Paper Cutting by Golda Argel (Papr)

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I really value how this blog has become a vibrant platform for me to share the plethora of amazing local talent that I come across in our little archipelago.

On this note, I’d love to introduce you to the intricate paper cutting art of Golda Argel, who creates one-of-a-kind pieces through her brand Papr.

SnapseedI first discovered Golda’s work through photographer Lisa Llarena‘s Instagram page and I knew they would make the perfect wedding gifts for two dear friends last January.

From the moment I sent her an email, Golda was  a joy to work with on these presents.  She wanted to know as much as possible about both couples so that she could create personal works of art that would be special to them. We went through specific details like where they had their first dates, how they liked to spend their weekends, and even if a well-loved pooch was fluffy.

Snapseed-11I asked Golda to share a bit about her process with us and she was kind enough to offer a super nice giveaway for my readers at the end. What might surprise you to know about about Golda (it surprised me) is that she is a full-time law student who believes that it is possible to have the time to do anything you want. Read her great tips below.

CJL: What exactly do you do?
GA: Armed with a craft knife, I cut paper to create bespoke handmade papercuts.

Snapseed-10What exactly is paper cutting? What is the history of this art?
Papercutting is the art of creating an image using specialized tools and is believed to have originated in China as a symbolic and decorative art form.

Snapseed-1What kind of equipment is required? Is there a specific type of paper needed?
I use acid-free paper to preserve the artwork for longer periods, otherwise it would turn yellow and become brittle over time. For paper substance, I find 100-120gsm best for intricate details although some do prefer to work with board. Tools needed would be a craft knife, a sharp blade, and a self healing mat. A knife with a nice grip and a good self healing mat could do wonders for your hands. The best type of blade for papercutting is the #11 type because the tip is extremely sharp. If you’ll be using a ruler, buy the metal ones as plastic rulers wil get cut by the blade.


Snapseed-8How long have you been paper cutting? How did you start?
I first saw Lori Danelle‘s fingerprint papercut 2 years ago in Pinterest. I appreciate and always seek to learn new forms of art so I tried it and was pretty good but forgot about it after one piece because I got busy with school. Around 7 months ago, I was really stressed during midterm exams and I just wanted to relax and keep my mind off things so I decided to try it again. I find the process quite relaxing, almost like meditation. I posted some of my work on my facebook profile and was really surprised about the positive feedback so I started to experiment on other layouts until I got better. I’m living proof of how skills and ability can improve within months with practice and tons of patience. *laughs*

Snapseed-2Can you tell us about your process? Around how long does it take to make each piece?
Layouts are first hand drawn on paper. I draw the draft backwards since the other side of the paper would be the actual piece. I’ve made digital templates for some of my layouts so sometimes I would just print it and use it as a guide. The drafting is the hardest part for me since I make sure that each piece is personalized. Then I would hand cut all the small details first while the blade is at its sharpest then move to finishing the whole piece. Some layouts can be done in an hour while the really detailed ones could take a few days. So far, the longest period for me is 4 days but that’s already including the hours I spend for my studies.

Snapseed-5How much personalization do you put into each work?
Each cut is designed and drawn to order to meet the needs and ideas of my clients. I see to it that there’s meaning in each cut, even down to the smallest detail.

Snapseed-4I understand you’re also a law student, how do you balance your time?

I get this question a lot and I always tell people that if you kick social media to the curb, or at least reduce time and effort spent there, you’ll be surprised at how much you can do in one day. Since I have evening classes, I used to go home after class then spend so many hours in social networks or surf the internet until I got tired and sleep. That was my way of relaxing since I prefer to study in the morning until class time. I still follow the same sched only this time I can relax and be productive at the same time through art.

Can you tell us about some of your more memorable pieces?
My most memorable piece was the one that I made for our professor as a birthday gift from our class. He’s one of the pillars and most loved professors in law school so I really wanted our class gift to be special to show our appreciation. I aged my hands fitting 42 names in one 8x11inch tree but it was worth it. I have never seen him speechless. He’s like a walking encyclopedia so he has always known what to say and can always say something about a certain topic. Until that day. 🙂

Snapseed-3Around how much would it cost of purchase one of your works? 
Right now, my range for the pre designed layouts is at 600php to 1,500php, unframed. Price for requested layouts would depend on the time and effort spent for the design and cutting.

Can you tell us how much time should be given to order a piece? 
My lead time is 4 weeks so I can properly plot orders in my schedule and not sacrifice my studies. Shorter lead time is possible for some layouts depending on the number of pending orders in a given deadline.

