How to make a pyramid at home

Making a pyramid model involves cutting and folding paper into the shape of the sole survivor of the Seven Wonders of the World. Harvard University's website on the Giza pyramids of Egypt states that pyramids represented the rays of the sun for the pharaoh's journey to the afterlife. A pyramid served as a tomb for the pharaoh, built during his lifetime. Smaller pyramids provided tombs for queens. Making a pyramid at home offers a learning activity to create one of the most enduring symbols of Egyptian civilisation. Build your own model of a Giza pyramid with common craft supplies.

Place a ruler on a manila folder and draw a triangle with three equal sides. For example, make each side a foot long. Repeat to make four triangles for the four sides of the pyramid.

Draw a 1/2-inch wide tab along each side of the pyramid. The tabs will hold the pyramid together. Cut off a file folder tab--the piece that sticks up to write a label on--and trace around it with a pencil to make the ends of the tabs curved. This way the tabs will fit inside the pyramid.

Draw a 12-inch square. Add tabs to each side of the square, drawing them the same way as in step 2.

Fold the tabs on the square flat inward toward the centre of the square.

Fold the tabs on the triangles at a 90-degree angle.

Apply glue to the tabs on the square. Glue one triangle to each tab on the square. Place each triangle so that its tabs aim inward toward the centre of the square. Press down on the triangle's tab to glue it to the square's tab. Repeat with the other three triangles.

Apply glue to one tab of one of the triangles and hold it upright so it's point aims at the ceiling. Raise the triangle next to the glue tab and press the tab of the triangle against it. Repeat, with the next pair of triangles. Leave one pair of triangles unglued.

Fill the pyramid with wads of newspaper. Crumple newspaper to the size of ping pong balls or tangerines. Place the largest wads on the bottom of the pyramid. The newspaper will keep the pyramid shape stable and give the pyramid more weight. Keep an eye on the sides to keep them flat. Don't fill the pyramid so full that the sides bulge.

Glue the final pyramid triangle tab in place. Leave the pyramid to dry for at least a half an hour.

Paint the pyramid a gold or beige colour to look like the Egyptian pyramids. Apply a thick layer of paint.

Make Horizontal and vertical lines in the pyramid's paint while it's wet to represent the stone blocks.

Sprinkle sand over the pyramid's wet paint to give it the texture of a pyramid in the Egyptian desert.


Glue the pyramid model to a tray or piece of thick cardboard to create a dessert scene.

Things You'll Need

  • Manila file folders
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Wads of newspaper 2 to 3 inches in diameter
  • Sand
  • White craft glue
  • Paint brush
  • Acrylic or poster paint
  • Old bread knife
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About the Author

Gryphon Adams began publishing in 1985. He contributed to the "San Francisco Chronicle" and "Dark Voices." Adams writes about a variety of topics, including teaching, floral design, landscaping and home furnishings. Adams is a certified health educator and a massage practitioner. He received his Master of Fine Arts at San Francisco State University.