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This DIY Cardboard Plane makes a fun pretend play toy or costume for kids! It’s easy to make with recycled materials.
You can simply add straps. When you’re done with the season, tuck it away in the playroom or any corner of your home for pretend play anytime you’d like.
We are so happy to share this third and final costume from our contributor Kathryn from @cardboardfolk. Don’t miss out on her epic DIY Hand Sanitizer Costume and DIY Jet Pack Costumes, all cardboard costumes as well!
DIY Cardboard Plane – Materials:
Long Rectangular cardboard box
Extra cardboard pieces x 8
4 x long cardboard tubes slightly shorter than the height of your box
1 x Paper Fastener or Split Pin
Hot Glue Gun
Masking or Packing Tape
Step 1: Use the Packing tape (or masking tape if you plan to paint your plane) to tape your box closed.
Step 2: Shape the nose and tail of the plane. Use a box cutter and steel ruler to cut out the 2 small ends of the box. Then cut triangular wedges at the corners from both front and back ends, they should all be equally sized. Glue the angled sections back together so that the front and back taper down.
Step 3: Cut 2 pieces of cardboard to create a new front and back face. Glue in place.
Step 4: Cut out a section of the top and bottom so your pilot can fit inside! The back of the cutout should be roughly where the tail starts to taper. At the front leave at least 1/3 of the flat cardboard (after the nose taper) for the wings to attach to. Use a plate or similar to trace a semi circle on the each side and cut to create a ‘door’ detail.
Step 5: Cut 4 x Arch shapes from your extra cardboard pieces to create the wings. Proportionately the overall wing span once attached should be about ¾ of the length of the plane
Step 6: Glue the bottom of the wing in place then glue 2 carboard tubes on top. Glue the top of wing to the tubes and the plane and repeat for the other side.
Step 7: Create the nose by cutting a long strip of cardboard. ‘Fringe’ the cardboard by making equally spaces cuts about 2/3 of the way through the cardboard strip. Curve it into a circle and glue or staple in place. Then overlap the fringed sections glueing as you go to taper the nose. Cut a circle to make a cap for your nose and glue in place.
Step 8: Cut a propeller from the extra cardboard and attach it to the nose with a long paper fastener / split pin. You may want to make a cardboard washer to separate them so the propeller spins with less resistance. Glue the propeller / nose to the front of the plane
Step 9: Cut a tapered rear tail wing and glue the back face of the plane. We added a small piece of thick cardboard under as a support ledge.
Step 10: Cut a Curved Tail Piece and glue in place to the rear tail wing. Again, we added two small pieces of thick cardboard either side to the give the tail more support.
OPTIONAL: Fix two shoulder straps to either side of the cock pit so your little pilot can wear their costume hands free.
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I’m Kathryn, Interior Designer turned cardboard enthusiast and chaos co-ordinator to 3 small folk, living in sunny Queensland, Australia. My weapon of choice is the hot glue gun and on any given day you can find me crafting my way through the recycling bin. Mailing boxes are my love language! With a background in design, I bring a love of architecture and engineering to the crafting table, I thrive on testing the limits of what can be created from cardboard. I always have a project, or two, or three on the go. A classic procrastinator. A serial writer of lists. I started Cardboardfolk to foster a love of creation and recycling in my children. I’m all about tapping in to the potential of the everyday object, the overlooked and discarded and giving them new life. You can find more ideas over on Instagram @cardboardfolk