Cardboard Airplane

With the air show at our military base this weekend, I thought I would share one of our favorite airplane crafts.  It’s pretty easy but looks cute and is sturdy enough for kiddos to play with.  We actually got this one from Miss Lilly, our super fabulous art teacher with our local parks and rec department.  I also had us make these when we hosted for our military moms playgroup.  And I included some other airplane ideas too.

Supplies: cardboard, paint, pipe cleaner, foam circles, elastic string, glue, hot glue, other decorations (sequins, jewels, stickers, etc.)

The directions really are pretty self-explanatory.  Just cut out the airplane and wings using the stencil included.  I used a piece of a cereal box to make the stencil when I had to cut out a bunch.  For the airplane, we used thick cardboard without writing on it from an old box so that it would be nice and sturdy.  I assembled the plane pieces ahead of time and the girls painted them (well, parts of them).  Then we glued some jewels on the wings.

Airplane Template

We just glued the front wheel directly to the bottom of the plane towards the front with a big glob of hot glue.  For the back wheels, we punched a hole towards the back and ran a 2″ piece of pipe cleaner through it.  Then attached the other two foam circles.

The propeller is also a pipe cleaner.  We punched another hole at the front to run a piece of pipe cleaner through that tied two other pieces together so that they could all fan out into a propeller shape.

Finally the elastic cord went through the top and allowed the girls to bounce the plane around.


Looking for another cardboard airplane?  We also made this one too…  (well, by we I mean my husband).

Ed cut a cardboard box into an airplane adding wings and a propeller from other other cardboard boxes.  The girls had a blast decorating it.  When he attached it to their wagon they thought it very cool!

Although that later caused him to get this idea and now we have a rather large but super fun and awesome airplane!

Sorry, I just couldn’t resist including pictures of our airplane.  I’m so proud of my husband for making it, that I am sure it will make it’s way into other blog posts.  🙂



  1. Hi!! AWESOME IDEA! We would like our 20 month old twins to go as Top Gun for Halloween and love the awesome green plane you transformed your wagon into. If you don’t have a template, any ideas/tips on getting the cardboard to stick to the wagon.

    • Hi Kate! For the green plane my husband actually built it on a frame with wheels. It was pretty labor intensive and was their Christmas present. But before that he did make the wagon into an airplane by attaching a cardboard box to the wagon. To hold the box to the wagon, he used bungee cords. He attached them to the bottom of the box and ran the bungee cords under the wagon. They were pretty snug and held the wagon in place. Good luck! Great costume idea!!

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