How to Make a Claw Machine Out of Paper

Ever wanted to make a claw machine out of paper? The claw machine is a popular game at carnivals and arcades. It’s also possible to make your own paper claw machine so you can play at home! This tutorial will show you how to make a claw machine out of paper!  

In this tutorial, we will be making a claw machine with cardboard and paper-mache. We’ll need scissors, glue, newspaper strips, paint or markers (optional), and some kind of container for the prizes. The first step is to cut out a rectangular piece of cardboard for the base of the machine. Then, we’ll make the walls of the machine by papering strips of newspaper around the outside of the cardboard. Once the walls are dry, we can add the prizes to the machine by putting them in a container and gluing it to the inside of the machine. Finally, we can decorate the machine with paint or markers (optional).

How to Make a Claw Machine Out of Paper

Supplies and Materials Needed:

  • Cardboard
  • Aluminum Foil or Parchment Paper
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun and/or Superglue
  • Newspaper Strips
  • Paint or Markers
  • Container for Prizes

Steps to Follow: How to Make a Claw Machine Out of Paper

When you're done, attach a few more pieces of tape to the bottom edge

Step 1:

Take a sheet of paper (preferably one that is sturdy, like printer paper). Fold it in half width-wise, and then fold one side over about half an inch. Fold the other side over so that it meets at the middle, and then fold in half again. Fold one side down about an inch or so and do the same with the other side, so that it looks like a triangle when you open it up.

Step 2:

Take the other side and fold it up to meet the top part of the folded edge. Now we’re going to stitch up along the folded edge. This is what makes it look like a envelope. I use a white thread for this. But you can use any color you want.

Step 3:

To make a paper airplane, fold both sides of the paper down until they meet in the middle. Then fold each side outwards towards the bottom about half an inch.

Step 4:

Take the bottom and fold it up until it meets where you folded out the sides earlier. Then, take one side and fold it over the top part of that edge about a quarter of an inch. Repeat this step with the other side. When you get to the part where the two edges meet, take your scissors and cut along the bottom at an angle so it overlaps the sides.

Step 5:

Now, take the other side and fold it over the folded side that you just made.

Step 6:

Using your thumb, push down on the center of the model so that it sticks out in a diamond shape, as shown. Then carefully cut along one edge with an Exacto knife until you have two points sticking up at the top.

Use Your Thumb

Step 7:

Now, take the point and pull it towards you so it opens up to a diamond shape. Then take this new flap and fold it down. Follow that by taking the other flap and folding it over where the first flap just was. After that, carefully cut out a circle in the middle of your diamond to resemble the circle on the top of a claw machine.

Step 8:

Take the circle you just cut out and fold it over to create a pocket. Then, using an X-Acto knife, make two small (less than half-inch) cuts towards each other in your pocket so that when you push down on it, it will form some springy shapes.

Step 9:

Take a piece of string and tie it around the intersection of your two cut lines and then tie it around a small weight (a coin will do well for this). Use the excess string to create a loop so you can hang up your machine later. Then take another piece of string and tape it to the “claw” and run it through the slot you created earlier.

Take a Piece of String

Step 10:

Now, tape your string to a flat surface so that it is taut and won’t slip. Pull down on the claw part of your machine with one hand while pulling up on the end of the string (with the weight) with the other. Make sure not to move the weight too much to one side or the other, otherwise, it will be harder for your machine to pick things up.

Step 11:

When you’re done, attach a few more pieces of tape to the bottom edge of your machine so that it won’t slip on surfaces with a very low friction coefficient (like glass). Now that your machine is all set up, go find some ‘prizes’ to put into the machine!

6 Tips to Make Your Claw Machine Look Like Real:

1. Use a template from the above image to cut the machine’s shape from light brown paper.

2. To make it look like metal, use the lighter shade of brown for the inner parts and black for the outer parts. Cut thin rectangular strips from this color as well as three circles out of something you have at home. Fold them into cones and use glue to attach them to the machine’s walls. Paint each of these shapes with silver paint.

Use a Template From  the Above Image

3. Glue some additional paper on the surface which you want to look like steel (in our case it is the upper part). Finally, use silver paint for this as well.

4. Cut two ovals from dark brown paper and paint them with a grey color. Attach to the machine’s front side for eyes effect.

5. For the roller, cut a thick yet flexible strip of light brown paper and bend it into an oval shape. Use black paint to make stripes on this object, then attach two small circles made from light brown paper in the middle of each stripe.

6. Use dark brown paper to make the handle which you should bend into an L-shape. Paint it in grey and attach small circles made from light brown paper to the ends. Then glue a small strip in between these circles in order to complete the handle.

Is Claw Machine Illegal?

Claw machines are illegal in some places, but not others. Some types of claw machine games are legal in the UK to play for prizes below a certain value. But there are also laws against using these machines to win prizes that cost more than a set amount. This varies from place to place, so you will have to find out what the law in your area says.

Other places have different rules about the games, but the machines themselves are illegal. The most commonly cited reason for making claw machines illegal is that they can trap children’s fingers. Children playing these games without adult supervision could get badly hurt by the claws if they do not know how to control them.

Claw machines are illegal in some places

Frequently Asked Questions

Which claw machine is best?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best claw machine for your needs will depend on a variety of factors, including the type of amusement park you are visiting, the size and shape of your hands, and your budget.

However, some of the more popular claw machines include those from Intamin, manufacturer of roller coasters and other amusement park rides; Zamperla, maker of carnival games and attractions; and King Kong Attractions, which makes both traditional wooden and electric claw machines.

Where do you put a claw machine?

it depends on the type of claw machine that you are using. However, some popular places to put a claw machine are in bars, nightclubs, and gaming centers.

Is it illegal to rig a claw machine?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on the jurisdiction in which you reside. In some jurisdictions, rigging a claw machine may be considered illegal, while in others, it may not be considered a crime at all.

If you are unsure about whether or not rigging a claw machine is legal in your jurisdiction, it is best to consult with an attorney or other legal professionals who can provide you with specific advice.

Why do people play claw machines?

There are many reasons why people play claw machines. Some people enjoy the excitement of trying to win big prizes, while others just enjoy the challenge of hitting the targets.

Some people also find it fun to watch other people play the game and see who can get the most tickets in a short amount of time.


In this article, we’ve given you a step-by-step guide on how to make a claw machine out of paper. If you’re looking for an easy and inexpensive craft project that requires minimal materials, look no further! Even if it may not be as satisfying as the real thing, at least now you can experience the joys of winning without spending any money in the process.

You can use this DIY claw machine to catch your cat’s attention and exercise him. The steps are easy enough for a child to do, but if you need help figuring out how it works or want some more ideas of what you could make with paper on your own, then let us know. So what are you waiting for? Hurry up and get ready to become the next claw machine champion in your household!

You May Also Read Our Article On – How to Make an Action Figure Out of Paper

Jennifer Branett
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

DIY Quickly