San Francisco Victorian Christmas Village House - handmade of beautiful cold-pressed paper, folds perfectly flat to store


Who says a Christmas village has to be, well, a village? This illuminated paper townhouse was inspired by San Francisco’s stately urban Victorians. Small enough to fit anywhere, yet detailed enough to create a striking statement, it’s just right to spark holiday joy or year-round delight. Bask in its cozy warmth after a long day, or send it to a loved one who loves San Francisco. LED tea lights are included with US purchases.

There's a story behind this paper luminary: When the 1906 earthquake struck San Francisco in the hours before dawn, my husband's great-grandmother was a little girl, asleep in her family home. As the house began to dance and shake, a cat suddenly appeared in the children's bedroom. They didn't know where it came from, but they never forgot their brief friendship with that little cat, the perfect distraction on a very intense morning.

Each San Francisco Victorian luminary has a cat in the window. And, because the Victorian is so often purchased in sets of two, I place the cat at different windows throughout the front of the house to keep things interesting.

Somehow, just like that original kitty, it has found its way into several of my other favorite pieces, too.


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 its 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 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 box and slip them into a drawer. They hardly take 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 winter moisture. If you prefer a paper sleeve, just mention it during check out, and I will happily make that switch.


In need of a gift for someone special? I would be happy to wrap it for you, and even include a handwritten note -- just tell me what you would like it to say.

Got questions? Send them my way.

~Use flameless LED lights only. Do not bring into contact with flame.

© 2020 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.

    Beautiful quality and clever design

    Beautifully detailed paper house! Love it!❤️

    I agonized over which of this artist's beautiful paper houses to purchase. I cannot imagine there is a bad choice, but can attest that this San Francisco Victorian is absolutely perfect. Truly lovely craftsmanship and magical charm!

    Quality construction. Thank you for wrapping it so beautifully and for the little extra Halloween house. So cute!

    I am a return customer and could not be more happy with my purchases. These paper houses are stunning and very pretty. I especially appreciate the immense care that went into their construction and packaging. The quality is very high and the paper itself is quite strong. I was touched that the owner of this wonderful shop even sent a handwritten note and remembered that I had previously bought several items. These truly are one-of-a-kind object d'arts and make not only fantastic gifts but great decorations around the house. I look forward to purchasing more in the near future. Thank you Anne!

    Legal imprint