Guess who’s back to work?

I am!

I’ve taken nine wonderful months off since Toby’s birth, but finances dictate that it’s time to get back to my cutting mat. I wasn’t even going to return to papercutting since I no longer have a desk, but I’ve had several bookings and enquiries during my maternity leave, so I’ll keep cutting as long as my clients want me to!

I’m starting with a couple of filled letter commissions for a special customer. I must admit, papercutting isn’t very easy with a baby in tow (I rarely have two hands free, let alone a yoghurt smear-free kitchen table to work at!), so I’m also returning to my old line of work alongside my scalpel stuff. This means I’m currently ghostwriting a novel and working on some academic papers. It feels good to be writing (and cutting!) again… Even if I’m doing it while balancing my laptop on my knees while feeding my baby to sleep!

As a result, I’m only able to offer a very limited number of slots for commissions each month (probably only two), and I’ve decided to phase out all other aspects of my business (prints, accessories, DIY sets, exhibitions, fairs, and the like) because I just don’t have the storage space or the time to dedicate to photography, writing listings, packing orders, event preparation, and so on.

This shift in the way I work means I can dedicate more time and attention to clients by focusing on solely creating bespoke commissions (which is how I started out) and possibly in future offering tailored one-off workshops too. This will give me time to concentrate on my family and also on my writing and publishing work. There may be a few limited edition prints in future, as well as one-off originals to suit all budgets (after all, I want to keep my work accessible to all), but time will tell…

So, if you’re interested in booking a commission for the year ahead, please drop me an email to hello @ (no spaces) to discuss your requirements.

These limited slots will be booked on a first-come, first-served basis, so if you have an important occasion coming up or know for sure that you would like something from me this year, please get in touch as soon as you can. I’m taking bookings right up to July 2020 and am also happy to take them for later into the year. I don’t take deposits; I have always worked on trust, so please ensure you’re certain you’d like a piece before you go ahead and book.

From family trees to filled letters, wedding papercuts to anniversary pieces, I can create a bespoke design for you which makes a wonderful gift or heirloom keepsake. I can also provide professional framing and personalised wrapping so that your item is ready to gift and enjoy.

I’m really looking forward to working closely with clients again to create special pieces. Thanks again for your continued support of my small business, and here’s to an awesome 2020!



Taking a look at a new TV series which is a joyful celebration of all things handmade, plus I explain how you can discover your creative side with me in an inspiring environment.

“It’s lovely to create something that’s a bit of you.”

“This forces you to slow down. I have no sense of time.”

“I feel like a kid again.”

“It would really give me some me-time.”

If you’ve been watching the fantastic BBC Four series MAKE! Craft Britain, you may have heard the show’s participants uttering the words above. The programme follows members of the public as they attend workshops to learn a range of new-to-them crafts, from rag rugging to letterpress. It’s a wonderful watch.

The first episode of the series featured hushed voices, satisfied smiles and enthusiastic noises as the workshop attendees turned their hands to time-old traditional craft skills, while artists working in embroidery and paperart showcased their work and explained why they loved it so much. “Even a single sheet of paper can be made into something quite beautiful,” explained one origami addict.

That’s something you’ll discover on my papercutting workshops, when you learn basic cutting techniques with a scalpel before moving on to choose from a wide range of pre-designed templates (or you can design your own). The goal of my workshops is that you’ll leave feeling like the MAKE! Craft Britain participants – having learned something new, challenged yourself and made a beautiful piece of art.


In our busy modern lives, it’s easy to get caught up in busy-ness. I don’t know about you, but as an adult I’m endlessly rushing around to get jobs done, I often put my own needs at the bottom of the pile while I make sure everyone else is happy, and my head is a constant flurry of important dates to remember, school events, play dates and to-do lists – that’s before I even get started on my work!

And those are just some of the reasons I love teaching workshops. Like the participants in the MAKE! Craft Britain workshops, I adore the me-time that my craft brings me, I love slowing down to create something beautiful from paper, and I love putting my heart and soul into what I do. Workshops give me the chance to share that passion, while helping others enjoy the benefits papercutting can bring – relaxation, quality time spent learning something new, challenging yourself with something creative you’ve never attempted before, and learning a skill you can enjoy for life and apply to lots of different things; whether it’s creating a handmade card for a loved one or making a personalised papercut wedding gift for your best friend.

