How to Make an Airplane With a Cardboard Box

    by Isaiah David

    About the Author

    Isaiah David is a freelance writer and musician living in Portland, Ore. He has over five years experience as a professional writer and has been published on various online outlets. He holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan.


    Cardboard boxes are the simplest way to provide hours of entertainment! And since basically anything with a rectangular fuselage and a couple strips glued to the top to represent wings and a tail will resemble an airplane, this project is well-suited for young children who have not developed a lot of fine motor skills yet.

    Things You'll Need

    • Cardboard box or milk carton
    • Extra cardboard
    • Paint
    • Paintbrush
    • Glue
    • Tape
    • Scissors

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    Find a rectangular cardboard box or carton. Milk cartons work very well, but anything that is a long and narrow will do. This is your fuselage.

    Make the wings. Cut a piece of cardboard into a long, narrow rectangle or equilateral triangle. Glue the wings to the top of the box near the front.

    Make the tail. Cut a shorter triangle out of cardboard. Glue it to the top of the box at the back.

    Make the tail fin. Cut a triangle out of cardboard and glue it on top of the tail flaps. You may have to reinforce it with tape to get it to stand up straight.

    Paint the box all one color. White or a light color will work best, because it will make it easier to add details later.

    Paint the window to the cockpit on the front of the box. Paint the pilot and copilot sitting in their seats.

    Paint a row of windows on each side of the plane as black arches. Inside each window, paint someone looking out.

    Paint a flag or insignia on the tail fin, such as your name or simply a design that appeals to you.

    • Wait for each layer of paint to dry before applying the next.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images