Make Your Own Cardboard Glider (Free Pattern)

Posted by Alex

Today Alex is getting creative and sharing on of his cardboard glider patterns. Since becoming a teenager, Alex is usually not the crafty kid in the house. He likes cooking certain things and the mad kitchen science, but crafty things are usually Sophia’s domain. He does like building stuff and creating things like this glider.

He’s pretty handy at making things out of paper and cardboard, although he probably won’t admit it. At one point, he had a paper weapons collection. Yes, I said weapons. As a boy, he’s always enjoyed nerf guns, sling shots and trebuchets. I guess that’s why he decided he could make ‘model guns’ out of paper. I wish we still had ’em, they were pretty cool…maybe I’ll convince him to share some of those in later posts. For not though, here’s his Cardboard Glider How-To (well, written by me, but directed by him :D).

What You’ll Need:
Cardboard – We used cardboard from a book delivery from Amazon, but any flat cardboard will do.
Masking Tape
Weights of some sort…rocks are pictured, but were too heavy so we ended up using Quarters.
Alex’s Pattern (download PDF Pattern by right-clicking on link and saving to harddrive)

Step One – Trace Your Pattern:
If you’re using Alex’s pattern, trace it onto your cardboard. You don’t have to use his pattern, though, get creative and try your own! We’d love to see what you come up with 😀

Step Two – Cut-out Pieces:
Cut out each of your glider pieces with a scissors.




Step Three – Attach Wings:
Take the wings and attach them on the body where indicated by the line in the pattern. Center the body in the middle of the wings as best you can. Secure them with masking tape.

Step Four – Fold the Tail Piece:
First fold your tail piece in half. Then, where the piece starts to angle down (indicated on the pattern), fold that back-up so you end up with a sort of inverted ‘T’ shaped tail (see pic on left).

Step Five – Tape Your Tail Piece:
Tape the tail piece into the appropriate shape with masking tape (see pic on right).

Step Six – Attach Tail Piece:
Attach your tail piece with masking tape to the back end of the glider (the square end, not the tapered end).

Step Seven – Figure Out and Attach Weights:
This is the fun part…you have to figure out how much weight you need to get your glider to fly straight instead of flipping in circles like it would if you tossed it in the air at this point. We ended up tapping 2 Quarters to the nose of our plane, BUT, depending on your cardboard, you may need more or less. Play with it until you get your glider to fly smooth.

That’s it, now you’re ready to head out side and gently toss your glider around. Make a bunch, use your own designs and see which ones fly better. Take pics and share ’em with us, we’d love to see what you come up with!

Happy Family Gliding Everyone!


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  1. Three Paper Airplanes to Make and Try | Two Kids Cooking and More Says:

    […] Alex, are not so exciting as they used to be, but he still likes to construct stuff–like his cardboard glider and these paper airplanes.  We’re sharing 3 designs of his today, but he has lots more, […]

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