How to make a paper biplane

Updated February 21, 2017

A biplane is a two-winged plane that was used in the infancy of aviation. These planes had fixed wings and glided in the air. With the right supplies, making a paper biplane can be accomplished by the entire family. You can make a great looking biplane and possibly make a hobby out of it.

Cut the two front wings, the tail and the tail wing out of the piece of cardboard. The front wings can be five to eight inches in length, depending on your preferences. The front wings of a biplane should be long and they should be slightly round at the tip.

Create the support for the two wings. Cut four rectangles from the cardboard that measure 3.7 cm by 8.7 cm (1 1/2 inches by 3.5 inches). These supports will go between the two front wings, giving it the traditional biplane design. Tape the supports between the two front wings lengthwise.

Make a propeller for the biplane using a plastic or paper cup. Poke six holes on the side of the cup, right along the base. Poke one small hole on the bottom of the cup, in the centre. Make the propeller blade by cutting a small rectangular piece out of the card and rounding the tips. Poke a hole in the middle of the blade; large enough so that it can fit around a straw.

Place a straw into each hole. Make sure that the straws bend so they can be folded inward. If the straws are not staying in place, tape them down with a small amount of masking tape. Wrap a small amount of masking tape on the end of a smaller straw and insert it into the hole at the bottom of the cup. Tape the straw in place, to ensure that it's secure.

Place the propeller blade on the straw that was inserted into the bottom of the cup. Spin the blade to see if it works. Place the full propeller onto the paper towel tube and tape it down.

Tape the front wings onto the biplane, with the bottom wing touching the paper towel tube. Attach the tail to the tail wing using masking tape. Tape the tail and tail wing to the back of the paper towel tube.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard
  • Kitchen towel tube
  • Masking tape
  • 7 straws
  • Plastic or paper cup
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About the Author

Based in New Jersey, Ashley Leonard has been writing professionally since 2007. Her articles have appeared on and various other websites. Leonard holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marymount Manhattan College.