9 Paper Artists Whose Work Honors the Earth

With Earth Day approaching on April 22, there's no better time to highlight paper artists who are making an effort to incorporate recycled or upcycled paper into their work as a way of honoring our extraordinary planet. Granted, these are just very tiny steps but still worthwhile... giving paper a second life as something memorable is so much better than sending it to a landfill or incinerator. 

And now... on with the diverse show! 

a paper mache flower emerges from each of two painted paper mache hearts


Juliana Bollini's Instagram feed (@julianabollini) is a delight. She shapes and paints paper mache made with recycled paper to create lovely floral pieces she calls Blossoming Hearts, as well as thoughtful characters such as this Swan Lady, one in a series.


paper mache art piece of slim woman with downcast eyes wearing pink dress with swan on head  


Ju studied visual arts in Argentina where she grew up and has been living and experimenting with paper techniques in São Paulo, Brazil for 29 years. 

paper collage of woman seated at sidewalk cafe table on city street


I can't get over the detail that Boston artist Betsy Silverman incorporates into her magazine page collages... they almost look like photographs. This summer her work will be exhibited at The Edgewater Gallery in Middlebury, Vermont.


paper collage of two chickens walking on ground near farm pickup truck

Hilary Bravo in England makes paper mache bowls, beads, and a popular line of richly colored, resin-coated jewelry 'fragments'... this blue and silver pendant is an example. She begins by cutting up one of her own abstract acrylic paintings and then layers each piece onto a paper mache base that she has made from acid-free, mat board off-cuts.

rectangular blue and silver necklace pendant with silver chain

A completely different style of necklace by Hilary is made of paper mache that is hardened with epoxy resin on the reverse side so that the floral surfaces have the appearance of unglazed porcelain.

paper mache floral necklace with varied bead chain

Ulrike Hagel of Münster, Germany and Etsy shop Paperuli upcycles waste paper into useful items that embody rustic elegance. For example, this perfect set of 24 pastel paper hearts can serve as a little book to mark a special occasion or be used as place cards at a wedding or shower.


stack of pastel handmade hearts tied together with slim satin ribbon


I absolutely love the colors of this South Seas yarn that Ulrike carefully twisted by hand from newspaper.


pastel newspaper yarn skein on surface next to crochet hook and crochet work in progress
Not only does Alessandra Fabre Repetto of Rome, Italy and Etsy shop AlessandraFabre create stylized paper mache flower arrangements and fashion accessories, many of which are suitable for weddings and other special occasions, but also home decor that includes elegant paper lighting.
paper mache sculptured flower bouquet in blush, peach, and pinks in clear glass vase
handmade paper sculpture pendant light decorated with floral design

It's a joy to see the varied directions Griffin Carrick of Etsy shop GriffinCarrickDesign is taking quilling. So far in 2022 she has been upcycling well-loved denim into stunning wall art medallions. 
quilled denim medallion wall art 
True, the above is not paper art, but Griffin is also using vintage yearbooks and atlases as a source of quilling paper strips and combines the paper coils with thrifted denim to create wall hangings.
grouping of denim and paper quilling wall hangings displayed on wood floor 
Hilal Güngör, originally from Istanbul, Turkey studied Industrial Product Design where she worked in the automotive and machine industries as a technical expert. Hilal is now living in Lyon, France where she has started a product design business, Studio ILA, using environmentally friendly materials such as cellulose and clay to create rustic containers, stools, and lamps. 
orange and white rustic paper mache bowl
Hilal posts her work on Behance and Instagram.
tall pink and yellow paper mache container filled with tulips

Contemporary jewelry artist Burcu Sülek in Istanbul, Turkey uses magnolia leaves as molds for paper mache that she uses to form elegant necklaces, brooches, and earrings that make up her Magnolias of Istanbul collection, "a tribute to all of the trees being sacrificed to urbanization."

chain necklace with grouping of three horizontal leaves in blue and silver

This beauty features a hand painted phoenix which Burcu states "symbolizes strength, transformation, and renewal in times of doubt and confusion."

chain necklace with grouping of two burgundy magnolia leaf shapes onto which a phoenix has been painted

How cute are the whimsical paper mache figurines that Efthimia of the Greek island of Rhodes creates by hand?! She uses cardboard and handmade paper pulp (a mix of recycled paper and glue) to craft each character.


paper mache gnome ornaments with red and white striped hanging cords displayed on flat surface

Gnomes bring a smile all year long and her little Hug Me characters are available with lots of  different sayings. They are available in Efthimia's Etsy shop, EfthimiaPapierMache.


whimsical paper mache girl figurine with outstretched arms holding a You Are My Sunshine heart-shaped sign

If you're aware of other paper artists who use recycled materials, please let us know via a comment below so we can enjoy their work too.


All Things Paper is an Etsy affiliate.

Ann Martin
Ann Martin

This is a short biography of the post author and you can replace it with your own biography.


  1. Ann, I liked seeing all these talented artists. Betsy Silverman's collages look like paintings. I would say she paints with paper. Pat


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I try to respond to questions within 24 hours, so please check back.