Paper craft maker Maria Virgina Martinez shows a cake topper one of her creations at her home in Petit Valley yesterday.

Bavita Gopaulchan

For many people, there is only so much you can do with paper but for one Venezuelan woman, it is a canvas that allows her imagination to come to life, especially at Christmas.

Maria Virginia Martinez, 35, makes toys, decorations, picture frames and other gift items using only paper.

Designing has always been a skill she has cherished. It is why she studied to become a Civil Engineer in her country.

However, after the birth of her daughter six years ago, Maria decided to swap the heavy equipment for a computer, a printer and a pair of scissors.

“Since I got pregnant my illusion was to make pretty things for my baby, in that time I did some courses to know how to paint the bodysuits with different material and techniques. Then I started to think about future birthdays, that I want to prepare all by myself and I started to search and I then discovered the crafter machine.” Maria told Guardian Media during an interview yesterday.

It is a skill she was happy to continue when she moved to Trinidad three years ago after her husband was transferred here to work.

From doing paper craft for just her daughter, Martinez now sells her pieces online and at up markets across the country.

“Most people are in love and shock because they never saw something like this but the reality is that it is trending outside of Trinidad but is new here”, she said.

She lamented that some people do not appreciate the uniqueness of handcrafted pieces, especially those made out of paper.

“Some people say is just cardstock”, Martinez said.

She noted that one piece can take as little as 48-hours to as long as two weeks and can last for years.

For this Christmas season she has created a three-dimensional nutcracker, a Santa, Christmas tree decorations each customized with names. The highlight of her collection she said is a red truck toy which has been a favorite for her customers. She told said each piece she creates, if not approved by her six-year-old daughter Emma, does not make it to customers.

Currently, a specialised paper is used to create the items. However, Martinez said she will soon look into using recyclables.

While you can get cheaper items at a store, Maria believes you cannot put a price on thoughtfulness.

Her business can be found on social media as, “The Sweet Path”.