Our Favorite Paper Artists (and Wrap Stars)

You've seen it decked throughout our stores and across our collections, so it's no surprise that we’d take our cut-paper obsession one step further – in the form of creative gift wrapping. Forgoing the typical paper bag and tissue paper, we decided to bring our presents to life with the help of three outstandingly creative paper artists. Their task? To wrap our holiday icons in the most giftastic way.

Julianna Szabo, Marine Coutroutsios, and Riza Cruz—based in Sydney, Australia, Dublin, Ireland, and Fullerton, CA respectively—may have stumbled into paper sculpting by chance, but they’re experts at setting the holiday mood through their lovely creations.

Take a peek at their cutting, pasting and snapping processes, and how they’re wrapping up the holidays.

Julianna Szabo's paper version of the Townsman Automatic mechanical watch.

Q: How long ago did you start creating paper sculptures? 

MC: About 4 years ago.

JS: My enthusiasm for paper crafts started in college, and I’ve been creating paper sculptures and animation ever since I graduated in 2014.

RC: I started creating paper sculptures when I attended community college so about two years ago. In my sculpture class, I was assigned to make a fantastical machine and I created a wooden robot with colorful paper “mechanics” on the inside.

Julianna Szabo's holiday GIF

Q: Describe your sculptures in three words?

MC: Handcrafted, colorful, joyful.

JS: Intricate, whimsical, handmade.

RC: Colorful, bold, geometric.

Marine Coutroutsios wraps the red Emerson satchel.

Q: Where do you find inspiration this holiday season?

MC: Childhood memories.

JS: I usually take inspiration from my surroundings, from the intricate structures in nature and architecture. I also like to reach back to the folk traditions I experienced growing up.

RC: I love looking through old (and new) design, art, and children’s books. I love applying what I see and learn into my work!


Q: Tell us about a favorite gift you’ve received. How was it wrapped?

MC: A monster doll sewn by my younger sister. It has its own origami box.

JS: My favorite gift was one of my birthday presents that my boyfriend wrapped in a handmade paper rose. At the time I dried every rose I got and the idea was that I could keep this one forever.

RC: My MacBook Pro! When I received it, it was inside of an old laptop box from a few years ago.

Riza Cruz' take on the Preston small flap bag in the Kaleido design.

Q: What’s the most curious object you’ve ever gifted? Who was the receiver?

MC: A handmade ceramic “magic” salt shaker (which had no visible holes) for a dear friend.

JS: When I was a child, I always gave handmade presents to my mom. One of them was a picture I made from matches and dried pasta, which she still has.

RC: The most curious object I ever gifted was a felt sloth wearing a tuxedo and a parachute backpack. I hung it inside my boyfriend’s locker and that is how I asked him to prom.

Riza Cruz' paper version of our Original Boyfriend watch.

Riza Cruz's paper Jacqueline paper watch

Q: What’s on your holiday wish list?

MC: Paper, paint, time.

JS: Be with my family, eat my mom’s special stuffed cabbage, snow.

RC: Screen-printing supplies, winter boots, and more paper!

Marine Coutroutsios working on her Tailor watch paper wrap. 

Q: What are your looking forward to the most this season?

MC: Our trip to New Zealand and waking up in front of the infinite mountain landscape.

JS: To spend a few days of peace and quiet with my boyfriend.

RC: Since I’m away for college in Orange County, I am definitely looking forward to just being with my family again. I also can’t wait to eat my parents’ homemade food!


Julianna Szabo showing us what's on her Estate Backpack this season. 

Shop the pieces that inspired these holiday paper sculptures here!