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Best Stores for Crafty Types San Francisco 2004 -

Paper Source

1925 Fillmore (at Pine), 409-7710; 2061 Chestnut (at Steiner), 614-1585, www.paper-source.com

The motto of Paper Source, a small chain of shops selling gorgeous paper-related products, is "Do something creative every day," and if you were to go into one of its two San Francisco locations just once a month you'd be set to meet that demand. Filled not only with the raw materials of creativity -- kits and tools, pens, folders, boxes, portfolios, and a zillion different kinds of paper -- but also with the end results (handmade albums, stationery, and invitations) and the workshops to help you achieve them, Paper Source is nothing if not inspiring. Consider it your canvas: From here, anything goes.

The Ribbonerie

191 Potrero (at 15th Street), 626-6184, www.theribbonerie.com

Yes, we know that a store devoted entirely to ribbons sounds a little precious. But set one foot inside and you'll be charmed. The Ribbonerie is strangely captivating: It's like an exotic fabric store for Lilliputians -- everything is tiny and exquisite. The place carries ribbons and cords in every material imaginable: cotton, paper, leather, organza, velvet, silk, you name it. Come imagine all the projects that have secretly craved a little fancy ribbon.

Arch Art Supply

99 Missouri (at 17th Street), 433-2724, www.archsupplies.com

This Potrero Hill institution (25 years and counting; at a new parking-friendly location) carries so much stuff we don't even know where to begin. The price list starts with acetate and ends with X-Acto knives, and along its 62-page way covers everything from construction paper to model-making supplies to Pantone color guides to something called "frisket" (a transparent vinyl film). We won't even go into the sheer variety of pencils and pens. Too lazy to erase by hand? Use an electric erasing machine. Want a custom rubber stamp? Get it delivered. Arch is also a founding member of the local chapter of Businesses for Social Responsibility, so you can feel good while spending your dough.

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