Paper Talk with Valeriia from Ukraine

Valeriia started paper crafting 10 years ago while she was on maternity leave. One of the first things she made was a handmade money box to her friend’s wedding. You can read more about this skilled artist and her fantastic projects below.

Who are you? Can you tell us about yourself?
Hey, everybody. Thank you for the invitation.
My name is Valeriia. I am a wife, a mom of seven children and a scrapbooker. All my life I lived in Ukraine, there I got interested in scrapbooking, paper crafting and creating handmade things. After the war started in February 2022 our family had to leave Ukraine and settle in Germany. A difficult process of integration, reorganization of the whole life, starting “from scratch” in a new place… Thank God we are alive. And as long as I can create, I do it, although not in the same mode as before.


When did you start with paper crafting? Why did you start with paper crafting?
I started paper art 10 years ago, being on maternity leave. I really like to give gifts. At first I wanted to make a handmade money box for my friends for their wedding, I started to watch master classes on the topic of creating a wedding gift, and then I couldn’t stop!

What is the best thing about paper crafting?
The best thing about paper crafting is the unlimited possibilities. Almost anything you can think of, you can do.
Have you made any mistakes when papercrafting and would you like to tell about it?
Yes, mistakes happen from time to time, but everything can be fixed. I used to worry about it, but then I realized that the worst thing that can happen is to just throw away the spoiled materials. Actually, that’s not the worst thing in life (after what we’ve been through), so I don’t hesitate to part with materials if I see that the work can’t be fixed.

What kind of paper projects do you make?
I really love making all sorts of boxes, guest gifts, photo frames, sometimes scrapbooks, less often interior numbers and letters. I also love to decorate some events, for example Baby Party. Just recently my friends and I did such a party for a mom-to-be, and I made table decorations and photo zones and gifts.
I have had experience with the plotter for about 4 years now. Basically, I design layouts for creating various works myself, sometimes I use ready-made files for cutting.

How often do you craft?
I used to master something all the time, but now I have almost no free time (seven children, integration, language learning, new beginnings…). Sometimes I don’t go to my creative corner for a few days, sometimes I work in several approaches, and sometimes I manage to carve out some time to relax a bit. In general, I create in a free mode.

Can you describe your style? Have your style changed since you started?
I don’t know if I can describe my style… I like detailed work, but without too many layers. Of course, my style has changed in 10 years. Even my kids can do a better job now than I did at the beginning of my artistic journey.

Show us 3-5 of your favorite projects. Why are these your favorites?
These are my favorite projects because I was inspired by the events I made them for or the designs I was able to make. And some are my inventions, for example, lately I have been making spring photo frames as gifts for our friends and acquaintances, I really like this type of gift. And I’d like to show off my latest project – decor, guest favors and Baby Party favors. I am especially pleased with gifts in the form of key chains or bag charms. There is a detailed post on my blog.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by the person or event I want to do work for. I am inspired by materials: paper, decorative elements. Sometimes I see interesting layouts for cutting, I want to make a work with their help. And, of course, I am inspired by the work of other masters.

Is there anything in paper crafting you would like to learn?
I am interested in working with plotter and cutting files, so I am constantly trying to improve my skill with this tool.

Can you mention five products/tools you cannot live without?
Plotter, paper, creasing stick, Tim Holtz scissors, bookbinding tool.

What is on top of your wish list right now?
I don’t know. I want to work with paper from different manufacturers, so I want a lot of paper.

Who in the paper crafting community would you like to meet «in real life»? Why?
I don’t know either. Many masters make videos, and through this you get to know the master himself and his techniques and “tricks” of the trade. So you already kind of know each other in absentia.

Can you describe your craftroom?
At the moment I have my own workshop – it’s part of a storage room in the basement of the house we live in. It’s cozy, separate, but at the same time, I’m always aware of what’s going on in the house, so it’s very convenient for me. I have a work surface and a table, a few vanities and drawers, and it’s enough for my small supplies. We have to move again soon and I don’t know if there will even be an opportunity to create or if there won’t be room for it, so I’m creating while I can.

Other things you would like to mention in the presentation?
Since I like giving gifts, I want to give them to more people. Therefore, sometimes I just make bonbonnieres or guest gifts for some mass meetings of friends or members of our church – small surprises: I realize my desire, and people are pleased. I also sometimes conduct master classes for groups of women or Sunday school children.

Where can we find you? (Blog, website, social media etc.)
Nickname: Valeriia HandmadeJoys
Blog: Valeriia Handmade Joys
FB: Valeriia Nahirniak
Pinterest: @lerchiknnn
YouTube: @valeriiahandmadejoys