our story

The Sunshine Bindery is a small, independently run creative business founded by Somerset-based book maker, illustrator & photographer Mell Oliver. Here at our studio, we strive to produce beautiful, wholesome and heart-warming work that touches the soul and inspires creativity to blossom, which is both aesthetically pleasing as well as being as environmentally friendly as possible, to provide a low-waste, gift giving alternative within the market. 

Inspired by the zero waste movement, we as a business wanted to try to limit our impact on our beautiful earth and take more responsibility for our footprint, which is why all of our products are sourced using local 100% recycled post-consumer waste paper and come packaged in biodegradable cornstarch bags, as well as upcycling and reusing materials in the making process wherever possible.

We specialise in handmade crafted notebooks, journals & sketchbooks, recycled greetings cards, prints, gifts and stationery, as well as hand-making our own paper using traditional mould and deckle methods, using leftover waste paper to make our recycled pulp, from our own craft processes as well as collecting from local businesses. This paper then gets used for some of our sketchbook covers and original art work, so that we are completing as full a circle as possible within our little business and trying to limit what gets sent to landfill by giving it another purpose. Read more about our ethics & philosophy here.

As a maker, I am inspired profoundly by the world around me, whether it be a calming walk through a forest, to the gentle whispers of the wind upon the ocean. I believe inherently that we, as people, are incredible complex and beautiful beings, each with a story to tell, each working through their own battles and journeys, and so much of this can be seen throughout my work. It is my intention to help to encourage and empower others, inspiring them to explore their own creative pathways and find beauty in the everyday

Journalling, writing and creating art have always had a profoundly positive influence in my life, grounding and rooting when life can get a little much, so I aim to be able to provide beautiful resources for others to help root themselves in their journeys and help to encourage creativity in any way possible, too.


2016-2017 - Macrobiotic Cooking & Life Counselling - International Macrobiotic School

2012-2013 - Art Foundation Diploma (Year One) - Arts University College at Bournemouth

2008-2011 - BA (Hons) Fine Art Photography - Arts Institute at Bournemouth



Arty Bazaar, The Boilerhouse Gallery, Corfe

The Handmade Craft Market, Yandles, Martock

Craft Market, Nynehead Court, Wellington

Go Crackers Christmas Market, Dillington House, Ilminster - 2nd Dec 2017

Etsy Made Local Christmas Market, Wimborne - 3rd Dec 2017

Crewkerne Christmas Market, Crewkerne - 9th Dec 2017



Easter at Dillington, Ilminster - 31st March - 1st April

The Green Scythe Fair, Thorney Lakes - 10th June

Yandles Handmade Craft Market, Martock - 21st July

Unique Boutique Independent Artisan Market, Exeter Phoenix - 17th Nov

Christmas Wonderland, Lighthouse Theatre, Poole - 18th Nov

Etsy Made Local, Exeter Phoenix - 1st December

Winter Wonderland at Dillington, Ilminster - 2nd December


The Sunshine Bindery on Etsy.com

The Trading Post Farm Shop, Lopenhead, Somerset

The Railway Carriage Cafe, Lopenhead, Somerset

Carousel Arts, Crewkerne, Somerset

Little Bits of Lovely, Axminster, Devon

Georgie & Flo, Exeter, Devon

The Menders, Crewkerne, Somerset

Gallery of Makers, Broadwindsor Craft Centre, Dorset

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© 2018 the sunshine bindery - All rights reserved

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