Jedi Paper Airplanes

Use the force, young Padawan! These paper airplanes are the perfect training tool for small Jedis to practice their Force push.

How to make a Jedi paper paper airplane.

To set up a training session, all you need is construction paper and enough space for a good flight path. Check out this Force action!

The trick here is that these airplanes are very top-heavy, so they’ll consistently flip themselves over in flight. When they flip, they veer sharply to one side. So, just add in a small Jedi to apply the Force push, and you’ve got yourself pretty much the most fun game ever.

How to make a Jedi paper paper airplane.

Jedi Paper Airplanes, based on The Family Creative Workshop, Volume 1: Airplanes of Paper

Presenting: The Nathan, also know as The Jedi Paper Airplane! This design was invented (and named) by my 8-year-old. We started out by trying out the airplane designs in The Family Creative Workshop, which was incredibly fun and mostly successful. I’m not sure why we hadn’t been making paper airplanes all along—it’s the ideal tinkering activity. Low cost, quick to make, and it’s impossible not experiment and tweak the design.

Materials

  • Construction paper
  • Jedi

The original Nathan was created at summer camp, and the design has been refined and perfected through many iterations. None of the folds need to be terribly precise, so it’s good for young kids to make on their own. We tried several paper types, and the construction paper was definitely the best.

How to make a Jedi paper paper airplane.

To start, fold the construction paper in half length-wise.

How to make a Jedi paper paper airplane.

Fold one side over…

How to make a Jedi paper paper airplane.

…and then then other to create a triangle on one end.

How to make a Jedi paper paper airplane.

Fold the triangle part down and crease across.

How to make a Jedi paper paper airplane.

Next, fold the triangle part back up so that it sticks half-way up past the top edge.

How to make a Jedi paper paper airplane.

Then fold the sticking-up part back down. You now have one side with many folded layers.

How to make a Jedi paper paper airplane.

Now you fold the folded-up part over one more time.

How to make a Jedi paper paper airplane.

Then fold the whole thing over along the center line…

How to make a Jedi paper paper airplane.

…and press to crease.

How to make a Jedi paper paper airplane.

Now it’s time to make the wings! Fold one wing back…

How to make a Jedi paper paper airplane.

…and then the other.

How to make a Jedi paper paper airplane.

The Nathan is ready to fly! It goes great with Jedi robes.

How to make a Jedi paper paper airplane.

We had so much fun with this project, and made SO MANY paper airplanes.

How to make a Jedi paper paper airplane.

Here’s an X-wing design which doesn’t really fly but looks cool.

How to make a Jedi paper paper airplane.

My 5-year-old also invented several airplanes with varying degrees of success. This piece started out life as an airplane, but he folded himself into a corner and decided to turn it into a penguin.

I figure in the course of exploring Airplanes of Paper, we must have created over 50 airplanes, include a few extras for my 5-year-old to give to his friend at preschool. I guess he was bragging about our airplanes. We tried at least 10 different designs, and we even took a trip to the Hiller Aviation Museum for a paper airplane day. Without being too sappy about it, this is exactly the kind of experience I was hoping to create with the 24 Volumes project. Just think of what’s waiting for us once we get out of “A”!

Check out the vintage inspiration for this project here: The Family Creative Workshop, Volume 1: Airplanes of Paper (1974)