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How to Make a Paper Airplane
Learn the simple steps for high-flying fun with this tutorial on five basic paper airplane patterns.
Test your paper folding technique with these paper airplane examples. Whether you are looking for a quick diversion from the grind of adulthood or are teaching a youngster DIY skills, these planes are a great way to add a little levity to your day. The examples below are all beginner or intermediate level. The materials are cheap and only require paper, a pair of scissors, a ruler, and some double stick tape (optional) to complete.
Paper Airplane DIY
Create fun and simple paper airplanes
Photo by: Sam Henderson
For best results use a flat, thin-edged ruler. Make good creases along each edge. Adding double stick tape to the inside of the body keeps the wings from separating in flight.
The most basic version. A simple standard that everyone should know how to make.
- Fold the paper in half vertically.
- Unfold the paper and fold each of the top corners into the center line.
- Fold the top edges into the center line.
- Fold the plane in half toward you.
- Fold the wings down, matching the top edges up with the bottom edge of the body.
- Add double stick tape to the inside of the body. The finished plane should look like this.
This one is built for distance, plus it just looks cool.
- Fold the peak toward you and 3/4” from the bottom of the paper.
- Fold both top corners into the center line.
- Fold the remaining tip over the two flaps at the center line to lock them in place.
- Fold the plane in half away from you.
- Fold the wings down 1” from the bottom of the plane.
- Fold up the sides of each wing 1/2” tall.
- Cut two small slits at the back of each wing. Fold up the tabs.
Built correctly, this bee-like beauty stays in the air for a long time.
- Fold the paper in half horizontally.
- Fold the peak down to meet the edge of the previous fold.
- Fold the upper sides into the center line.
- Fold the top edge 1/2” away from you.
- Fold the plane in half towards you.
- Fold the wings down 1/2” from the bottom of the plane.
Count on speed and distance from this sleek plane.
- Unfold the paper and fold the top edge down 2”.
- Fold the top edge down again to meet the bottom of the previous fold.
- Fold the top edge down one more time to meet the bottom of the previous fold.
- Fold the top edges down and away from you to the center line on the back of the paper.
- Starting at the top of the thick nose of the plane, fold the wings down 1/2” in the front and slightly angled to 1 1/2” in the back. Fold up the edges of the wings 1/2”.
This plane is deceptively fast and stays aloft for quite a distance.
- Fold the top right corner over to the left side, making a fold from the top of the paper to the bottom right corner.
- Unfold the paper and repeat for the left corner.
- Unfold the paper again and fold the top right corner over to meet the crease made from the first fold.
- Fold the left corner over to meet the crease from the second fold.
- Fold the top right edge over to meet the edge of the fold from step 3. Repeat for the other side.
- Fold the top edge down and towards you to meet the point where the right and left layers cross.
- Fold the plane in half away from you. Staring at the nose, fold the wings down at a slight angle, 1/2” in the front to about 2” in the back.
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How to Make a Paper Airplane
Last Updated: March 2, 2023 Tested
This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Hunter Rising . Hunter Rising is a wikiHow Staff Writer based in Los Angeles. He has more than three years of experience writing for and working with wikiHow. Hunter holds a BFA in Entertainment Design from the University of Wisconsin - Stout and a Minor in English Writing. The wikiHow Video Team also followed the article's instructions and verified that they work. This article has been viewed 4,572,636 times. Learn more...
Up, up, and away! Paper airplanes are a fun, easy way to pass the time—but how exactly do you turn a basic piece of paper into a jet-setting masterpiece? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a handy, step-by-step guide to help you fold your way to a sleek, far-flying paper airplane . In a matter of minutes, you’ll be ready for take-off!
Folding a Classic Paper Airplane
- If you want to make a colored paper airplane, use construction paper instead.
- Make sure the crease points toward you when you’re folding your paper airplane or else you’ll fold the wrong corners.
Tip: Try using a ruler or a credit card to press the fold down if pressing it with your fingernail doesn’t work.
- This fold creates the bottom of your plane so it’s easier to hold and throw once it’s finished.