Teaching at Swallows & Artisans

Teaching at Swallows & Artisans


So what sorts of things happen on a Beginner’s Papercutting Workshop with Holmes-made Papercuts? First up, we meet each other, share a brew and have a mingle to get to know one another. My workshop groups are always very small so that I can give you dedicated one to one time while I teach. It’s all very relaxed and laid-back; you can be as chatty or as quiet as you like – there’s no pressure (although it’s very likely you’ll make some new friends on my workshops!). Next up I go over what we’ll be covering during the session, which varies depending upon how many hours we have, but will always involve learning how to use a scalpel safely and accurately, trying out colour infills, developing an understanding of how to design your own papercuts (even without much artistic skill – perfect if you want to be able to translate your new knowledge into making gifts or cards for others!), and choosing from a range of pre-designed templates to cut, so that you leave the workshop with at least one completed papercut ready to gift or keep for yourself. If you prefer, you can design your own piece to cut – I’ll help you with this. There’s also the opportunity to purchase tools, a mat and more templates for a small fee, and I even offer framing if you’d like to take home your completed piece ready to display!

If this all sounds a bit beyond your skill level, please don’t worry. Everyone who comes on my Beginner’s Workshops is an absolute beginner (or at least has very limited experience), and I’m always astounded by how well participants do under my guidance. Within a few hours of practice, you can create smooth lines, steady cuts and beautiful works of art using my templates, or I can advise you on how you can design your own! After the workshop, you can use these skills again if you wish; either by downloading and printing more of my templates, or by creating your own designs for invitations, cards, unique art work or gifts. Papercuts make wonderful gifts for birthdays, weddings, Christenings or Christmas, and if you decide to continue your newfound skills after your workshop experience, I’m always on hand with advice via email should you need it!


I’m really keen to teach at venues which reflect the vibe I want my workshops to have. It’s important to me that I teach in relaxing locations, like at Swallows & Artisans in the Lake District, or ArtisOn in the Yorkshire Dales. In these places, the stunning surroundings help to inspire creativity (the views across Coniston Water from the workshop at Swallows & Artisans are just breathtaking). These venues bring a touch of luxury for my attendees, with shelves filled with artisan makes and comfy areas in which to relax when we’re not busy learning. I also want to ensure that the venues where I teach help my attendees to feel looked after and nurtured – from warm, comfortable surroundings to a healthy, wholesome lunch.

I like people to leave my workshops feeling refreshed and inspired, and that they’ve had a great day which has been good value for money. The feedback I’ve received over the years certainly reflects this, and it’s why I continue to teach papercutting workshops to keen attendees – I just love sharing my expertise and passing my passion on!

If you fancy joining me at my next workshop, it’s taking place at Swallows & Artisans in Coniston, in the beautiful Lake District, on Saturday April the 14th. There are a limited number of tickets, and you can get yours here! Swallows & Artisans is a gorgeous purpose-built workshop space with sweeping views over the shores and fells around Coniston Water. There’s a really delicious hot lunch provided, and all the cake you can eat (it’s not a Holmes-made workshop if there’s no cake!). Tickets for the day are priced at just £75 for six hours of indulgent relaxation learning a wonderful new skill, along with all materials and tools, plus lunch and refreshments included. You’ll have the chance to take home your tools and more templates, and to have your piece framed up too if you like (small charges apply).


Swallows & Artisans is right next door to Lanehead, the historic home of artist William G Collingwood, where Arthur Ransome taught William’s grandchildren to sail in Swallow II. This provided the inspiration for the book Swallows & Amazons – hence the workshop venue name! Lanehead is a beautiful period property, tucked away off the beaten track, and steeped in history with luxurious accommodation. If you like, you can book to spend two or three nights here when you book in for my workshop – why not make the most of your time in the Lakes? You could even book on to The Creative Nib’s Modern Calligraphy workshop, which is taking place at Swallows & Artisans the day after my workshop, for a weekend full of creativity and learning. You can find out more about accommodation options here or alternatively (if you need any more persuading) just look at this stunning bedroom view! Fancy waking up to that…

Lanehead, Coniston – bedroom view

The view from one of Lanehead’s bedrooms. Nice!

