How to Make Paper Cut Outs

By Megan Shoop ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Paper strips
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • White glue or transparent adhesive (optional)
Make paper cutout chains.

Paper cutouts make inexpensive and whimsical decorations for any holiday or event. Connected pine trees might serve as a paper Christmas garland or strings of people holding hands could be decorations for an equality rally. Strings of hearts add a personal touch to a private Valentine’s Day dinner or family gathering on the same day. Children could paint or decorate strings of eggs for Easter instead of dying eggs. The possibilities are endless and these paper cutouts are very easy to make for artists of all ages.

Begin at the left end of a paper strip and fold the end in about four inches. Grip the folded edge, flip it over, and fold the strip toward the first fold. Crease the strip where it meets the clean edge underneath. Flip over, then fold the strip toward the previous fold, crease, and continue until you have a paper accordion with even edges on both ends. The strips should be no wider than about six inches.

Press your accordion down tightly to make a firm drawing foundation. Draw the shape you want for your cutouts on the top fold of your accordion, making sure that the shape touches the fold on the top piece. For instance, if drawing people, the left hand and foot should touch the fold.

Carefully cut around your pencil lines, snipping around the entire shape except where it touches the fold. Leave these places intact so the shapes will remain connected.

Discard the outer edges of the accordion and unfold your shapes.


You can make the paper strip as long as you wish, but a strip length that results in an accordion of four or five layers will make cutting easier. Several strips can be glued or taped together, if desired.