Paper Quilt Squares

Paper Quilt Squares

Think beyond fabric and create a quilt square using paper and glue! Quilt patterns or “blocks” often have meaning associated with their arrangement of colors and shapes. Use paper squares to create a new pattern that has significant meaning to you.


  • Drawing Paper
  • Scrapbook Paper
  • Glue Stick
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Ruler

Step 1: Trim a piece of drawing paper into a large square. Check the measurement and angles of the paper to make sure that it is square. 

Step 2: Begin drawing a grid by making one-inch marks along the top, bottom, and sides of the paper. Connect the marks to form vertical and horizontal lines that form a grid. 

Step 3: Use the same grid drawing method on the back of scrapbook paper. Create lines in only one direction.

Step 4: Cut along the lines with scissors. 

Step 5: Stack the strips and measure one-inch marks. 

Step 6: Make cuts along the length of the stack of strips at the one-inch marks.

Step 7: This process will create one-inch squares. Cut an assortment of colored squares. 

Step 8: Find the center squares in the grid. Begin the design in the center and work outward towards the edge. 

Step 9: Place colored squares in a pattern. Continue gluing squares until the paper is filled.

Ideas to take your paper quilt squares to the next level:

  • Create a series of quilt squares and assemble them into a larger composition. 
  • Play with the shape of your paper! Instead of a square, create a hexagonal shape. 
  • Use the geometric shapes to create a representational image, such as an animal or a flower.

Learning and Discussion Questions:

1. Art, craft, or quilt? For at least a century, the debate of “craft or art” has circulated through the creative community. The International Quilt Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln introduces this debate.

2. Enjoy a global perspective on quiltmaking by visiting the World of Quilts, a website hosted by the International Museum of Quilts, focusing on a handful of perspectives within the history of quiltmaking. 

3. Quilt patterns or “blocks” often have meaning behind the arrangement of patterns and colors. The Homestead National Historic Park explains a handful of patterns here

Thank you to our sponsor, PNC Arts Alive!, for helping to make this video possible!

PNC Bank Banner