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How to Make a Paper Airplane in Five Steps

By Kelly Sundstrom ; Updated September 15, 2017
Making a paper plane can be easily accomplished.

Making paper airplanes can be an enjoyable pastime and an engaging craft for kids, but some people have difficulty figuring out how to properly fold one. Most of the time, paper airplanes are folded in a way that makes them fly poorly, or not even fly at all. Luckily, by following five steps, you can effectively make a paper airplane that successfully flies. The only materials needed are your hands and a sheet of 8 1/2-by-11 paper.

Take a standard piece of paper, which has the dimensions of 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches, and fold it in half lengthwise. To do this, line up the longest sides so that both the corners and the edges match. This will form a long, rectangular shape that has a rounded side. Use your finger to press down the rounded side, making it a straight, flat edge.

Locate one corner of the folded rectangle and bend it over to touch the folded edge. This will create a triangular shape on one end of the rectangle. Line up the bottom edge of the triangle with the folded edge of the rectangle and press the side of the triangle to make it flat. Repeat this process with the side directly opposite of the first triangle shape. You should have a rectangular shape with two folded triangular shapes on one end only.

Locate one of the folded triangular ends and bend it over so that the long, folded edge of the triangle lines up with the folded edge of the rectangle. Use your finger to press the top edge flat. Repeat this process with the other folded triangular end, located on the side directly opposite of the first. The triangular ends should be more narrow as a result and will begin to resemble the finished product.

Locate one of the double-folded triangular ends and bend it a final time so that the long, folded edge of the triangle lines up with the folded edge of the rectangle. Use your finger to press the top edge flat. Repeat this process with the other double-folded triangle end, which is on the side directly opposite of the first.

Press all of the edges of the paper airplane flat with your fingers. Carefully lift up the triple-folded triangular ends, making sure to keep the folds together. Grasp the bottom of the airplane, which is also the folded edge of the rectangle. Lift your arm; throw your arm forward and release the airplane.