- Make sure your wings are symmetrical to one another so your plane stays level when you throw it.
Making an Advanced Plane
- Try using different kinds of paper to add designs and test how it affects your plane.
- Make sure the crease you folded is pointing toward you when you start folding the paper, or else your folds won’t line up.
- Don’t let the point touch the bottom edge of your paper or it will affect the structure of your plane when you’re finished.
- If you want your airplane to have a blunt edge in front instead of a point, fold the top of your paper so only the corners touch the center crease.
- Your paper should look like a large triangle on top of a narrow rectangle when you're finished.
- Don’t hide your previous folds inside or else it will affect your plane’s structure.
- Make sure the wings on your plane are the same size so your plane doesn’t fly to one side.
Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.
- Try taping or gluing your paper airplane if it doesn’t stay together on its own. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 24 Not Helpful 9
- Test throwing your airplane outdoors so it can catch the wind and fly further. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 18 Not Helpful 12
- Look for other paper airplane designs online to test out different styles. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 10 Not Helpful 9
- Avoid throwing your airplane at any people or animals since the tip may be sharp. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 14 Not Helpful 6
- Don’t throw a paper airplane in school since you could get into trouble. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 11 Not Helpful 6
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- ↑ https://www.foldnfly.com/1.html
- ↑ https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/how-to-make-the-worlds-best-paper-airplanes/
About This Article
To make a simple paper airplane, first fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise. Then, unfold it and fold the top 2 corners to the center. Next, fold the angled edges that you just created towards the center, leaving about 1 cm of space between the bottom of the angled edges and the crease. Fold along your original center-line, revealing a small inverted triangle. Now, fold the small inverted triangle up, to lock the angled edges in place. Then, turn your plane over and fold down the top 2 flaps to create wings. Hold it by the bottom edge, and let it fly! For tips on making a slightly more advanced plane, keep reading the article! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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A basic design with decent distance and speed.
This is one of the most iconic paper airplane designs, and also one of the easiest to fold. It flies very fast, in a nice straight line. A forgiving airplane design that works well even with uneven or asymmetrical folds. The perfect starter airplane for anyone just learning.
Paper Airplane Folding Instructions
1. Fold the paper in half.
Fold the paper in half.
2. Unfold and then fold the corners into the center line.
Unfold and then fold the corners into the center line.
3. Fold the top edges to the center.
Fold the top edges to the center.
4. Fold the plane in half.
Fold the plane in half.
5. Fold the wings down to meet the bottom edge of the planes body.
Fold the wings down to meet the bottom edge of the planes body.
This airplane has stiff wings, so it can tolerate fast throwing speeds. Throw it as hard as you can for maximum distance and speed.
Printable Folding Instructions
These beautiful, easy to follow, paper airplane folding instructions can be downloaded and printed as many times as you want. Simply follow the printed instructions and fold along the indicated lines to make a perfect paper airplane, every time.
More Fun Paper Airplanes
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in: Featured , How To , Skills
Jeremy Anderberg • January 19, 2022 • Last updated: January 20, 2022
How to Make the World’s Best Paper Airplanes
There are many skills fathers should pass on to their children: how to ride a bike, how to skip a stone , and of course, how to make a paper airplane. When it’s time to show your kids how to fold a humble piece of paper into a soaring jet, don’t stumble around and hastily construct one from the poor memory of your youth — one that takes a disappointing nosedive as soon as it leaves your fingertips. Instead, teach them the art of making a plane that can truly go the distance.
The three designs below are tried and true (you wouldn’t believe some of the science behind paper airplanes) and are perfect beginner, moderate, and expert level models to play with. They go in order from easiest to hardest, so there’s something for every age level — including adult; don’t act like you’re not going to try these out in the break room.
Beginner Level: The Bulldog Dart
This paper airplane is a warm-up of sorts. It’s simple, requires few folds, and flies well. It’s just not going to win you any contests or style points. If it’s your kid’s first time making a real paper airplane, this is a good place to start.
1. First you fold the paper in half lengthwise, and then unfold. This initial crease is simply a guideline for the next folds.
