Paper City

I was drawing these little people on the train to Seattle last Saturday (to see the Alexander Calder Exhibit), and thought it would be amusing to turn them into little paper dolls. So I sketched some buildings for them and made a happy little paper city. Yes, you can join in on the fun. There is a template you can download and print below. It might also be nice to color them.

Update: To see more Paper City Toys, click here!

Click on the templates below, then print. Fold along the dotted lines first, then cut along the thin solid lines across the top and bottom. In the photos above, I printed out two cityscapes. For the people, I thought it looked best to leave some white around the edges when cutting. I printed on a matte photo paper.

175 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    February 24, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Hi Joel,

    I'm writting you from Spain. In two hours we are driving to spend some relaxing days by the beach. Paper City is already packaged to play some hours with our 18 months old Sara.
    Thank you, and congratulations for your work!

    Reply »
  2. Bhavna Mehta
    March 1, 2011 at 4:02 am

    Hello Joel! Found your blog just a couple of days ago! Love your work and thanks for sharing SO MANY awesome ideas. I am an art teacher and used your paper people idea in my Saturday class last weekend. It was a big hit. I posted pictures on flickr.
    Congratulations on your book.

    Reply »
  3. Toys Online
    March 18, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Hi Joel,
    Love your work. We have included some of your great projects on our monthly newsletter. Can't wait till your book is out.
    I'm sure it'll be greater seller for you!

    Reply »
  4. May 15, 2011 at 11:44 am

    I just read about your site in our local, Sunday, newspaper. I teach kids grades Pk-5 in Wichita Falls, TX. I hope you'll be glad to know that I'm adding it to my file and plan to share your super site with other teachers and parents. I'm so grateful to you for making them available to us at no charge. I teach in a low income school and I love to get the kids to go back to using imagination and their own talents to entertain themselves. I'm certainly not against technology as I am the technology specialist at school. You ought to be in our lab when I get a class of 22 four year olds each on a computer to themselves. They are fearless but I also want them to have other ideas to fall back on when they don't have their electronic toys handy! So here's a Texas size Thanks-a-Million for sharing your wonderful talent! sPoirot

    Reply »
  5. May 17, 2011 at 7:50 am

    [...] City! Posted on May 17, 2011 by JoelI was struggling to decide which city to select as our next Paper City and thought, “Why not put it to a vote?” As soon as I did, I was amazed at how quickly [...]

    Reply »
  6. May 19, 2011 at 5:15 am

    [...] Источник [...]

    Reply »
  7. May 23, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    [...] takes ordinary everyday materials and turns them into fun and engaging toys for his kiddos. His paper city is sure to bring hours of good imaginative fun, and it’s free to download and [...]

    Reply »
  8. May 24, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    This is so cute and creative! I think I'll need to print these out for my little girl and I to play with soon :) Found you through Frugal Family Fun Blog and am now following on Facebook!

    Reply »
  9. May 31, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    [...] flowing from the minds of your little tykes:Made by Joel has a great collection of printables with paper dolls in a paper city, I can see my coloring-crazed kids enjoying creating a home for their “people”.  My [...]

    Reply »
  10. June 3, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    [...] theirs. (More on that in a few weeks.) So I thought I’d turn some of the illustrations into a Paper City “Road Trip Pack.” I made road pieces, like train tracks, so you can build your own [...]

    Reply »
  11. June 13, 2011 at 7:44 am

    [...] is the Paper City, which has come from the Made by Joel website.  I know my son is going to adore this one and again, it’s very easy to do, but will [...]

    Reply »
  12. Morwenna Hancock
    June 16, 2011 at 5:07 am

    We are dealing with a postal strike here and I am going to use these to teach my kids about how the mail gets delivered, although it is lovely enough to just play with anyway!!

    Reply »
  13. June 17, 2011 at 7:25 am

    [...] (our theme was The Big Apple).  The idea was based on this creative young man’s  blog here.   If you have preschoolers, you should bookmark that [...]

    Reply »
  14. June 29, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    [...] (je veux le même à la maison !), il fourmille de modèles à télécharger, en particulier cette incroyable ville en papier à découper et [...]

