Historical Reissue – Gift Wrap of the BNF 1024 684 Mathilde Habert

Historical Reissue – Gift Wrap of the BNF

Interview with a curator from the BNF

An unfamiliar job

Tell us a little about yourself, your training and your daily activities. How do  you specialize in a period of study?

“I gratuded with an art historian degree. I studied at the Ecole du Louvre and defended a thesis on François Chifflart, a 19th Century painter-engraver, then I passed the library curator competition, which allowed me to join the National Library of France (BNF) in 1994. Quickly, I had the chance to manage the collections of prints from the 19th century within the Department of Prints and Photography. An immense fund of 2 million items including both the current production – to which the “fancy papers” belong – and the masterpieces of the masters of printmaking, such as Delacroix, Manet, Degas or Toulouse-Lautrec.”


The gems of the BNF

With fifteen million images, the collections of the Department of Prints and Photography of the National Library of France offer a varied panorama of the art of the multiple, representative of all schools and all techniques. Alongside the great names in the history of printmaking, countless sheets testify to the varied uses of the printed image, including their application to different branches of arts and crafts. These sheets with a limited lifespan, grouped under the term ephemera, were not intended to be kept. Thanks to the application of the law on legal deposit, obliging all printers to deposit two copies of their production, the National Library has become its repository. The section devoted to the arts of paper, which rubs shoulders with those of wood, metal, ceramics and fabrics, forms an important part of the series devoted to arts and crafts.

Valerie Sueur BNF Portrait Impression Originale

Everyday Mission

What’s your job about?

“My main missions are to ensure the proper conservation of this printed heritage, to enrich it if necessary by acquiring items missing from the collections, to inventory and digitize it in order to make it accessible to as many people as possible. Parallely, I study and promote my work through exhibitions, publications and teaching given within the department or at the Ecole du Louvre.”

Author: Mrs. Valérie Sueur-Hermel, curator in the Prints and Photography Department of the National Library of France. She specializes in the 19th century collections.

Craving about Engraving

What brings the most meaning to your job?

“Daily contact with prints and the possibility of discovering unknown artists or still unknown works are one of the attractions of my profession. But this research only takes on its full meaning thanks to sharing with the public of the BNF, the students, trainees or visitors to the exhibitions of which I am the curator. Printmaking is a little-known medium that it is important to me to make known by increasing its visibility and faciliting its accessibility. The publication of a selection of what used to be called “fantasy papers” by Impression Originale is one of them.”

The “Fancy Papers” of the 19th century

Twentieth-century librarians categorized sheets printed with decorative designs as “gift wrapping paper” that resemble those used to wrap presents. Three boxes chronologically classified, from 1810 to 1895, testify to the abundance of the production in the 19th century of these “fancy papers“, according to the common designation of the time. This development coincides with that of lithography, a flat printing technique, based on the principle of natural repulsion of water against a fatty substance, invented by Senefelder in Bavaria in 1798, and distributed in France around 1815. This new process quickly found outlets in the applied and industrial arts. The manufacture of these papers, printed on the block, first in black and white then in color thanks to the development of chromolithography in 1837 used to be done manually before being mechanized in the 1880s.

Coloring work by Impression Originale for its 2021 collection under the name “Napoleon’s Rule“, from the original lithograph in black and white by J-F-L. Breffort dating from 1828.

Coloring work by Impression Originale for its 2021 collection under the name “The Oracle of Dodone“, from the original lithograph by J-F-L. Breffort dated in the 1830s.

The birth of colour printing in France

The historiated lithographic plate, printed in black, that Breffort deposited in 1828 under the title of “pot-pourri of various subjects, animals, flowers, etc., for Indian printing“, that Impression Originale renamed “Napoleon’s Rule” in their reissue, comes from the beginnings of the genre. Small daily and facetious scenes are juxtaposed according to the process of the macedonias in vogue in the lithographic edition of the romantic period. Jean-François-Louis Breffort is a manufacturer of fancy wallpapers; he also prints on fabrics (Indian or Filipino) and is about to embark on decorations for cartoonists and fan makers, when the tragic events of April 14, 1834 brutally interrupt his career.

He lived and exercised his profession at 12 rue Transnonain in Paris, in a house that has become sadly famous because of the massacre of its inhabitants by the troops of Louis-Philippe, during the Parisian republican demonstrations. A famous lithograph by Daumier depicts the event and its brutality. A book Memoir on the events of the rue Transnonain in the days of April 13 and 14, 1834 of Ledru-Rollin (available in French only) records the account of the witnesses. The printer died of his injuries the day after the tragedy, at the age of 58. His professional file, kept at the National Archives, contains a specimen print in silver ink on pink paper which testifies to an early and experimental use of color. This print has been reissued on a gift wrap and a gift bag by Impression Originale in late 2021 with a comparable look on a silver background under the name “The Oracle of Dodone“.

France and Germany : pionniers in the “Fancy Papers”

The “fantasies” that J. David produced from his presses in the rue de Barque in the Marais in the 1840s are now colorful. In 1852, when the Encyclopédie-Roret published the New Complete Manual for “Fancy Paper” Manufacturers written by Mr. Fichtenberg, a manufacturer who had worked in both France and Germany, the two homelands of fancy paper, color was dominating a flourishing market. The first chapter is dedicated to the “making of colors”: “carmine lake, red, yellow, violet lake, imitation of blue and black, Berlin blue and Prussian blue, fine chrome yellow” but also “vermilion, orange mine , overseas, white lead, silver white, Schweinfurt green, fine blue”, to which are added gold in leaf form and powdered bronze. This practical manual delivers the secrets of making marbled, pebbled, leather-finished, embossed, moire, marbled, satin-finished or decorated with drawn patterns papers.

Detail on the original lithograph by J. David from 1840s, reproduced by Impression Originale in its gift wrap collection in 2021 under the name “Birds of Paradise“.

