Paper Doll Chains
What you will make:
Create a chain of paper dolls by cutting multi-folded paper strips.
Learn this basic paper cutting technique with paper dolls, then let
your imagination run wild! Cut paper chains with themes for every
season and every special event. They make wonderful decorations for
parties, classrooms and your home.
This craft project is great for family, classroom or group craft
time. With a little preparation by the adult or teen leader, this
project is both quick and easy for groups of kids.
This craft features bilateral symmetry—two halves that are
mirror images of each other.
Learn more about symmetry and explore paper cutting in
these related crafts:
Paper Flowers -
Fold paper squares in fourths, then cut out flowers.
Symmetry in Snowflakes -
Fold and cut squares of paper to make snowflakes.
At the end of this project page, find links to other sites
with more paper doll fun!
Here's what you need:
- Lightweight computer or craft paper
- Optional: Colored paper, cardstock and tape
This project is rated VERY EASY to do.
How to Make Paper Doll Chains
Read all of the steps before starting.
Step 1: Project Preparation
Read through the project and gather the materials needed for
creating chains of paper dolls. If you are doing this craft with a group, precutting the strips
of paper will make the craft go faster.
You may also want to make some doll templates to be traced. Create your own or download and
Aunt Annie's patterns on cardstock.
The templates are in two sizes. Select the size that best fits
your strips of paper after folding, and adjust as needed.
- Step 2: Cut Paper Strips
Cut strips of paper that are approximately 4½" by 12"
from lightweight craft paper. If you are using computer paper, cut
each sheet in half lengthwise to make two 4¼" by 11" strips.
If you are planning to use construction paper, it is best if
shorter strips are used to reduce the bulk after folding. Try strips
that are 4½" by 6", fold in four equal sections to cut a chain of two dolls.
These shorter chains can then be taped together.
- Step 3: Fold Paper Strips
Fold the paper strip into eight equal sections of accordion
1) Fold the strip in half, matching edges and making a sharp
2) Fold one edge back to meet the fold just made, and crease. Turn
the paper over and repeat with the other edge. Now you have four
equal sections—continue folding to make eight sections.
3) Fold the top layer back to meet the center fold, turn over and
4) Open the center fold like a book. There are three layers on
each side with a single layer in the center.
5) Fold one side of three layers in to meet the center fold. Repeat
with the other side.
6) Fold the center fold back to complete the accordion folds.
- Step 4: Draw Doll
With the cut edge of the folded strip to the right, draw half of
a doll along the left (folded) edge with arms extending to the cut
- Step 5: Cut Dolls
Hold the folded strip firmly and cut carefully around the doll
outline. Do not cut along the folds.
Unfold the paper strip to reveal your chain of dolls.
What other shapes or objects have bilateral symmetry and could be made into paper chains?
That's it you are done! Use your imagination to create more paper doll chains!
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