Mini Matchbox-Parachute




First of all, I would like to ask you for your comprehension, because this is my first instructable, and my native language is Hungarian, so please excuse me about my English use. Some years ago, I made a parachute like this, just for fun. And now, I would like to share it with the community. You can find other kinds of parachutes here, but this is my version.

The things you'll need:
- scissors
- sellotape
- matchbox (empty)
- thick sewing thread
- plastic bag (thin, and not too small)

Step 1: The Bag

This will be the most important part of the parachute, so make it good. First, you have to decide how big parachute would you want. Bigger parachute will create more drag, so the match-box, and it's contents will fall slower. But if you make it too big for small weight, the weight on the parachute won't be enough, so it may cause some disfunctions, and your parachute will fail.
You have to cut a square from the plastic bag. In my case it's 20x20 cm (~8x8 in.), it's enough for some keys or coins to fall down slowly. But I advise you to make a bigger square, around 30x30 cm (~12x12 in).

Step 2: The Strings

Take the thread, and cut four equal strings. Be sure, that they are not shorter then the diagonal of the square.

Step 3: Tape the Strings on the Bag

Put a string on one of the corners, and tape it there.
Repeat it for the three remaining corner. :)

Step 4: Knot the Strings Together

Turn the whole thing over. Then pick up the strings, and place a knot nearly at the end of them. This is important, because in the next step, you'll tape them to the match-box, and there's a small chance, that one of the strings will slip out, then your parachute fail.

Step 5: The Match-box

This is the last step. Put the strings to the backside of the inner-part of the match-box, then tape them on. Then slide back the inner-part into it's casing

Step 6: Folding and Trobleshooting

This is just one way to fold the parachute. You can invent your own techniques.
1) make sure that the string's aren't cross each other
2) fold the parachute in the half
3) fold in the half again
now put the box in the chute, and hold it in your hand. Then throw it up, or out from the window. It'll open when it's start to fall.

I'll upload some vids later.


Problem: 'My parachute doesn't open!'
Solution1: Make sure that the tapes doesn't stick to the wrong part of the parachute.
Solution2: The strings are screwed up.
Solution3: The weight is too small. Put some coins in the match-box!
Solution4: You dropped it from a low height. Try to throw it upper!

Problem: 'My parachute doesn't slow the falling enough!'
Solution1: Your parachute is too small for that weight. Make a bigger chute.
Solution2: There are holes on the plastic bag. Tape it, or make another.

Step 7: Be Creative!

There are many uses of this parachute. Just your imagine is your limit. If you live in a tenement house, on the 1st or upper floor, you can throw your relative's keychains out from the window, if they left at home, and you won't drop out their eyes. If you have a boy, or you are exactly a boy, you can make parachutes for your LEGO man and/or plastic soldiers. For girls, Barbie with a parachute is a very lovely idea. :D
And many more uses. Just think about it. Thanks for reading.



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9 Discussions


2 years ago

If you are dropping barbie off the 4th floor, why do you need a parachute?


3 years ago

i made it but im trying to make a name ffor the chute. it's cat themed and if u have any ideas plz reply!!!


3 years ago

i made it and i went from 12-12 in to 14-14 in and then 20-20 in and it isn;t floating with a about 3 ounce stuffed toy, thx!


9 years ago on Introduction

i love the army man stuff! don't worry about your English (in fact it is better than my English) ;) suggest getting a rough net of a semi-sphere creating the shapes to sew together to make a bigger parachute :)


9 years ago on Introduction

Nice instructable! Don't worry about your english, it's fine, perfectly understandable! Nice comic strip as well!


9 years ago on Introduction

Thanks for the positive critics guys :) The summer holiday is here, I'm planning to make more instructables, with comics too ;)


9 years ago on Introduction

This is really neat, I love how you've included a comic strip, as well a troubleshooting section.


9 years ago on Introduction

Hi spacewarp, Your english is fine, the instructions were perfectly easy to understand. Some native english speakers write worse english because they are lazy :) I love the little comic strip with the parachute soldier, that is the sort of thing that makes a simple Instructable fun and memorable. Keep it up!