2. Fold the top two corners down so they meet the center crease. This is the classic way to start a paper airplane, and probably what you first learned as a kid.
3. Flip the plane over, and fold the corners in again to the center crease. You want the diagonal line coming off the top of the plane (on the left side) to be lined up with the middle (like on the right side).
After both folds are completed.
4. Fold the top point down so that the tip meets the bottom of where the previous folds come together.
5. Fold the entire plane in half, in on itself. This creates the snub nose, which gives the Bulldog Dart its name.
6. Fold the wings down so that you’re making a straight line across from the top of the snub nose. Repeat on the other side.
The finished Bulldog Dart. This flies better when thrown at lower speeds. Your tendency is to launch it, but the heavy nose will just fly it into the ground. Give it a softer throw and you’ll have better luck.
Intermediate Level: The Harrier
This is a slightly more advanced paper airplane. There are a few more folds, and it flies a bit better than the above Bulldog Dart. This is the perfect middle ground between simple and complex recreational paper aircraft.
1. Fold in half lengthwise and then unfold. As with the Bulldog above, this center crease is just a guide for future folds.
2. Fold the top corners in so they meet at the center crease.
3. Fold the entire top down so that it resembles an envelope. Make sure you leave a half inch or so at the bottom — you don’t want the top point to evenly meet the bottom edge.
4. Fold the top corners in so they meet at the middle. There should be a small triangle tail hanging out beneath these folds.
5. Fold that small triangle up to hold those previous folds in place.
6. Fold in half, but make you sure you fold it outwards on itself, not inwards. You want the previous triangular fold to be visible on the bottom edge.
7. Fold the wing down so its edge meets the bottom edge of the airplane. Repeat on the other side.
The finished Harrier shown below. It has cool pointed wings and has great stability because of the triangle on the bottom.
Expert Level: The Hammer
While there are far more advanced paper airplanes, this one, in my opinion, is the perfect balance of complexity and accessibility for the Average Paper Airplane Joe. It has far more folds than the previous two models, and also flies the best and farthest. Pay attention with this one, folks, and the payoff is well worth it.
1. First, fold the top left corner all the way down so it meets the right edge of the paper. You’ll then unfold, as this will be a guiding crease.
2. Repeat the same thing with the top right corner and unfold.
You should end up with an unfolded sheet of paper with two creases forming an X.
3. Fold the top right corner down so that its edge meets the crease that goes from top left to bottom right.
4. Do the same with the left corner. The top left point should exactly meet the diagonal right edge of the airplane.
5. Fold the plane in half in on itself, then unfold. You’ll use that middle crease as a guide.
6. After you’ve unfolded the previous step, fold the top down so that its edge meets the bottom edge.
7. Fold the top corners down so that their points meet at the middle crease.
8. Unfold — as with many steps in making this airplane, these creases are a guide.
9. Now take what was the top edge that you previously folded down (Step 6) and fold it back up at the point where its edge meets the creases from the previous step.
10. Fold the corners in yet again so that their edge meets both the edge of the top flap and the crease from Step 7.
Both corners folded in, meeting both the top flap and the previously-made creases. These are ultimately the wings.
11. Fold the wings in once more, this time simply folding along the crease that you already made. After this step your plane should have straight lines down from the top to the bottom.
Both wings folded in again; straight edges from top to bottom.
12. Fold the top down from where it meets the top of the wing flaps you created in the previous step.
13. Fold the whole thing in half outward. You want all the paper flaps on the outside of the craft. At this point, folding can become a little tricky because of the thickness of the paper, so take extra care in making good, clean folds.
14. Fold the wings down so that their edge meets the bottom edge of the plane. This creates a small snub nose. Again, this can be a tough fold, so be precise and take your time if you have to.
The finished Hammer. This bad boy flies like a dream.
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While you’re making these paper airplanes with your kiddos, tell them some great riddles for kids . Great way to pass the time.
Want to learn more about rediscovering the joys of play? Listen to our podcast interview with Charlie Hoehn , author of Play It Away: A Workaholic’s Cure For Anxiety .
How to make paper airplanes.
