How Do You Make a Helicopter from Paper?

You can make something that spins when you drop it as though it were a helicopter, with its turning blades. (Photo credit: Wikipedia


  • A piece of rectangular paper, like notebook paper
  • Staples or paperclips
  • Scissors.


  • Fold up the bottom third of the paper; crease; unfold
  • Fold down the top half of the paper; crease; unfold
  • Cut a notch on each side of the paper, cutting a wedge along the fold of the bottom third, with an angle above the fold one-third of the way into the paper
  • Fold the two sides of the bottom third over the middle third
  • Staple or paper clip the three layers together
  • Cut down the middle of the top half of the page to just below the half-way fold line
  • Fold one side of the top half forward; crease
  • Fold the other side of the top half backward; crease
  • Drop from as high as you can reach.

What Will Happen?

The paper helicopter will spin as it drops lightly to the floor.

Helicopters, like fixed-wing aircraft, use an airfoil shape in the blades to create lift.

Click here for a description of the parts of a helicopter.

Click here for a description of how helicopters fly.

Click here to order the book this activity came from, “How to Do Nothing with Nobody All Alone by Yourself.”

Do you know the difference between the rotor flight of helicopters and fixed-wing flight of airplanes?

Did you know that helicopter blades were shaped in a similar way to airplanes?

Did you know you could make a paper helicopter that “flies” like maple wings?

To you and finding how nature works.


Carol Covin, Granny-Guru

Author, “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers

Click here to order this blog on your Kindle.


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