How to make paper city

How to make paper city DEFAULT

How To: Make a 3D paper city

Learn how to make a three dimensional city from a sheet of paper. Start with a flat drawing of a city scape and a sharp X-acto knife. Cut along each vertical line of each window. Cut along each horizontal line of each window. Be very precise and do not cut past the end of the line. Cut out arches of doorways. Make incisions along horizontal lines of buildings. Cut along horizontal lines of stairs. Do not cut along any dotted lines. Once done cutting, begin folding. Fold along dotted lines. Crease the sheet of paper in the center where marked. Create the illusion of a 3D city using simple cutting and folding skills.

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If your kids love to build and are looking for a new challenge, they’re going to love building a paper city!

This is a great way to not only keep your child busy, but also give them a creative outlet to create and play. Not to mention it is a lot of fun, and the best part is….it is educational! They won’t even know they’re learning.

Paper city made by this architecture for kids STEM project

Paper City

Foster + Partners, a British architecture studio, is releasing building templates online, complete with instructions on how to fold and glue each building and structure.

This is a fabulous STEAM activity for kids of all ages, as it combines so many different skills, all while being fun.

Using templates from the architecture studio, kids can color and put together a skyscraper made out of paper. They can cut out and build paper houses.

Architecture For Kids

Kids can even learn how to draw trees like architects do! Foster + Partners members designed the paper city templates to entertain and educate kids. From the looks of it, they plan to continue to release more templates.

Architecture for kids blue print to build a paper city

My six-year-old loved cutting out some of the bigger shapes, coloring in parts of the building, and learning how to fold the paper into boxes.

Little does she realize how much she’s learning as she creates her own paper city! After all, this activity is wonderful for encouraging not only creativity and art, but design and engineering skills too.

Architecture paper craft to build buildings and a city

Architecture For Kids Projects

As kids create and build more and more buildings and houses, they can start to design an entire city. In other words, this paper city activity may keep your kiddos busy and entertained for hours.

They’ll have a blast not only putting together the buildings, but deciding how to organize their paper city too.

As Katy Harris, a senior partner at Foster + Partners, told Dezeen:

“The main aim has been to get them to ask questions about their surroundings and start thinking about their built environment. For instance, the photo story activity teaches children about scale and prompts them to think differently about space and buildings.”

Drawing trees and other projects like how to make a city

DIY Paper Buildings For Kids Ages 2-12

While Foster + Partners says they designed the templates and activities with kids age 2 to 12 years old in mind, they’re finding that kids of all ages (and yes, parents too) are having a blast making their own paper city.

People from all over the world are emailing their creations directly with Foster + Partners as well as sharing them through social media using the hashtag #architecturefromhome.

For younger kids not yet ready to fold and assemble boxes, consider creating a pretend city with them using paper bags instead.

Just in case you want something else to further encourage your budding architects and artists even more, Foster + Partners also released a children’s book, all about “what makes a building.”

More Fun Educational Crafts and STEM Activities:

Origami paper frogs that teach children kinetic energy.

Make a paper city and then enjoy some fun pretend play.

Looking for more STEM projects? Check out this solar system for kids!

Want to learn how to make a paper airplane?

Learn about kinetic energy from an origami hopping frog.

Teach your child about life science with these mini terrarium and mini ecosystems.

You can get over 3,000 printable STEM activity pages for your kids!

Your kids will love this straw challenge. It’s a fun STEM project.

Try this red cup STEM challenge!

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Introduction: Paper City

I Have been collecting some boxes for a future project and was not sure what that project would be so as you can already imagine i figured this would be a great opportunity to put them to use. I decided they would be great as buildings and that's how i come up with the idea of a paper city. Plus its a great and simple project to do with kids.

I decided to divided the project into three sections, Skyline, Buildings and park. I will be listing the materials i used in each section because they were quite a number.

Step 1: Step One : Skyline

I divided the project into three components, skyline, buildings and park. The first section was the skyline.

