BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Papercraft Miracles is giving new life to everything from old flyers to pineapple leaf fibers to old blue jeans.
Owner Janna Willoughby-Lohr turns pulp from those recycled materials into paper and pieces of art in her studio on Niagara Street as part of her eco-friendly business.
“I get to do what I love every day,” she told News 4. “How many people get to say that when they go to work? It doesn’t even feel like work.”
Willoughby-Lohr found her passion for paper making at 19 years old and turned that into a career. Now, she offers a wide range of paper products for customers and is positioning Papercraft Miracles as a one-stop shop for weddings and other events.
Papercraft Miracles features everything from handmade invitations and save the dates to wedding bouquets made with paper flowers. She can even turn your real-flower wedding bouquet into paper for future use in anniversary celebrations and beyond.
Paper flowers are one of Willoughby-Lohr’s specialties, as are paper made with flowers in the pulp and paper made with seeds, which allow you to plant the paper in your garden and grow more flowers.
Willoughby-Lohr says her commitment to the environment stems in part from her role as a mom to two young children.
“I want there to still be natural resources that are available for them, and for their kids, and their kids, and their kids,” she said. “If everybody does enough little things, then it really makes a huge difference.”
Willoughby-Lohr says she has “quite the sustainability action plan” at her Niagara Street studio. It includes using solar power for 90 percent of her building’s electricity and working with local companies to divert their waste from the landfill.
“So, like office paper, egg cartons, fabric scraps. We take plant material from florists if they’re going to toss it, like the ugly flowers that end up on the floor, we take those and we make paper out of them,” Willoughby-Lohr explained.
The finished products are beautiful, and each piece of paper tells the story of the materials from which it’s made.
The process is labor intensive, but Willoughby-Lohr says she finds it “very zen”, and clearly it is a labor of love for her.
“There’s just something about handling paper that simultaneously just sends me to the moon and brings me back to Earth at the same time,” Willoughby-Lohr said. “It’s so tactile and it’s all about how it feels and how it sounds and how it smells, and it’s so real in a world where so many things are digital.”
To learn more about Papercraft Miracles, click here.
News 4’s Katie Alexander had the chance to check out the Papercraft Miracles paper making process Wednesday morning. Watch the videos below to see our full Wake Up coverage.