How to make a tower out of one piece of paper

Teachers and trainers use activities like building a tower out of a piece of paper to teach students cognitive-thinking skills. These skills are necessary when looking at a plain piece of paper and trying to figure out how to make a tower without any scissors or tape. The problem is posed and a solution is present if the thought process is there on the physical properties of the paper at hand.

Fold the piece of paper into three sections, each approximately 2 7/8 x 11 inches in size. Crease the edge first with your finger and then with your fingernail to make a sharp crease. Carefully tear the paper along the crease lines. This will give you three long strips of paper.

Fold each of the three strips of paper lengthwise into three sections. The finished pieces will be approximately 7/8 inches wide by 11 inches long. Crease the edges with your finger. Open the folds and form a triangle with the creases on each strip. The edges of the triangle you form on each strip will not connect, but that does not have a significant effect on how the tower stands. You should now have three triangle pedestals that each stand 11 inches tall.

Place the first pedestal on a flat surface while maintaining the shape of the triangle. The edge may open a little, but that is fine. Carefully place the second triangle pedestal on top of the first while offsetting the points. Repeat for the third triangle pedestal. The tower will stand 33 inches tall when all three triangle pedestals are placed correctly. Have the instructor look quickly because any wind will knock the tower over.


If construction or card stock paper is used rather than copy paper, the paper may be folded into four sections rather than three. The stiffness of the paper allows for the added height on the tower.

Things You'll Need

  • One sheet of copy paper, 8 1/2 x 11 inches
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About the Author

Kim Blakesley is a home remodeling business owner, former art/business teacher and school principal. She began her writing and photography career in 2008. Blakesley's education, fine arts, remodeling, green living, and arts and crafts articles have appeared on numerous websites, including DeWalt Tools, as well as in "Farm Journal" and "Pro Farmer."