Amsterdam Canal House Luminary - Dutch holiday mantel decoration handmade from layered paper, folds perfectly flat to store


Your holiday decorations don't have to be bulky -- this handmade and easy-to-store Christmas luminary looks lovely on your mantel or windowsill, then folds perfectly flat so you can tuck it away in seconds and your post-holiday cleanup is done. A thoughtful gift for the traveler in your life, too.

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Bring the elegance of Amsterdam's picturesque canal houses to your home with a Belgian Paperworks handmade paper luminary. Layers of acid-free paper are meticulously cut and layered to create the charming details of these elegant and iconic buildings. At 8" tall, it's perfectly sized to sit on a mantel, shelf, or windowsill. Lovely when grouped with my other paper luminaries, or a statement piece all on its own.

The neck gable is decorated with classic undulating curves suggesting the roiling sea over which Dutch traders sailed for centuries, and even features a miniature hijsbalk, or pulley beam, traditionally used to lift cargo from the canal to the upper floors. You will also find a vibrant scarlet "Dutch door" with a matching attic shutter, multi-paned windows, precisely detailed shop windows, and even a second Dutch door on the side. All made of paper, of course.

I use creamy, cold-pressed watercolor paper (acid-free and very strong) as the foundation for each piece. Then, I assemble every luminary by hand, adding layers of meticulously cut paper until every piece is literally ready to shine. Layers enhance their strength and durability, too. And I always cut with a blade, never a laser, so no matter how closely you look, you will never find a "toasted" edge in my work. Zoom right in to see every crisp detail.

Your piece will arrive fully assembled. Just pop it up and put the tabs through the slots - no glue or tape is required. Tuck in the LED tea lights included with US shipments, and sit back to enjoy the glow.

If you wish to store your luminary, simply fold it into its small shipping box and slip it into a drawer. It doesn't take up any storage space, because no one needs more bulky stuff.


Here in Northern California, sustainability is a way of life. Please see my FAQs or About section for information on my sustainability practices. Thank you.

I ship my luminaries in a thin cello sleeve to protect from moisture. If you prefer a paper sleeve, just mention it during check out, and I will happily make that switch.

Measurements: the spout gable luminary is 8" tall.

For use with flameless, battery-operated candles only. Listing is for one house; additional decorative elements are for styling only.

c. 2023 Anne Louvau, all rights reserved. Usage, reproduction, or altering of artwork is not permitted without permission. Each piece of artwork is an intellectual property and is protected by copyright law.

Shipping from United States

Processing time

1-2 business days

Customs and import taxes

Buyers are responsible for any customs and import taxes that may apply. I'm not responsible for delays due to customs.

Payment Options

Secure options
  • Accepts Etsy gift cards

Returns & Exchanges

I gladly accept returns, exchanges, and cancellations

Just contact me within: 14 days of delivery

Ship items back to me within: 30 days of delivery

  • Custom or personalized orders
  • Items on sale
  • Conditions of return

    Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs. If the item is not returned in its original condition, the buyer is responsible for any loss in value.

    Questions about your order?

    Please contact me if you have any problems with your order.

    Privacy policy

    Information collected when you purchase from Belgian Paperworks will only be used to process your order.

    All payments are handled through Etsy’s third-party payment processor and/or Paypal. Other than the amount of your order, your financial information is never shared with Belgian Paperworks.

    Personal information, including name, address, email, and other details of your order will be shared with shipping providers as needed to deliver your order to you, and will never be shared with any other third party. For the purposes of maintaining the shop owner’s tax records, your information will be retained for a period not to exceed seven years.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How I make my paper houses

    I use creamy French watercolor paper, beautifully textured and very strong, as the foundation for each building.

    I cut meticulous details with a blade, not a laser -- this means every cut is crisp and beautiful, never "toasted".

    Everything is hand-assembled, with some luminaries having as many as nine layers, or close to 80 pieces.

    Finally the most delicate bits are reinforced until every house is, literally, ready to shine.

    The finished houses are folded flat for shipping and storage.

    Your paper lanterns may differ slightly from the photos. As each one is made especially for you, every building is unique.

    Set up instructions

    Your pieces will arrive fully assembled. All you need to do is pop them up and put the tabs through the slots - no glue or tape is required. Tuck in the LED tea lights included with US shipments, and sit back to enjoy the glow.

    At the end of the season, simply fold your luminaries back into their small shipping box and slip them into a drawer until next time.

    They take up almost no space, because no one needs more bulky stuff to store.

    The surprising durability of folding paper lanterns

    Far thicker than traditional card stock, my 140 pound French watercolor paper is not only beautiful, it is strong.

    With this mighty paper for a foundation, my buildings are designed to last for years. And unlike ceramic or wooden Christmas villages, these resilient paper lanterns are more likely to survive an accidental fall from a mantel, or from curious little hands.

    Storages tips

    Paper naturally absorbs humidity from the air over time, so it's important to stow your houses in a dry location with a constant temperature.

    An interior space, such as a closet or a small box under the bed, would be ideal.

    Then, when you pull your houses out next winter, they will be fresh and ready to go. Or, to glow!


    Here in Northern California, sustainability is a way of life at home as well as in my business. I am proud to say that my studio is largely powered by geothermal energy.

    I constantly search out papers from climate-mindful mills sharing my concern for our planet, including papers that are FSC-certified, CO2-neutral, or Cradle-to-Cradle Certified Silver. And because my papers are acid-free and archival, they'll last for decades.

    My ornaments are created from the paper offcuts left after cutting larger pieces, allowing me to substantially minimize waste in the studio. And because my luminaries fold flat and ship in a small box, they require significantly less shipping materials (and less transport fuel) as they make their way to you.

    Reviews (4)


    What a beautiful house! Carefully packaged..and so easy to unfold!

    Lovely and just as described.

    I absolutely love this one. The red door is stunning and as always the attention to detail is exquisite. Perfection!

    This luminary is so beautiful. It takes me right back to Amsterdam. I can't believe the details. Now that I have one, I need to get the other two!

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