Introduction: Paperboard Peace Dove

About: During the COVID-19 crisis, all of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship's religious services moved into an online-only format. I generally organize Sunday school activities for the children of the Fellowship …

Our sixth UU principle is about working towards peace, liberty, and justice for all, and that’s not a goal we can achieve without having hard, honest conversations about fears and feelings. Not all of those conversations will seem very peaceful, because there are a lot of things to talk about that make people angry. And that makes sense! It’s okay to be angry about things that are unjust. Peace doesn’t mean that no one is angry. I’m not actually sure what peace looks like, honestly, because that’s another hard conversation. Maybe peace is the ability for everyone to express their feelings and tell their stories safely and without judgement or violence.

In honor of our sixth principle, I’ve put together some instructions for making a paperboard dove. Doves have been a symbol of peace for thousands of years in many religions, and many groups that work for peace use the dove. Symbols are stories, too, and this symbol is like a prayer for peace. Whatever peace looks like to you.


-Empty paperboard packaging

-White printer paper





-Hole punch (optional)

Step 1: Cut Apart Your Empty Package.

I dug around in my recycling until I found an empty piece of paperboard packaging that was white inside, but doves come in gray and brown, too, so you can use whatever kind of paperboard you have! You'll want to use something with the weight of a cereal box rather than corrugated cardboard, which would be more difficult to work with.

Collapse the package and cut it apart so it lays flat. Cut out a solid rectangle from one of the sides.

Step 2: Cut Out a Dove Shape.

Use your pencil to sketch out a dove shape.

Cut it out.

Step 3: Decorate Your Dove.

I decided to keep my dove a classic white, so I just colored in their beak and gave them an eye. Your dove can be any color or pattern you like, though!

Step 4: Cut a Slit in the Dove's Body.

Draw a line in the middle of the dove's body. This is how you'll attach the wings.

Use a sharp pair of scissors to poke into the line so that you can cut a slit in the side of the body. Get a grown-up or older sibling to help if you need to!

Step 5: Fold the Wings.

Flip your piece of white (or other color!) paper into a horizontal position, and set the edge against the dove to measure the approximate length of the slit. You'll want to make your first fold just a little narrower than the slit. After you have your first fold, fold the paper back and forth in an accordion pattern.

Step 6: Slide the Paper Through the Slit.

Slide your accordion through the slit in the dove's body, and pull it through til it's centered. You might have to trim your slit a little wider to get it to go through, and that's okay!

Step 7: Attach a String.

You can consider your dove done now if you like, but I decided it would be nice to hang my dove up so they looked like they were flying.

If you have one, use a hole punch to make a hole right above the dove's wings. You can also use your scissors if you get a grown-up or older sibling to help you. Cut a length of string and tie it to the hole.

Step 8: Hang Up Your Dove!

I hung mine up from the light that hangs over my kitchen table. Where will you hang yours?