How to Make People Out of Paper

    by Kate Lee

    About the Author

    Kate Lee's how-to articles have been published in "Sew Simple," "Craft Stylish" and "Soft Dolls & Animals" magazines. She has been sewing for more than 20 years and has a master's degree in technical writing.


    Making paper people can be a fun craft for kids. You can cut out parts of photographs or magazines to make the people look like friends and family members. If you’re making a single paper person, you may want to use heavy cardstock. If you’re making a chain of paper people, standard printer paper will be easier to fold.

    Things You'll Need

    • Colored construction paper or cardstock
    • Gingerbread cookie cutter
    • Pencil
    • Scissors
    • Markers, crayons or colored pencils
    • Photographs or magazines
    • Glue

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    Make a Person Out of Paper

    Draw the outline of a person on a piece of paper or cardstock using the gingerbread man cookie cutter.

    Cut out the person along the outline.

    Cut out a face from a photograph or magazine to glue to the paper person’s head.

    Add hair, if needed. You can use markers, crayons or colored pencils to draw a suitable hairstyle.

    Cut clothes from the construction paper. Either glue the paper clothes to the person or make folded tabs on the edges of the clothes so that they can be changed like a paper doll.

    Make a Paper Doll Chain

    Cut a standard letter size piece of paper in half vertically, forming two long strips. Place one strip aside.

    Lay the remaining strip of paper on a flat work surface, so that the long edge is facing toward you.

    Fold the paper accordion style. This means flipping the paper over after every fold. The result is a zig-zag pattern of folds that alternate directions in a way that is similar to the pleats on a musical accordion.

    Trace a gingerbread man cookie cutter so that both of the person’s hands and feet touch the edges of the paper.

    Cut around the outline of the person, without cutting the edges of the hands or feet that touch the folds.

    Unfold the paper to see a chain of paper people holding hands.

    Decorate the people in your paper doll chain using markers, crayons or colored pencils. Make construction paper clothes for them to wear.

    • When making a paper doll chain, it may take practice to fold the paper evenly enough to ensure the paper people to stay together.
    • Supervise children when working with scissors.