Posts Categorized: Design

Slow fashion, step 1 | fabric printing

In November last year we spent a lovely week at Bagru, just outside of Jaipur.  Here we worked with master block printer, Vijendra Chhipa to develop our designs and learn more about this beautiful art.    The printers of Bagru follow tradition methods to prepare the cloth using fuller’s earth and turmeric to create the soft hued cloth and then the block prints are applied using dyes. It’s wonderful to watch and learn a craft which hasn’t changed in 300 years.

Block printing in Jaipur was one of the things we’ve wanted to try for a long time, and it was exciting to finally make it!

Bagru block printing.

Our blocks and concepts were discussed, colours mixed and selected and then the sampling began.



The sampling process with Vinjendra at Bagru.

We will be launching our block printed scarves and kerchiefs within the next couple of weeks.

A sample of Jodhpur Moon

A sample of Jodhpur Moon

All of this block printing has inspired us and we have been experimenting with our own modern form of the art using high density foam off cuts.  This has proved to be a very flexible way to print pattern using screen printing ink.

We have some new t-shirt designs using our ‘hand-stamped’ technique to create one off designs and repeat patterns on organic cotton knit. Of course we’re using some of our favourite earthy colours, mustard, tan, rust, charcoal and of course pale pink.

One of our new hand printed tops, the Tribal Tee in mulberry

One of our new hand printed tops, the Tribal Tee in mulberry

Where can you see these new designs?  Online and at BNE DESIGN, open-air artisan market in King George Square, Fri 13 – Sun 15 Apr. Find out more at Museum of Brisbane

New colours for 2018 | our inspiration

So six years after we began in 2012 we’ve decided to update our colours for 2018.  We’ve chosen hues we find ourselves using more and more in our designs, soft pink, grey and tan. We take our inspiration from lots of places, the spaces around us, the landscape and from Pinterest and Instagram.

We like pink to be a warm earthy pink, a cross between ballet slipper pink and undercoat.  Think the soft pink of a kitten’s nose or a summer sunset.

Our pink inspiration, ballet slippers, under-coat, a kitten’s nose, summer sunset and blush.

The tan we’re fond of is inspired by my furry little muse Bunny, the Cavalier.  It’s a warm red brown of the outback, and autumn leaves, of timber and red clay bricks.

Tan inspiration

Australian outback, autumn leave, timber, a cavalier ear and clay bricks.

The grey has been a standard colour for us since our very first product back in 2012, it’s a rainy sky, and sun bleached timber and a stormy sea.  It’s the beautiful hue of grey hair and a warm grey jumper all rolled up into a lovely mid-grey tone.


Our grey inspiration, a soft grey jumper, a handsome silver beard, sun bleached wood, a stormy sky over the sea and a soft bunny’s ear.

We’ve started using more of these colours in our designs, as well as for our new brand colours, so you can expect plenty more to come.


our block prints from Bagru, our colour palette, and some felt cushions from our summer range.

The story behind our Caravan Collection

Emu Park and vintage curtains

Emu Park and vintage curtains

The idea behind the Maker & Merchant Caravan Collection of pillow cases is one of school holidays, relaxed and full of pattern.  This collection is made from fabrics we have sourced – rather than designed in house. We love deigning and using our own fabrics, but there is a simple joy in creating usable items from found patterns. The accidental discovery of old patterns and forgotten times, and new patterns reminding us that useful and beautiful is a great combination.

Beach days, vintage sheets and Blue daisy

Beach days, vintage sheets and Blue daisy pillowcases

As children we used to go on holidays to Burleigh Heads or up north to Emu Park.  One thing that stuck in my mind from these sweet times was the completely, haphazard, yet beautiful fabric patterns we encountered.  The spaces were often furnished with a delightful mix of well used furniture upholstered in large mismatched prints.  We ate at tables set with old table cloths and random napkins and dried our dishes with out of date calendar tea towels.  At night we were bundled into beds, cots and pull out sofas with a soft assortment of worn sheets and pillowslips in florals, stripes and checks.

Sheets and Keppel Island

Sheets and Keppel Island, Capricorn Coast Queensland

We can never go back to those simple times, but we can remember the best bits and celebrate those be re-imagining and reusing the aesthetic of past times.

Peachy Spring pillowcase

Peachy Spring pillowcase, vase by Elke Lucas



Maker & Merchant Journal

Welcome to Maker & Merchant and welcome to our journal!

