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Craft Project: How to Make Easy Paper Airplanes from Recycled Paper

written by: Jennifer Claerr•edited by: Niki Fears•updated: 11/21/2010

Paper airplanes are simple to make from recycled paper. This is a safe and easy project you can do with children of all ages.

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    Making Easy Paper Airplanes from Recycled Materials

    You can make many different easy airplane designs out of recycled materials such as scrap paper. This is a very fun and entertaining way to reuse paper that would otherwise be recycled or thrown away. By making some simple and clever folds in the recycled paper, you can make the airplane very aerodynamic. This is an excellent recycled craft project to do with your children. It can help them to learn about recycling, crafting and the way that airplanes fly. Be sure to save up all of your scrap paper so that you'll have plenty to work with. Keep the recycled paper in a folder so that you can easily find it when you need it.

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    Images of Recycled Paper Airplane Designs

    Basic recycled paper airplaneDelta wing fighter recycled paper airplane
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    Basic Recycled Paper Airplane Design

    This simple recycled craft project requires a piece of recycled paper and some scotch tape. For best results, use a piece of recycled paper that doesn't have much writing or printing on it. At least one side of the recycled paper should be blank. Fold the recycled paper in half lengthwise with the used side on the inside. Crease the fold until it's sharp. Then open the paper back up and fold down the corners on one end so that the paper lines up with the center crease. Fold the paper in half again. Fold the paper lengthwise on each side so that the top edge aligns with the fold at the bottom of the airplane. Fold the flaps back up and attach a piece of tape at the front and back to hold the recycled airplane together.

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    Delta Wing Fighter Recycled Paper Airplane Design

    Fold the recycled paper in half lengthwise and then fold down the flaps on one end as in the basic paper airplane. Then fold down the flaps again so that the recycled paper airplane takes on a triangular shape. Fold the paper lengthwise at the fold at the bottom. Then fold the paper down about an inch away from the fold. Add tape to the center of the airplane to hold the wings in place. Cut two notches about 1/8 to 1/4 inch long in the back of each wing of the recycled paper airplane. This will form ailerons for your recycled delta wing fighter airplane. Fold the ailerons upward to give the airplane more lift. Fold the right aileron down to make the airplane turn left. Reverse the ailerons to make the airplane turn right.

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    Decorating Your Recycled Paper Airplane

    There are many designs you can use to decorate a recycled paper airplane. However, it's important not to add to the weight of the airplane, as this will affect how it flies. You can recycle leftover decals from airplane model kits, as long as you distribute them evenly and don't use too many. You can also draw designs on your paper airplane with colored pencils or markers. Another idea is to print designs on your recycled paper airplane. For best results, open up your airplane after you've folded it. The make a note of where the folds are and design your designs in your favorite image processing software. Print out the designs on the recycled paper and refold the paper airplane. Following these tips will provide you and your children with hours of cheap and environmentally friendly fun.

    For more recycled craft ideas, read Making Art from Recycled Materials and Making Crafts from Recycled Materials.