Kirigami Cut Out People

Cut out people are easy for kids to make.
Cut out people are easy for kids to make.

Like the snowflake, Kirigami cut out people are often one of the first designs children and adults make when learning the art form.

Easy Cut Out People Instructions

Cut out people are often made with rectangle shaped paper, although they can also be made with square paper. The longer the paper, the more cut out people you will get. If the paper is extremely wide, however, you may want to cut it in half for easier manipulation.


  • Long, rectangular strips of paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Optional: Paper clip(s)
  • Optional: Art supplies (marker, eyes, crayons)

Kirigami Cut Out People Instructions

  1. Follow origami folding instructions to make an accordion fold in the paper. Make sure each fold is even with the previous one.
  2. Crease each fold firmly and continue accordion folding until you reach the end of the paper.
  3. Draw the figure of a person on the front of the paper using a pencil. It may be helpful to paper clip the folds together so you do not pull them out of shape.
  4. Make sure your figure's feet and hands extend off the front of the paper. This is crucial to making the cut out people correctly.
  5. Using your scissors, cut around the figure you drew, all while keeping the accordion folds.
  6. Remove the paper clips and unfold your Kirigami figure.
  7. Decorate the people using crayons, markers and googly eyes if desired.

If you are unable to draw a person freehand, do a search for Kirigami templates online. You could also trace around a simple figure from a children's book or use a cookie cutter in the shape of a person or gingerbread man. If you are trying to help kids make the cut outs, you may want to provide them with shapes of their favorite television, movie or book characters to trace for their people.

Look for more difficult design instructions in cool Kirigami books or take a class in Kirigami from a craft store or stationary store to learn how to do more intricate figures of the human form.

Decorate Kirigami Cut Out People

Do more with your cut out people by decorating them to fit into your home's décor, become a learning tool or to be a fun holiday craft project.

Kirigami People Chains

While you might see Kirigami cut out people chains made of plain white paper, a number of fun ways to decorate them are available. Try doing the following with your paper chain of people:

  • Cut faces from a magazine and glue them onto the heads of each person. Make them the cast of your favorite television show or even politicians.
  • Print small headshots of family members and create a chain of the immediate family, cutting around everyone's head and adding your pictures to the people in the chain.
  • Help children recognize cultural differences by decorating each person in the chain with a different historical outfit from around the world.
  • Turn the paper chain into a Christmas calendar by coloring each one to look like an elf. Tear one off as each day passes.
  • Before folding the paper, decorate with stamps that reflect a pattern. Look for stars, geometric shapes, or even holiday figures and cover the entire paper in the stamps.

If you want to skip decorating the paper chain, simply look for paper that already has a pattern. Choose a pattern that fits into your home décor or the current season.

Kirigami People Figures

Paper cutters and folders who learn to make 3D Kirigami figures that can stand on their own might find different ways to decorate with the figures. Try the following:

  • Create the family out of figures, using different sizes of paper to represent each person in the family. Display on a mantel.
  • Make a Nativity scene for Christmas out of folded and cut paper.
  • Fold paper figures to represent brides and grooms or newborn babies and add to the top of a gift as charms. Use glue or tape to add a ribbon loop to the figure of people and attach.

Cut out people can be simple or difficult Kirigami folds. Begin by making a paper chain, then look for instructional books or classes that can teach you the expert skills for making representational figures of people.

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