Firstly, thanks for being part of the M&M community, we really enjoy the opportunity to bring unique designs to you, your family and your home.

Although M&M has been designing since 2013, we have recently started to give customers the opportunity to subscribe and receive newsletters and special offers. This is our first, of hopefully many comuniques we’ll be providing to keep you up to date. As a subscriber and member of our tribe, we’re also glad to offer you access to exclusive discounts throughout the year!

About Maker & Merchant

Because this is our first journal entry, and many of you are new to M&M, here’s a little background on  Maker & Merchant.

Maker & Merchant is a design studio based in Brisbane, Australia, producing high quality designer homewares and clothes.  Our studio was established by three sisters with a shared love of design and fabrics, and a passion to make beautiful limited edition life accessories for you, and your home.

As a team we also seek out beautiful designer creations from local and international artisans and crafts people, real people who are enthusiastic about what they do.

Our homewares collection features hand drawn, hand painted or screen printed and digitally printed designs on natural fabrics, beautiful leather, and luxurious fibres on a range of  cushions, tea towels, and modern quilts.  Our clothes label includes easy to wear designs for relaxing and enjoying  the gorgeous tropical Brisbane climate.

We combine a love of art, design, craft, fashion and very different styles which together determine the underlying aesthetic ethos of Maker & Merchant. This ethos is realised through designer homewares and clothes created and edited in our Brisbane studio and carefully selected for the Maker & Merchant shop.

At Maker & Merchant we are committed to sustainable individual industry creating simple luxury.

Some inspiration from our friends

We love seeing you and your family and friends enjoying our designs in your own home and life. We take much inspiration from it and hopefully you do too!

One last thing

As a special thanks to you as our subscribers for your support and encouragement, please take advantage of an exclusive 20% discount off your next purchase by entering the above code at the checkout.  Subscribe now!

We are also happy to announce that we now offer Afterpay on all our sales!

Maker & Merchant Renovation – Part 1

So 2016 is going to be a super year for Maker & Merchant, we’re finally going to have a studio with walls!

Yes a large scale renovation is happening at, what our family calls, Twintel (Part home – part hotel)

This year we’re all about the design, building and decoration of the new studio; 16 X 5 metres of new creative space with and additional outside deck area, so we remember where we started.


The builders will be on site this month, we spent the best part of last year working with the Architect making sure every square foot worked.

The studio is only part of the build, we are renovating most of the old 1930’s timber house, only keeping the original spaces left after a 1980’s reno, by previous owners, and the front façade.

We’ve started the exhausting job of choosing finishes and colours. Giving us a chance to think about more that fabric! More to come about our choices.

Here are some before photos. Firstly the garden, and I’m hoping we still end up with plenty of green space for the pups.

pre reno 5

All the pokey hallways and dark trim will be totally changing.  we’re opting for open spaces and light and white this time.

pre reno 2

We have got so used to the small, and smaller bathrooms – it’s going to be such a luxury using both arms instead of twirling around the small space like a mad Irish dancer!

pre reno 3

The lounge will turn into a quiet guest room – with reclaimed glass doors to define the space – and lacking the current ambiance, cupboards full of cushion inserts ready to assault unsuspecting visitors.

pre reno 5

And finally the office will be transformed into a casual cocktail space with access to the front deck. Perfect for casual summer dining!

pre reno 6

Beautiful Rajasthan 2015

One of the placed we’d always longed to visit is India. Seduced by the colour, culture and the majesty of this land and people, India didn’t disappoint.

Garland's of marigolds serve as a floral gateway to wedding festivities.

Garland’s of marigolds serve as a floral gateway to wedding festivities.

After spending a few days in New Delhi we drive through the country side into to Rajasthan’s capital Jaipur. The drive to Jaipur is through miles and miles of arid land where the women bring colour by wearing the most beautifully coloured saris. The highways are teaming with trucks sporting wonderful decoration, both painted on and hanging tassels and tinsel. The driving is chaos with the odd cow wondering in and out of traffic. We stop every so often for a quick chai tea along the way.