Snapseed-6Now’s your chance to own a beautiful Papr art piece made just for your family. Similar to the one Golda has made for me above.

1. Leave a comment sharing a hobby you’d like to learn more about. Like Golda says , “If there’s one thing I got from this experience, it’s the importance of making time for what you love. :)”

2. Share this feature on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. You can use one of the buttons below to help you do so. Please tag me so I can see it. My social media accounts can be found on the righthand side of my blog. 

3. Golda will contact two lucky winners via email next month to work out details. Since items will be framed free of charge, she is requesting that participants be willing to pick up their pieces in the Rockwell area when convenient. 

If you’re interested in ordering her beautiful work, please contact Golda through her Facebook page.



  1. Rocel A. Villasis says

    I love to bake but never attended any formal training (just basic baking classes here and there). Would love to learn baking techniques under the tutelage of Heny Sison and attend the Wilton decorating classes at Gourdos. 🙂

  2. Her story is really inspiring and her artworks are phenomenal (I can’t believe how detailed it is! WOW!). I personally would like to pursue two artistic endeavors and those are ILLUSTRATING and PHOTOGRAPHY! I am really relaxed and happy whenever I am in front of my sketchpad doodling or when I am taking photos of random objects in our house. I would really like to learn these two hobbies of mine in-depth! Maybe one day my works will be featured here on this blog (who knows!)

    Great blog post! 🙂

  3. Katrina Demetrio says

    Hi! A hobby that I would really really love to learn more about is photography or taking photographs! I am a mom of 2 boys and I would really love to capture the best moments of their lives. They are young once and the photographs will be a keepsake of memories for them and for us, their parents. And likewise, I would really love to learn how to scrapbook, put the photos altogether and other worthy things to remember for my sons. I know that time spent for these hobbies are worth it!

  4. I’d love to try this out but another thing that I’d really like to learn is photography. I’d also love to practice up on my cake decorating except that its hard to bake when you have 2 very active toddlers who insist that they help you out in the kitchen. Great post and what a great talent! You are really inspiring 🙂

  5. this is awesome, thank you for featuring her! a facebook contact was gifted with a similar art (not sure if it was golda’s work) but the gift giver was being quite secretive about where she got it, despite the many inquiries. so yay for this! i am definitely having one made 🙂

  6. I would like to take more time to learn (better) hybrid scrapbooking and sewing since I have already dabbled at traditional and digital scrapbooking in the past. it is the next phase. i would also like to put more stitching techniques in them especially when I recently got a sewing machine to use.

  7. A big yay for this papercutting hobby! It’s intricate and “intimate” all at the same time! *hee* Well, if there’s any hobby that I want to do and learn about more, that’d be WRITING. As a new mom, I wish to put all our mom-daughter/family adventures & milestones on paper or web. It’s nice to imagine our little ones see their journey in their parents eyes. I’d really really love to make that happen. 🙂

  8. Writing is my hobby. It’s not as awesome as paper cutting or photograpy, but it is art in it’s own right. I’ve attended workshops to hone my skills. I’ve even started to draft a book ages ago, which I planned to give my boyfriend on our anniversary. Then, I married the boyfriend, had two adorable children, and forgot the password to the draft of my what-could-have-been first bestseller. Haha.

  9. Beautiful pieces!! I used to think that writing was just my calling, but I’m definitely interested to make papercutting my new hobby! If you hold classes, I’d love to attend them. 🙂 I also dabble a bit in sketching and photography, mostly when my schedule permits it.

  10. Im really fond of arts and crafts.. I love doing diy for any events in our family gatherings.. But as of the moment, I want to learn the art in chocolate candy making. I tried making oreo pops on my son’s first birthday and enjoyed doing it. Now i’m so interested in learning more about this craft. I hope i can fulfill this soon. Its so hard to enroll in classes since i am a SAHM, thats why i just rely on what i see in youtube..

  11. I love both writing and drawing.

    Writing has been my passion for a couple of years now and I might not be good at it, but I love what I’m doing which is why I push on. It was only recently that I took up drawing as a hobby because, in relation to being a writer, I wanna be make a graphic novel. 😀

  12. i always loved doodling when i was a kid, so a hobby i’d like to learn more about is illustrating or cartoon character development. i really like beautiful works handmade with love, it feels more organic and much more special.

  13. I have a lot of things in mind that I want to learn but if time permits I would really love to enhance my skills in photo editing or digital scrapbooking using Adobe Photoshop.

