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Home Catalog: Heidi Kenney

For our home catalog, we asked craft-loving Heidi Kenney of My Paper Crane to create some new happy characters. Here we talk to her about her collaboration with us and why everything is cuter with big eyes and a smile.


Hi Heidi! How did you start crafting?
I have made things all my life. My dad painted and made things out of clay (as a hobby) and my Mom has always sewn. My sisters and I both learned to sew when we were younger, and I've just always had a passion for making things.

My Paper Crane by Heidi Kenney Cookie Soap Dispenser

What is the first thing you remember making?

It would either be a book about seeds where we glued seeds into the booklet and drew pictures of the plants, or clothespin reindeer for Christmas.

What are your favorite kinds of crafts to do?
I love sewing, knitting, crocheting, cross-stitch, and making things out of cut paper. I can't really choose a favorite because I tend to hop from one to another.

What are some of the characters or motifs that show up a lot in your work?
Toast and donuts have been around for quite some time. I make a lot of food with faces, but some times other inanimate objects too.

Paper Crane by Heidi Kenney Tree Toilet Paper Roll Cover

Why is everything cuter with big eyes and a smile?
I just think when you add a face to something it just touches us. I like to think it takes us back to a time in our childhood when we really could imagine that everything was alive, and that our toy, food, or possessions came to life as soon as we left the room.

Did you ever make anything that you liked so much you couldn't part with it and had to keep it for yourself?
Occasionally I will create something I want to keep, but normally after I spend some time with it I am ready to move on to the next idea.

Tell us about your collaboration with UO. What is it?
Urban Outfitters contacted me to see if I'd be interested in creating a small line of goods with them. Originally it was going to be kitchen related, but now it is a bathroom line. We've got a tree stump toilet paper roll cozy, a happy house tissue box cover, and then two ceramic items that I am super excited about: a cookie soap pump and milk carton toothbrush holder. I've never had my work translated into ceramics, and I love it!

My Paper Crane by Heidi Kenney Milk Carton Toothbrush Holder

How is the collab different from your main line?
Most of the items I make are soft plush goods, and maybe items made from paper. The line with Urban has the ceramic goods, and all the items are made to serve a purpose.

What attributes does it share with your main line?
Well they are all my designs, and have my familiar eyes and smiles.

Why should people buy your collab?

Well if you like the line I would encourage you to buy it so Urban will want to make more with me! I would love to see a cookie jar, maybe some pot holders in the future . I also think these are a great idea for people who maybe have loved my plush but could never justify buying it (with the mind set of "what do I do with it?"). These bathroom items are all functional and if you need somewhere to store your toothbrush it might as well be in a happy carton of milk!