Papercut Figures by Cristiana Bellini of Les Petites

If you're a fashion lover like me - or even if you're not - I have a feeling you'll appreciate the natural talent and skill evident in the often glamorously dressed paper figures that Cristiana Bellini of Les Petites creates. Inspired by styles from past decades, the fashionable figures are outfitted in retro clothing complete with accessories.

glamorous female figure made of decorative papers placed alongside Les Petites business card


Enjoy this Artist Spotlight in which Cristiana relates her art journey and where she finds ideas and multitudes of beautiful papers.

Where did you grow up and where do you live now?

I was born and still live in a small town in Emilia Romagna, Italy, the land of excellent food, where everyone loves to cook except me! 


pair of 1960s mothers with young children made of decorative papers

What do you call your paper art? 


I am often asked the name of this kind of art: I could simply define it as paper art, but I find that much too generic. I would rather describe it as Drawing with Paper. 

papercut figure of Queen Eizabeth with wings and one corgi alongside rose bouquet


Have you studied art formally? 


I am totally self-taught. As a child (very quiet and shy indeed) a nice box of colored pencils and some sheets of paper made me happy and busy for the whole day. In particular, my passion was drawing infinite versions of pretty girls in elegant dresses - mostly wedding gowns!

papercut wedding couple made of decorative papers


This shy child went to primary school and then to high school, kept on drawing girls who were more and more proportionate. A lot of exercise, I mean! Besides that, exploring many other crafts along the years helped me to develop my own taste and ability to combine colours.


papercut Beatles figures with paper drum set, guitar, microphones, and drumsticks

Describe your passion for paper.

I believe paper is a unique material with its infinity of colours, textures, and thicknesses. I source it everywhere - I am a real hoarder - even empty packaging is worth being treasured. When I want the very best, I make a dedicated trip to specialized shops that have wide ranges of handmade papers from foreign countries - lokta from Nepal, for example.


two young women papercut figures with retro-style clothing made of decorative papers

What brought about your interest in combining beautiful papers with fashion? And when?


I started working with paper to create flowers with the help of a manual die-cutting machine, but very quickly I shifted to human figures which give me much more satisfaction. They are the natural outlet for my old passion of drawing tiny girls! Die cutting is almost abandoned except for small details.


black and white photograph of Audrey Hepburn alongside papercut Audrey Hepburn figure that duplicates photographic image

What inspires you to create new figures?

I find inspiration everywhere, from a real dress in a shop window, a vintage gown by the great couturiers of the past, but I also adore to create following my fantasy. In this case, my scissors give birth to elves, fairies or characters of famous novels or movies (Jane Austen and Scarlett O’Hara are two of my favourites).

Jane Austen papercut figure holding papercut quill pen and Pride and Prejudice book

Tell us about your process.


As soon as I have time or inspiration I simply sit with my scissors without knowing in advance what the outcome will be. I only cut freehand, without patterns or templates, as I would never have the patience for them. This means my figures always differ one from another.


papercut figure of young woman dressed in musical notes skirt holding star wand

Is creating your paper figures a hobby or is it more than that?


Everything started as a passion, a way to relax at the end of the day, but when I opened my social profiles, people began to find me. The first and most suitable name that came to mind for my creations was Les Petites, which means The Littles in French.


paper artist Cristiana Bellini

 Cristiana Bellini of Les Petites


Where can people find you online?


I can be contacted on Facebook at @LesPetites.paperdolls and on Instagram at @_les__petites. If you would like to look at a wide range of my creations, please pay me a visit on Pinterest



Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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