Design Censorship

Among the manufacturers active under the Second Empire and the Third Republic, the Baulant house, also established in the Marais, rue Portefoin, imposed itself with Scottish papers, cashmeres, laces, rosettes and plant motifs, all chromolithographed. These innocuous-looking decorations did not escape the vigilance of the censorship offices, which checked each deposit, and opposed, in June 1866, the publication of a plate representing fleur-de-lis!

How did the original gift wrap look?

All these papers with shimmering colors and delicate patterns were not intended to wrap the presents that were offered to Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The presents were wrapped in cloth or white paper, as George Sand recalls: “What emotion the white paper envelope caused me, for Father Christmas was extremely clean, and never failed to carefully wrap his offering”. (Story of my life, 1855). “Fancy papers” were used for bookbinding, paperboarding and upholstering boxes. Those of perfumers and glove-makers were covered with it. The coated papers of vegetable colors were reserved for the packaging of food products: the confectioners presented their sweets there.

Napoleon’s Rule Gift Wrap

Gift in a round shape with central pleating, produced by Impression Originale from its collection of gift wrap in partnership with the BNF “Napoleon’s Rule“.

To find out more about the BNF, find our article about our partnership with the National Library of France (BNF) here.

Workshop: Cut & Fold 1024 683 Mathilde Habert

Workshop: Cut & Fold

<>Living in a paper world
from Toledo (Spain)
IMPRESSION ORIGINALE summer miniature en paper art sur fond bleu marine

Nice to meet you Elsa. Who are you?

I am originally from Vendée (France). I always remember creating objects, jewelry, weavings with my hands … Without realizing it, paper as been a central part throughout my design studies. First at l’Ecole Boulle, then during my Architecture studies. It was the perfect material to make research models, both economical and offering endless possibilities of shapes and textures depending on its folding or assembly. It still fascinates me today! In 2015, as an interior designer, I started making paper lights inspired by the origami folding technique to meet my ever-present need to create with my own hands.

Cut & Fold was born!  Today I keep exploring the possibilities of 3D paper for showcases, event decorations and objects to brighten up our interiors. My work oscillates between the clean lines of geometric volumes created by the folding of paper and more figurative creations inspired by nature. I love playing with the scales of the objects I create and using colored papers or with pretty patterns … in short, I am not ready to tire of this material so simple but so versatile!

Do you like Christmas?

I love Christmas, or rather all the preparation time leading up to it and getting the excitement up to D-Day! Preparing the house, wrapping the gifts, bake Christmas cookies… All this building excitement to finally arrive at the unwrapping of gifts and long family meals!

What is the craziest gift you received at Christmas?

The most unexpected, but no less useful: An electric drill! It stood out in the middle of the more classic gifts under the tree 😉

And the craziest gift you offered?

I especially remember the first time I was able to give a present as a child after discovering that -SPOILER ALERT- Santa Claus did not exist. Far from being sad, I was all excited and happy when my dad took me on my first “Santa’s expedition” to help him choose a piece of jewelry for my mom.

Meet Elsa


“I only share my first name (Elsa) with the Snow Queen. But if I could be an element I would be Fire.”

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If you had to make just one Christmas paper creation, what would it be?

Without hesitation, an advent calendar! It is the essential object to wait for Christmas while decorating our interiors. Who does not dream of a pine forest to hide sweets, or a collection of small houses to light up each evening to recreate an entire village on December 24? I do.

IMPRESSION ORIGINALE Calendrier de l'avent par Cut and fold

What's your favorite Christmas series / movie?

The Harry Potter saga, perfect for young and old, to stay warm under a blanket.

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What does the Christmas atmosphere inspire you? Are you more chalet in the mountain, Raclette and Firewood or Disneyland, Candy and Cartoon?

For me Christmas has always been an inspiring and ultra-creative period, everything is an excuse to “create”: a walk in the forest to collect holly branches and make a beautiful wreath, an afternoon of creative leisure to decorate the tree, or an evening to cook and bake with my family… And from a professional point of view it is THE time of the year when the most beautiful shop windows come to life, the magic of Christmas allows the craziest creations, it is so inspiring!

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You currently live in Toledo: tell us about your Spanish Christmas?

In Spain the Christmas show is stolen by 2 other very strong traditional celebrations: the New Year’s Eve, where the whole country eats 12 grapes at midnight to ensure a happy new year, and the coming of the Kings Magi on January 6. In France we eat the galette des rois, in Spain it is the day we present our gifts!

IMPRESSION ORIGINALE forêt de sapin en paper art sur fond noir

How do you wrap your Christmas gifts?

With a lot of love, of course! Whatever the gift, we say that it is the intention that counts, and this intention is reflected in every detail of the package: a pretty paper, a matching ribbon, a personalized label … Gift wrapping is enters in the larger understanding of paper art and techniques of folding paper, which I know well!


Do you prefer a ribbon or a bow?

I would go for the ribbon, I like it a lot when it contrasts with the wrapping paper underneath.

Okay, a satin or organza ribbon?

Joker… I have a big crush on velvet! It’s the perfect winter fabric, such a smart look!

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What would you ask?

In order of priority: replace chard with cakes, stop wars and preserve the planet, for real!

IMPRESSION ORIGINALE rentrée des classes en paper art sur fond bleu marine

Photo credits @Benoitphoto for Impression Originale

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Elsa's favorite quote: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams``. Much to be optimistic about according to Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, isn't it?






Workshop: The Pineapple Chef 660 1024 Mathilde Habert
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Workshop: The Pineapple Chef

<>Stylist & food photographer
A yummi job

Nice to meet you Elise. Who are you?

My name is Elise and I have been a stylist and food photographer for 6 years now. I’m also a visual merchandiser so I am passionate about images and visual details.

I started my blog because of food intolerances as I wanted to share my knowledge and since then, never stopped photographing my dishes, the ingredients and everything linked to a culinary experience.

I am a huge fan of our national savoir-faire, authentic, seasonal and high-quality products.

So you have 2 jobs?

