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Cut and Paste

Paper Cutz co-founders Shari Escott and Cathy Strauss convert vintage paper products into inventive new designs. 

Five years ago, Shari Escott and Cathy Strauss met up for a craft therapy night. Just one night. That’s all it was supposed to be. Today, the creative streak the friends embraced that evening has turned into Paper Cutz, a line of interesting paper-art collages created using vintage newspaper clippings, magazine advertisements, matchbooks, wallpaper, stamps and postcards.

The Cleveland-based duo once had just a dozen pieces in their line, but they now have more than 100 designs. One depicting Ohio is made entirely of matchbooks loosely aligning with the areas of the state in which they’re located. A Lake Erie-themed piece is crafted using old maps and newspaper clippings. In addition to Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati, Paper Cutz has designs spotlighting Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago and more.

“It used to be as simple as just cutting and pasting. Now it starts with, ‘let me think of the idea, let me flesh it out.’ I have to make a template, I start researching papers, I go through my bins of papers,” Escott explains. “For something that used to take me a short amount of time, a skyline can now take me eight weeks.”

Escott houses approximately 20 bins of city-specific vintage paper products in her home. Some she purchases on eBay, while the rest is curated during visits to the cities featured in each design. She and Strauss once took a trip to London to get new materials. Paper Cutz has also branched into ornaments, magnets and wrapping paper in addition to wall decor.

“We always try to expand,” Escott says. “We know people only have so much wall space.”

For more information, visit papercutz.co.

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