How to Make People Out of Paper

Updated November 22, 2016

Whether you want a single paper person you can decorate or a chain of paper people, making paper people can be a fun craft for kids. You can cut out parts of photographs or magazines to use for the paper people faces, or draw your own. If you’re making a single paper person, you may want to use heavy paper, such as tag board or cardstock. If you’re making a chain of paper people, standard paper will be easier to fold.

Draw the outline of a person on a piece of paper or cardstock, or trace a large gingerbread man cookie cutter. If you don’t want to draw a person, you may want to download one of the templates from the resources section below.

Cut out the person along the outline.

Draw a face on the person, or cut out a face from a photograph of a family member or friend, or a face from a magazine, and glue it to the paper person’s head.

Add hair, if needed, using markers, crayons or coloured pencils, or use scraps of coloured paper.

Draw clothes on the person, or cut clothes from scraps of coloured paper. 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.

Cut a standard size piece of paper in half vertically, forming two long strips.

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

Fold the bottom edge of the paper up about 2 3/4 inches. Crease the paper well.

Flip the paper over and fold the top edge down 2 3/4 inches, so that the end of the paper is even with the fold. Crease the paper.

Flip the paper over and fold the bottom edge up, so that the edges of the paper are even.

Rotate the paper so that the short end is facing toward you.

Draw the outline of a person on the paper, or 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 four paper people holding hands.

Decorate the paper people as described in Section 1.


It may take practice to fold the paper evenly enough to get the paper people to stay together.


Supervise children when working with scissors.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper or cardstock
  • Pencil
  • Gingerbread cookie cutter (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Markers, crayons or coloured pencils
  • Photographs or magazines (optional)
  • Glue (optional)
  • Scraps of coloured paper (optional)
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