Yes, you can say that. I’m still a visual merchandiser for luxury maisons and I keep on running after time to fulfill those two lives. I’m in charge of product scenography in boutiques and windows, of window concepts as well as in-store scent, plants and flowers, music…

The link with food styling and photography is quite obvious: I use the same rules of display and color presentation on a large scale (for ready to wear and leather goods) and adapt those to a smaller scale.

What is the most photogenic food?

Meet Elise


Aka the Pineapplechef

“Right now, I am focusing all my energy on culinary art.”


Red berries are incredibly easy to shoot. Because of their textures, colors and small sizes.


Macarons are also great thanks to their colors and geometrical shapes.


Can you tell us how you go about a photoshoot?

Preparation is key. I always start from a brief whether I work with a client or on a project with other photographers.

I search for inspiration around that brief then I draw (ugly) sketches on a notebook to have my guideline.

As I have been this visual merchandising job for more than 15 years now, I quickly have the image of the final rendering in my head. I can of course change my mind during the shooting and come up with a better idea (sometimes, so great pictures happen by accident!), but the idea of the shoot is already clear in my head.

Then, I look for great props like the proper background, plates etc…which suit my idea and off I go !

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You make food look like art: how do you see it?

The more I shoot, the more I am in awe with the ingredients beauty. Colors and textures. More than a nice picture or a good recipe, I want to tell a story and the palette of emotions that food can bring.

I want to talk about traditions, forgotten ingredients and traditions, food stories from far away like stories from my country where we have such a precious and unrivaled savoir faire.

And for a while now, I have been quite obsessed with flowers and greenery which goes so well with food.


Where does inspiration come from?

Everything can serve as an inspiration. Instagram, Pinterest but also a great exhibition or a book or even a market visit. One magnificent ingredient can be the starting point of everything.

A good picture to me is the one which ‘tells a story’, whether it was a completely staged or ‘in the moment’.

For a portrait (like the ones I shoot with the pastry chefs for example), a successful pic is when you can see his/ her goodness, his/her craziness… his/her soul!

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How different is it to shoot paper and ribbons from food?

To shoot wrapping paper is no different: the subject changes but the mix of textures, sizes, objet set up and focus, the light, the attention to details are the same.

The challenge was to make it even more beautiful than it was and not have the decor be too overwhelming.

The product needs to be the ‘hero’, the decor is here to emphasize it.



Elise has agreed to a collaboration with us, at Impression Originale, to shoot her own interpretation of the 4 seasons with our gift wraps.


Impression Originale gifts and sublime flowers bouquet on black background






A balance diet is at the center of your work. So, surprise us, what is on the menu tonight?

A simple, healthy, authentic and seasonal cuisine. Less processed food.

Use our good common sense by buying simple products to make a good soup instead of buying one (cheaper too). I work non-stop and I am a mummy too with dinners to prepare and yet I manage to do ok: all you need is some organization.

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Your favorite indulgence?

‘Leccese’ coffee that I’ve discovered this summer in Puglia in Italy : coffee served with an almond syrup, ice cubes and some lemon zest.

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Your favorite food - ever?

The question is too hard, I love so many things like risotto, pasta, parmigiano, crackers, cantaloupe, apricots, cherries, granola…

Make a wish

Save the bees ! Whithout them, we won’t be here for long.

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For culinary art, without a doubt, my muse is Donna Hay.




the-pineapple-chef-home-2_logo IMPRESSION ORIGINALE


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Workshop: Pippa Dyrlaga 1024 886 Mathilde Habert
Impression Originale interview with Pippa holding a cherry blossom paper cut out

Workshop: Pippa Dyrlaga

<>Paper Wonders
made in Yorkshire
Impression_Originale_itw_Pippa_hummingbird photo prep

Nice to meet you Pippa. Tell us a little bit about you.

I am an artist based in Yorkshire, England.

I use single sheets of paper to create contemporary artworks using traditional paper cutting techniques. My work is inspired by nature and the things I encounter around me.

I first started paper cutting in around 2009/2010 whilst I was studying and fell in love with the simple medium I have worked with since.

Meet Pippa

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Hi there!

“My dream world: calm and colourful “

The Commission of my Dreams

“I would love to do a huge tapestry style piece filled with all the beautiful natural things in the world.”

Impression_Originale_itw_Pippa_Riverside II .
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What are you exactly?

I refer to myself as an artist. Most of the time a paper artist, but also as a printmaker.

I think I have always thought of my work as being in a different world though. To me they all have life and movement and exist somewhere. I am simply trying to capture a frozen moment of that.

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Where is home?

I moved to Hebden in 2014, after living in the City of Leeds.

I am from Mirfield, originally (the same place Patrick Stewart is from!) Its is close by so I already knew it, but after getting disillusioned with life in a city, the draw of a beautiful place with a well know creative community was really inviting for me. I love it here.

I work from home and sit next to a window with a beautiful view of the valley, and my dog at my feet. I couldn’t ask for anything better than that.

Getting up early is the secret

My typical day can vary, but mainly consists of being in my studio working on current projects. It is quite labour intensive with long periods of sitting at my desk, so I try and break the day up with admin tasks and other bits and bobs!

I get up early, and so my work day starts at around 8am, and can sometimes go until 10pm (with breaks of course!) I am lucky that I get to do something I enjoy so much so it’s as much a pleasure for me as it is work.

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WINDOW HANGINGS PAPER CUT [Commission], Pippa Dyrlaga.


What is your relationship to paper?

At first, paper was just a material to get what I needed done. Then it became quite a good choice because of the availability of the material as I was studying at the time. After a short while, I started to appreciate the material itself, its simplicity and varied types. Now it’s something I really love. I am a paper nerd. I love how different it can be and love to experiment with different types.

I recently started looking into more sustainable papers, and came across Japanese washi papers, which are both light as a feather and strong and I love working with it. It’s such a simple, every day material, but what it’s used for can both be thrown away and revered, it’s interwoven into history. I could go on and on.


If I say ``paper``, what first comes to your mind?

Half finished pieces of work laying out on my desk, stacks of clean fresh paper waiting to be turned into something, handwritten notes and stacks of books. So more of a place filled with paper!

