!

So now that we have covered what’s happened, let’s look at where the Sunray Sister blog is heading next…

From now on, my blog schedule will be as follows:

  • Fridays and Sundays – a fun or serious post about a subject I feel strongly about, a new topic I’ve been learning about, new creations and designs I’m working on, an upcoming event, a personal story, or a list of cool stuff (like great music or books).
  • Last Friday of each month – ‘Happy Highlights‘, a short and sweet post showing gratitude for the things that made me smile during the last month.
  • Last Sunday of each month – a business/personal update and review of my goals. Plus a celebration of any milestones I reached.
  • Wednesdays – a YouTube video and brief written overview of the content. I shared a whole post about the type of videos I will be creating; you can expect craft tutorials, discussion on alternative living, sketchbook flip-throughs, adventures outside and more.

I will see you back here on Sunday for yet another special announcement, involving some new handmade creations and a few other artists!


Peace and love,

Rachel x

Day 14: LAST DAY! BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! // Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Self-Love

How are you sisters? I hope you are feeling super loved right now! Because you are brilliant and you deserve to be loved.

On this final day of 14 days of posts, I would like to share something SUPER special with you…


It’s here! Sunray Sister is all about positivity via creativity, so my channel is going to be all about leading a creative life by: making stuff, learning stuff and finding alternatives in order to love yourself, others and our planet as much as possible.

To make a paper heart bunting…

You will need

  • Newspaper to protect surface
  • Paper – I used 3 sheets of cold pressed watercolour paper
  • Paints – I used red, white and gold acrylics from WHSmith
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Shape template – I made a heart, aprox. 12cm square
  • A sewing machine and thread, OR
  • A hole punch and ribbon


  1. Prepare paint
  2. Paint paper and leave to dry
  3. Trace template onto back of painted paper
  4. Cut shapes
  5. Set up your sewing machine
  6. Sew shapes together on sewing machine, making sure you leave extra thread at either end for hanging up
  7. OR, if you don’t have a sewing machine, simply punch holes either side of each heart, and thread the hearts onto some thin ribbon.


Starting a YouTube channel is such a massive step for me, so it would mean the world if you could share my video on social media, tell your friends and let me know what you thought! Find me on social media!

After all those posts, I’m feeling rather exhausted, but I have just hit 50 published blog posts! Wow! Thank you so much for being here, and following my journey, I love you all! See you on Friday for a round up of all 14 days, in case you missed any.


Peace and love,

Rachel x

Day 13: How to Love the Planet // Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love

Hello sisters and welcome to the start of a brand new week, but the penultimate day of my 14 days of love! If you need to catch up on any posts, simply click ‘Sunray Sister’ above to get an overview of all my content. Plus I’ll be doing a re-cap of all 14 posts this Friday.

Over the weekend I shared some advice on how to love yourself, and how to love others. The final piece of the puzzle is our planet; our home, our surroundings, the physical space in which we exist, a spinning rock in an infinite universe, the reason we are alive today.

In my eyes, a lot of the larger world around me is completely out of balance. What I need to remember is that I have a little piece of that world, and through small actions, and through influencing others with those small actions, I could make a small difference which could lead to a collective huge difference.

Today I would like to share my tips on how to love the planet, so that it might be a happier place for all…


Reduce waste

In the UK alone, we send millions of tonnes of waste to landfill every year. The world is not getting any bigger. We need to take responsibility. Stop and ask yourself, what do I throw away everyday? Where has it come from? How can I reduce this?

Refuse waste

Reducing waste is a step in the right direction, but it isn’t the ideal. The ideal is having no waste at all. There are so many simple things that we can refuse so easily: no carrier bags, no plastic bottles, no disposable cutlery, no take-away cups, no plastic containers… Learn to say no.

Research the alternatives

Know your options. Find out what happens to your recycling. See if there are any extra solutions. Create new habits and find the alternatives. For all the things you refuse, there are reusable replacements. Use tote bags, reusable water bottles, bring your own metal straw and cutlery, use glass containers to store food, make your own toothpaste, use cloth napkins. The list is endless! And exciting!

Ditch consumerism

Avoid the need for new. Find it second-hand first. Clothes, furniture, books, electronics… Another endless list! Discover artists and makers who use reclaimed materials or natural ingredients. Learn to make things yourself. Learn to ignore the lure of advertising and sales.

Respect your personal world

When our surroundings are clean and tidy, we can be more at peace with ourselves. We can see clearly, once the clutter is cleared. Treat chores and cleaning like sacred rituals; to give thanks to the items that you use, and the enjoyment they bring you. Look after them all. When things break repair them, or find someone who can.

Accept the physical world

Be at peace with everything. Even though I am aiming towards a less materialistic life, we still exist in a physical world, where physical things happen. With love, kindness, knowledge and responsibility, we can avoid the bad things.

Re-consider your travel

Cars are clogging up the planet. When you can, use your feet instead; walk, run, pedal, skate, scoot! Also consider public transport for longer journeys. If your route is not part of public transport, look into car shares, perhaps with work colleagues.

Reconnect with nature

Switch off and spend time in nature. Walk in the fresh air, and remember that we are natural. We are not plastic or electronic. Plant seeds, grow vegetables, pick berries from hedges and collect pretty leaves.

Use your vote and your voice

Sign petitions, donate to charity, fundraise, get involved with the community. Support independent markets and businesses. Vote for the people you believe in, because they might listen and help to make a bigger change.

With little steps and small changes, we could all make a big difference to the monumental imbalances in the world. What advice do you have? What do you already do to show your respect for this world?

Tomorrow is the final day of Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love, NOOOOOO! I’ve loved exploring some new topics, and digging into things that I think are really important, as well as fun and silly stuff.

In the final post I will have that special surprise that I mentioned way back at the start of the two weeks, and I have already talked about it in a previous post, any guesses?! You will have to wait until tomorrow to find out. See you then sisters!


Peace and love,

Rachel x