Paper airplanes are a cheap and easy way to have some innocent fun, but it can be hard to make one following a video. Here are some super simple GIFs to follow along if you want to make the most basic paper airplane. You won't need anything more than a flat surface and a piece of paper to make this paper airplane.
After a less basic paper airplane tutorial? Try our moderate difficulty glider paper airplane, or see our comprehensive guide for all paper airplane styles. To see more flying objects, check out SpaceX's Starship having a test flight, or these Estes model rockets launching.
Imagine how cool your paper airplane will be. Visualize how you will throw it. Got a garden? Throw it out there. Got annoying housemates? Throw it at them (but not in the eyes - be responsible, kids!). Maybe you can think of a cool name for your airplane.
Position your piece of standard printer paper (Letter or A4) horizontally and fold the two long pieces together. Now you have a long rectangle. Make sure to smooth down the fold in the middle of the paper.
Open up your paper and fold it flat, turning it vertically.
Holding your paper vertically on the table, fold the top right corner down until its top edge is aligned with the center fold. Smooth down the fold.
Now do the same to the other side. Bring the left corner into the center and align its top side with the center fold.
Smooth down both folds well. The triangle you see will be the front of the airplane.
Twist the paper around so the triangle at the top, which was pointing away from you, points to the left. Then flip the paper over so the folded pieces are underneath. The triangle should still be pointing to the left.
Bring the bottom edge of the horizontal paper up to meet the top edge, and fold the center of the paper (which is where you did your first fold).
The paper is folded in half with the triangle pointing to the left. Grab the top piece of the folded paper on the left side, and bring the top edge of the triangle down to meet the bottom edge of the paper. Now the top side has a diagonal piece of folded paper going from the bottom left corner to the top right corner.
Take the top piece of folded diagonal paper, and bring the long edge down to the bottom edge of the paper airplane.
Smooth out all of the fold. The left side of the paper will need extra pressure because the paper has been folded many times.
Flip the paper over so the bottom edge (the long edge) is still facing you, but the triangle is now pointing to your right.
Do what you did on the other side. Take the top side of the folded paper and bring it down to the long bottom edge. Smooth out the diagonal fold going from the bottom right corner to the top left corner.
Take the top piece and bring the diagonal fold all the way to the bottom, matching it up with the shape of the folded paper on the other side.
Press down evenly on all parts of the paper airplane, making sure that the pointed end (on the right) is smoothed down. Then open up the wings on the left side of the plane and throw it through the air!