Impression_Originale_itw_Pippa_biophilia I no hands

HEART OF SPRING, Pippa Dyrlaga.


What do you see, hear and smell?

The window is right next to the left hand side of my desk and outside is a lovely view of the valley I live in, and lots of trees. There are always lots of birds around and faint noises from the town. I usually have some music playing in the background, something nice and calm!

I can also usually hear my dog snoring away by my feet somewhere.

My favourite smell is in the winter, when the town has a lingering smell of wood burning stoves in the air, I wish I could sit with my window open!

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IN MY OFFICE, Pippa Dyrlaga.


Tell us about a commission that was really special to you

It wasn’t technically a commission, but I worked with a local gallery to produce an original and edition of prints to fundraise following the terrorist attack in Manchester last year. We sold them all and raised a nice sum for a local charity that works with children, and were working with the kids and families that were directly and indirectly affected by the events.

It’s almost exactly a year ago now so it is nice to look back and think that I made even a small amount of difference.


Walk us through the artwork you developped with us

Step #1

So I chose the paper from Impression Originale Collection “On the Bird’s wing” for my piece. The first thing I did was to research the artist, Eugène Séguy, that the paper was inspired by!

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Step #2

After this, I have to select the paper I will use. I chose my favourite paper to work on, which is a 36gsm washi paper from Japan. It is so incredibly light and thin but very strong and perfect for fine details.

The work is quite symmetrical with two birds touching beaks in the air, so I first drew a rough outline of the composition. This is always just a basic outline as I add detail in as I am working.

Step #3

Once the layout was decided, I cut out the most detailed sections first, so started with the wings. They are all slightly different. This can take a while and I cut out each feather individually.

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Impression_Originale_itw_Pippa_in progress tail detail

Step #4

Once the wings are completed, I move on to the tails. I added small details into the wings and body that are inspired by the random geometric shapes in the bird wings of the original design. Its very labour intensive, each piece is very small and can be less than a millimetre thick. I use an incredibly sharp blade, and change them frequently to keep the sharp tip I need.

Step #5

After all details have been cut out, its time to cut it free from the paper. This one will be very delicate as the two birds are only connected by the tips of their beaks, so it takes a lot of care and delicate handling once it is removed.

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If shapes and curves were emotions, which one would you be?

A circle. Emotions come and go, they are cyclical. You can’t have the same emotions all the time, but you will have them again. People aren’t meant to feel the same way all of the time.

Share a little secret...

I am 34 years old and I haven’t learnt to drive yet because it makes me so nervous!

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ON THE BIRD’S WING  [Collaboration with IMPRESSION ORIGINALE], Pippa Dyrlaga.

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Print Shop

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Workshop: Annyen Lam 1024 362 Mathilde Habert
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Workshop: Annyen Lam

<>Paper Lace
made in Canada
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Nice to meet you Annyen. Who are you?

I’m an artist currently living and working in the west end of Toronto.

Working across several different media platforms, my practice includes lithography, screenprinting, book arts, installation, and paper-cutting.

For the last few years I have focused more on the latter, completing projects that range from extremely small pieces to large-scale, layered paper works.

Meet Annyen

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“My ideal world: One with more compassion and justice. One where everyone has a voice. “

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What are you exactly?

I am an artist.

My practice has a few branches: creating and exhibiting original, one-off pieces (Including Tiny Blades Project), making multiples (prints), and then partnering with other small businesses to offer in-person workshops.

I started Tiny Blades Project by cutting something out of paper every day for 365 days. Initially running as a year-long endeavour, I’ve since cut over 760 pieces to date.

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``People build small towns wherever they go``

I was born and raised in Ottawa (roughly 550km away) and moved to Toronto at age 17 to attend OCAD University. For short periods of time I’ve also lived in New York and Hong Kong.

I heard a saying once: “people build small towns wherever they go”. I’m fortunate to have been able to travel, and have my own ways of making myself feel at home anywhere, but Toronto has a special place in my heart from the experiences that I’ve had here and the unique energy that the city embodies.

Home Portrait

I’ve recently had several clients approach me about making portraits of their homes. Each project was a lovely experience; for some clients I got to hear some history and personal stories with the house. I also got a sense of how much they loved their space. Now I pay even more attention to vernacular architecture when I’m out on my bike.

HOUSES – PAPER CUT [Originals], Annyen Lam.


Tell us how is your typical day going by

I’m most productive in the morning or evening, so I wake up as early as I can, work with something in the background (Netflix, podcasts, or streamers on Twitch), and then take some time the afternoon, when productivity wanes, to do other things (bike errands, work out, read). In the evening I’ll either teach or work with dinner in between.


Paper is central to your work, explain what is so special about it.

I also work with printmaking (lithography and screenprinting), draw, and make installations.

If we were to trace it back to my early childhood, I was a huge bookworm; I loved interacting with different book forms, which probably informed an early love for paper. I’d also go through popup books and try to figure out how it was put together.

Paper is seen as a humble medium; it’s been around for centuries and is found virtually everywhere. So there’s something magical about putting it under a slightly different light – in my case, cutting away at it, or exploring its sculptural possibilities – that underscores the fundamental strangeness of our everyday objects and surroundings.


What do you see, hear and smell?

A giant pine tree. A few springs ago, baby birds were hatched and raised right in front of me so I got to see them (and their mother) all the time.

I hear the neighbour’s dog barking and the bell from the school around the corner.

I smell the tea from across my desk.

IO_Studio Annyen Lam

Step #1

The tools of paper-cutting are relatively simple: a cutting mat, a variety of papers, a good source of light, and of course a sharp knife. Some people work with tiny scissors instead of a knife, so I’d suggest experimenting with different tools until you can find something that you’re actually comfortable with using.

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Step #2

My pieces almost always start with a drawing on a separate sketchbook. This process helps me visualize the end result and also troubleshoot areas that I might find tricky to cut.

