How to Make a Homemade Toy Plane

Save states that while the origin of the paper airplane is unknown, "paper is believed to have originated with the Chinese almost 2000 years ago, so most flight historians believe that this is where the first paper airplanes may have originated." However, paper airplanes aren't the only kinds of toy airplanes you can make--among many other types are matchstick planes. The two best aspects of this homemade plane are that it's easy to make and that it really flies. The craft is a great diversion for kids and requires very few supplies.

Things You'll Need

  • Protective gloves
  • Matchstick
  • Razor blade
  • Rubber cement
  • Split a matchstick in half, vertically, with a razor blade. Set one piece aside. That will be the body of your plane, with the sulfur tip as the nose.

  • Cut the sulfur tip off the other piece of the matchstick. Trim 3 small pieces off of this matchstick, each approximately 1/8-inch long.

  • Lay the remaining piece of this trimmed matchstick perpendicularly on top of the matchstick that you set aside, 1/3 of the way down from the sulfur tip. The two pieces should make a perfect cross. Glue the sticks together with a drop of rubber cement.

    The trimmed matchstick forms the wings of your plane. The sulfur end of the untrimmed matchstick is the nose of your plane and the opposite end of this matchstick is the tail of the plane.

  • Place one of the 1/8-inch matchstick pieces upright on the top of the tail of the plane. Glue it into place with a drop of rubber cement. This is your vertical stabilizer.

  • Glue the other two 1/8-inch pieces horizontally to either side of the tail. These are your horizontal stabilizers.

  • Allow the glue to dry. Your plane is ready to launch.

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  • Photo Credit matchstick image by chrisharvey from
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