Learn how to make paper airplanes with these easy instructions. Select the plane you want and get ready for takeoff. Be careful with the ones that are pointy, they can hurt! Most planes are best indoors, but some will surpise you outdoors.
In addition, paper planes resemble flight itself! As early as 500 BC, they found the first folding paper airplane that came from China. The popularity of these paper airplane flying toys is the same as the paper-folding craft of origami, which grew in Japan around the same time in China.
Paper airplanes are very helpful when you want to illustrate air traffic control guidelines. There was a time when people used the paper airplane to explain and discuss the fundamental parts of real aircraft. People of a certain age may recall buying those fancy "White Wings" in the store made from several sheets of squeezed chipboard paper, and these cutout versions are still paper airplanes too.
How to Make a Paper Airplane?
If you want to know how to fold a paper airplane with the best design, you can check out this page for easy step-by-step paper airplane instructions, and you will be amazed at the outcome of the paper airplane you made.
Gather the materials needed, like a piece of origami paper or any other type of paper, and be excited about the results. When we want to achieve something like this paper airplane, we rely on the instructions given, and with these proper instructions, you can let your paper folding plane fly with the best design. Get your craft paper, and start the folding process to make the paper plane, soar it high.
- © Origamiway.com
- Design by HTML5UP
- Logo by Freepik
Take to the Skies with This Simple Paper Airplane Craft
The paper airplane has been a childhood staple for a very long time—in fact, this folded marvel has delighted people for so long that historians aren’t entirely sure about its origins.
Some say the Chinese invented the first paper airplane over 2,000 years ago when experimenting with paper kites. Others believe the planes could have been researched tools of Italian inventor Leonardo Da Vinci and British aviator Sir George Cayley.
Although we don’t know exactly when the first “plane” was folded, many agree that kids played with aerodynamic paper shapes as early as 1864, when they were called “paper darts” (because airplanes had yet to be invented). Since then, children and adults around the world have tried to perfect the art of folding paper and making it fly.
Making paper airplanes is a fun challenge, and with a few tips and tricks, your kids’ planes will really soar. Grab some paper, gather the family, and learn how to make an easy paper airplane.
The Four Forces of Flight
How does a paper airplane fly, anyway? These whimsical creations glide through the air thanks to the four forces of flight: thrust, lift, weight, and drag.
Thrust is the force that moves the plane forward. A real airplane’s thrust typically comes from a propeller or jet engine. A paper airplane’s thrust comes from your arm as you throw it.
Lift is the force that holds an airplane up. On a standard plane, the wings provide lift thanks to their shape, which allows air to move faster over the top of the wing than the bottom. This makes the air pressure above the wing lower than the air pressure below it, resulting in an upward force against the bottom of the wing that lifts it into the air.
Paper airplanes create lift a little differently. Because their wings aren’t shaped like those on real planes, these paper vehicles rely on gravity to achieve lift. After you throw a paper plane, the gravitational force that pulls it down makes the air pressure below the paper “wings” higher than the air pressure above them, causing the paper airplane to fly.
Weight is the downward force caused by gravity. While gravity helps create lift at the start of a paper plane’s journey, over time, the paper’s weight causes the plane to fall back to the ground and land.
Drag is a force that acts opposite to a plane’s thrust and slows it down. This occurs because of friction from the air moving against the plane. Think about what happens when you ride downhill on a bike or sled—it feels like the air is pushing against you. That force pushing on you is drag. All planes experience drag from the wind pushing against the thrusting force—whether that force comes from an engine, a propeller, or someone’s arm.
Each of these forces plays a vital role in helping planes—including paper ones—reach their destinations.
Make a Paper Airplane at Home
A simple paper airplane leads to loads of fun, and all you need is a sheet of paper!
Children can perform each step of this craft with supervision, but an adult may need to help younger children when necessary. And if you want to ensure your kids’ planes take off successfully, we recommend having an adult double-check the folds before the first launch.
Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to fold a paper airplane:
- 1 sheet of paper
1. Fold the paper in half along its longest axis, crease it, then unfold it. This creates a line to guide you during the next steps.
