Paper decor comes home | Deccan Herald

Once considered fragile and unsuitable for long-term use, paper is making its mark in interior design. A few brands are reinventing the ancient art of cutting and folding paper to create desk calendars, picture frames, foldable lamp shades and other products. Three Indian brands tell us why and how they are adopting paper.

Layered Art

Paper Picado from Bengaluru makes nursery decor, shadow boxes, name frames and craft toys with cut paper, layered to create a 3D effect. Co-led by Kruthika Nataraju and Tarun Keshav, their style is inspired by Papel Picado, a paper-cut folk art from Mexico used to decorate shrines and burials, and Saanjhi, a stenciled paper-cut tradition from Mathura. made in devotion to Lord Krishna.

Their products are made from card stock, which is thicker than copier paper but thinner than cardboard. “They come in many colors and weights measured in grams per square meter or GSM,” says Kruthika, who is a GP. Pulp density and paper stiffness vary with weight.

Tools and Materials Used: For the custom name frames on a bed of 32 paper finials, they use 210 GSM paper, as these are easier to fold. A much stiffer variety (350 GSM) is used to make mandala lanterns.

The use of laser cutting is minimal (it leaves brown edges on white paper). Every detail is hand-crafted using artist-grade knives and blades and micro-surgical instruments.

Challenges: Light boxes depicting Santa’s sleigh flying overhead or a hot air balloon taking off are their top-selling items. “It takes 15 to 20 hours to make one. We work with 4-5 layers of white paper of different pulp densities to create a light and shadow effect,” says Kruthika. “You can’t paint or merge colors on card stock directly like you can on drawing paper. We have to apply a primer first,” she points out another.

Origami lamps

Prerna Gupta’s lighting design studio in Mumbai is called For The Love Of Folds & Tucks, or FLOFT. A studio vertical makes hanging lampshades and table lamps using the Japanese art of origami.

It is also committed to sustainable development. The paper used comes from bamboo, a
renewable source, and the instruction manual specifies the use of energy-saving LED bulbs.

Origami makes it easy to fold, flatten, and reassemble these accessories wherever you go. The paper keeps the light – a pack of a small table lamp and a base weighs 650 g.

Products are available in five shapes (teardrop, 10-ply box, round, semi-circular and disc with a swirl top), three sizes and are manufactured with a minimum of 30 ply. There is no shortage of prints, around fifty, inspired by nature (cherry blossoms), ethnic arts (Gond and Warli), comic strips and even the art of Van Gogh. The bases of the lamp are handmade and cut to give texture.

Tools and Materials Used: Industrial adhesives and neodymium magnets hold paper and end folds – no metal frames go in. The paper used is of a stiffer variety (280 gsm) – the pleats also reinforce the structure. It is treated to resist heat and can also be made waterproof. The paper is cut with a cutter (a manufacturing machine). Digital printing is used because painting with natural dyes and water can make the paper brittle.

Challenges: “Aesthetically translating a 2D artwork into a 3D structure is the biggest design challenge,” she begins. Like printing MJ’s face or a scene from ‘Calvin & Hobbes’. This requires finding the right shape for the display. Some forms take longer. “I had the teardrop pendant lamp (his bestseller) in one go while semicircular
took five-six tries. Precision, perfection and innovation are key,” says Prerna.

nostalgic craftsmanship

Sky Goodies’ inventory of 200 paper products will bring out the kid in you. The package comes with pre-printed, pre-cut and pre-scored paper with fold lines and your task is to put them together. You can install an angel in 30 seconds or build a spitfire plane in an hour.

Misha Gudibanda runs the studio in Mumbai with her husband Amit. Their studio uses high quality paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which means it is produced responsibly.

“Paper is not a scary medium. We did paper crafts growing up. Our products make adults nostalgic,” says Misha on why she chose paper to make her DIY offerings. .

On their catalog are desk calendars in the shape of sewing machines, toasters and ships. Other elements: a tabla set, a gramophone, trucks, cars, planes, a tea set, a boombox, whimsical lights are adorned with Indian iconography.

Children can assemble dinosaurs, tigers, oryx and mandrills and learn trivia about them through the kit.

Tools and materials used: High stiffness paper is used as it maintains the structure. “At the prototype stage, we make products with our hands. It helps us understand how folding and putting them together would feel (putting yourself in the customers shoes, basically),” shares Misha. Once finalized, they are cut using a cutter and the patterns are transferred to offset printing.

Challenges: “I wouldn’t call it a challenge, but we test our products (rigorously) to see how intuitive they are to put together and how well people can follow the instruction manual,” says Misha.


These products can last up to 25 years (when framed in glass). Keep them away from fire and water, and dust lightly.

Imported paper

These brands use imported paper because India has limited options, they say.

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