I’m thrilled to announce I’ll be teaching later this year at The Artisan Hub, a new venue between Stafford and Wolverhampton. The workshop will be on a weekend – we are still firming up dates, but the summer months are looking most likely. The best way to stay up-to-date on this event (and all of my events!) is to sign up to my mailing list here, where you’ll receive a newsletter about once a month letting you know about forthcoming events, new products and other Holmes-made goodness.

As always, if you have any questions about my workshops or my work, use the contact form on this website to get in touch, and I’ll get back to you soon!

The next episodes of MAKE! Craft Britain are on at 9pm on BBC Four on 28th of March and 4th of April. Make sure you tune in to watch more crafts being covered, including jewellery making, cross stitch, mosaic making and knitting. It’s definitely worth a watch!


Five lessons from 2017

As with every year that passes, 2017 taught me some real life lessons. Here, I share the five biggest things I learned last year – about myself and my business. 

Lesson One: People still want my work.

When you’re self-employed and work alone from home, you often feel you’re in a little bubble. Your friends, customers and peers are all online, and it’s easy to get trapped in a cycle of comparison and jealousy when you scroll the Instagram feeds of fellow creative businesses and see their amazing creations and picture-perfect lives. Of course, I’m not delusional – I know everyone presents their best side online, but that doesn’t stop me being full of self-doubt.

I’ve been papercutting for more than six years now, and the days of being booked solidly for commissions for 18 months are long gone (I shudder at the pressure I used to put myself under!). I’m a lot less busy than I used to be. I know I’m not alone in this, and I’m happy with the amount of work I have on as it’s easier to balance with family life. So when I do get enquiries and send out invoices for one of a kind pieces, it still feels amazing. Every time my iPhone makes the cha-ching till sound when I get an Etsy sale, I do a little dance and a big “wahoo!”. It’s great to still feel wanted after six years of doing this (despite what my imposter syndrome monsters try to convince me), and it’s an honour to be kept busy by lovely customers with such great projects and orders. It helps put food on our table, pay towards the bills, and keeps me out of trouble – thank you. Always.

2017 saw me hand-draw and hand-cut a wonderful selection of commissions (a few are pictured above), from an architectural wedding venue cut to mermaids, seaside scenes and Cornish landscapes. I created a vintage typewriter which I turned into Valentine’s cards (buy them here!), cut lots more scenes of Yorkshire’s famous landmarks, cut some big family trees, pretty wedding hearts and colourful children’s name pieces, and developed new templates and kits in order to pass my passion for paper to others through delivering three fantastic workshops. I continued my work with Etsy’s Team York, hit 500 sales in my Etsy shop, and undertook my largest commission ever. Again – thank you.

Lesson two: I’m stronger than I realise.

I’m not a very resilient person, and lord knows me and my immediate family have had some trying times over the years. This year has been one of the most trying, but also one that’s taught me I am far stronger than I think. The year began on an unsteady footing as we recovered from the unexpected passing of a close family member, ascended into bliss as we discovered we were expecting our second child, and descended to despair when we discovered there was no pregnancy.

Laurence and I decided earlier this year that we really wanted to extend our family, and we were overjoyed to discover those thin blue lines in July. Everything seemed pretty normal – belly growing, strong symptoms, positive tests – and we were so excited to share our news with our seven-year-old after the 12-week scan in September. But it wasn’t to be. There was just an empty sac, with no baby. I said the words at the same time as the sonographer –  “a missed miscarriage”, while Laurence looked at me, dumbfounded. My body had been playing tricks on me, and it was a further two months of emotional and physical torment (eventually resulting in me needing surgery) before I was officially no longer pregnant. Even though I never really had been.

Missed miscarriage scan

Little Baby Nothing – discovering my missed miscarriage in September was a massive shock.

Once you see those two lines, your world changes. You feel all the fears and have all the hopes. But after that scan, hope went out like a candle. Hope for the little piece of love that would always be in my heart, but never in my arms. I read somewhere that you can’t get to courage without walking through vulnerability, and I feel vulnerable putting this in words, but every brave step helps the healing.