    Reply »
  15. June 30, 2011 at 3:59 am

    [...] wir immer, alles Andere hatten wir auch schon. Also hab ich den Drucker angeschmissen und die Paper-City (Made by Joel) ausgedruckt. Die Kinder sind total begeistert und der absolute Renner sind die [...]

    Reply »
  16. July 11, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    [...] vez les traigo una idea muy buena de Made By Joel. Un proyecto excelente para compartir con los niños en este invierno o en una tarde lluviosa y [...]

    Reply »
  17. July 19, 2011 at 10:00 am

    [...] pourrais citer encore la ville de papier (et ses nombreuses extensions), la forêt de branches, les fleurs à construire, etc mais autant [...]

    Reply »
  18. August 5, 2011 at 12:22 am

    [...] Una ciudad de papel para colorear y jugar. [...]

    Reply »
  19. August 8, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    [...] our train set to make the city.  If you don’t have any blocks, you could also print out this Paper City from Made by [...]

    Reply »
  20. August 23, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    [...] Build a paper city. This free downloadable template is one of the cutest downloads we have laid our eyes on for quite a while (it is supposed to be a French city – tres chic, non?).  Read your children a book about Paris (or any city of your choosing) and encourage them to name the people and describe what they are doing, where they are going. [...]

    Reply »
  21. August 31, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    [...] paper city project James and I have been developing over the past few weeks. The idea comes from Made By Joel, a crafty dad-artist-blogger. James asked me to make him some parking lots and I was like, [...]

    Reply »
  22. September 7, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    [...] below: My Paper City! Fantastic elephant design by Robert Czajka (Poland) Very cool owl illustration by Peagreen / Dan [...]

    Reply »
  23. September 8, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    [...] was very excited when Anorak Magazine from the UK asked if they could feature my Paper City in one of their issues.  I just got it in the mail and it looks great!  Each issue is so well [...]

    Reply »
  24. September 21, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    [...] and also printed out some cool Hal­loween cut-outs.  My kids espe­cially love the stuff by Made By Joel- he has a whole city along with peo­ple that can be col­ored.  Here are the links for the [...]

    Reply »
  25. September 24, 2011 at 2:35 am

    [...] fille a eu le droit à toutes les évolutions de la “Paper City” de Joel, notamment l’édition “Paris”. Quand il s’est agit de [...]

    Reply »
  26. September 26, 2011 at 11:18 am

    [...] Original Paper City Buildings and people. [...]

    Reply »
  27. October 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    I simply cannot download and print these wonderful paper cities, please help me. I have tried your remarks to others, and tried them but to no avail. Thank you, Loretta

    Reply »
    1. October 9, 2011 at 9:21 pm

      Thanks everyone! Loretta - Sorry you're having trouble. I plan on turning these templates to PDF, as it seems easier for people to print. I'll do it when I get back from New York. Until then, try printing paper city paris, which is in PDF, and let me know if that works for you. http://madebyjoel.com/2011/08/paper-city-paris.html

  28. November 1, 2011 at 5:26 am

    Hi Joel! Love your city! This week on my blog I'm creating super hero paper action figures. One of my commenters had the idea of giving my super heros + your paper city as a gift to wee ones. The super hero can save the city! Loved this idea. Thought you would too, and had to share! Congrats on the mag article. Got my own copy! :) Love your work. ~Katie Moon, illustrator, oohmoon.com

    Reply »
  29. Nadia
    November 15, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    soooo wonderful! And most of all! that you share it! Thank you so much, I fully recommend this page

    Reply »
  30. November 20, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    [...] flowing from the minds of your little tykes:Made by Joel has a great collection of printables with paper dolls in a paper city, I can see my coloring-crazed kids enjoying creating a home for their “people”.  My [...]

    Reply »
  31. November 21, 2011 at 2:31 am

    Hi Joel, I've just discovered your blog and wow, it's SO good. Can't believe I haven't found myself here before. My daughter and I often draw little people and animals together, we love cutting and pasting and making stuff together, but I haven't found a way to really engage my little son who's nearly 3 and would much rather play with his cars than draw up at the table with his mum! BUT... I know he's gonna love paper city and I've picked up lots of great ideas right here. Thank you for sharing it all.

    Reply »
    1. November 30, 2011 at 7:35 pm

      Thanks for the kind note Sarah! Glad you found the site!

