DIY Perforated Paper – Papel Picado for Any Fiesta

I don’t know about you, but nothing says welcome to my fiesta (party) than perforated paper or papel picado as we call it.  Whether it’s for 16 de Septiembre, Hispanic Heritage Month, Dia de los Muertos, Posadas or just because, I think it adds just the right festive feel to any occasion.

DIY Perforated Paper - Papel Picado for Any Fiesta -

And I’m grateful to have learned how to make it in school.  It uses the same folding and cutting skills used to make paper snowflakes, so you should be able to get a handle on it without a problem.  Here’s what you’ll need.

Perforated Paper Supplies -


  • Tissue Paper (pick the 3 colors you think fit your occasion)
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick (make sure it’s new so it won’t tear the tissue paper)
  • Some string
  • A stiff piece of cardboard to keep it from getting tangled up.


Grab a sheet of tissue paper and fold in half length wise and then fold in half again width wise until you end up with a folded square.
Folding Tissue Paper -
Now cut the 2 folded edges until you end up with 4 separate squares from each sheet of tissue paper.
Cutting folded edges to get 4 sheets -
Since each square is supposed to be unique, much like snowflakes – there’s no two alike, it’s ok to place all 4 sheets on top of each other and begin the folding process for the cuts.  Begin by folding the square sheets in half and making 1″ (inch) folds, leaving  a 1/2″ to 1″ unfolded (as shown in picture below).
Folding technique for Perforated Paper -
Now pick one side to be the top edge of the banner and fold a 1/4″ to 1/2″ along the top.  This will be where you’ll glue your sting to hold up the sheet, so make sure you don’t cut on that fold.
Folding String Edge on Perforated Paper -
Then cut your favorite scalloped edge (I prefer pointed edges, but you can choose your fav) into the unfolded 1/2″ to 1″, just below the string fold you just made.
Cutting Scalloped Edge on Perforated Paper -
Once done cutting that edge, cut your favorite scalloped edge on the bottom of the thicker, folded 1″ sections.
Cutting bottom edge on perforated paper -
Now, much like you did when making snowflakes, you can begin cutting your shapes (circles, hearts, skulls, etc.) onto the thicker folded edge (again making sure to avoid the string edge).
Cutting shapes into perforated paper -
When you’re done cutting, carefully unfold the sheets. Then repeat this process until you have enough banners to decorate your party. (It’s always a great idea to make more than you think you’ll need.)
DIY Perforated Paper - Papel Picado
Once you’re done cutting, lay the cut pieces in the order you want them (think of the best color combination for the colors you chose)
Perforated paper color combos -
and begin glueing the banners to the sting by adding glue to the banner’s folded string edge, placing the string in the middle and pressing the string crease together until it sticks.  Repeat, allowing about 2-4″ in between each banner sheet.
Stringing Perforated Paper - yoursassyself.comThis is where it becomes kind of an assembly line.  So you’ll want to make sure you prepare your cardboard cut out to help you keep it all from getting tangled.  Make sure to use a cardboard cutout that’s a bit larger than your banners and cut angled slits on the top to allow a place for the string.   It not only helps when you’re putting it up, but it’s an easy storage solution to use again in the future.
Stringing Perforated Paper onto Cardboard -
Here’s a quick video to guide you through the process.

And there you have it.  A super fun, easy, kid friendly craft that will let everyone know you’re throwing a fiesta.
Fiesta with Papel Picado and food -
What are your go to decorations for your fiestas?
This post is not sponsored, however this post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase something via those links Your Sassy Self receives a small percentage of the profits. Thanks for your support!
Rocio Chavez
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