A little over two weeks after my surgery, I was driving myself to the Lake District to deliver a workshop, for which I’d created three new products and devised and put together DIY packs and templates (and started selling them in my online shop). I don’t know how I managed it, but I did. December was one of my busiest months ever, with another workshop plus a Christmas market and a ton of online sales – and I was doing it all singlehandedly, putting in crazy hours as Laurence was working away in his new job and only home at weekends. Had my mind not been kept so busy, I think the final weeks of the year would’ve turned out very differently. So again, I’m so grateful for all of the orders and enquiries – you don’t know how much that busy-ness helped me get through the experience. It certainly taught me that I’m stronger than I thought.

Lesson three: I love teaching

After nine years of self-employment, I’ve become used to my own company. Sometimes I can go a full day without speaking to another adult. Which leads me to act like a complete dork when I do engage in adult conversation. I pull stupid facial expressions, and make foot-in-mouth comments. Social decorum is not exactly my middle name!

So when I have to professionally ‘adult’ in front of other adults, who’ve *paid* for me to stand in front of them and teach them something… It can be quite daunting (we’ll gloss over the fact that I used to teach at a real-life college!). As someone who has long suffered from horrendous panic attacks and anxiety over public engagements, it’s a wonder I can pull my rear end into gear and actually teach workshops. But teach them I do!

I taught three in 2017, at the wonderful ArtisOn and at glorious new venue Swallows & Artisans. There’s nothing I enjoy more than sharing my passion for paper with an enthusiastic bunch of lovely people. Seeing their faces as they pull a finished papercut away from the template, or pose proudly for a picture with their finished creations… I just love it. Expect to see more workshops in 2018 – subscribe to my newsletter if you want to be kept up to date on when they’re happening. And if you know of a great venue who you think would love me to teach there, please let me know about it!

Lesson four: Family and friends are everything

After a trying year, I can barely begin to thank my family and friends for being there for me. I’ve made more of an effort to be social this year, rather than cooping myself up alone in my little studio, and it’s certainly helped my mental health. And probably my productivity as well!

Batfest collage_MelissaHolmes

Batfest… Heavenly!

From lunch dates with creative girlfriends and giggle-filled meetings with my Etsy Team York posse, to full weekends camping with creative geniuses; friends and fun were a central part of 2017. Once again, Batfest was a highlight. It’s not a festival dedicated to bats, it’s just a small get together organised between a bunch of creative indie businesses which this year involved camping, Smores, giant bubbles, stand-up paddleboarding, wheelbarrow races, eating, star-gazing, campfires, balloon modelling, rowing, face-painting, macrame, henna, dogs, country walks and an epic water fight. Very much looking forward to doing it all again this year!

Then of course there are the times when friends and family go above and beyond to help out in times of need – like when school mums take my daughter C to school while I’m struggling to stand upright due to a flare-up of my chronic pain condition, or my Dad and stepmum step in to help out with C when I’m too ill to manage, or one of my oldest friends accompanies me to the hospital to take the tablets to induce my miscarriage, and stays with me for the next ten hours through the contractions and crying to rub my back and bring me pain meds. Thank you Em, I’ll never forget your kindness and love over the past year and will never be able to repay you.

As independent as I like to think I am, 2017 taught me that I can’t get by without my friends and family. I’m so grateful to have such a special bunch of people in my life.

Lesson five: Self-care is vital

A couple of years ago, I read the quote “an empty vessel cannot serve”. To me, that translates as “you’ve got to fill your own cup before you can fill anyone else’s” – like when you put your own oxygen mask on first on a plummeting plane.

Spring is always a great time for new beginnings for me, and starting to try to extend our family corresponded with me really pushing my exercise and clean eating up a notch from around March onwards. I started lifting weights, my daily workouts went from 20 minutes to at least an hour a day and I was restless and tetchy if I didn’t get my exercise-induced endorphin boost. To me, exercise is a huge part of self-care – it gives me more energy, and helps me manage my pain condition. Plus lifting weights makes you feel ruddy incredible, like you can take on the world. So 2018 is seeing much more of that happening (I had to put exercise on hold with the whole pregnancy thing last year), along with more early nights, more daily gratitude lists and more making time for the things I enjoy doing (reading, art galleries, day trips with my family, good walks…). Last year showed me the rewards I can reap when I take better care of myself, and that’s a great lesson to learn. It’s inspired one of my new product ranges this year, and I’m so excited to share with you the first piece from the new range, which sums up this happy-go-lucky approach.