  32. January 14, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    [...] Printable Paper City – Made by Joel A whole little city is just waiting to be colored, cut out and arranged by your little ones.  [...]

    Reply »
  33. Tina
    January 18, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Joel, these Paper projects are amazing little works of art. I love the Paris set. I can't wait to print them all out.

    Reply »
  34. February 12, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Hi, Joel, I would like to add your paper city Paris as a free gift to a Paris story I sell to people. Would this be allright? Great Things you do! I am totally fascinated nessa paper lover

    Reply »
  35. February 27, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    [...] Paper City | Made by Joel. [...]

    Reply »
  36. February 28, 2012 at 5:50 am

    fantastic work! more than inspiring

    Reply »
  37. March 4, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Want to talk to you! Gonna email...

    Reply »
  38. March 10, 2012 at 6:07 am

    [...] Henriques è riuscito a costruire intere città per far giocare i propri [...]

    Reply »
  39. April 3, 2012 at 10:32 am

    this is so cool. i am throwing a 6 year old party next wednesday and your paper city will be a big part of it. i love it! paper dolls in a paper city, here we come!

    Reply »
  40. April 19, 2012 at 7:43 am

    I'm from Brasil... Thank you...

    Reply »
  41. Ingrid
    April 20, 2012 at 7:49 am

    Hi, Joel. We have been trying to print out your wonderful paper cities, but the templates seem to be too large. When printing the cities, the characters, buildings, etc., they are being cut-off. I am unable to get the entire template on one sheet of paper, only two of the paper characters are printing off, and not completely. What are we doing wrong? Thank you!

    Reply »
    1. April 20, 2012 at 9:18 am

      Hi Ingrid. I just now updated the images to PDF. I think your printer will automatically adjust it to fit on the page now. Click on the images and give it a try. Have fun! (I've been trying to update all of the jpeg templates to pdf, because they aren't as easy to print. You're not the only one! Most of the templates on the site now are all PDF though.)

  42. Adriana Cortés Díaz
    May 27, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Thanks a lot for those toys, I teach in a school, are greats for my kids. I live in Colombia South America.

    Reply »
    1. Adriana
      May 27, 2012 at 9:49 pm

      Thanks a lot for those toys, I live in south america in Colombia, I teach in a orphan,my kids love them...

  43. June 21, 2012 at 11:00 am

    [...] are common words you can use as you play with Joel’s (unnamed) Paper City. If you play with Paris or Sydney, you will want to add other [...]

    Reply »
  44. July 1, 2012 at 4:46 am

    Hi Joel! I´m completely fascinated with your work, that I started to discovery today. I teach art in Brazil for kids and I will plan to use some of your good stuff in my classes. Thank you for your amazing work. Best wishes, Andy from Rio de Janeiro - Brasil.

    Reply »
    1. July 3, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      Thanks Andy! I'm glad you found my site. Yeah, doing art with kids is fantastic isn't it! Have a great day in Rio de Janeiro!

  45. July 9, 2012 at 2:45 am

    Thank you so much for this free printable, it has been a great rainy day activity for our 2 boys (age 2 and 5) they've been happily playing with this for hours :)

    Reply »
    1. July 11, 2012 at 9:25 pm

      Excellent! Thanks Suzanne!

  46. July 10, 2012 at 4:31 am

    OUARRRRRRRRRRRRRGH ! yeeeepeeeeeeah ! I have passed my night to do cities for me...my kids I mean ! they have adored. Moi en tout cas Joel, j'ai adoré. gorgeous style and pretty ideas. I want mooooore !!!

    Reply »
    1. July 11, 2012 at 9:26 pm

      Ha, thank you Set! You are too kind!

  47. July 13, 2012 at 4:48 am

    Can I ask you with what tools you have worked on your animals woods ? (ste...not set... i am very poor at tennis, so to call me "set" is like a joke ; )

    Reply »
    1. July 14, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      Hey Ste. Sorry, auto-correct on my computer turned your name to Set. Whoops! (I guess my computer is used to thinking I make a lot of typing mistakes. ha.) You can see a list of my favorite tools here. It includes the saw information, wood paint, etc... http://madebyjoel.com/2010/08/favorite-tools.html

    2. July 15, 2012 at 5:32 am

      hey thk ! no prob for the nickforname 8 ) Considering the tools I was more thinking about how you are "cut" (I dont have better vocabulary) wood ! And I think there is no mention of it in your post of "preferate tools" ... 8 ) Thk U anyway and good day.

