Papel Picado Pattern

A papel picado pattern for you to try this traditional Mexican tissue paper craft. Learn the art of paper cutting and create this gorgeous delicate tissue paper bunting.

Papel picado means perforated paper it is a tissue paper craft where a intricate pattern is formed using a hammer and chisels. It is a traditional Mexican craft where up to 50 sheets of tissue paper can be cut at a time. It is often used as decoration on windows and made into bunting to celebrate the Mexican festival 'The day of the dead'.

Use good quality tissue paper, you don't want your hard work to fall apart when you try to separate the pieces. Tissue paper sold as gift wrap is usually better quality than that sold for kids craft or for shredding.

Materials and Equipment

  • Papel picado pattern
  • 24 sheets of tissue paper in 4 different colors 24cm (91/2") x 28cm (11")
  • Chisels
  • Hammer
  • Cutting board
  • Tape
  • Pointed tool
  • String
  • Glue

Papel Picado Pattern

Download the template below by clicking on the thumbnail. All my templates are PDF files as they are easy to use and print.

You will need acrobat reader installed on your computer to view and print these templates. You can download it for free by clicking on the adobe reader button on the right.

Mia’s Top Tip

We have used 24 sheets of tissue paper in 4 different colors, you can use more or less sheets or colors depending on what you will be using the finished paper cuts for.

This tissue paper craft is quite noisy as you are continually tapping away with a hammer. It is also quite tiring if you have problems with your hands.

We made sure our work was secured to our old cutting mat so it was easy to put it away and pick it up again later. We didn't upset the neighbors with too much noise and we didn't tire ourselves out.

Papel Picado Tutorial Page 1




Choose your tissue paper and lay the sheets all together.


You will need something to cut into. I used an old kitchen floor tile.

A sheet of lead is used in traditional paper cutting. As lead is expensive I improvised.

The chisel will mark whatever you use, this is why I didn't use my usual cutting mat.




Lay your tissue paper and template on top of your cutting mat.




Tape around the edges, make sure all the layers are taped securely to your cutting surface.




Hold your chisel upright against the edge of a black square and hit sharply with your hammer.



Work your way around the square.

The black areas of the template will be removed.

You must be careful not to tear the white areas.




Gently remove any loose tissue paper, don't force it to come out or you will tear the paper.



Keep using the chisel to remove more layers.

Continue until all the tissue paper has been removed from the section you are working on.

What would you like to do now?

Return to top of this Papel Picado Pattern page where you can choose one of Mia’s craft ideas from the navigation bar on the left.

Go to Free Paper Crafts to find more paper craft ideas.

Visit Mia’s Craft Ideas home page to find out more about our website and Mia’s free craft ideas.

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