This Instructable will show you how to create your own flying paper dragon. This is a great activity for dragon themed birthday parties or even just a rainy afternoon.
In this instructable we'll be making everyone's favorite dragon, Toothless! If you're interested in other designs, check out www.flyingpaperdragons.com.
To complete this Intstuctable, you'll need to be able to print out a PDF file and you'll need a pair of scissors.
Step 1: Download and Print the PDF
First, download the Toothless.pdf file. Print the pattern onto letter sized printer paper.
When you print, you may have the option to fit the page inside your printer margins or to print full size. Either way works and you can try each way to see which you like better.
Step 2: Trim the Edges (if Needed)
If you printed the page to fit within your printer margins, you'll need to trim off the margins. Just cut out the outer rectangle.
If you printed the page full size, you can skip this step.
Fold the page in half with the printed side facing in.
Cut out the wings and tail. You may need to hold the paper up to the light to be able to see the pattern through the paper. Go slow and be as precise as possible.
With the printed side facing down, fold the corners down. Try to follow the dotted lines as closely as possible.
This is also a good time to fold down the sides of the tail and the tail fins.
Fold the point down.
Fold the corners in. Again, try to follow the dotted lines as closely as possible.
Cut out the horns.
Fold the head down one more time.
Fold the head up.
This is a good time to stop and go back over all your folds and make sure they are pressed down as hard as you can so you have good crisp folds.
Fold the dragon along the center line so the wings are pointing up.
Fold the wings down. Follow the dotted line. You'll also be folding the neck and horns down along the same line.
Give the horns a little curve so they stand up. You can also cut the chin to give the head a little more shape.
Arrange the wings so they make a slight V shape. You're ready for your first test flight!
Step 15: Test -> Adjust -> Test Again
Most dragons don't fly great on the first throw. But there is a lot you can do to improve your dragon's flight.
- First make sure all the folds are nice and crisp.
- Make sure the tail is straight. Sometimes you might get a curve in the tail, but you can usually straighten it out.
- If the dragon turns sharply to one side, adjust the angle of the V of the wings. Tipping the wings to one side or the other can help straighten out the flight.
- If the dragon dives down to the ground, you can curl the back edge of the wings up. This will lift the nose of the dragon.
- If the dragon swoops up too steeply, curl the back edge of the wings down.
Keep throwing and making adjustments until it flies the way you want.
Try different kinds of throws. Fast, slow, straight up, etc.