Cut Paper Banners: How to Make Papel Picado

Considered Mexican Folk Art, 'papel picado' can be found throughout the streets of Latin American during holidays and celebrations. They're a festive pierced paper, cut-out from tissue paper and strung similar to pennant banners.

Fun to make and even better, it's a very forgiving project for all ages. If you can handle scissors, you can make this! Like many things handmade, imperfection gives it character and beauty. 

Want to make your own easy papel picado version? 

Takes about 15 minutes 


  • 5-10 sheets tissue paper
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Glue stick
  • 5 X 7 Cardboard template (Optional) 


1. Cut tissue sheets into rectangles. I find 5 x 7 rectangles pieces are a good size, but you can choose any size.

2. Take a stack of rectangle tissue pieces and fold them in half, and then fold in half again.

.Papel picado paper pennant folded paper instructions

3. Begin cutting out shapes. Go to town!

4. Punch two holes across the top. On towards the left and one on the right. You'll use this to put the string through.

5. Fold-over the top edging of the cut-out tissue piece to hide the string. Depends on your desired look.(Optional) 

6. Makes loops of the ends of your string to make it easy to hang. Fiesta time!