The Taj Mahal, elephants and the abundant colours of India

The Taj Mahal, elephants and the abundant colours of India

Jaipur, Rajasthan’s Pink City

In 1879 the old city was painted terracotta pink to welcome Prince Albert & Queen Victoria; they still maintain this colour today. In Jaipur we stay at the most beautiful guest house with courtyards and daybeds; a welcome oasis after travel.
In Jaipur we visit the Amber Fort, beautiful Rajput architecture and the ancient capital of the Jaipur state. Jaipur is known as the Gem Stone capital of the World, and here we source some lovely semi-precious stones for earrings.

The Pink City of Jaipur

The Pink City of Jaipur

Next to Hawa Mahal & city Palace built in 1799 inside the old walled Pink City. We explore the imposing Palace of Winds formally known as Hawa Mahal. The many small windows decorated with intricate stone lattice allowed royal ladies observing strict “purdah” to view everyday life in the street below without being seen.

We spend a wonderful couple of days in this city, drinking lassis and wandering through the old town markets.

Turban making in Jaipur

Turban making in Jaipur

We then continue west towards Pakistan to Jodhpur.

On our drive to Jodhpur we pass thru small villages in dry open country sides, pass farmers herding their goats with children never far from their sides. If Jaipur is the Pink City, Jodhpur is blue. Many of the houses are painted bright chalky blue to ward off insects.

The colours of Johdpur - chalky blue and green; a welcome sight in the desert.

The colours of Johdpur – chalky blue and green; a welcome sight in the desert.

In Jodhpur we see traditional fabric dyeing, block printing and furniture. We visit the Meherangarh, a vast cliff top fort still run by the Maharaja. We walk through the clock tower square and markets, and of an evening taking in the city by night.

Fabric dyeing in Jodhpur; the house may be blue, but the ladies of Rajasthan prefer pink.

Fabric dyeing in Jodhpur; the house may be blue, but the ladies of Rajasthan prefer pink.

After 2 days in Jodhpur we head south to Udaipur, home to the Taj lake Palace hotel, which appears to float on Pichola Lake. This is almost our midway point so we spend an indulgent night in the Taj Palace hotel, surrounded by celebrities in Udaipur for a billionaire’s wedding. We cruise on the lake, drink cocktails and are showered with rose petals, a lovely escape.

Evening in Udaipur

Evening in Udaipur

After Udaipur we head through the mountains to Pushkar to watch the famous sunset. In the magical streets of Pushkar after dark, we explore the markets finding vintage tassels used for dressing elephants, leather shoes and bags and a wonderful emporium of vintage saris.

Pushkar, quintessential India

Pushkar, quintessential India

Bharatpur to Agra and the Taj Mahal
Finally we went through Bharatpur to Agra and the Taj Mahal, where we were awestruck by the magnificence.

Back to Delhi
Once back in Delhi it was back to work and meeting with Ruaab SEWA a training NGO which teaches women to sew, embroider, make garments, do bead work, print and weave fabrics. We will be working with them in the future, partnering to make bespoke items for Maker & Merchant.

Goodbye Rajasthan!

Goodbye Rajasthan!

India is a wonderland – we can’t wait to return.

Maker & Merchant and The Scandinavian Baker – Hooray! 1st Birthday cheers all around

The Maker & Merchant team has been celebrating our one year milestone with our good friend, The Scandinavian Baker who’s been hard at work baking a Poppy Seed Celebration Cake and mixing us some Pomegranate and Basil Fizz, delightful!

Pomegranate and Basil Fizz

Pomegranate and Basil Fizz as mixed by the Scandinavian Baker

For these and more fabulous recipes, including our favourite Independent Pancake celebrating Independence Day in Finland, check out his wonderful blog.

While we are hard at work creating our new Maker & Merchant range for this summer, we are taking inspiration from all around our lovely city of Brisbane. On a recent visit to one of our favourite places, the Flower Markets we spied so many beautiful colours and combinations of hues we had to include at least a few in summer 2014/2015.

These gorgeous natives with their pale creamy yellow and darkest purple fringe, or the washed out purple with bright lime green are captivating.

Pale yellow and darkest purple

Native flora

We were smitten with the chalky pastels of old roses and the fabulous yellows of the jonquils and tulips.


Old roses in yellow and pinks

The soft violet of the banksia with the faded peach and sage green, you could not help but be inspired by all this.


The lovely Banksia

So for our second summer range,  expect plenty of colours from beautiful flowers, particularly our native flora.


Shiny shiny – shimmering accessories bringing elegance and warmth this winter

The glamour and luxury of metallics is on trend for 2014. We are loving the warmth and mixes of textures accessorising with metallics can bring to a room.