2. Fold the top corners toward the center crease, aligning the edges together. This will create 2 identical triangles at the top (see the image above).
3. Fold the bottom-left corner of the left-hand triangle diagonally toward the center line and crease. Repeat with the bottom-right corner of the right-hand triangle (see the image above).
4. Fold the plane in half along that center line once again, this time in the opposite direction. The folds you made in steps 1–3 should be visible on the outside of the plane.
5. Finally, fold the wings down to meet the bottom edge of the plane’s body, then straighten them so they’re parallel to the ground (see image above). Your DIY paper airplane is ready to take flight!
Kids can customize their planes with colored paper or designs drawn on the sides. We recommend avoiding stickers or sparkles—the extra weight could throw off the plane’s flight.
Paper Airplane Tips and Tricks
Making a paper plane only takes a few simple steps, but getting a paper plane to fly across the room? That can be a greater challenge. Don’t worry—your kids’ planes will be whizzing around in no time with these tips:
- Be precise. The folds on your paper airplane need to be neat and exact. Extra folds or creases in the paper will create additional drag and keep your plane from getting the lift it needs to stay in the air. Keep your folds as flat as possible!
- Use quality paper. Another way to reduce drag is to use “ultra-smooth” paper. You can also reduce the plane’s weight by using printer paper over other alternatives, such as craft paper or cardstock.
- Tilt your wings upward. Your paper plane may not have wings that are shaped like a real plane’s, but you can still adapt the wings to achieve extra lift. Instead of folding the wings so they lay flat and parallel to the floor, try tilting them upward. This creates more lift above the plane’s center of gravity, which keeps it in the air longer.
- Practice, practice, practice! Try making several planes until you find the design that works just right. The more you experiment, the better your folding will be.
Launch Your Children’s Imaginations
Paper planes are a great way to introduce your kids to aerodynamics and engineering from the comfort of the living room. And understanding how airplanes work just might inspire them to take a few flights of their own.
Once you master how to make a paper airplane for kids, why not try other fun activities involving paper? These cute pinwheels are a perfect craft to explore how wind energy affects machines like windmills, and an origami heart will put those folding skills to the test! Are your children curious about what lies beyond our sky? Help them learn more about the universe with the Little Passports Space Quest subscription box. This subscription delivers kids ages 6–8 monthly activity kits, cool posters, and more for at-home adventures that will transport your children into outer space.
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The dihedral shape of a paper airplane’s wings and the angle of its rear elevator flaps affect how it flies. The rear elevator wings, in particular, can be adjusted to make a paper airplane lift, dive or curve to the left or right.
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Key moments. View all · grab your eight and a half by 11 inch sheet of paper · grab your eight and a half by 11 inch sheet of paper · grab your
Ballista is one of the best paper airplanes you will ever throw, flying well over 100 feet with a good toss. Better yet, it's easy to fold!
Learn how to fold the easiest high-performance paper airplane in 1 minute! Get my book: https://www.FoldableFlight.com/shopPatreon:
Paper Airplane DIY · Fold the paper in half vertically. · Unfold the paper and fold each of the top corners into the center line. · Fold the peak toward you and 3/
To make a simple paper airplane, fold a rectangular piece of paper in half hot-dog vertically to make a crease, then unfold the paper and fold the top 2
To make a simple paper airplane, first fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise. Then, unfold it and fold the top 2 corners to the center. Next, fold the angled
Step 1 · Fold the paper in half. Step 1 Detail ; Step 2 · Unfold and then fold the corners into the center line. Step 2 Detail ; Step 3 · Fold the top edges to the
Intermediate Level: The Harrier · 1. Fold in half lengthwise and then unfold. · 2. Fold the top corners in so they meet at the center crease. · 3.
Easy Paper Airplanes · Dart · Nakamura Lock · Spy Plane · Pet Dragon · Headhunter · Hammer · Flying Ninja · Space Cruiser
Learn how to make paper airplanes with these easy instructions. Select the plane you want and get ready for takeoff. Be careful with the ones that are
1. Fold the paper in half along its longest axis, crease it, then unfold it. This creates a line to guide you during the next steps.