It's pretty safe to say we've all tried to make paper airplanes at some point in our lives. There's just something fascinating about taking a sheet of paper and be able to make it fly gracefully across a room with just a few folds. You don't need to be a pilot to get an old-fashioned introduction to aviation. Grab a piece of paper and start flying jets in your own backyard with these step-by-step instructions on how to make a paper airplane.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- rulers crayons notebook or printer paper colored pencils colored pens
Find a piece of paper shaped like a rectangle. A sheet of computer printing paper or school notebook paper is a good size and weight.
Lay the paper on a table with one of the long edges closest to you.
Fold the paper in half lengthwise. When the two edges match up, use your thumbs to make a sharp crease along the fold.
Take the upper left corner of the top layer of paper and fold it diagonally down toward the first crease you made. When the edges match up, use your thumbs to make a sharp crease along the new fold, which should create a small triangular flap.
Turn the paper over.
Take the upper right corner of the top layer of paper and fold it diagonally toward you, until the edge lines up with the first crease you made. When the edges match, make a sharp crease along the new fold. (This is a mirror of what you did in step 4.)
Take the newly formed diagonal edge on the right side of the paper, and fold it straight down toward the first crease you made. When the edges match, make another sharp crease.
Turn the paper over, and again fold the diagonal edge down toward the first crease you made; make another sharp crease. The paper should now look like a triangle with a 90-degree angle.
Form the wings by flipping the airplane over and repeating steps 7 and 8.
Hold the paper in one hand along the first crease you made. Let the wings of the plane flare out.
At a point 4 or 5 inches from the nose of the plane, make a 1/2-inch rip in the bottom part of the plane; make another rip 1/2 inch behind it. Fold this tab up.
Hold the airplane near the tab and toss the plane with an overhand, horizontal forward motion.
Tips and warnings
- Experiment with the size and weight of the paper.
- Experiment with the location of the tab.
- Make sharp creases to ensure a good flight.