Project Walkthrough: Papercraft Installation for Pinterest

Project Walkthrough: Papercraft Installation for Pinterest

In mid-2023 we worked with Pinterest to create a bespoke, handmade papercraft installation for their booth and VIP dinner at the Cannes In Cairns Conference in far-north Queensland. Collaborating closely with our wonderful friends at The Park to bring the installation to life, here’s a look at how it all came together!

One of our giant paper palm trees on display at the Pinterest Booth


It’s always a pleasure working with our friends at Pinterest, and this year was no exception. 

The brief for this project came in two parts, and celebrated Pinterest’s 2023 ‘Good on Paper’ trend, with everything we built being constructed out of cardboard and coloured paper. The first was to create 2 free-standing palm trees that we could flat-pack and travel with us from Melbourne to Cairns and create a bespoke feature piece for the Pinterest booth at the conference. Accompanying this was a handmade collection of colourful tropical table decor to adorn the table at a VIP dinner hosted by Pinterest for their collaborators and stakeholders. 

Giant yellow paper prop behind conference attendees at Pinterest's Cannes In Cairns Conference
Conference attendees next to giant red paper palm tree prop at the Pinterest's Cannes In Cairns Conference

Photo of a handmade cardboard tropical leaf table decor piece on a beach

Pinterest sent us some great inspiration for the props, and working with the specifications for the booth we began by designing some digital mockups. We include a length digital mock-up process in the concept phase of all our prop and installation projects. Due to the labour-intensive nature of handmade artworks, it is more efficient to finalise the design and incorporate any feedback digitally first, before moving on to a physical mock up or final artwork. This saves a lot of production time as we can avoid having to build multiple physical mock ups for each feedback round.

Our client wanted the installations to reflect the tropical surroundings in Cairns while showcasing the possibilities of papercraft. This is where the giant papercraft palm trees came in!

Our trees were designed to stand parallel to one another at the booth next to lots of other colourful textures and shapes. It was important for us to consider colour-coordinating our trees with the booth design and brand elements, and making paper the main feature of the trees, even in the unseen construction elements beneath the top papercraft layer.

A digital mock up illustration of a red and pink palm tree prop for a Pinterest installation handmade by Kitiya Palaskas Studio
Our collection of bespoke, handmade table decor took shape and colour inspiration from the tropical dinner party setting. We chose papier-mâche as our hero technique, creating a series of candle holders, alongside our signature cardboard construction techniques for complimentary foliage pieces. 

A digital mock up of a tropical tablescape, designed by Kitiya Palaskas Studio for Pinterest

Digital mock ups of our design concepts, which went through various iterations before physical mock ups were created.


Engineering the tree build took a few tries to get right, as our first priority was making sure that the trees could stand on their own and be easily assembled and disassembled for travel. After trying a few complicated construction techniques involving other materials, we trusted in the power of cardboard to build a sturdy, free-standing structure of the tree. Is there anything cardboard can’t achieve?

Then it was on to the leaves, which we made out of box board and sandwiched between two sheets of coloured paper. There were in total 11 making phases for each leaf! Sometimes a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to create something that appears so simple and polished. 

We’re proud to say these pieces were recyclable and constructed from sustainably sourced materials, just one of the big reasons we love working with papercraft here at the studio.

Kitiya Palaskas, a craft-based designer and prop maker, paints a papier mâche candle holder with pink paint A collection of colourful, painted, 2D cardboard table decor pieces dry flat on a white drop sheet.

Our table decor collection was created in a series of construction phases. Working with papier-mâche is a time consuming process that starts with cardboard construction to create the base structures within. We make our own paper pulp in-house at the studio which we transform into a clay-like material that allows us to build and sculpt to create decorative forms. The final phase of this process involved priming and painting our collection of papier-mâche candle holders, and over 40 hand cut 2D cardboard shapes inspired by tropical plants, which were then assembled on-site into free-standing ornaments.

A collection of colourful papier-mâche candle holders sit on a yellow background
A collection of colourful handmade cardboard and papier mache table decor sits on a yellow backdrop.


We travelled to Cairns with our installation and table decor pieces flat packed into a series of boxes and suitcases, which is how we usually transport fragile artworks (or maybe we just love them so much we can't bear to part with them?!) We kept our construction techniques simple so that it was simply a matter of slotting each piece into the next to assemble each piece on-site, rather than relying on tools and fixings for the installation. This really speaks to the versatility of cardboard - with some clever construction hacks there really is no need for a complicated install process!

It was great to position one of our trees directly next to a panel which showcased our Video Idea Pin, so you could see the tree being built next to the finished product.

Kitiya and Greta, two creative women, stand in front of a giant papercraft red and pink palm tree that they made, at a Pinterest conference booth.


The colours of the trees matched the textures of the Pinterest booth beautifully, and created a harmonious backdrop for people to mingle and talk over amazing creative ideas.

We were really happy with how they added flair and personality to the booth, and helped communicate Pinterest's grand new changes to their platform in 2023.

A long dining table on a tropical beach. On the table is a collection of colourful, handmade cardboard decorative table decor pieces.

Are you a brand, business, organisation, institution or creative agency looking to commission some giant novelty props for an upcoming project, event or campaign? Here at Kitiya Palaskas Studio we produce props, installations and design work for clients all over the world! If you're interested in finding out more, please get in touch. We'd love to collaborate with you!

Photo credits: The Park and Kitiya Palaskas Studio


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