The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Cover Story -


Molly Ma­hon’s In­sta­gram feed is a riot of colour: she block-prints on to wall­pa­per, cush­ions, ei­der­downs and sta­tionery. She even wraps up soap in hand-printed wrap­ping pa­per. So, of course, she hand­prints her own Christ­mas wrap­ping pa­per. She prints us­ing hand-carved wooden blocks, made from her own de­signs, on to re­cy­cled cot­ton pa­per, but says lino block, or even an potato cut in half, and a roll of re­cy­cled brown pa­per will work well, too.

Ma­hon was a crafter as a child. As an adult she ran an events com­pany, but took craft­ing cour­ses as a hobby. “I used to yearn to do some­thing with my hands,” she says. Seven years ago, she took a course in block print­ing that in­spired a ca­reer about-turn. “I got the block print­ing bug,” she says. “I just wanted to go home and carry on print­ing.”

She now makes all her cre­ations from her home in Sus­sex, and her three chil­dren join her in the stu­dios at week­ends. “The kids have all the nor­mal ar­gu­ments about want­ing to watch TV and play­ing games on my phone most of the time, but when we’re in the stu­dio, where I don’t have any of that, ev­ery­one is busy choos­ing their colours and work­ing. There’s such an amaz­ing peace. There’s some­thing re­ally pow­er­ful about cre­ativ­ity.”

Along with the hand­made wrap­ping pa­per, all her presents will be hand­made, too. “I think it’s im­per­a­tive that small chil­dren don’t see presents as just some­thing you spend money on, so we spend time to­gether mak­ing things for peo­ple.” This year, the chil­dren are hand-paint­ing wooden keep­sake boxes as presents. “Or­lando, who is five, is the keen­est, un­for­tu­nately, as his favourite colour is black,” she says. mol­lyma­

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