Step #3

In terms transferring this drawing onto your “good” paper: if you’re just starting out, you can always draw on the back of your paper and follow the lines as you cut. You can also tape your drawing directly on top of your paper and cut through both sheets at once. What I do, however, is burnish my drawing onto the paper (I use a ballpoint pen with no ink). I’ll see indentations on the paper surface, which I use as a rough guide while cutting.

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Step #4

Generally speaking, you’ll want to cut out the smaller, more finicky details first, because the paper will get more and more vulnerable as you go. I cut out the perimeter of the piece last!


If shapes and curves were emotions, which one would you be?

An equilateral triangle.

Share a little secret...

I enjoy the thrill of heights. My first bungee jump was 233 metres (765 feet). It definitely brings you into the present moment!

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How to: a Commission for Musée Rodin 1024 362 Mathilde Habert
Interview Interview Originale Emily Isabella Rodin

How to: a Commission for Musée Rodin

<>Behind the scenes
from the artist's perspective

Nice to meet you Emily. Who are you?

I’m an artist living in the countryside, north of New York City.

I’m in the process of building a three story studio with my husband, Paul Isabella, on our 15 acres. We like to collaborate on projects, small ones like building wooden miniatures to big ones like building our studio!

In my freetime, I like to play the ukulele (although, I’m not very good), cook with friends and hunt for treasures at flea markets. No I don’t speak French but I’m always trying to learn a little bit here and there. One of my best friends lives outside of Paris so I travel to France about once a year and the more I visit, the better my French becomes.

Meet Emily

About me

“I studied textile design and currently design and illustrate for a number of different applications like books, fabric, wallpaper, clothing, packaging, rugs, upholstery, toys and paper goods.”

My ideal world

“A world without fear.”

Impression Originale emilyi sabella beginning pattern
Impression Originale emily isabella painting
Impression Originale emily isabella studio wall
Impression Originale emily isabella sketchbook

Present us your typical day. Tell us what makes for you a day out of the ordinary.

I usually get up, make coffee and a simple breakfast and I work all day.

My work is very enjoyable so this isn’t a bad thing for me. In the evenings, I go for a jog, cook dinner, play music and read or maybe watch a movie. The last movie I watched was Blow Up directed by Michelangelo Antonioni – so good. I have ideas for some illustrations based on stills from the film.

Sometimes I leave the house to visit friends, or go to a ballet class – those are the days that are out of the ordinary. I have a hard time leaving my work sometimes.


We live at the base of the Catskill Mountains. My window looks out into the forest. There are trees outside my house that little birds really love. Hundreds of them nest in the trees right there and it sounds like something out of a fairytale.

It smells good here!

Right now I’m burning cedar incense so it smells like I’m in a little indoor forest.


Impression Originale commissioned you to work on a project with the Musée Rodin in Paris.

How did you go about this commission?

For me, a soft pencil captures the best of my ideas. Once I am ready to solidify the ideas, I typically use gouache. The Musée Rodin wanted the sculptures to be accurately represented but still very stylized. I think layering linework over graphic shapes helped bring that request to life.

I haven’t visited the museum. Last time I was in Paris is was next on our list but we didn’t make it there so on my next trip it will definitely be at the top. I love the softness of Camille Claudel’s work. Although she was often compared to Rodin, she had her own voice. She did have a sad story – I’m sure it was hard to receive recognition as a female artist back then.

Gift Pocket Musée Rodin Commission Impression Originale

SURPRISE GIFT BAG [Original Design Emily Isabella for Impression Originale], distributed by Musée Rodin in Paris.


You are American.

Can you tell us what France represents to you – artistically speaking?

In a way, I feel most at home in France.

I spent a semester abroad in Provence when I was 21 and those days are some of my most cherished. I think I really found my artistic voice in France and things clicked for me there. My favorite art lives in the Museé d’Orsay. Vuillard is my favorite artist and Toulouse Lautrec is a close second. There is a room on the first floor that houses two of my favorite pieces by these artists and I wish I could live there.


How would you like to be called (referred to) as a professional?

“I just make things because I have a compulsive need to create.”


I guess the easy way to describe my profession is “artist”. I am always exploring new mediums and applications for my work. I consider myself a designer but also an illustrator. Somedays I do more textile design than illustration and other days it’s the opposite. But mainly, I just make things because I have a compulsive need to create.


Tell us about other special commissions

I recently designed a tea set for kids! I loved that sort of thing when I was little so it was exciting to think about how my childhood self would have been so excited.

A Stranger's Coat

A stranger asked me to paint her coat. It was such a pretty coat, I was happy to do it!


Trinket Boxes

I designed these trinket boxes for Anthropologie.

Oh Jane

I saw Jane Birkin sing at Carnegie Hall. It was a very special night so I made sure to bring my sketchbook.


Kate Spade!

This artwork was done for Kate Spade.

Everyone Loves New York

This illustration of the Met in NYC was done for a book called Everyone Loves New York.


If colours and brushes were emotions, which one(s) would you be?

Content blushy rose, snappy vermillion, and a fresh smalt blue – I’m a smaller brush – squirrel hair size 2.

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It’s a secret: Emily likes to eat gummy bears in the winter – but only few each day.



Her Bio



Workshop: Sarah Matthews 1024 362 Mathilde Habert

Workshop: Sarah Matthews

<>Paper Engineer
made in the UK

Nice to meet you Sarah. Who are you?

‘Paper Engineer’ would have been my dream job as a child, had I known of its existence.

Well, it would have been a close second after professional Ballerina anyway. I have been a maker for as long as I can remember, from my earliest memories folding origami penguins and cutting paper doll chains, to graduating from my Textile Surface Design Degree in 2011 with a graduate collection of paper jewellery, to now spending my days buried under paper in my studio in Nottingham, cutting, folding, gluing and interlocking to create innovative and playful paper designs.

Meet Sarah

About me

“I am a design-enthusiast, sucker for good packaging design and self-proclaimed perfectionist, who loves to explore, wear stripes and nest when not in the studio.”

Interview_SarahMatthews_Giant Rose_IMPRESSIONORIGINALE
FROM 2D to 3D

How do you call what you do, as a professional?