DoMoreOfWhatMakesYouHappy art print_HolmesMadePapercuts

Do More of What Makes You Happy – words to live by for 2018, and a fab new print by me, available now in my Etsy shop

I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know a little more about my lessons of 2017. What were the biggest things you learned last year? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

Much love,

Melissa x

PS – I know I’m posting this blog at the end of January, so it’s a bit late. But I don’t think I’m the only one who finds those first few weeks of the new year a little overwhelming! There was a lot to process last year… And this post is better late than never.

Etsy Made Local 2017

So. How’s the Christmas prep going? Please don’t tell me you have everything wrapped already!?

This year I’m really making the effort to buy well-thought-out gifts from local sellers and small online businesses. I talked about this recently on Instagram, as I hate the thought of pumping my hard-earned pennies into the pockets of faceless, tax-dodging megacorps (not to mention filling the house with more stuff we don’t really need or want!).


I wrote about about Not On The High Street founder Holly Tucker’s #campaignshopsmall, and I totally get where she’s coming from.

So if, like me, you’re looking to buy a bit more mindfully this year, focusing on supporting small businesses and choosing gifts which really mean something and bring a genuine smile and long-lasting pleasure to your recipients, then please consider heading to your nearest Etsy Made Local event this year.


2079_EML_UK_17_Digital_FB Post 3There are Etsy Made Local events happening in 40 locations across the UK this December (1st to the 3rd). The great thing about them is they’re organised by Etsy sellers themselves (I’m a Leader of Etsy’s Team York!), so they’re truly grassroots. Us Team members volunteer our time and energy into making our Team’s Christmas Markets an event to remember, offering stalls filled with fantastic handmade and vintage goods, craft supplies and gifts to suit the most discerning of shoppers. It’s just like browsing Etsy, only in actual real life!

You can find a list of locations across the UK for this December’s Etsy Made Local fairs here.

Team York’s event is at St Sampson’s Church, a gorgeous old church in York’s city centre. York is so beautiful at Christmas, so if you can make it through, you’d be so welcome! On both days, we’ll have goody bags to give away to the first 50 adults through the door, so make sure you’re there well before 10am if you want to snap one up!

Melissa Holmes of HolmesMadePapercuts at the Etsy Made Local Christmas Market in York, December 2016

My stall at the 2016 Etsy Made Local Christmas Market in York

I’ll be attending on the Sunday with a range of lovely gifts, cards and original papercuts – there’ll be something to suit all budgets. Across the weekend you’ll be able to shop from a huge range of sellers; this year Team York members are offering everything from Liberty-print bowties and hand-dyed yarns to unique baby clothes, amazing hand-crafted jewellery and hand-thrown ceramic mugs shaped like skulls! Seriously – something for everyone. Plus you get to meet with the Etsy sellers themselves, and view and handle their beautiful products for yourself.

For your convenience, you can pay for your purchases by card or cash, and we even have a fabulous photo booth this year so you can get a few fun snaps with your shopping companions! And if that’s not enough, you can also enjoy delicious cakes and refreshing drinks at the venue’s cafe. What’s not to love?!

Oh and you get to meet the Leaders and Captain of Team York. And you’ll probably agree, the less said about that rowdy bunch, the better…!


If you can make it to our Christmas Market here in York (and if yes, please click “going” here, and share with your friends!), or to whatever Etsy Made Local event is happening nearest you, please do go along and support your local indie businesses… We’d all be super chuffed to see you. And if you can’t make one, keep your eyes peeled for free shipping offers from your favourite Etsy shops (almost as good as being there…).

Happy shopping!


Melissa x



Reflecting on the Just A Card campaign, the importance of greetings cards in my life, and how I created one of my favourite card designs.

