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.

178 Responses
  1. Anonymous

    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!

  2. Bhavna Mehta

    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.

  3. Toys Online

    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!

  4. 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

  5. Morwenna Hancock

    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!!

  6. […] 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. […]

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Ingrid

    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!

    1. 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.)

  12. Adriana Cortés Díaz

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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 :)

  15. 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 !!!

  16. 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 ; )

    1. 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.

    2. 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!

  17. Judy Plant

    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

  18. Julie

    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 …)

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  20. […] Made by Joel, no sólo hace ciudades ilustradas sino que tiene gran variedad de recursos para jugar con nuestros más pequeños. Tiene bastantes descargables que te sirven para una tarde de lluvia o para viajar por algunas ciudades del mundo o alguna ciudad en especial. Tiene ciudades como París y Australia. También dispone de un circo, carros de toda clase, dinosaurios, helicoptéros, entre muchos más. Todo esto puedes imprimirlo y hacer volar la imaginación de tu hij@. […]

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