    I enjoyed using this software and creating digital quickpages. I’ve been planning to enroll in short term course for Photoshop but due to my busy schedule (work+household chores), lack of time is my main hurdle.

  14. I love Papr! I have seen a couple of FB friends who have received or have one made and I’ve been hoping that I get to have this one of a kind piece for me and my husband. I came from a family of good cooks from both paternal and maternal side. This is something that I’ve always wanted to be but never had any formal training on. Ever since I got married, I have discovered my love for the kitchen and I can actually cook. Given a chance, I would want to get proper training in culinary school and be able to hone this new found talent.

  15. Given the time, there are quite a few things that I’d want to take to another level. Among the many, my Top 3 would be baking, photography and illustrating.

  16. What an inspiring story! And the fact that she is a law student really makes her awesome. ( Ive seen my hubby go through law school and I know how gruelling the work load is). I really have no excuse to spend more time on a new interest i have.. Calligraphy. 🙂 I would like to learn more about this and I really should make the time. 🙂

  17. Hi! I admire your work =) Great job! As for me, I’m currently into baking and Calligraphy so I’m taking workshops on these two when time permits. These are my outlet to bring our my creative juices =)

  18. Beautiful! Her work would make a nice design for a bookplate. 🙂 I would like to improve my writing skills, since as I admitted on my blog my grammar can be quite horrendous sometimes. I keep on writing anyway either online or in my journal. Im planning to enter law school this year, so like Golda i hope to be able to make time to do what I love. Second would be photography, I used to live in darkrooms but haven’t fully adjusted to the digital world. So lola!

  19. Wow! Those pieces are beautiful and amazing! Now I’m inspired to do better with crafting. Since I’ll be tying the knot this year, I wanted to be hands-on when it comes to details of my wedding. I started to practice rubber stamp carving, DIY-ing flower bouquets, decors and invitation cards, together with my fiance. I realized that I have talent in this, just plenty of time and patience to research and practice often to master the skills in crafting.

  20. Jocelyn Lindy To says

    I would love to learn more on the inner works of photoshop for my love of digital scrapbooking. other interest i want to try is baking/.cooking and calligraphy=)

  21. would love to pursue concept photography specializing on newborns & toddlers. it’s always a great joy documenting kid’s developments & it never fails to make people smile to see cute baby photographs. also want to explore painting & typography. would also love to try paper cutting, reminds me of that Batibot episode wherein they did papercutting for pastillas wrappers. one of my fave Batibot episodes. 🙂

  22. Golda’s works are super adorable. Like her i’ve started on a new hobby, baking. it’s a music to my ear the moment my mixer is turned on. and i feel deligthed to see people happy with my craft. but there’s one thing that i’d really want to learn soon, gumpaste and fondant making! it makes cakes and cupcakes more personal, it expresses the personality, the mood of an event, and the theme of celebrators and their events. Both Golda and I juggle our hobbies with our priorities but i’m pretty sure that we both enjoy what we are doing 😉 Cheers to Golda’s creations.

  23. We sure need to make time to do what we love or else we’ll be burned by stress. I would like to know more about illustrating and writing poetry because those are hobbies I love.

  24. Rhona Reyes says

    All my life, I have been fond of paper. I grew up collecting stationeries and colored/printed paper. I started to like doodling, too. So last year, crafters seem to abound and I took the chance to try what they’re doing. I attended calligraphy, washi tapes and rubber stamping workshops. And when I saw one of Golda’s work, I fell in love at once — I found myself enrolling in a basic paper cutting workshop as well. While I can cut, I could not draw! So I very much fancy Golda’s work. 🙂

    Would be interested in learning paint brush calligraphy next time. Hopefully, instead of printing banners or resorting to tarpaulin, will be able to write beautifully using brushes.

  25. I would really love to master knitting and crocheting. I know the basics of crocheting and have finished some projects already but I would certainly love to do more, and preferably, those that are a little more complicated and useful. Plus, I have enough friends with babies to sell my crafts to!

  26. I love to master my skills in photography. I love taking photos and keeping mementos. I took photography classes years ago but until now I haven’t had the capability to pursue making money out of that hobby. So desperate. 🙂

  27. Actually its not a hobby but more of a skill. I would really want to learn how to drive. I have this fear of being infront of the wheel and i strongly feel that learning how to drive will help me conquer my fear

  28. Actually its not a hobby but more of a skill. I would really want to learn how to drive. I have this fear of being infront of the wheel and i strongly feel that learning how to drive will help me conquer my fear. Nothing like facing your fears head on right?