When I’m asked what my job is, I say “Paper Engineer”. To me, this simply means a designer who transforms paper from 2D to 3D, by creating sculptures or pop-up mechanisms. Having said that, I would also describe myself as a papercut designer, as a significant amount of my work is also two dimensional, layered papercuts.

I design these papercuts on Illustrator, and send them to my plotter to cut (a machine similar to a laser cutter, but with a blade rather than a laser), before finishing the detailed cutting by hand with a scalpel as unfortunately my machine isn’t perfect and I always need to ‘tidy up’ the detail by hand.




Tell us how is your typical day going by.

What are the extraordinary things happening?

I was born in Sheffield but lived in London for the majority of my adult life so far, before moving to Nottingham last year. When I lived in London I was working full time in the product development department of a jewellery company, and doing my own work on the side. I had always wanted to try and do my own work full time but completely lacked the self-belief to take the plunge and go for it. When I lost my job due to my employer’s financial issues, I decided to take it as the push I needed to try and turn my ‘side-hustle’ into a full time job. As London is a really expensive place to live, I decided to move to Nottingham, where my mum lives, to save some money while I was taking the first steps to build up my business, which is why I’m here at the moment.

To be honest, I am so busy with work at the moment, and earlier this year I managed to buy my first home, which is in Sheffield, and all of my spare time is being spent working on the new house as I am renovating it before I move in, which is so exciting, but the downside is that I haven’t been able to get out and make the most of what’s going on in Nottingham while I’m here.

I can’t wait to move to Sheffield – hopefully it will be very soon now! I love Sheffield, it is where I was born, and is so vibrant, with loads of lovely independent shops, cafes and restaurants, and so much gorgeous green space.


PAPER SCULPTURES “Rooster” and the “Lobster hat” [Originals]


What is it like to be in your studio?

I like to listen to music while I work, particularly anything I can sing along to, and which makes me want to dance… My musical (not so) guilty pleasure is late nineties/early noughties hip hop and R&B. Sometimes it can get a little lonely being self-employed, so if the loneliness is getting to me I like to have films/TV on in the background so I am listening to people talk… I think in a strange way this makes me feel less like I am on my own.

I like to have a scented candle or diffuser out to make my working space feel calm, but nothing too strong as they can give me a headache! My favourites are fresh, herbal scents and I find Anthropologie is great place to find them.

Sadly I don’t have a little companion of my own yet, but I always had pets growing up and can’t wait to get a dog in the future. I’m obsessed with maltipoos and chow chows and am a total sucker for fluff. I follow so many dogs on instagram!


Paper is central to your work, can you explain why you choose this medium.

I studied Textile Surface Design at Buckinghamshire New University, but decided during my degree that I didn’t really enjoy the fabric ‘end result’ of my projects as much as I enjoyed the ‘paper-based’ sketchbook and paper maquette stage of my projects. Fortunately we were quite free to do what we wanted, so I ended up making a collection of printed and folded paper jewellery for my final collection. After graduating, I continued to experiment with paper as a hobby, but it has since turned into my full time job!

“I love paper: it is the most readily available, affordable and versatile material, with limitless possibilities.”


Present us your “copyright” creation. The one you are most proud of.

He took a really long time to make, but I was really happy with how he turned out!

I think I am most proud of the paper flamingo I made for GF Smith. I was challenged to pick my favourite colour and make something in that colour using their lovely papers. I chose pink and used it as an opportunity to make a flamingo which was something I had wanted to do for a while.


Now, close your eyes and tell us how an ideal world looks like to you.

Full of colour and happiness, and the perfect balance of nature and design.


Walk us through one of your artworks you developed in collaboration with us!

First, I designed the shapes on Illustrator, before sending them to my plotter to cut out. I cut the teepee shape out of both wrapping paper and normal paper, so I could back the wrapping paper with the normal paper to add strength. I then glued the wrapping paper to the normal paper, and scored where I would need to fold.

I then folded along all of the score lines. I then added some gold paper behind the door. I trimmed down the bamboo sticks to size and threaded them through the cuts in the paper, then lifted up each side of the tent to check they met perfectly at the top.

I then tied some beads and feathers to the top of the front face, and finally tied the four bamboo sticks together at the top.

Step #1


Step #2

Step #3


Step #4


If shapes and curves were emotions, which one would you be?

That is such a hard question! Visually, I love angular, geometric shapes, but I think if my personality was a shape it would be much softer, but still symmetrical, so perhaps a circle… I would describe myself as soft, patient, compassionate and a bit of a perfectionist, so I think ‘soft but symmetrical’ sums me up pretty well.

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“I have already picked out my future dog’s name – ‘Crayon’! People seem to either think it’s the cutest name or the most ridiculous name!”


miniatures contact Sarah Matthews




Interview_SarahMatthews_Bright Geometric Shapes_IMPRESSIONORIGINALE
3D Modeling: Surgeon Paper 1024 359 Mathilde Habert

3D Modeling: Surgeon Paper

<>3D Modeling
made in France
Interview IMPRESSION ORIGINALE Surgeon Paper Lapin_tête_2

Nice to meet you Surgeon Paper (Remi). Who are you?

I have always been attracted to manual activities. As a child, I was very curious, I spent a lot of my free time dismantling and putting it back together electronic devices. I like to understand how things work, it has caused me some accidents of course, such as when I planted a hairpin in an electrical outlet, or when I put my hand flat on a hot plate … to check if it was really hot. It was.

I always kept a creative side hobby on top of my countless jobs. I made stop-motion movies with paper objects or with pretty much everything that fell under my hand (www.vimeo.com/charetteprod). I participated in the realization of advertisements using this technique.

Meet Remi

Bonjour !

“For a little over a year, I am 100% working on paper sculptures, based on computer modelisation.

I sell online my “animals” and other artworks (see link below).

I am open for commissions for window décor, or private orders.”

Interview - Surgeon Paper Lapin_camouflage_vaguebleue_LD

MISTER RABIT AND A BOW [Originals by Surgeon Paper], using IMPRESSION ORIGINALE “Océan de Vagues” wrap.


