How to make a parachute from a plastic bag

Written by chelsea fitzgerald
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How to make a parachute from a plastic bag
You can recycle plastic bags by making homemade parachutes. (rubbish in tree image by green 308 from

Making a homemade parachute out of a plastic bag is an excellent way to recycle the bag and to teach children about gravity. The entire family can get involved in the process and create their own parachutes. You can draw circles in the soil with a stick and have contests to see whose parachute gets closest to the target. Homemade parachutes are useful to tie around miniature stuffed animals and action figures to give them a thrilling parachute ride or you can even use a small rock.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Large plastic bag of heavy material
  • Pencil or permanent marker
  • String or twine
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Tape
  • Action figure or any lightweight object that will not break
  • Protractor

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  1. 1

    Draw a large circle onto the plastic bag. The most effective way to do this is to locate the centre of the bag and to place one end of the ruler against the centre and measure several inches out toward the edge of the bag. Draw a line at the end of your measurement and continue to do this in a circular pattern around the bag. Connect the lines with a pencil or permanent marker to create the circle shape.

  2. 2

    Cut out the circle shape by using sharp scissors.

  3. 3

    Place a protractor onto the circle. You need to divide the circle into six equal portions. Each portion should have a 60-degree angle. Draw lines to separate the six parts.

  4. 4

    Punch holes at the end of each of the six lines, by using a sharpened pencil or the pointed end of your scissors. It only needs to be large enough for your string or twine to go through it.

  5. 5

    Measure the radius of your circle, and then multiply that by three in order to get the proper length for your six pieces of twine. Measure the twine and cut it with the scissors.

  6. 6

    Tape or tie the strings in the six holes.

  7. 7

    Tie the loose ends of your string onto your action figure or any type of lightweight object that will not break when the parachute returns to the ground.

  8. 8

    Climb a ladder, a tree or other tall object in order to drop the parachute and watch it sail. Be sure to have adult supervision when doing this. Alternately, you can gather the parachute and figurine loosely into your fist and toss it into the air.

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