Making paper airplanes is right up there in the pantheon of time-honoured childhood activities along with riding bikes, building forts and skipping stones (or throwing dirt clods if you had a landlocked childhood).

Since this Saturday is Paper Airplane Day, here are three different designs to help you recapture some of that lost childhood simplicity. They range in build difficulty from easy to hard so we suggest starting at the top and working your way down.

Have your own personal favourite paper airplane design? Share a picture of it with us here.

The Classic (easy)

Probably the first paper airplane you ever learned to make. Fun and easy to make even with young children!

  1. Fold the paper in half lengthwise
  2. Unfold and then fold down the top corners towards the centre
  3. Refold the paper in half lengthwise
  4. Fold the sides down to meet the bottom of the body

The Flying Saucer (medium)

This thing is shaped like a UFO! Need I say more?

  1. Use scissors to remove the bottom corners, rounding it off
  2. Fold the paper in half lengthwise
  3. Unfold and the fold down the top corners towards the centre
  4. Fold the peak down 5 cm before the bottom of the sheet
  5. Fold down the top corners again towards the centre stopping halfway between the centre fold and the outer edge
  6. Fold down the top edge about 2.5 cm
  7. Refold the paper in half lengthwise
  8. Fold the sides down to create the wings, wings should be long so body is only 1 cm


The Zinger (hard)

The Zinger will take you the distance and get you there quickly.

  1. Fold the corner down leaving about 6 cm uncovered at the bottom, unfold and repeat with opposite corner
  2. Using the creases as guides, accordion fold the sides of the paper
  3. Fold the bottom corner of both top layer triangles up to meet the top peak forming a diamond
  4. Fold the bottom corners of the bottom layer triangles down to the centre forming an arrow
  5. Fold the paper in half lengthwise
  6. Fold the sides down to create the wings, be sure to fold down both the top and bottom layers