The use of specialised software is key. Can you explain what is the role of the computer in your creation?

The first time I saw a paper sculpture in this style, I immediately wanted to try. I was already working with paper, glue, cutters; The first time, I used a deer modelised model I found online. I was a success.

I really liked the result and so I deepened the subject and learned more looking at online tutorials to be able to master all the stages of creation, and eventually, create my own models.

Interview IMPRESSION ORIGINALE Surgeon Paper Déluge de coeur lapin cadeau

MISTER RABIT AND A GIFT [Originals by Surgeon Paper], using IMPRESSION ORIGINALE  “Déluge de Coeurs” wrap.


Where is your mind when you give life to your artworks?

It takes too much focus for me to be able to think of anything other than what I am doing!

It is usually when my mind begins to escape that I make mistakes, this is usually the moment I choose to take a break.

Interview IMPRESSION ORIGINALE Surgeon Paper Duo lapin

THE THREE LITTLE RABITS [Originals by Surgeon Paper], Using IMPRESSION ORIGINALE wraps.

Interview IMPRESSION ORIGINALE Surgeon Paper tete lapin deluge coeur main
Interview IMPRESSION ORIGINALE Surgeon Paper 3 lapins main

What do you see from your window in Marseilles?

Being in a period of professional transition, I constantly move.

Right now, I see trees, the skyline of Marseilles, and Notre Dame de la Garde in the background. The top three quarters of the view are filled with a beautiful blue sky most of the time.

Marseille is a little French California … except for high technology and movie stars.


What is your favorite artwork? Explain to us why.

“…but it is impossible… it is like choosing your favorite child!”

SurgeonPaper1 Interview IMPRESSION ORIGINALE

THE PANTHERE [Originals by Surgeon Paper].

As you can see on my Instagram feed, the little rabbit is a central piece. I had to go through a lot of prototypes and I’m really pleased with the result I got and how poeple receive it.

However I would say that my favorite creation is the bear … or the wolf … or else … in fact I love them all, it’s a bit like choosing between your children what you ask me!


What do you need to feel most creative?

I work a lot based on raw emotions: anything can be a trigger for a desire to create. This can be music, text, a landscape, or the work of another artist …

My sources of inspiration are unlimited and often unexpected, but they all have a common implication of the senses, mostly the sight, but the hearing and the touch are also playing a big part.


Explain to us, step by step how you bring life to your rabbit!

The first step is 3D modeling. It all happens on computer: I use the Blender software. Creating an object in volume on a flat screen requires good vision in space, and a certain capacity for abstract thinking.

When I am satisfied with the 3D object, I use another software to virtually “unfold” it: Pepakura. This makes it possible to obtain a printable pattern, and to arrange the various facets to optimize the feasibility of the next step: the assembly.

The next step is printing the pattern. Then the object transitions from the virtual world to reality … But, there is still much to do: cut out each piece, fold it and paste it one by one in order to reconstitute the object in volume.

Et voilà 😉

Interview IMPRESSION ORIGINALE Surgeon Paper Lapin_tête_campanuleslilli
Interview IMPRESSION ORIGINALE Surgeon Paper Lapin_tête_campanuleslilli 2
Interview IMPRESSION ORIGINALE Surgeon Paper Lapin_tête_campanuleslilli 3
Interview IMPRESSION ORIGINALE Surgeon Paper Lapin_tête_campanuleslilli 4

MRS RABBIT [Originals by Surgeon Paper], Using IMPRESSION ORIGINALE “Campanules Lilliputiennes” wrap.

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SurgeonPaper3 Interview IMPRESSION ORIGINALE


SurgeonPaper2 Interview IMPRESSION ORIGINALE


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Workshop: Eva Magill-Oliver 1024 355 Mathilde Habert
Eva Magill-Oliver Interview IMPRESSION ORIGINALE

Workshop: Eva Magill-Oliver

<>Arty Notebooks
made in the USA
Eva Magill_Oliver Interview IMPRESSION ORIGINALE

Nice to meet you Eva. Who are you?

I’m a mixed visual artist.

I have always worked in and around the art field since I graduated from college, but have put all of my energy over the past 4-5 years into developing and growing my business as an independent artist, focusing my attention on large scale abstracts and graphic nature-inspired paper drawings and collages.

Meet Eva


“My strongest wish is for the health and happiness of my family and friends. I always wish much success to all artists that are out there trying to inspire, create, and make their voice heard.”

Eva Magill-Oliver Interview IMPRESSION ORIGINALE
Eva Magill-Oliver Interview IMPRESSION ORIGINALE

Tell us about your expatriation in France. What do you miss most of all?

In 2007, I moved to Paris to join my fiancé who was pursuing his MBA at HEC Paris. I left quite happily to live with him in anticipation of a new life and new adventures. Hardly knowing the French language at all, things in the beginning were quite challenging to say the least.

In time though, things fell into place. I studied the language, made new friends, and soaked in as much of the French culture as I could. I miss everything from those times, but certain things I miss the most are – first and foremost, les brocantes. I adored how every weekend in a new “quartier”, I could peruse all of the beautiful objects from linens to antiques to artwork. A close second are the museums. Being able to take the metro to view beautiful, historic works of art and then be back at my apartment in the space of a few hours was like being in a dream. People in large cities should never take this opportunity for granted.

Being a vegan in Paris, I also miss one of my favourite “restos” in the 4eme, Le Potager Du Marais near Le Centre Pompidou.


The “notebooks” are key to your work, can you explain why you

choose this medium. Is it an artwork in itself / or a means to an end?

Keeping sketchbooks and journals has always been a regular practice of mine. I love the tangible aspect of sketchbooks and books in general. I think it is important for an artist to keep one in an effort to record ideas and inspirational imagery that can often be fleeting. The art and usage of the sketchbook has evolved a bit for me over the past year or so, but quite naturally. Doing these sketchbook “assemblages” incorporates my love of design, art, and photography, while at the same time highlighting texture, pattern, shape, and line.