My daughter is a prolific card-maker. She makes them for everyone and every occasion – for each of her classmates at the end of each school year to thank them for being her friend and highlight the best points of their personalities, to say thank you to the family who recently donated their old trampoline to us, to wish friends and relatives a happy birthday. She even designs her own birthday party invitations. She just loves to create, and to express her feelings with a card.

My daughter's handmade end of term cards for each of her school friends

My daughter’s handmade end of term cards for each of her school friends

I think she’s developing a bit of a stationery obsession. I don’t know where she gets it from… I’ve had a stock of beautiful cards for years, kept in bag in a drawer. Purchased from uni book shops, in museum shops, in tiny little stationers in small towns, from high street chains offering fantastic designs, from friends running small businesses. Some of these cards were bought with the intention of never actually using them, but still… I know I’m not alone on that one!

With the ever-expanding use of social media, along with sending texts and e-cards plus our increased awareness of the need to protect the environment, cards are becoming a bit of a thing of the past. But there’s nothing like receiving a card through the post. Hearing the thud on the door mat and spotting something personal in the pile of bills and envelopes, peering at the date stamp to figure out where it was posted from and who may have sent it, sliding your finger under the envelope flap to release the card, and opening up the card to read the personal, heartfelt message. I don’t know about you, but the whole experience of receiving a card in the post gives me the warm and fuzzies.

When my partner and I got together, we were living 250 miles apart. I often sent him cards, and he kept every one in a special box. I even have the Valentine’s card he sent me when we first dated as young teens. When my mum was dying of terminal cancer, she wrote me and my sisters our own personal cards, with individual messages and advice for our lives ahead. Again, something I’ll keep forever. When I recently suffered a miscarriage, we received some beautiful cards from loving friends, including the beautiful card pictured bottom left from Jo at Bespoke Verse. Again, these will be placed in a memory box, to be treasured always.

Selection of special cards_HolmesMadePapercuts

A selection of special cards we’ve held on to over the years. Baby loss card (bottom left) by the brilliant Bespoke Verse.

You see, cards may just be pieces of paper, but they can mean so much.

For some gallery and stationery shop owners, cards can mean the difference between staying in business and closing the shop doors permanently, as the founder of the Just A Card campaign discovered. As one gallery owner who was forced to close their shop noted “If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought just a card, we’d still be open”.

And so the Just A Card campaign was born.

Just A Card

As a small business owner selling mostly online, I welcome every order and every sale I receive, no matter how small. If a customer comes to one of my fairs and puts their hand in their pocket for a 50p postcard, it is appreciated. If someone visits my Etsy store in their search for an anniversary card and chooses one of my typewriter cards to be personalised and posted to their loved one, I’m thrilled. Those small purchases mean everything to me. Every sale counts; helping feed and clothe my beautiful family, and giving me the confidence to carry on with what I do.

You don’t need me to tell you about the importance of supporting small independent businesses like mine, so I thought I’d use this post on Just A Card Day to tell you about the production of one of my favourite cards. As a papercutting artist, I don’t offer a huge range of cards – the process of papercutting is super time-consuming and takes many woman hours, so I don’t often make designs with the sole purpose of turning them into cards. That’s not the case with my love letter cards though.

Vintage Typewriter Drawing_HolmesMade

My vintage typewriter drawing, all ready for cutting

Before I started cutting holes in paper (it’s a real job you know!), I was a journalist and magazine editor. I’ve always been obsessed with words, and have a list of ‘future cuts’ themed around reading and the joy of words which I’ll get round to cutting some day. But one idea I just had to design and turn into a card was a vintage typewriter papercut with a quote that popped into my head one day: “A true love story never ends”. I thought it would work perfectly for a sentimental, romantic card. So I got to work.

As with all of my papercuts, the initial piece began life as a drawing. This one was based on a vintage typewriter I’d seen at Allan Bank, the fabulous National Trust property, which I’d photographed a few years ago with the intention of using as future inspiration. Once the drawing was complete, I got to work on cutting out the piece by hand from grey paper using just my scalpel. After completion, I scanned the finished A3 papercut using my flatbed scanner, before transferring it to PhotoShop (the extent of my computer design abilities!) and adding my wording and space for personalisation.

