Three Paper Airplanes to Make and Try

Posted by Alex

Summer vacation is finally here for Alex and Soph. That means finding ways to keep them busy.  Now, Alex would be perfectly happy spending much of his time playing video games with his friends, but I’m not so excited about that–he’s already a fluorescent color naturally; too much time in front of a computer monitor will only make him glow more in the light of the day.  Soph, on the other hand, likes to have lists of things to do so she can pick and choose.  She must be kept busy or she’ll get bored.  I really don’t know how boredom is possible with all the stuff she could do, but you know kids ;D

Being crafty, as we are, creative activities are always on the agenda.  Crafts, for 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, always looking for improvements, or different ways to ‘fly’.

The instructions below are my attempt and explaining what’s happening in each of the pictures.  But really, even if you don’t get yours exactly as Alex’s it doesn’t matter—each of these planes will fly differently and any adjustments you make will affect their flight…the import thing is to experiment and have fun!

If Alex’s designs aren’t enough inspiration for you, there are lots of paper airplane books for ideas over at Amazon and around the web.

If you want to try Alex’s Paper Airplanes, here’s the step-by-step:

What you’ll need:
8 1/2″ x 11″ paper
A scissors

Instructions for Airplane 1 (written step-by-step below pic):

click on image for full-size pic.

1. Fold one corner of the 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet of paper diagonally, then unfold and do the other side.  This will leave you with a square-shaped section with an ‘X’ fold.

2. Pinch the middles of the ‘X’ together so that you can fold the square part down into a triangle.

3. Fold the top flap parts of the triangle upward, to form a diamond shape.



4. Then, fold the edges of the diamond upward once more, so you have a kind of kit-shape.

5. Next, take one of the smaller-sections of the kite-shaped fold and stuff it into the lower-section (do this on both sides).

6. Fold the remain small triangle down over the lower section.

7. Stick the folded small triangle section into the groove of lower section.

8. Your airplane will now look like a rectangle with a folded triangle on top (see picture on right).


9. Finally, fold up the wings of your airplane and you’re done!

Instructions for Airplane 2 (written step-by-step below pic):

click on image for full-size pic.

1.Fold an 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet in half so the two 8 1/2 inch sides meet.

2. Unfold and then fold the two corners down to meet the fold line so you have a triangle-shaped top.



3. Fold the tip of the triangle down about an inch.

4. Then fold it over one more time, so the edge of the fold meets the bottom edge of the triangle shape.


5. You will have a piece that looks like the 3rd picture to the right.

6. Next, fold the tip of the folded triangle up ward, to meet the top edge, so the pointy part sticks up (see 3rd pic on left).


7. Fold it upward one more time, so it’s a fairly skinny and folded up. (4th pic on right)

8. Finally, fold it back in half and then fold each of the wings back over to make a ‘v’ shape in the middle. You can leave the wings flat, or add an additional fold (see 4th pic on left).



Instructions for Airplane 3 (written step-by-step below pic):

click on image for full-size pic.

1. Start by folding your 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet of paper in half the long way so the two 11″ sides touch.

2. Next, unfold and then fold the two corners down, toward the folded line, so there is a small triangle at the top of the paper.

3. Next, fold the top edge of the triangle down toward the center fold-line again.


4. Fold the point of your airplane down toward the center so about 1 inch or so is below the edges of the folded paper (see pic).

5. Next, fold it back up, so it points outward, and, fold the very tip of inward.


6. Fold the airplane in half again, so all existing folds are in the middle.


7.  Fold the wing edges back up on both sides.

8. Fold wing edges back one more time.

9. Open up your plane and adjust wings.



10. Flip plane over and about an 1 inch from the bottom, on the center-fold, clip a small slit.

11. Flip plane back upright and push from the slit, to the end upward, forming a small hole and crease to secure.  That’s it!

We hope you enjoy these designs and encourage to create your own, adjusting and experimenting to get them to fly fun and different ways….

Happy Family Airplane Making Everyone!

P.S. If you have any paper airplane designs of your own, we’d love to see ’em


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