As homage to all things shiny, Maker & Merchant’s new range of cushions and storage baskets in luxe copper and gold, are the perfect way to introduce some metallic richness to your home.

Metallic 2014

Copper and gold metallic cushions and gold storage bags new from Maker & Merchant

The cushions and storage baskets are made of gold or copper sprayed denim. The baskets come in two sizes are lined with African wax fabric and cushions, filled with soft feather, measure 45cm x 45cm.

The twinkle and shine of metallic accents throughout your home will lift any room.

Here are a few glamours ideas and shiny things to share the inspiration.

Polished copper 

Warming copper kitchen accessories

Warming copper kitchen accessories

Perfect for afternoon soirees these beautiful highly polished, hammered copper  cups from Dot & Bo  are just georgeous and we’re loving the simplicity of this copper pitcher from West Elm.


Art as inspiration

The art world offers many opportunities to bring elegance and simple luxury into your home.

Rich style and beauty

Rich style and beauty

Beautifully subtle japanese green tea bowl by Ryota Aoki Pottery and we love this work by Julie Fragar, ‘Enlightened Sunshine and Lollypops‘ 2013.


Contemporary metallic quirkiness

Contemporary metallic quirkiness

Bringing some fun into your designs is a fantastic way to personalise a room and show your personality –  check out this shiny guy! Troy Emery’s ‘golden beast 2012‘.

Stay tuned for more of Maker & Merchant’s 2014 Metallics range coming soon!



Happy New Year! May your year be filled with beautiful local hand-made homewares and accessories…

The Maker & Merchant team have had a few weeks off for Christmas, but we are all back on board for 2014.

We have a couple of new addition to our shop including our outrageously huge playroom cushions for the kids.  These are all hand drawn on linen blend with contrasting piping and filled with 100% recycled PET which is created using sustainable methods.

Floor pillow

Over-sized playroom cushions


We are totally obsessed with these hand dipped 100% cotton tassels. Of course in our Maker & Merchant signature colours – minty fresh green, soft dove grey and sweet, sweet yellow. Whether your style is coastal cool or shabby chic these tassels sell it!

Hand dipped 100% cotton tassels

If you’re inspired by coastal cool, check out January’s Home Beautiful “{fave finds} shop section for our “ship ahoy” linen cushion.  What a way to start the year – Thanks Home Beautiful!

We are also staring this year with a few new stockist…

Quirk collective
Shop 85 Pakington Street
Geelong West 3218
Ph:03 5229 9930

166 Liverpool Street

Ally and Me
32 Bridge Street
Richmond, TAS

If you would like to stock any of the Maker & Merchant wares please contact us at:

Over-sized playroom cushions

Over-sized playroom cushions

Warming up the reindeer for Finders Keepers next weekend!

We can’t wait for Finders Keepers Market next weekend! We love it!

Being a mainly online based store it’s a definite  treat for us to get out and about and talk with our customers and other designers about current and upcoming trends and to see the fantastic work other local designers are producing! We can only imagine that the carnival atmosphere of Finders Keepers will be extreme as we jettison into the festive season!

Here is some of our work that you’ll be able to find at the markets next weekend!


We’re still all about bright summer colours … we’ve stocked up on our hand drawn favorites;  neons pink, yellow and  orange and we’re bringing along some new Australiana cushion designs too – we’re feeling very patriotic.



Dreamy days by the beach, warm summer breezes, tropical cocktails and Panama hats have inspired a new range of hand dyed, hand painted linen cushions.


Our farmed kangaroo leather wallets were a favourite last time, and they make a great Christmas gift! In addition to tan, our new range in black is lined with a hand printed Story Bridge detail in neon green or neon red a second leather pocket inside for cards. The soft gold wallets are lined with hand printed antler print linen.


Summer-weight patchwork blankets for kids and adults


We’ve made a special effort to expand our range of summer weight bamboo, cotton and hand drawn linen quilts to include some fabulous gifts for the little ones, and not so little ones too.


And of course we’ll have our tea towels range including this Christmas set! Perfect for a Christmas hamper or stocking filler.

We’ve got a new and improved spot this time at the market with more room and more stock!

You’ll find us at the beginning in Studio #1, store 205.

Come along to the Old Museum next weekend and say hello!