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How to make an easy parachute using only paper

Updated April 17, 2017

Parachutes are used to drop from high altitudes to help people or cargo slowly descend to the ground. The standard, human-sized parachute is typically made of reinforced fabric and is incredibly expensive to make. However, a parachute can be made with just a piece of paper. While it cannot hold a human, it is a fun and simple project that employs the folds used when creating an origami square base.

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  1. Take your standard-ruled piece of paper and fold one corner to the opposite edge to make a right-angled triangle with a rectangular piece on the bottom. Then cut off the rectangular piece.

  2. Unfold the triangle to reveal a square with a diagonal fold. Fold the other corner of the square to the opposite side and crease to make what is called the "valley" fold in origami.

  3. Fold the top edge to the bottom edge, then crease and unfold. Repeat this process again for the left edge to the right. These types of folds are known as "mountain" folds.

  4. Fold the entire paper part way in so the folds are slightly bent inward. Now you can drop the paper parachute on its obtuse side so that it floats to the ground.

  5. Put a piece of tape on each corner to reinforce the paper. Then use a hole puncher to make a hole through each piece of tape.

  6. Cut four pieces of string about 12 inches. Then run each one through the hole and tie their ends around the corners. Then tie the loose ends of the strings together.

  7. Put a paper clip on the tied ends of the string. You can apply more paper clips to increase the load.

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Things You'll Need

  • Piece of standard-ruled paper
  • Scissors
  • String
  • Tape
  • Hole punch

About the Author

Zeus Tyrone Mendoza is an award-winning and accomplished freelance writer from California. Mendoza has contributed works published in "Kerygma" magazine, "Philippine Star Newspaper," and the monthly newsletter for the world renowned GK Community Development Foundation. Mendoza holds a B.A. in English creative writing from California State University, Northridge.

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