The Incredible Flying Paper Tube





Introduction: The Incredible Flying Paper Tube

About: I enjoy the process. Who cares how long it takes?

Do you stink at making a decent paper airplane? I do. So break the mold and follow this Instructable to make an awesome flying tube! This design was supposedly created by world-record paper airplane thrower John Collins. It's easy and only requires a single sheet of paper. Let's get started!

Step 1: Fold It

Start with your paper in "landscape" orientation and fold down the top third of the paper. It doesn't have to be precise, so long as its at least 1/3 of the paper. Make a nice crease.

Step 2: Fold It Some More

Now fold the top down to the edge that you folded down. Do it one more time. See the first two pictures. Again, make good creases. Now let's make the paper want to be tube-shaped. Bend the folded part of the paper, with the folded part on the inside. You can do this with your hands, or by rubbing it on the edge of a table. When you're done, the length of the paper should have a slight curve to it.

Step 3: Tubify It

Before we give this craft its tube shape, unfold the very last fold you made in the previous step. Only the last fold. Now roll the paper into a tube. Tuck about 1 and 1/2 inches of the end of the paper into the main crease on the other side. Do you remember that fold you just undid? Re-fold it now, towards the inside. Once you're done, use your fingers to smooth the end and form a nice round shape.

Congratulations; you're done!

Step 4: Throw It

There are many ways to throw this thing. My favorite is like a football. Hold the tube lightly between your fingers and thumb and throw it like a football, letting it roll off your fingers to make a nice tight spiral. Using the same grip, you can also try throwing it straight, with no spiral, like a dart.

You can also hold it from the back end with your fingers and fling it that way. Basically, as long as the folded end is in the front, you will have fairly good luck with your throws.

By popular demand (okay, one person), here is a short video of the Incredible Flying Paper Tube in flight:

Hope you enjoyed this Instructable. Have fun!

Make It Fly Contest 2016

Second Prize in the
Make It Fly Contest 2016

Outside Contest 2016

Runner Up in the
Outside Contest 2016

DIY Summer Camp Challenge

Runner Up in the
DIY Summer Camp Challenge

12 People Made This Project!


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    Water Contest
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    Stick It! Contest
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    Game Life Contest

169 Discussions

Have you tried modifying cardboard tubes to try and accomplish the same thing, or soda cans with the ends cut off?


6 months ago

its ok, nothin to call home about.

1 reply

My father showed me a variant of this when I was young, and it's still a fun aerodynamic ring/tube wing. Excellent indoor aircraft!

The way I learned this is to fold up a little fin with the loose edge in order induce spin. Also, you can make these in a left hand or right hand configuration by changing which side you tuck on the inside (although a right-hander can throw the left hand version underhand and vice-versa).

Acho que se usar paginas de revistas ou papel de presente fica legal!

1 reply

1 year ago

A good reminder to take some time to push everything else aside sometimes and do what you did when you were 10 and had nothing else more important to do. Thanks.

1 reply

Exactly. :D Thanks for the comment!

On an episode of The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation with Mo Rocca, they showed a man who invented a launcher for a large, tough foam version of these -- for dogs to chase! OH, here's a link:

1 reply

Será que dá para ser feito com garrafas pet?

Wow! this is brilliant.


1 year ago

Good one, I am going to use it for my grand child (-:

It was cool!


1 year ago


doesn't work... :l

cool project it would be really awesome if you printed something cool on it like flames.

3 replies

Nice idea! Lemme think about that and upload something if I can.

I used this drawing of a city skyline, its not as eye catching as flames but it is still more interesting than blank paper.