Cardboard Plane Armrest Hack




About: We are two young inventors, Kousheek Chakraborty and Satya Schiavina, with the dream of becoming the craziest scientists. We like making robots and bringing inanimate objects to life. Our projects also focus...

This is a traveler's most frustrating problem, a problem that could start an unpleasant situation, a problem that needed a fix! The fix to end aeroplane armrest battles!

The aeroplane one of man’s greatest creations, but a simple requirement like an armrest needs to be shared? Well say hello to this instructable’s because after this you won’t need to bother about another uncomfortable plane journey. This is our ergonomic, friendly and super-efficient device that can be easily clipped onto the existing armrest to convert it into a two side armrest, comfortable for you and even to your neighbour. Other than that the coolest feature is that is compact and can be dismantled, perfect for travelling.

This project was inspired by the Soarigami Model, big thanks to them.

Follow on to see how this incredibly easy hack was made, in just 5 steps, which means that in less than 20 minutes you could upgrade your travel experience.

If you like what we made do drop a vote in the “Travel Contest 2017” to show your support : )

Happy Making.

Step 1: Overview of Our Concept

In a normal plane the center person has to share both his armrests with his neighbors. To avoid this problem this is somewhat how our device will look.

It will be made out of cardboard which means that the overall cost is nothing at all, all you need to do is to look for an old carton which you can then transform. To give the device some flexibility we have added Velcro straps so that a slight change of dimensions doesn’t affect the model, it works nonetheless.

Step 2: Materials Needed

The requirements for this project are all household items so no need of extra shopping, here is the list:

  • Cardboard (an old carton would do, of dimensions 80cm x 35cm)
  • Superglue or Hot Glue
  • Velcro (to secure the flaps)
  • Masking Tape (for beautification on durability)


  • X-Acto knife or Blade
  • Scissors

Let's get making...

Step 3: Drawing Out the Blueprint

We first looked up the standard dimensions of an armrest on a plane and then developed our dimensions of our version. We have given you all the dimensions start by marking and drawing them on the piece of cardboard.

Step 4: Cutting It Out

Move on to gradually cutting the excess materials.carefully cut out the curved end with your blade, this will give a more smoother look to the model.

Step 5: Scores & Folding

This is a slightly tricky bit. With your on gently gripping the blade, make three to four half deep scores. This will weaken the cardboard at the desired area. Starting from the first vertical line you will need to make scores on each of them (in total there are 7 vertical lines)

This is important, you will need to make scores on one side on alternate lines. then flip the cardboard and continue scoring the lines which haven't been scored. Repeat the process until all seven vertical lines are scored.

Now take a long ruler and gently place it on the score. Pull the flap towards you to bend it on the weakened area, the scored line. Repeat for all and you will end up with something like in the 5th image.

Step 6: Masking the Edges

To make the whole project stand out and make it looker neater cut out masking tape and cover all borders and scores. This will not only neaten things up but will also give your device durability and strength!

Step 7: Finishing Touches

Hot glue the curved panels above each other (doing this by bending one side 180 degrees). Do this for both sides, you will now end up with a nice firm model with two nice protrusions, the brand new armrest for two people!

To permit the device to be secured to the existing plane's armrest simply add opposite velcro strips at both ends, once done your complete and your ready to give it your very first try.


Now all you have to do is :

  1. Take out your compact device which fits in your bag
  2. Politely ask or show your neighbor your upgraded armrest
  3. Put it over the existing armrest and lock it in place by adjusting the velcro straps
  4. Enjoy and have a more comfortable flight, this time without ARMRESTS BATTLES!

Do let us know how you liked it, it's a thumbs up from me for this travel hack. Vote, share and subscribe.


Travel Contest 2017

Participated in the
Travel Contest 2017

Unusual Uses Challenge 2017

Participated in the
Unusual Uses Challenge 2017

Invention Challenge 2017

Participated in the
Invention Challenge 2017



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    8 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Wow! What a wonderful, easy and efficient travelling hack! A very creative solution to a problem that most of us face on a plane but never really do anything about! It is cost-free, easy and efficient in every way possible!
    You totally deserve my vote because I believe in this project and so cheers to the more comfortable flights to come! :)

    1 reply

    1 year ago

    I don't under stand why airlines haven't already designed the armrests with that divider built in. It would help keep people civil.

    1 reply