How To Make: Paper Chain Silhouettes

by holli on December 9, 2012

Ever since my Mom first showed me how to make paper silhouette chains, I’ve made them as a sort of annual holiday frugal decoration. Like people who stick paper snowflakes to their windows! All you need is a white sheet of paper, some scissors and creative freedom.

Two years ago, the kids were finally old enough to sit and do crafts.  I remember teaching the kids and my husband the basics: fold the paper into an accordion so there are alternating edges (I don’t think I used those terms, I just showed them). Then, you think of a shape you want to make, and how they could be connected at one point on each side. Stars and hearts are good shapes for practice. My husband got just as frustrated as the ids the first time he tried to make something. Then, the next attempt turned out to be so splendid, that I taped it to the bathroom mirror. It made me smile.

My husband was inspired, and started a secret craft project (which was a surprise because he is not the crafty type). He said he needed to borrow my favorite Penguin decoration off the bathroom mirror. On Christmas morning, I opened up this:

The best Christmas gift ever!

See what can happen if you let your creativity have room to play? To this day, I think it’s my favorite Christmas present he has ever given me.

Now that I’ve shared why I love this craft so much, let me help you do it too – and thanks to KristyLynn of Gastronomical Sovereignty for asking me to show her how!

Let’s start with the basic steps, then I’ll show you how to make a Paper Penguin Silhouette Chain…

How To Make A Paper Silhouette Shape Chain:

1)    Fold a standard sheet of paper or fun scrapbooking sheet of paper starting at one edge to the size you want your single silhouette to be (I like 1-2 inches, but you could do wider).

2)    Cut the sheet in half so you can get two chains out of one sheet of paper.

3)    Sketch a shape or cut it out free hand. Important: remember that each edge of the shape needs to connect, so do not cut that point.

4)    Unfold your chain and unveil your creation!

5)    Repeat and have fun!


How to Make A Penguin Silhouette Chain:

1)    Print the template out, and fold along the suggested line.


2)    Continue folding until the entire sheet is folded.


3)    Cut the paper in half so you can get two Penguin Chains from this one sheet.

STEPS 3 & 4

4)    Cut out the Penguin following the template outline.

5)    Unfold, trim off template guide, and enjoy!


I had so much fun preparing this template, you can download a PDF of it here.

I was on a creative roll, and also made a Swan and Bear chain too ~ Please enjoy and share your creations with me via Instagram or on Facebook!

bear love


Swan Love!

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