How to make a paper airplane

Everyone knows how to make a paper airplane; it’s a skill we all picked up when we were very young. At that time, even the simplest folds were not intuitive. The concepts of symmetry, mountain/valley folds, and aligning the edges probably seemed as inscrutable as learning to dribble a basketball or jump rope for the very first time.

I chose this very simple tutorial for making a basic paper airplane. It uses short, animated GIFs to demonstrate each of the folds ALONG with a short text description. For a child, these motions would be essential for grasping what we adults can easily register mentally and mimic. The best part of this tutorial is that the animations make it possible for a child to complete a paper airplane without even knowing how to read.

Author: David Hu

Industrial designer, specializing in consumer packaging and culturally inspired designs