Beautiful Paper Birds (that fly!)

Paper Birds

Beautiful paper bird paper airplanes that fly

Paper airplanes are fun to build and fly and can serve as a physics lesson as well. We’ve long been inspired by the flight of birds and look for ways to replicate it. In this quick project we will build paper birds and make them fly, a simple mix of form and function that kids can appreciate.

Paper Birds

2 versions of paper bird paper airplanes

For this project we will need printed paper, scissors, tape and a paper clip.

paper bird materials

1. Start by cutting the four feathers to form each of the wings.  Fan out and tape at the base so they stay in place.

paper bird wing cut-tape

Cutting the wings for a paper bird paper airplane

2. Make the body / tail feather.  The body and tail piece will be two separate pieces so that we can extend the tail to different lengths to tweak its flight.

paper birds parts

3. Tape the feathers to the body to form the wing, then bend the wings down half way.

paper birds tape wings

attaching the wings to our paper bird paper airplane

4. Slide the tail piece into the body and bend the end upward to form the tail.  Place a paper clip on the bottom towards the front that will hold the two pieces together and add weight.

paper bird profile

Profile view of the assembled paper bird paper airplane

5. Now with a few adjustments you can get your bird flying pretty well.  Try changing the length of the tailpiece and adjusting the location of the paper clip.  If the bird is looping straight up into the air, move the paper clip forward and extend the tail a bit, if the bird is sinking, try the opposite.  Enjoy your beautiful creation and build a flock!

I’ve made a few variations of this design inspired by different birds.  Happy flying!

paper bird swift

Pink paper bird paper airplane

paper bird cardinal

Cardinal bird paper airplane

paper bird front

front view of the paper bird paper airplane


Read more

5 Ways to build in 3D without a 3D printer

5 Ways Faatured

While 3D printers are great, they are pricey and hard to come by.  Here are 5 ways kids can explore creating in 3D space without any high tech equipment.

1. Use 123D Make to create a model from cardboard.

3D angry bird built with 123DMake next to a toy angry bird

3D angry bird built with 123DMake next to a toy angry bird

Following the instructions from my first 3D project and make a 3D computer model come to life.   This project uses the free 123D Make program to transform 3D computer models into plans to recreate the object using cardboard cutouts or other materials.

2. Crayon Molds

Pouring melted wax into a silly putty mold

Pouring melted wax into a silly putty mold

Using silly putty and melted crayons you can make wax replicas of every day objects.  Follow the instructions for 3D silly putty replicas and clone just about anything!

3. Build marshmallow structures

Toothpick marshmallow structure

Toothpick marshmallow structure

Marshmallows and tooth pics can be great building tools.  Head on over to The Idea Room and check out some great marshmallow engineering!

4. Good old fashion Play Doh!

Play Doh Angry Birds

Play Doh Angry Birds

Don’t forget the basics!  Sky’s the limit when you have a few buckets of kid’s favorite molding clay.  Check out the Play Doh Stop Motion Movie Project to see what my kids made with this magic clay.

5. Use 123D Make to make a folded paper model

Folded Paper plans build from 123DMake and cut with a Silhouette

Folded Paper plans build from 123DMake and cut with a Silhouette Cutter

Using the same program as in #1 (123D Make) we can load models found in their huge library of 3D objects and turn it into paper plans.  These plans can be folded into a 3 dimensional paper object like origami.  More on this technique in a future post!

5 Ways to Make in 3D - Pinterest Image

Read more