Introduction: Paperclip Office Supply Gliders

About: I'm me!!

Some neat little gliders with a paperclip as the fuselage, and they fly quite well. They do work outdoors on dry days, and if you are going to fly them indoors it helps to have a big room. Unlike traditional paper airplanes the nose does not damage when hitting walls, furniture, etc.

You will need to be good at straightening out paperclips with needle nose pliers, however paperclips are cheap, and it does not take much practice before you get the hang of it.

Things you will need,


-A Paper Clip(you want the jumbo ones, not the little ones)
-Card-stock(highly recommended, regular paper is too floppy.) or index card, at least 5" long, though 8" long is better as you have more room for the wings.
-Glue(regular white school glue is fine)


-Needle-nose pliers
-Sharpie, or other marker.

Step 1: Supplies

-A Paper Clip

-Card-stock(highly recommended, regular paper is too floppy.) or index cards(at least 5" long, though 8" long is better)

-Glue(regular white school glue is fine)


-Needle-nose pliers


-Sharpie, or other marker.

Step 2: Making the Wings

Also while I show dimensions with a ruler, there is no need to use the exact measurements. The ruler is only there to help give a sense of proportion, so you have a rough idea of the sizes the wings should be. Feel free to experiment, and be creative.

Step 1- Fold paper in half

Step 2- Draw tail/ tail wing design with pen on the side with the crease, and cut.

Step 3- Draw main wing brace(the pic that looks like two rectangles) and cut.

Step 4- Draw the main wing using the fold to keep it symmetrical(like the tail and the brace). Once cut, trace it out on some card stock and cut to get a wing without a crease in the middle. It will help later if you use the creases on the template to mark the middle line on the non-creased wing.

You do not need to keep the wing with the crease.

Step 3: Making the Fuselage

Step 1- straighten out the two biggest bends in the paperclips, but leave the smallest one. Be sure to keep the paperclip as straight as possible.

Step 2- Bend a small portion of the paper clip near the small bend to create the "nose" (see pic)

Step 3- Bend another very small portion on the opposite end to a 90 degree angle, the paperclip should lie flat on the nose and bent tail.

Step 4: Adding the Wings and Finishing Fuselage

Step 1- Apply Glue to the inside of the tail, be sure to smear the glue to apply an even thin layer of glue.

Step 2- Put tail end of paper clip inside the tail and press paper together, try to keep the tail wings parallel to the paper clip. Also try to not have the paper clip on the edge of the paper, as the paper needs to completly sorround the diameter of the paper clip so that it stays in place.

Step 3- With the Needle nose pliers sticking off the edge of a table, find the balancing point of the plane and mark it with the sharpie

Step 4- Make a rectangular "bump" in the paper clip centered on the balancing point, be careful to keep it aligned with the nose and tail(if you were to imagine remove the tail wings, the whole paperclip would lie perfectly flat on a flat surface)

Step 5- Glue the inside of the support and similar to how you glued the tail wings you will glue the support for the main wing(note the main wing attaches on top of the support, so be careful not to put it in upside down.)

Step 6- Glue the main wing to the tabs of the support, let dry.


Step 5: Adjusting the Plane

Chances are you will throw the plane and it will dive bomb, or turn to the side. So we will need to make slight adjustments.

However once adjusted it will fly beautifully.

Step 1- Lightly throw it to see how the plane flies, if it dive bombs or tries to flip upside down, or both it means we need more lift. If it acts like it's climbing little mountains(going up and down and up and down) it will need less lift. To adjust this we bend the wire up or down ever so slightly by the tail

Step 2- the first image shows the flight patterns and the direction to bend the wires to fix it. Note the curves indicating which way to bend the wire are greatly exaggerated, you want to make very small adjustments at a time.

Step 3- Once the plane stays level you can bend the wire slightly side to side if the plane consistently curves strongly to one direction. Note it could veer to the sides depending on how it is thrown.

Step 4- Enjoy!

Here is a video of it flying (barely threw it as I did not want to hurt my cat if it hit him, still went pretty far though considering.)