How to make an airplane from cardboard

Updated April 17, 2017

Making an aeroplane out of a cardboard box is a craft project for children of all ages. For very small children, the aeroplane could be a very basic model with a body and two wings. Older children will love decorating the plane and creating more intricate models. An extra bonus for this project is that's an environmentally friendly way to reuse your cardboard boxes.

Construct the body of the plane. A long, narrow rectangular box can be used as the body without needing to cut or glue any parts. If you are using a cereal box as the base, cut three long strips of cardboard from the box. For example, strips that are as long as the cereal box and 3 inches wide. Form a three-dimensional triangle by placing glue on both long edges of each piece and gluing them all together.

Cut two long, rectangular pieces, each measuring 6 by 3 inches. These pieces will form the wings of the aeroplane. You could also use two equilateral triangles for the wings, measuring 5 inches on all sides.

Glue the wings to the top of the body a few inches from the front of the plane.

Cut a smaller triangle out of the cardboard, measuring 2 inches on all sides. This will be the tail of the plane.

Glue the tail to the top end section of the body. Spread glue on the base of the triangle and secure the piece so the point of the triangle is facing upwards. If the tail does not stay up with glue, try using tape to secure it more firmly, or cut a small slit in the body of the plane and insert the tail piece.

Allow the glue to dry.

Paint the aeroplane and allow the first coat of paint to dry.

Paint sets of windows on the body of the aeroplane and add details like words, tail numbers and logos.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard box
  • Extra cardboard pieces or an additional cardboard box
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Markers and embellishments (optional)
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About the Author

Nicole Carlin is a yoga and dance teacher and founder of POP Fizz Academy in Philadelphia. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Temple University and a Master of Arts in gender and sexuality, politics from Birkbeck University, London. Carlin has written about dance, crafts, travel and alternative health for eHow, and Demand Studios.