Paper Dahlias, Garlands, and Ornaments by Paper Altar

I came across the stylish decorations made by Niki Haynes of Paper Altar via a mention on Paper Crave Quick Picks just before the holidays. All it took was one click over to the shop to know I'd return some gray day in January - and here we are.

hot pink folded heart ornament

I find Niki's paper craft designs incredibly appealing... made even more so by elegant photographs that contrast vivid colors and vintage papers against weathered wood.

I wrote to ask about her obvious enjoyment of crafting and eye for design. I think you'll appreciate hearing about the birth of PaperAltar.

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I have been a collage artist ALL of my life and just love paper - it is an amazing medium. I have had formal art education at Cooper Union in NYC and have worked in the Commercial Arts as a freelance artist throughout my working life. 


I consider my PaperAltar shop as a happy medium, using all of my skill sets. I enjoy the methodical zen of cutting, folding, gluing, and constructing - as much as I love the problem solving of creating and designing the pieces. I also get to utilize my skills for Art Direction and Photography.

The genesis of PaperAltar was to create a space and place for constructive downtime and to find a unique and fun way to use all of this wonderful paper I've been collecting. My concept was to repurpose and reuse what I already had on hand. I started with the accordion fold of a rosette and began creating from there.

Anatomical Heart Valentine Rosette

Just look at these layered paper dahlias caught in a sunbeam. Sigh... so pretty!  


One idea ... or "mistake" led to another creation/idea. The Dahlias were born of a pointier, star-shaped rosette. I thought they started to look more like a flower shape and then ... the tricky part - stacking them.


The Heart Blossoms started out of a desire to create a Red Poppy from luscious ruby red paper I had gotten in Chinatown as a kid. In working to get that shape I found the Heart. My new pieces for this year are going to be wedding bouquets and tree toppers - for now.

I love running my shop because it is a worldwide virtual shelf. I get to display my work and interact with so many other amazing, creative people. All on a schedule that fits into my life.


Thank you, Niki - I look forward to future Paper Altar designs!


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Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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