3d Paper Art – Malena Valcarcel

Once in a while, I tend to focus on one particular miniature artist on 1 blog post, instead of reviewing several at once. Just because the topic is quite different or the artist him/herself is different, like today where I will be talking about miniature 3D paper art.

One artist from who I kept seeing her fantastic work on Instagram and Etsy is surely worthwhile to take a closer and more detailed look at is “Malena Valcarcel”.

But first:

What is 3D paper art, some more info?

You have probably heard of origami before? This paper art is originally from Japan and it’s a form of art where folding paper in a certain way and using different techniques, can get you magnificent little sculptures, just made from paper.

The most known design of origami would be the paper crane, aka the “Orizuru”.

Paper crane
A paper crane-origami

But today, we will be talking about another kind of 3D paper art and that is Kirigami. What is that you might wonder?

Well, instead of just folding paper and not being allowed to use anything else, Kirigami also allows cutting in paper and even use glue to put the pieces of paper together. Kiri actually means “to cut” and “gami” stands for paper.

I would really advise taking a look at this Youtube video below of the fantastic Kirigami-artist called Nahoko Kojima.

Besides (large or small) sculptures, this 3D paper art cutting method is also used for example for postcards. In the world of kirigami, they are also called ‘Pop-Up’ cards.

How they are made, you can see again in the next Youtube video. It looks pretty easy, but I do think you need a lot of patience πŸ™‚

I am not going to go down the rabbit hole to explain how this art is done or how to make these very particular pieces because that would simply take me way too far from our hobby: dollhouses and miniatures.

What kind of paper is used for paper art crafting?

One more thing though that can be of interest to you and that is the answer to the question: what kind of paper is used?

In short: it can technically be done with any kind of paper. But, when you make something with many layers and lots of folding, very thin paper is used for obvious reasons.

Now for postcards and pop-up cards, it seems that artists prefer watercolor paper because the texture makes the design a lot more interesting.

With this blog post, I just wanted to show you the wonderful work of the artist called Malena Valcarcel. Through her Etsy shop and her social media pages, etc.

So let’s go, shall we? πŸ˜‰

This Etsy shop makes or sells.

122 different items are sold on the artists’ Etsy store. Everything is made from paper but also book art.

Some more info about this shop.

Malena ValcΓ‘rcel is from Spain and loves books and reading them, obviously πŸ™‚

Those books she uses as a canvas to tell her own stories, and she is doing that by means of 3D paper art.

The books that she uses are books that otherwise would get thrown away in the trash and thus she creates wonderful and unique pieces of art.

What has this got to do with miniatures you might wonder?

Well, first of all, the sculptures she makes on the books are tiny ;-). And second, she also creates other miniatures, made from paper.

A small list of what she makes:

  • Jewelry, made by paper art. Or jewelry that involves tiny miniature books and glass. See pictures below to see what I mean.

  • All kinds of paper sculptures and book art. Lots of different things: little trees, tiny houses, mini animals, miniature accesories/shoes/plants, etc, all in miniature size.

  • she also sells a variety of mixed media, including this magnificent fairy, mushrooms, flowers in a glass dome, etc..

  • other gorgeous and fun items that she sells are matchbox art and dioramas.

  • she also sells 2 tutorials: 1= A DIY tutorial on how to make a Christmas tree book, 2= A DIY tutorial for folded book art.
DIY Tutorial Christmas tree Malena Valcarcel paper art

Her Social Media Channels.

So besides her Etsy store, Malena also has a Facebook page, an Instagram page, and a Pinterest page.

The price :

Pretty pricey, check out her shop below!

Overall Rank.

5 star reviews

It would be hard to not give this papercraft artist 5 stars, right? πŸ˜‰

Where to get this item.

On Etsy here.

The good and the bad :

I would normally make a distinction between ‘good’ points and ‘bad’ points, but I consider this store like art and “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.

Furthermore, I consider Malena Valcarcel to be a real professional in her niche (paper art and book art), so hence the 5 stars!

Other good points are:

  • It is a TOP-shop on Etsy for buyers, this means that a lot of people give it a 5-star review
  • returns and exchanges are accepted
  • fast shipping
  • good packaging

The only thing that’s troubling me is that I haven’t won the lottery to be able to buy her work, lol! πŸ™‚

My Final Conclusion.

I must say that I am quite impressed with the work of Malena Valcarcel and her 3D paper art miniatures and her book art, of course.

Do you have any questions or would you like to add something on the topic, then please leave a comment below or join me on my Facebook group.

I wish you happy crafting and/or collecting!

Best regards,


Malena Valcarcel - 3D paper art

Variable prices

Professional Paper Art


Fast shipping


Returns and exchanges accepted


The good

  • Fantastic professional 3D paper art
  • fast shipping
  • good packiging

The bad

  • Can get quite expensive

5 thoughts on “3d Paper Art – Malena Valcarcel”

  1. Thanks for sharng this very interesting article with us all. I have ro say that i found it to be a very interesting and informative read indeed. Its the sort of thing i love to see or read about. However, actually getting practical and doing it for real is a completely different story altogether.

    • Hi Kwidzin,

      You are welcome and if you really want to, just give it a try I would say πŸ˜‰

      best regards,


  2. If I was impressed with the miniatures and dollhouses, what can I say about these? This #D paper art fits perfectly into a project I am working for. I need to take pictures that can be representing normal size figures, but having them this size makes it super convenient. And plus, the paper art work carries a very special and specific meaning for my project. 

    • Hi Ann,

      Thank you for your possitive comment and I wish you much luck with your project!

      best regards,


  3. It’s a shame that her customers (and bloggers) don’t realise this artist is well known for passing other artist’s original art off as her own! They’re paying a fortune for her work, not realising she is breaking numerous copyright laws. Most are exact replicas of the UK artist Su Blackwell, the ‘Catching Dreams’ sculpture is a copy of the original idea ‘The Whisper’ by US artist Pamela Zagarenski… the dioramas are copies of another US artist! Not sure any of her work isn’t breaching another artist’s copyright. So, 5 stars?! Hmmmmm…


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