How to Make a Pyramid Out of Paper

Updated April 17, 2017

If you have scissors, a ruler and tape or glue, you can make a pyramid out of paper. This project can be an interesting geometry project, a toy or a theme party decoration. Make a few different pyramids, and you can create a whole necropolis, or use them as an addition to a set of blocks. Designing the template is a bit challenging, but almost anyone can assemble these paper pyramids.

Choose a paper. It's possible to make a pyramid out of paper such as printer stock or junk mail, but you'll have much better and sturdier results from a thick art paper or thin cardboard, such as a cereal box. Paper with something printed on one side is fine.

Place the nice side of the paper face down. On the back, use a ruler and pencil to draw a triangle or square (triangle for a three sided pyramid, square for four sided). Make sure that your shape is even (for a square, trace the edge of another piece of paper to make precise corners) and has equal length sides. Start small enough to leave lots of room around the sides of the shape.

Draw a triangle on each side of your shape, using the original shape as one side of the triangle. For example, if you started with a square, draw four triangles around the square, each sharing one of its four sides. The triangles can be equilateral or not. That is, the triangle sides that are not directly connected to the central shape can be all the same length as the sides of the central shape, or they can be a different length, resulting in a different shape of pyramid. However, all the sides of all the triangles that are not shared with the central shape should be of equal length to each other.

Draw two or three small tabs on the right side of one of the triangles. Turn the paper and repeat, until each outside triangle has tabs on one side. For best results, make tabs with slanting sides, and make sure one tab is near the outside point of the triangle.

Cut out the pyramid, including the tabs, carefully, using scissors or a craft knife.

Turn over the pyramid and decorate the surface if you like. You can apply some decorations after you make a pyramid out of paper, but it may be easier to draw on a hard, flat surface before the final assembly.

Turn the paper face down again. Fold each outer triangle up, creasing firmly at the fold line. Fold down the tabs on each triangle.

Start to make a pyramid out of paper by connecting the sides. Apply glue or tape to the tabs and attach to the next side. If you're using glue and your paper is heavy, you may have to brace the pyramid while the glue dries. Try gluing two sides together and paper clipping in place. Wait until the glue is dry, then remove the paper clips and repeat on the next side.


Make sure the kids are careful if you are giving them a knife!

Things You'll Need

  • Paper or light cardboard
  • Scissors or craft knife and mat
  • Pencil and ruler
  • Tape or glue
  • Paper clips (optional)
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About the Author

Laura Gee has a B.A. in history and anthropology, but now spends more time blogging and producing web content. She has worked and/or trained as an illustrator, crafter, caterer, yoga teacher, child-care provider and massage therapist, and she loves to travel when she gets a chance.