Paper Punk is a startup company that produces paper crafts--akin to origami--that can be put together without glue or scissors. Created by Stanford Design School professor--and mother--Grace, the sets are supposed to promote play patterns that do not involve technology.Founder and CEO Grace Hawthorne is an author and educator who works at Stanford University’s design institute as a Consulting Associate Professor, focusing on studying creative capacity. Grace has a lot of experience in publishing via her book “Ready Made: How to Make Almost Everything” which was published by Crown/Potter.

She also co-founded a magazine of the same name that aims to help people turn ordinary objects into extraordinary designs. Ever talented, Grace also has had experience working for Hollywood studios, entertainment properties and talent agencies. Having earned a degree in visual communication, her artwork has been exhibited at The Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Design MuseumTriennial. Paper Punk is her first foray into the toys and games industry.


Grace initially got the idea to start the company hen her graduate students had difficulty working through a dimensional thinking exercise.

It took a year to bring the product to market. “If Ms. Origami and Mr. Lego had a love child, it would be Paper Punk,” Grace Hawthorne explained playfully. “The most distinguishing aspects of the brand are the super smart fold-to-build play pattern and the eye-candy outcome.” Easy to build and less painstaking than evergreen flatter paper crafts like origami, the kits requires no scissors or glue and is naturally intuitive.

Akin to origami and puzzles, kids who enjoy IncrediBuilds and the paper-craft kids by Silver Dolphin and Thunder Bay Books will certainly find Paper Punk kits to be of interest. DIY projects and lifestyle topics hold much interest to Grace who enjoys paving the way for people to embrace creativity. “My company enables people to be creative by providing a turnkey method to make something instantly with their hands,” she explained.

“Nothing surpasses hands-on, real world experiences and interactions in building our intuition, so by building a model you are getting a nice boost of dimensional thinking, geometry, engineering, materiality, rapid prototyping, design and art.”


Still a fledgling organization, Paper Punk currently has eight products on the market and they plan to expand in the coming months. To date, the Classic Kits and Urban Fold, which allows you to build your own paper metropolis, have proven to be the most popular. Grace considers partaking in the crafts to be cognitively beneficial and she finds it rewarding to be a role model for her children while finding a way to meet a community of like-minded people through a love of arts and crafts.

“I’ve been so fortunate to work with the coolest and smartest people who operate from their heart and from a place of curiosity,” Grace exclaimed. “Knowing I am helping people makes me very happy.”In ten years, Grace hopes that Paper Punk will be a legacy and lifestyle brand that is a go-to resource for people seeking crafts, stationery, toys and games. At present, they are promoting their newly released custom “Graffiti Sticker Set” and the upcoming debut of their “My Little Pony Castle Set” that will include pony figurines.

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