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Papel Picado is a traditional Mexican craft featuring many layers of colorful paper cut outs with elaborate designs. You can make it with your kids by using colorful tissue paper (the kind you buy at the stationery store) and a scissors. 

Have fun making them, then decorate your piece!


  • Sheets of colorful tissue paper, about 9” x 12”
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Scotch tape
  • Yarn (for hanging up and showing off your papel picado)


  1. Fold a sheet of tissue paper in half (the long side) and then in half again (the short side) so that one side has all the folds. Make a dot in the corner where all the folds are. It shows the children where not to cut.
  2. Cut out shapes along all four sides, avoiding just the dot.
  3. If you want to cut a shape in the middle, fold the paper again, and cut a shape into the fold.
  4. When you unfold your paper (gently!), stop to admire the design, and then tape the papel picado to a piece of yarn.
  5. Make more papel picado and tape them all along the yarn.
  6. Hang the yarn around your home and enjoy the colorful designs!

Click on the image to download the instructions in PDF format.