    3. July 16, 2012 at 8:18 pm

      Yes, I cut the wood with an electric scroll saw. It's on that link I gave you - second from the bottom. Most of my projects can be made with just a hand coping saw though too. Very simple!

  48. July 17, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    [...] Vía: Made by Joel [...]

    Reply »
  49. Judy Plant
    August 6, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Hello - I am a Spanish teacher in White Plains, NY and I have passed along your Paris cut outs to the French teachers, and will use the vehicles and buildings next year. Any chance Barcelona or Madrid might be forthcoming? Buenos Aires? Thanks so much for making these resources available to us for free! Sra. Plant

    Reply »
  50. October 29, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    [...] / 2 / 3 / 4/ 5 /* This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the [...]

    Reply »
  51. Alba
    December 26, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Hi Joel! I'm writting you from Spain. Amazing work. Thank you for sharing your work and your art.

    Reply »
  52. trbk
    January 8, 2013 at 5:36 am

    Hi! I'm an English teacher in Romania. I teach English through stories, whether they are read from a book or just made out from different pictures, drawings or, in this case, your amazing buildings. Thank you! You have a beautiful imagination. Here's a link to the work you inspired :) http://www.facebook.com/pages/Zeldas-Books-Where-Kids-Learn-English-Through-Stories/285341941569667#!/media/set/?set=a.308039225966605.62435.285341941569667&type=1

    Reply »
    1. February 2, 2013 at 9:21 pm

      Thanks again for the great comment and photos! Fantastic!

  53. Julie
    February 2, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Hello, I printed a few of this one for my older children at school,and they made a city with ! They really enjoy to do this, to see that their streets stay up alone ! Thanks a lot for all this ! (and sorry for my english ...)

    Reply »
    1. February 2, 2013 at 9:21 pm

      Hi Julie. Wonderful!!! Thanks for the comment! Joel

  54. March 28, 2013 at 1:10 am

    yay''posting from my smart phone just got it a few days ago and still learning it it has an online manual but trying to get into my account argg next going to try logging into bloggr and posting there. Now that you know what to look for before buying a cheaper smart phone, you can check this great choice of cheap android smartphones or this great Samsung Galaxy Note Review. Dikarenakan adanya faktor persaingan semakin ketat antara Black - Berry dan Nokia, membuat harga Black - Berry pun tidak setinggi dulu lagi, tetapi masih mempunyai fitur-fitur yang lengkap.

    Reply »
  55. Elizabeth
    April 3, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Thank you SO much for these! My kids are loving playing with them!

    Reply »
  56. dehlinger
    April 5, 2013 at 2:41 am

    Thank you so much !!! It's so beautiful !

    Reply »
  57. je
    May 18, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    oh very pretty so i copy that thank you

    Reply »
  58. June 3, 2013 at 3:53 am

    Dear Joel, we love your paper city and we are using it with our new clothes pin dolls bag. http://faccioedisfo.blogspot.it/2013/06/bamboline-da-trasporto.html Many thanks for sharing!

    Reply »
    1. June 7, 2013 at 6:09 pm

      I love it! Very cool idea! Thanks for showing me Rita.

  59. June 17, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    [...] mi sono tornate in mente le città di carta viste più di un anno fa sul fantastico sito di Joel: qui trovate il link per stampare i template che ho usato oggi, ma sul suo sito c’è molto [...]

    Reply »
  60. August 3, 2013 at 7:10 am

    [...] für die lieben Kleinen auf der langen Autofahrt in den Urlaubsort.Schauen Sie sich auch die Paper City an! Es macht [...]

    Reply »
  61. November 23, 2013 at 8:47 am

    [...] voilà un joli Gris Hippo. Imprimer les superbes villes Paper city Made by Joel, avec au choix la paper city, les véhicules, l’hélicoptère et sa base, Sydney et la toute dernière Paris [...]

    Reply »
  62. April 7, 2014 at 3:28 am

    [...] pourrais citer encore la ville de papier (et ses nombreuses extensions), la forêt de branches, les fleurs à construire, etc mais autant [...]

    Reply »

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