How to build your own impossible triangle with printable template

Make your own Impossible Triangle
Well, we did the impossible – triangle, that is… Now you can learn how.

This picture has not been edited, but it appears to be an impossible triangle!
(skip the explanation and get the printable and foldable template PDF to make your own)

Make Your Own: Penrose Impossible Triangle
The Cool Optical Illusions Original: Print, cut, and fold your own impossible triangle.

This photo has not been edited one bit. This is a picture of the penrose impossible triangle that is sitting in front of me on my desk. If I look at it from the right angle, it appears exactly as it does in the picture above. Many people think it can’t be done. But it is actually possible! And now, you can build your own “impossible triangle” in less than 5 minutes!

How did I do it? First, I studied the triangle, look at all the angles. Next, I whipped out my trusty scissors and started cutting away. It was a blur of strips of paper flying in the air and hitting the floor. And when I finished with some very pretty snowflakes… I got to work on doing the impossible. The impossible triangle, that is.

Many other sources said it couldn’t be built, but I knew I had remembered seeing some pictures of it…

Honestly, after many hours of trial and error, I have come up with what I believe to be the best (and easiest) way to make your own. To make this incredibly easy, just download and print the PDF.

You could even color it in or shade it with pencil if you like. Or you can play around with the dimensions if you would like, but if you just follow the instructions, you’ll have a perfect impossible triangle in less than 10 minutes. I urge you to print this out and try it! It’s a lot of fun! And … for now anyway… I’m making this printable penrose triangle PDF available for free.

If you make one, snap a picture of it from the perfect angle, and send it to me. I just may add it to the site!

Hints to make it look so good, you’ll fool yourself:
Sometimes it’s not only good to play with the angle, but to move farther away from it, and use your zoom lens. If you’re looking at it, sometimes I suggest to people that they actually put it on a floor or chair and then look at it with only one eye.

New Video –

Updated: Vu Long sent pictures of his triangle. Fantastic pictures, and a little more interesting than the one above. He says “Thank u for the pdf instruction, here is some photos I’ve taken. It was quite easy to build!”. Here are the pictures of the penrose triangle that he sent in:

User Submitted Penrose Triangle

impossible triangle on desk

amazing triangle out of paper

impossible triangle shown on laptop

Thanks to Johannes Wiberg for sending in the next picture. He’s showcasing his cool computer and nice glowing keyboard with all the keys blackened out too. This guy just loves to make cool stuff!

another impossible triangle sent in by visitor

Teachers: This makes a great classroom project, and many teachers have emailed in to thank me. Feel free to use the template to work into your lesson plans!

Summary: Print it, have fun, and feel free to share the pictures!