How to Build an Origami Parachute

By W. Nicole Barclay
Using plain white origami paper allows the folder to draw on realistic patterns with markers or crayons.

The art of paper folding, or origami, is a great activity for groups and children; it suits all ages and levels of experience. As a hobby, it offers unending variety and levels of difficulty for those who wish to learn more. The origami parachute is particularly well-suited to children because it is one of the simplest forms of paper folding, and the end result is a toy that can bear the weight of several paper clips or a small army man when used.

Begin with a piece of origami paper in the shape of a perfect square. Trim any nonsquare paper into a perfect square before proceeding. For those using white paper, color your patterns and designs onto the paper before folding.

Fold the top left corner to the opposite, bottom right corner of the square. Crease well. Unfold. Repeat process with the top right corner and the bottom left corner. End with a cross-shaped crease in the center of your paper square.

Fold the top edge to the bottom edge of the square. Crease well. Unfold. Repeat the process with the right side edge and the left side edge. End with another cross-shaped crease in the center of your paper square.

Place a small piece of tape onto each corner. Fold the tape under and secure, so that each corner is reinforced. Avoid using larger pieces of tape than is necessary to cover each corner in a size just larger than the hole created by a hole punch. Tape that is too large will add weight to the parachute and impair its ability to float to the ground.

Use a hole punch to create a hole in each corner of the square. Stay within the area that has been reinforced by tape. Remove the small paper circle released by the punch and discard.

Cut four pieces of string measuring about one foot long each. Secure one end of each string to the holes in the four corners of the paper parachute. Double-knot to secure.

Tie the four loose ends of string to a paper clip. Add additional paper clips to increase the weight. Use small, lightweight army men or toys as an alternative. Test the parachute with varying weights for best results.

About the Author

W. Nicole Barclay has been writing and editing professionally since 2004, focusing on the fashion and retail industry. She graduated from Parsons the New School for Design and holds a Bachelor of Science in history, international affairs and archeology from Northeastern University. She has completed master's degree work in public policy and nonprofit administration at Northeastern University and The American University in Cairo.