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Quick Glider Paper Airplane Tutorial: Step by Step GIFs

Flying paper airplanes is a great way to pass the time, but did you know that different styles fly differently? Here's a tutorial for a simple glider than can fly a long distance and - wait for it - do loop-de-loops! Yep, this paper airplane can do pretty cool tricks. 

If you're hooked and want to make another style of paper airplane, check out this jet paper airplane tutorial. Or see our complete guide for making eight different paper airplane styles.

If you're into other flying objects, have a look at the SpaceX Starship taking a test flight or these Estes model rockets being launched.

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  • gif person rotating blue paper airplane in hands
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    This is what your paper airplane will end up looking like. 


  • Step 1

    gif person folding blue paper in half square
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    Take a piece of standard printer paper (A4 or letter) and place it on the table horizontally. Take the top left corner and fold it down diagonally so it makes a square folded into a triangle on the left side. On the right side, there is no fold. 


  • Step 2

    gif person's hands smoothing down fold in paper
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    Smooth down this fold well. 


  • Step 3

    gif person's hands folding down paper to make paper airplane
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    Open up the fold you just made, and bring the bottom left corner to meet the top right corner of the 'square' (not the edge of the paper, but where the fold mark ends). You will be folding the crease on top of itself. Smooth down this fold. 


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  • Step 4

    gif person's hands folding paper to make blue paper airplane
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    Open up the fold you made. On the left side of the paper there should be to fold lines that make an X shape. Open up the paper flat and fold the whole piece in half horizontally. Smooth this fold down.


  • Step 5

    gif hands opening up folded piece blue paper origami
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    Open up the paper. Now there is the X crease line on the left side of the paper and a horizontal crease running through the length of the paper.


  • Step 6

    gif person folding paper to make airplane blue color
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    Fold over the left side of the paper within the 'square' you made, so the center of the X crease mark is now the center of the new fold. There will be an untouched rectangular piece of paper on the right side. Smooth this fold down.


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  • Step 7

    gif hands folding paper to make origami paper airplane
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    Open the paper up. From the bottom right side of the X creases, fold the paper up. The bottom left corner of the paper will not be touching any other edges.


  • Step 8

    gif person twisting around folded paper airplane tutorial
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    Twist the paper around to the right and hold it vertically. The new fold is now on the left side. 


  • Step 9

    gif hands folding a piece of blue paper to make an airplane
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    Now do the same to the other side. Flip the paper around so the latest fold is on the top. Now fold up from the bottom left side of the 'square' or the X creases. On the right side, the pieces do not match perfectly to make a triangle: there is a small flat piece so it is not pointy.


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  • Step 10

    gif hands holding piece of paper airplane folding
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    This is what your paper should look like now. Twist it around so the folded pieces are facing you and the untouched side is facing away from you. 


  • Step 11

    gif person folding blue piece paper in hands
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    Take the piece of paper facing you and fold it upwards, leaving about 2 inches between the untouched top side of the paper and the newly folded up piece. Smooth this fold down well. 


  • Step 12

    gif hands making paper airplane from paper
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    With the paper flat on the table, fold up the bottom right edge over the existing crease. This should fold naturally as the fold mark is already there. Smooth this down. 


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  • Step 13

    gif hands folding paper airplane tutorial
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    Do the same on the other side, folding up the bottom left piece over the existing fold. Now the bottom of the paper will make a pointed triangle. 


  • Step 14

    gif person making paper airplane folding blue paper
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    Pick up the paper and fold it in half, with the folds on the outside. Smooth down the new folds well.


  • Step 15

    gif person making paper airplane folding wings
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    Place the folded airplane on the table. Slowly bring down one side or wing, leaving about 1 cm of paper from the bottom fold. Smooth this down. 


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  • Step 16

    gif paper airplane tutorial folding blue paper
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    Flip the paper over to the other side and fold the remaining wing to perfectly match the first wing. They need to be symmetrical for the paper airplane to fly properly. 


  • Step 18

    gif person holding paper airplane blue paper
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    Open up the wings and smooth along all the folds, including the underside of the paper airplane. And that's it! Your paper airplane is ready to fly. 



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