CUT-OUT PAPER ANIMATION – Creating a Jointed Figure

Students use markers on cardstock paper to create small, jointed figures suitable for stop-motion animation.

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CUT-OUT PAPER ANIMATION – Creating a Jointed Figure


  • Crayola Fine Line Markers - 12 Count
  • Crayola Marker & Watercolour Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm
  • Crayola Scissors
  • Cardstock Paper - 11 cm x 14 cm (4" x 6") - 1 per student
  • Pencils
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Small Hole Punch


Step 1
  1. Start by making 4 thumbnail sketches of possible characters.
Step 2
  1. Choose the character you want to make.
  2. Use a coloured pencil, or marker to outline separate parts of the figure.
  3. Think about how you want the parts to move, for example,
    - the arm can have 2 parts and bend at the elbow as well as the shoulder
    - the arm can have 1 part and only bend at the shoulder
  4. You will be joining the parts to each other with small pieces of pipe cleaner.
Step 3
  1. Draw the figure on a piece of 10 cm x 10 cm (4" x 4") cardstock paper.
  2. Make sure the shapes are big enough for you to punch a small hole in each end for the fasteners.
Step 4
  1. Use markers to colour the figure and then cut it out.
  2. Arrange the shapes in the order they will go when joined together.
  3. Use a pencil to mark where you will make the holes for the fasteners.
  4. Make sure the holes are placed far enough inside the shape so they will not tear.
Step 5
  1. Make small holes at each marked spot.
    - use an extra small hole punch OR
    - place the paper on a piece of heavy sponge and press the point of a compass through the spot
Step 6
  1. Place two parts that you want to join face to face and line up the holes.
  2. Thread a small piece of pipe cleaner through the holes.
Step 7
  1. Open the paper shapes.
  2. Place them on the table so that the pipe cleaner and the shapes are flat.
Step 8
  1. Place the joined shapes face down on the table.
  2. Fold each end of the pipe cleaner into the centre so they close like a staple.
  3. Test the joint to see if it will bend easily.
Step 9
  1. Use the same process to make profile or front view figures.
  2. Pose the figures in different ways by bending the jointed parts at different angles.
  • Subjects:

    • Language Arts,

    • Visual Arts,

    • Media Literacy

  • Grades:

    • Grade 5,

    • Grade 6,

    • Grade 7,

    • Grade 8,

    • Grade 9

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