about sabrine


I live with my husband Edwin and our two sons Bruno and Caspar in The Hague, the Netherlands. I studied ‘Boekhandel en uitgeverij’ (Bookstore and publishing) in Amsterdam.

I am always busy with something and find it difficult to sit still! I describe myself as creative, enthusiastic and an optimist, but also a perfectionist. I'm a team player, but I don’t mind being alone. I love to listen to the radio (80s and 90s hits!) and to read magazines about interiors and design. You can often find me in a thrift shop. I only wear blue! I prefer lunch to dinner and enjoy a good cappuccino with a slice of carrot cake.

I am a benefactor of Stichting Handboekbinden (Foundation of Handbook Binding) (www.stichtinghandboekbinden.eu) and friend of Museum Meermanno (House of books, www.meermanno.nl) in The Hague.

I started The Cartonnerie in 2003. I always wanted to do something creative, but I spent a long time searching for what kind of creativity, until I went to a box making workshop, also called 'French cartonnage'. I've been making designs by hand in a traditional way ever since.


My mission is to complement and elevate the work and service of brands that embrace elegance, fine art and heritage. To enrich your brand through custom designs that make meaningful impact and authentic connection with clients that love what you do.


The base of my designs is carton, greyboard sheets. I cut this board to size and then assemble it. After that I line the design with linen or velvet and personalize it with a foil pressed text or logo.


I work with FSC certified greyboard and paper, linen made from natural fibres, water based glue and I try to recycle as much waste and packages as possible. I also separate the paper waste. I'm convinced it’s important to contribute to the environment in a positive way with my studio and not to overburden it. I also buy a lot of products from local suppliers in order to support them and to minimize my footprint.



french cartonnage

a little bit of history


Cartonnage dates back to ancient Egyptian times when they made individually cast and decorated covers for the deceased; sometimes just masks but also whole coffins.


Cartonnage was made originally from strips of linen glued together, layer upon layer, just as we do with papier mache today. When dry, these casings were finished off with a layer of gesso. Very intricate and detailed decorations were painted onto the finished surface. Some of them also had gold leaf added.

Very early examples of cartonnage have been discovered, but it is in the 18th Dynasty that it became the norm. It stayed popular right through the Roman period.

Later on, linen was not used so much. Instead, recycled papyrus from old documents were used (so they were even recycling all those years ago!).


Through the years, the term ‘cartonnage’ has metamorphosed into the meaning of today. If you were to walk into a bookstore now and asked for a book on ‘cartonnage’, you would most likely be directed to the arts and crafts corner. Here you would find many books on ‘the art of box making’. These boxes are decorated with fabric or sometimes patterned paper.

The modern cartonnage users often claim that the art form originated in France. Indeed, in the mid 1800's in a town called Valréas, it was re-discovered.



Vintage photo from Valreas, showing women at work on cartonnage (2)

Atelier de Cartonnage in Valréas, France

In the middle of the 19th century, Ferdinand Revoul from Vaucluse developed a box designed to transport silkworm eggs imported from China and Japan.

These boxes allowed air to pass through thanks to small holes in the bottom and the lid. It was an ingenious system that marked the beginning of the whole packaging industry in Valréas.


In Valréas a museum opened in 1991 that houses souvenirs of the packaging and printing trade which has brought prosperity to the town since the middle of the 19th century. It shows the methods of manufacture and printing of cardboard boxes from its beginnings to today. Have a look if you’re there or passing by!




Atelier de Cartonnage in Valréas, France



Text source: www.papiermarche.co.uk

Photos: www.vaucluse-provence-pass.com


 It is such a joy working with Sabrine.

She created the most exquisite keepsake boxes for my clients' invitation suites,

and they are the most lovely quality.

She took my vision for a box that would reflect my branding and executed it perfectly.

Not only are they beautiful, each box is made perfectly and without a flaw.

I am so proud to send my work to my clients in The Cartonnerie's linen keepsake boxes

and will continue to maintain this partnership with Sabrine, not only because of the high quality of her products,

but because working with her was so easy and refreshing.

 Claire Carstens, Sugared Fig Paperie



I was looking for something very special and high end for when

a client first unveils their wedding invitations, something we have spent weeks creating for them.

Sabrine did not disappoint, the craftsmanship on our boxes was second to none

and anyone that comes in contact with one is blown away by their sheer beauty.

Our expectations have been exceeded and the quality of her work is just impeccable, we are in awe!

  Ailbhe Cronin, Appleberry Atelier



I love these boxes!

They are absolutely beautiful. I'm speechless.

Thank you for all the time and hard work you put into making them.

I'm blown away by your kindness and talent.

Thank you for making these for me.

Mallory Dawn Photographer



I have been looking for some bespoke invitation boxes for a while and was so excited to discover Sabrine!

Her work is absolutely breath-taking and I am in love with my branded velvet boxes.

I can't wait to hand them out to wedding suppliers!

Sabrine was really easy to work with and the quality of her work is beautiful, I am so happy I found her! 

Paige Cartledge, Paige & Co



Working with Sabrine was so seamless.

She was quick to respond and made sure she had my vision in mind for my box.

And she absolutely delivered! The box I received was so beautiful.

You can tell she handmakes each item and spends time making sure they're absolutely perfect.

I couldn't be more pleased! 

Arielle Peters Photography



A true master at her craft.

Sabrine was so lovely to work with on my branded boxes.

Carefully bound to hold a timeless keepsake. 

Melissa Nezezon, Statuerue

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