Typewriter in progress_HolmesMadePapercuts

The finished papercut, ready to be scanned and turned into a card design.

The majority of my cards are professionally printed elsewhere, but because this was a personalised design, I needed to be able to print it on my own printer using my own recycled card stock. That’s partly why the design is so simple – I wanted a simple aesthetic, but I also needed to make sure I created something my own printer could handle. After printing a few cards off with different names for samples, it was time for some photography and description writing, after which the finished product was uploaded to my Etsy shop. I’ve had a few orders for the love letter card since I first listed it, and every order counts – I just adore the thought of a loved-up couple enjoying a card personalised with their names for their wedding or anniversary, or sent as a little love note through the post!

Personalised love letter card

So that’s my story of Just A Card – from what cards mean to me, to how I make them myself. What’s your story?


Words and images © Melissa Holmes :: HolmesMadePapercuts


Valentines cards, Valentines gifts, personalised Valentine, love card, gift for wife, gift for husband

Love is in the air!

A little seasonal update for you! First up – hello 2017! 2016 was the year of the exhibition for me, with shows in London and Yorkshire (there’ll be a review of the year to follow); it looks like 2017 will be the year of the workshop, as I have a few planned already.

The gifting year is well and truly underway, with lots of interest in my latest Valentine’s designs. I’ve been busy creating some new pieces including my sweet retro typewriter card, which can be personalised with a couple’s names. Featuring the wording “A true love story never ends”, and based on an original hand-drawn, hand-cut papercut, these cards are available in my Etsy shop. They’re like a little love letter, and great for all lovey-dovey occasions, from Valentine’s to engagements and weddings – or simply just to send someone a message (customers can personalise the quote section too!). It’s just one of a number of perfectly romantic cards available in my online store now.

Just a little reminder that my order books are currently open and I’m accepting commissions for a wide range of pieces; from papercuts featuring special landscapes (after the success of my Whitby and Malham Cove pieces last year!) or buildings (like my York Minster piece created in December 2016), to my more widely-known family trees and filled letter cuts. You can order these via my Etsy shop or directly from me via the contact page on my website.

March and November will see me host workshops at Artison near Masham in Yorkshire. With a hearty lunch, refreshments and cake provided, I’ll be tutoring participants in the fine art of papercutting for pleasure. Find out more by visiting the Artison website!

Here’s to a great 2017.

Melissa x

personalised Valentine – wedding card – engagement card – love card – vintage typewriter – you are my lobster – Etsy shop – UK artist – The Paper Artist Collective – Melissa Holmes – HolmesMadePapercuts – papercutting workshop – learn a new craft – Yorkshire artist – British artist



I’m thrilled to be involved with an exciting exhibition of works by paper artists from across the world, which is happening in May in Hackney, London! I will have four original pieces on display (shown below), as well as a range of printscards and notebooks – plus my fantastic Beginner’s Papercutting Sets if you fancy turning your hand to this wonderful form of craft.

Sixteen members of the Paper Artist Collective are presenting a selection of their works in Hackney, as part of an event which will see dynamic pieces on display from members in the UK, USA, Norway, India, Thailand, South Korea, Lithuania and Australia.

At the exhibition, you’ll see work by some of the world’s most talented artists working in the medium of paper (including me – yikes!), from 3D sculpture to geometric papercutting and colourful paper illustration. The group exhibition will showcase a broad variety of talent and techniques, creating an inspiring and uplifting pop-up gallery experience, which will also see a selection of prints and greetings cards on sale.

Exhibition Dates
Thursday 5th May – Tuesday 10th May

Opening hours:
11am-5pm daily

A-side B-side Gallery
Hackney Downs Studios
Amhurst Terrace
London E8 2BT

If you can’t get to the exhibition, subscribers to my mailing list can enjoy a special 10% discount in my online shop. Use code SUPERSMASHINGGREAT to get 10% off all purchases in my online store, for the duration of the Hackney exhibition and beyond (it’s valid till 31/12/16!). That includes fine art prints of the four original pieces I’ll be exhibiting, pictured above. If you’re not already a subscriber, you can sign up here.

© Holmes-made Papercuts