I also have been interested and encouraged to continue to do the sketchbooks because I believe they represent the true soul of an artist. They are not polished or framed or residing in an elegant home – they are simple, humble, and sincere. All qualities I hope to express and emulate myself.

Eva Magill_Oliver Interview IMPRESSION ORIGINALE
Eva Magill-Oliver Interview IMPRESSION ORIGINALE



You are currently living in Alpharetta,

what is happening there?

My family and I moved to Atlanta last Summer from Asheville, NC. The move was bittersweet for me. I knew I would miss the beautiful mountains, landscapes, and certainly the great friends I had made there. But I also knew moving to a larger city would bring new opportunities for both me and my family.


We can’t help but notice your incredible tattoos. Can you tell us a story about one of them?

Ha! It’s funny actually, they have become so much a part of me and who I am that I forgot about them until someone brings them up.

Eva Magill_Oliver Interview IMPRESSION ORIGINALE

They all are very personal to me, and fairly private, but the last one I got is a simple mountain landscape. It represents Asheville, NC where I recently moved from. It was bittersweet as I truly loved the town and friends I made there in the three years that we lived there.

Now with the tattoo, I can always be reminded of the people, experiences, and memories of that special place.


An afternoon with Eva in her studio

Eva has agreed to work her magic on one of her notebook with IMPRESSION ORIGINALE design paper wrap. She has come up with an incredible and very personnal interpretation of the “A thousand and one Roses Wrap” from Monika Forsberg and “Optical Wave Wrap” from Matt Chase.

She lives in a fairly quiet and small neighbourhood, so from her studio you mainly hear birds and neighbourhood kids playing. Even though Eva loves music, she can’t seem to play it while painting. She prefers to be in her own mind and thoughts, which helps her to focus on the task at hand.

As far as smells, Eva loves coffee, so it smells that in addition to paints and other materials that surround her in the studio.

Step #1

Eva Magill-Oliver Interview IMPRESSION ORIGINALE
Eva Magill-Oliver Interview IMPRESSION ORIGINALE

Step #2

Step #3

Eva Magill-Oliver Interview IMPRESSION ORIGINALE
Eva Magill-Oliver Interview IMPRESSION ORIGINALE

Step #4

Step #5

Eva Magill-Oliver Interview IMPRESSION ORIGINALE
Eva Magill-Oliver Interview IMPRESSION ORIGINALE

Step #6


If colours were emotions, which one would you be?

Probably a deep blue – generally, blues remind me of the ocean that I grew up very close to on the coast of South Carolina. It brings a sense of calm, reflection, peacefulness, and quiet. All things that I strive to find in myself and in my daily life. I also love how dark colors stand strong on their own, yet highlight and enhance surrounding colors – the kind of relationship I would like to find with myself and those around me.

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Eva Magill_Oliver portrait IMPRESSION ORIGINALE


Eva Magill_Oliver interview Impression originale
Workshop: Judith+Rolfe 1024 630 Mathilde Habert

Workshop: Judith+Rolfe

<>Paper Architecture
made in the USA

Nice to meet you Judith & Rolfe. Who are you?

We are JUDiTH+ROLFE, 30-something creative types who happen to be married.

We are both designers / architects who originally met in New York, but are currently living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. We like modern, simple design and enjoy making things, the current material of choice being paper. Judith creates all of the contemporary paper-art, while Rolfe is the problem-solver, providing constructive criticism and brainstorming new ideas. We are still experimenting with the medium, trying out different ideas, and obviously don’t take ourselves too seriously.

When Judith isn’t playing with paper, you can find her baking in the kitchen. Judith has a wicked sweet tooth; Rolfe has a wicked sense of humour. Strangers on the street often stop Rolfe, mistaking him for someone famous (which he is not).

judithrolfe_portrait_IMPRESSION ORIGINALE


“Our home office / studio space is in a quiet residential neighbourhood. Looking out the window, we currently see icicles and lots of snow!”


If you could change one thing in the world.

One. What would it be?

World peace. *rolls eyes* And all baked goods would be slightly under-baked, says Rolfe.


PRUNUS SERRULATA [Cherry Blossom], quilling paper, unmounted.


How did you start your adventure with paper architecture?

We first started making art for our friends and family. Thoughtful and personalized baby gifts are hard to come by, so Judith decided to hand-make custom name pieces out of paper. Why paper? Because it is a material that is readily available and easy to work with. Those early works were primarily made out of tightly rolled coils of quilling paper, and Judith realized she really enjoyed the meditative process of rolling paper, and thus a passion was born. We got a really positive response when we put our stuff out there for the world (via Instagram and Pinterest), and so decided to keep going!


Introduce us to your favourite artwork, why is it so special?

Having to pick a favourite piece is like asking someone to choose their favourite child, it’s impossible to do.

They each have their merits (and faults), and are special in their own way. The creation of each piece is always a learning experience, and more ideas are continually being generated.

“Rolfe likes the flowers and constellation pieces the best, if forced to choose.

He’s admittedly obsessed with anything space related.”


PAREIDOLIA II, quilling paper on cardstock.

Behind the scene

Walk us through one of your artworks: the snowflake!

Tools required: Cutting mat, sharp hobby blade, ruler, glue, and tweezers.

Optional but highly recommended: Patience, and your beverage of choice (a cup of tea is Judith’s preference).

Step #1: Decide which one of the beautiful wrapping papers to use. Since the design was to be a snowflake, we chose a wrap with a mostly white background and pops of colour (Before the Pixels by Elizabeth Olwen).

Step #1


Step #2: Cut the wrapping paper into strips, score and fold in half lengthwise, then glue the back sides together to create double-sided strips.

Step #2


Step #3: Carefully measure out each segment of the triangle shape, cut and/or fold and glue. Tweezers are handy for this step, since it can be finicky to work with such small pieces of paper.

Step #3


Step #4: Using a sharp blade, cut the geometric pattern out of white cardstock.

Step #4


Step #5: Adhere each triangle piece to the cardstock, et voilà, a completed snowflake.

Step #5

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