How to Make a Paper Airplane

Each one of us at some point in our lives has tried to make a paper airplane and has sent them soaring in the air. There is just something exciting about folding an ordinary piece of paper and transforming it into a graceful flying machine. You don’t need an introduction to aviation to fold your own paper airplane. Just follow these simple steps and you’ll be sending your own airplane into the air in no time.

Materials Needed

  • Notebook or printer paper
  • Ruler
  • Crayons, colored pens, or color pencils

Steps to Make a Paper Airplane

  1. Get a piece of paper that is shaped like a rectangle. Paper from a school notebook or computer printing paper fits this shape perfectly well.
  2. Spread the paper on a table or flat surface. One of the long edges should be closest to you.
  3. Fold the paper in middle lengthwise. Make a sharp crease with your thumb along this fold as the edges match up.
  4. Open the paper. Take its upper left corner at the top then fold it diagonally towards the center crease. Use your thumb to make a sharp crease on the new fold as the edges match up. This should produce a small triangular flap.
  5. Do the same for the paper’s right upper corner. This is a mirror of the fold that you did in step 4.
  6. Pull the apex of the diagonal folds down toward the center crease. You should be able to form an upside triangle, with its base on top and its apex pointing towards you.
  7. Fold down the upper left and right corners at the top of the paper again towards the center crease. You should have triangular flaps that mirror each other.
  8. Tear off the tip of each triangular flap that is closest to the center crease. This should expose the apex of the upside down triangle that you’ve just folded over.
  9. Lift up the apex and crease where the tear ends. This should form a small upright triangle.
  10. Turn the paper over and fold the paper along the center crease. The paper should look like a rectangle with one of its ends angled diagonally.
  11. Lay the paper lengthwise, with the flap opening upwards.
  12. Make the wings by pulling down one of the diagonally angled ends towards the base. Use your thumb to make a sharp crease on the new fold as the ends match up.
  13. Turn the paper over and repeat the same to make the other wing.
  14. Hold the paper along the first crease that you’ve made. Allow the wings to flare out.

To launch the airplane, hold it near the tab and toss it forward with an overhand, horizontal motion.