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How to Make a Cardboard Airport

The terminal is the epicenter of an airport's activity.
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Airports may seem like complicated structures to travelers who have to roam through check-in desks, shops and various security and waiting rooms before boarding their flight. However, you can ignore the inside structure of the main building when creating a miniature cardboard airport and focus on the more important parts, such as the control tower and the runway. You can make the whole craft using only cardboard, but adding green felt and sandpaper will give a fun touch of realism to your work.

Things You'll Need:

  • Scissors
  • Glue Or Rubber Cement
  • Chalk
  • One 10-By-10-Inch Piece Of Sturdy Cardboard
  • Green Felt
  • Sandpaper
  • Sticky Tape
  • Thin Cardboard
  • Markers

Draw the outline of the airport on your sheet of thick cardboard. Form a 6-by-3-inch rectangle near the edge of one side for the main building and a circle with a 1-inch diameter near -- but not directly next to -- the rectangle. Draw two parallel lines connecting two opposite sides of the sheet to design the 2-inch-wide runway.

Form the template of a rectangular cube on thin cardboard, measuring 6 inches in length, 3 inches in width and 2 inches in height. Websites devoted to constructing paper models can be a source for templates. Cut out the shape.

Draw the outside features of the main building with markers. Add windows, entrances and a name written in big letters on the front side. Fold the shape's sides and use sticky tape -- or glue if you have created tabs on the template -- to hold them together.

Create a cylinder with a 1-inch diameter by rolling a piece of 2-by-2.5-inch thin cardboard across its 2-inch side. Use sticky tape to keep the cylinder's shape. Draw two regular octahedrons on thin cardboard with a slightly larger surface than the cylinder's opening.

Measure the octahedrons' circumference and draw a rectangle of equal length. The rectangle's width must equal 1/8 of its length. Draw eight square windows on the rectangle and use sticky tape to "sandwich" it between the two octahedrons.

Glue the structure on top of the cylinder to complete the control tower. Place the tower on the circle on the thick cardboard base and the main building on the rectangular spot with its front side bearing the name facing outward.

Cover the inside of the two parallel lines and the area around the main building with sandpaper. Ensure the "asphalt" parts are connected with a strip of sandpaper. Cover the rest of the base with green felt.


Use model airplanes and cars on your craft to give the impression of a busy airport. Try to make sure their size is proportional to the airport's buildings.

Use chalk to draw road marks on sandpaper.

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