The materials used for the skyline where

  • Corex board or cardboard
  • Manila paper (green, white and yellow) P.s i didn't have blue but green worked out ok
  • scissors
  • Pencil, eraser and marker pen
  • glue
  • double sided tape
  • pen blade
  • ruler

The measurements for section one of the board (Skyline) were 26 inches Long by 24 inches wide. I drew up a template for what i wanted my skyline to look like on a piece of paper with the same measurements and used it as my guide. Your template doesn't have to be complex, the simpler it is the better


Make sure when you are creating your city you divide your sections proportionally according to the size of board you chose to use. Your board will be determined by the size of boxes you would prefer to use.

Take some tracing paper and draw over each layer so that you can cut the layers separately for a more sculptured look.

Use the traced images to create individual layers. I alternated the green and white manila for each layer and the yellow manila for the sun and sun rays. Each layer of manila had a layer of sun, this creates depth and dimension to your skyline.

Step 2: Step Two: Creating the Buildings Plan

The next step was creating our city. the measurements for that section was 15 inches long by 24 inches wide. i tried to see how many boxes i could fit in that space and also leave some room for a road.

For this section you will need the following materials

  • Black, orange, blue and red paper ( i used poster paper 80gms)
  • light cardboard pieces. (i used some cake boxes that i had, its not too heavy or too light)
  • a pen blade
  • double sided tape and clear tape
  • cut outs of windows or window stickers (these you can print out, i used a basic window vector i got online)
  • white label stickers
  • Ruler, pencil and marker

Take some drawing paper and draw out a rough plan of how you would want to place your buildings). Take your boxes and place them on the plan to have a visual of how it will look.

The black paper will be your base and would also be the road. cutout your light cardboard where your buildings will seat and place them on the black paper.

Step 3: Step Three: Making the Buildings

Now it's time to make the boxes. Get your boxes and open them flat. Once they are open take your paper and wrap them, then tape them back together. Get some window stickers or print out small window images and cut them out, i would suggest you print out stickers and have them cut for you. stick them on the boxes and add some corrugated paper at the top as the roof.

take your double sided tape and tape them on the cardboard you cut out earlier then tape the board to your black paper base according to your plan.

Add some label stickers on the designated road area that you created on your building plan.

Step 4: Step Four: the Park

The third section i worked on was the park. the measurements were 7.5 inches long by 24 inches wide.

The materials needed for this section are

  • card stock paper (several shades of green and some brown)
  • green and brown 80gm paper (i used poster paper)
  • acetate or clear and blue see through plastic
  • floral wire
  • scissors
  • a glue gun and glue or strong liquid glue

Take your plan and some tracing paper and trace out the different sections. take your card stock paper and cut the different green sheets in sections as indicated in the plan. Take the clear paper and cut out a water body shape (pond, pool etc) just like it is in your plan and tape the pieces together with your double sided tape for the paper and for the clear plastic use the glue gun.

Step 5: Step Five: the Trees

Take your Floral wire and cut four 10 inch strips and fold the wires in half. Take the two half's and wrap them together as if you are twisting them and interlocking them. leave a small loop at the bottom and do not twist them all the way up.

At the top of the wire, separate the wires in two's and twist the four pairs of wire separately. Do not twist them completely because we still have to separate them again to create branches.

Once this is done separate the bottom loops and create a flat base that will help your tree stand straight.

Take your brown paper and cut it into strips, this is what we will use to wrap our tree and cover the wires. Take the green paper and cut it into small squares then after into smaller leaf shaped pieces. Glue the green pieces together then glue them to your branches

And there you have it! a Tree

Take your trees and using your glue gun to glue them to your park base.

Step 6: Step Six: the Final Product

Once you have each individual section. Take your double sided tape and tape each section firmly in its appropriate place.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you can find some time to create your own little cities with your empty disposable boxes.

Happy Crafting!

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