Original custom portraits for sale

Yay, we're open for commisions! 


If you're looking to offer a gift from the heart, something original that's enirely made for your favorite person, you're in the right place. I can help create a custom painting and a unique memory for your love whether it's a family portrait, a sweet friendship, your sewing buddy, your colleague's funny doggo or simply to say 'I like you, thanks for being in the world'.


The portraits are painted using high quality watercolors on cold pressed, acid free watercolour paper, size 148x210 mm (A5) and they come in plastic free packaging. 


You can make it as personal and detailed as you envision, by emailing a photo, specifying your preferences - elements you wat to appear in the drawing, things you'd like them to wear, a written text, etc.


Once I've completed the first sketch, I'll send it to you and you can let me know of any changes to make if necessary. When happy, I'll paint the portrait, send you a final photo of the illustration and then proceed to sending it by post. You can also include a signed note.

I aim to complete the portrait and finish the whole process of shipping within a week, so that it can reach the destination in due time. The artwork is shipped worldwide from Portugal.

The price for an A5 portrait is €25 + €10 packing & posting. If you just want to send a digital copy, it can be ready for printing for the same price, minus shipping costs in which case please email before purchasing. There is a Paypal button below, for a secure transaction.



Original portrait

Here are the easy steps summarized:


1. Order by clicking the Paypal option available on this page. If you want the digital illustration, do email me before purchasing.

2. Email all your wishes including photo references and the details of the recipient (name + address) at cristinapapacu [at] gmail [dot] com or use the Instagram handle cristinapapacu (scroll down this page). You can ask me anything.


3. Make a nice cup of tea while waiting for your loved one to jump with joy when they receive their gift.


I'm happy to help bring well-deserved smiles to you and your loves!


* The portraits pictured here are illustrative only.

Painted Torrens Box Top

Hi. This is a post about the loveliest boxy top pattern from Muna & Broad, well, there may be less words this time and more images hoping you'd feel inspired to make and paint your own. I've purchased this pattern recently and I enjoyed sewing it, especially since I was being guided by the lovely instructions on their YouTube Channel.  So I thought of brush strokes and I chose a few colours. I went with my intuition and didn't think of any design. I love to help an idea come true, but it's fun to just start making without planning, to just go with the flow. Soon, a kind of a rainbow appeared and then another! :)
For this project I chose a soft linen and I used fabric paint this time. The feel of the paint on the fabric is just like the screen printing ink, so the fabric stays soft (with acrylic paints the fabric gets a bit rigid).
Besides the great experience of the video instructions, to me the highlight of the Torrens Box Top pattern was also learning a new technique. Attaching and sewing the sleeve band was ace and I got it right the first time. I don't know if it was beginner's luck, but I'm pretty inclined to think it's simply an awesome pattern. You can see below how perfect the underarm looks! (thank you, thank you!)
Here it is, a wonderful pattern, straightforward but with a twist, that you can make yours by painting too (among many other hacks). Have fun and paint your style!

How to print & wear a drawing

Hi, how are you? Today I'll show you how I made a unique present for my mum. It was her birthday a few days ago and Sean and I prepared something I know she'll love - Sean drew for her and I printed it on a shirt. I also made the Tee using a free pattern by Grainline Studio in a very soft cotton jersey. Through the years, Mum always appreciated a handmade card I made for her, instead of a store bought gift, so now I'm very happy she gets to wear something made especially for her and keep us close at all times. Except on laundry day. :)

Alright, so if you are not sewing, any T-shirt will do, provided it's a good quality fabric with over 50% cotton content so the fabric paint will print and stay nicely.

First step - I copied the drawing onto freezer paper and cut a stencil along the lines using a craft knife (x-acto type). I removed the cut parts and I ironed the paper onto the T-shirt in the place where I decided the print would be.
I painted over the paper in two layers of fabric paint, but you could play and find out your favourite look. The more layers, the more opaque your design gets. I kind of liked a bit of transparency and didn't worry about the 'mistakes' as it added up to its handmade, unique personality.

Once it was dry, I removed the stencil and set the paint it by ironing for a minute. It was ready. I shipped it to our mum/gran and we're waiting for the surprise to get there and to see her shine.

  • T-shirt
  • line/contour drawing
  • freezer paper
  • craft knife
  • fabric paint & brush
  • iron
  • love
Have fun making some unique gifts for the people you love. Thanks for stopping by!

Diy galaxy painted sneakers

Hi, I'm happy to be back! As you might know over the past few months we moved in a new place, not only a new apartment, but a new country too. We live now in sunny Portugal, have loads of dreams and stories and creative ideas in our pockets and of course, we're looking forward to new adventures.

While moving houses and countries I focused a lot on finding smart, sustainable solutions for traveling, wearing, housing and living in general. It's true, when tools, space and means are scarce you have to get more creative - which is great, cause it's how we evolve to making the most out of living with less without having to buy new all the time in order to satisfy a need or a want.

These are the trainers I've been wearing for the last year and a half, they're still great, but a bit worn out. .. So, I thought of painting them for a fresher look plus it was a fun afternoon project we did together.

First I cleaned them, took the laces out and then covered with tape the parts I wanted to remain blank.

Then I used half of a kitchen sponge and plain acrylic paint (the inexpensive type, school supplies department) - dipped the sponge in paint and patted all over, blending the colours and creating gradients. We used blue, red and white, and mixed them while being in the flow of creating. Feel yourself free and experiment.

After the first layer dried up I splattered some white acrylic and painted tiny starlights. The next day, that's today :) we just removed the masking tape and put the laces back on and ta-da...

... new shoes, right?! The thing is, it's easy to throw away, but buying new when not always necessary may have a higher cost environmentally, so why not reinvent and feel absolutely awesome in the process... Not to mention wearing something you made feels so magical, always.

On a side note, I first thought of using fabric paint, but then I realised it usually needs to be set by heat so there was no way I could have used an iron or hot press on sneakers, so yeah, luckily the acrylics worked perfectly - they set on their own once the water content evaporated.


Masking (paper) tape
Acrylic paint
Kitchen sponge
Piece of fabric, paper or oilcloth to protect the surface you're working on

All materials are washable, can be stored and reused for other projects.

Hope this inspires you to reuse and repurpose old trainers and to exercise the creative muscle :) Sending 💜