How to make a paper picado

How to Make a Papel Picado




Papel Picado is a traditional Mexican craft that features colorful paper sheets with intricate cut-out details. It was made by stacking many sheets of paper and using chisels to cut the designs. You can easily make your own Papel Picado by layering sheets of tissue paper and using scissors.How to make a paper picado


This is a great free choice activity or a lesson for a sub. Laminate the instructions and place on a table. Add a tray of pre-cut tissue papers, a bowl of scissors and allow the children to create a papel picado during free-choice time.


  • Colored tissue paper (12 x 9 approximately)
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • Yarn and Tape to display Papel Picados


1. Fold a piece of tissue paper (lengthwise) in half and then in half again. Make sure one side consist only of folds.

2. Fold the long folded sheet in half. Mark a dot in the corner that is made up of folds. This helps the children recognize where not to cut.

3. Just like cutting a snowflake, cut shapes along all four sides avoiding the area with the dot.

4. To cut a shape from the middle of the rectangle, fold the paper in half again, and cut a shape into the fold.

5. Unfold carefully and tape tissue paper to a long string of yarn.

To make multiple panels from one cut, layer 2-3 sheets of tissue paper together add tape (carefully) while cutting.

How to make a papel picado

INSTRUCTIONAL DOWNLOAD Easy to make Papel Picado for kids

For more cultural art lessons to teach your students, click HERE

Would you like a copy of the instructions?  Click the red box below, fill out your name and email (careful with spelling!) and we’ll send you a free instruction PDF via email.

  • Sheri Lawrence

    We are finishing up our Day of the Dead Illustrations this coming week in my 5th grade art class and need a filler for the early finishers. This will be perfect as we are creating a display with the Spanish teacher. She is making an alter and we can now add this artwork too!

  • classe

    nice post.keep sharing


    I love EVERYTHING you make. Thank you for helping out this lost teacher.

  • Jen

    So glad for some Dia de los Muertos ideas!!

  • Lisa Villa

    This is awesome thank you!

  • Michelle Benade

    Were having a fiesta

  • Avi


  • Cristina Margarita
  • annette


  • Stephanie Perry

    Thank you for sharing!

  • stxliteracy


  • corinta loera

    love it

  • Ann Bray

    I’m looking forward to having our art subs do this with a grade level for our Multicultural Night.