An Origami Airplane and Some Other Things

One of the advantages of working on a 99 day project is that one can achieve a feeling of accomplishment early in the day, and still have plenty of time to work on other things. This week the “other things” included playing with paper airplanes.

I tried out a number of different paper airplanes that I found on Pinterest. The one that flapped was particularly attractive, but I was unable to get it to fly. (I noted that in all but one of the videos, the flapping plane was “flown” down stairwells or off balconies.) Ultimately I settled on the one shown above as I was able to fold it in three different weights of paper and all three flew successfully.

I try to credit the original designers of the paper projects I post. In this case that is not possible even though I only found one source for the pattern. The link from the Pinterest post leads to an online shop selling “sexy” underwear, not a person.

The original was folded from a 15 cm/6 in square of origami paper. That works well if you have it. I also folded it from a 20 cm/8 in square of 75 gsm/20 lb copy paper. (This one performed best when flown outdoors.) The model for the steps was folded from lightweight wrapping paper.

Fold your square of paper in half vertically, then fold the sides into the middle.

Open the paper flat and fold up the bottom corners as shown. Make sure the fold starts in the centre and the corner tips meet the side fold lines.

Flip your paper over and fold the bottom edge up as shown.

Flip your paper over again. Now fold the point at the bottom up to the top edge. The point will lie over the centre fold in the lower layer.

Flip your paper over again and fold the corners indicated in the image above up to meet in the middle.

Flip your paper over. Make a squash fold by bringing the top point down as far as possible while opening both sides of the pocket.

Your airplane should look like this.

Rotate your plane and fold the tip down and to the back. The fold line runs between the two side points of the upper section.

Fold the airplane in half along the centre crease.

Fold the wing tip. The point should meet the side vertical crease. Flip over and repeat with the second wing tip.

Fold back the first wing. The narrow point should match the centre fold under it. Flip the plane over and fold the second wing.

Open out the airplane wings and fold down the tips to about a 90º angle.

The final step is to add a slight curve to the front edges of the wings. I did it by pulling the edge between my thumbnail and the pad of my index finger. The front edge should look like two gentle smiles.

Your plane may require some slight adjustments to fly straight. (This one had a distinct curve to the right when I first flew it.) You can increase or decrease the amount of  “smile” on the front edges or alter the angle of the wing tips.

The plane consistently flies up a short way, then descends in a long glide. My longest flight with the wrapping paper model, outdoors and with a bit of a breeze, was thirty feet.

Happy flying.


I did a bit of playing with my wax pastels this week. The rubbing design was created from little wooden letters bought at the dollar store –in the before times– for this purpose.


I also continued working on The 99 Dreams of Euclid’s Wife.

In book arts news:

If you are interested in art —artists’ books in particular– made in response to other art, you will want to check out this post.

Bookmarking Book Art – “Un Coup de Dés Jamais N’Abolira l’Appropriation”                   — An Online Exhibition


Welcome to the online celebration of the 125th anniversary of Stéphane Mallarmé’s poem Un Coup de Des Jamais N’Abolira le Hasard (1897).

This is the poem that launched countless works of free verse and experiments with typography and the page. Visually and physically, its arrangement of scattered words in different type sizes and styles across the pages echoes the drama, images and delaying syntax that the text plays out — a sinking ship, its struggling master, cresting waves, a Siren, a whirlpool or abyss, the North Star and its nearby constellation Ursa Minor. Its challenge to the reader heralded 125 years of artistic and intellectual engagements: a crisis in language and representation, the struggle to reconcile pattern and meaning with chance and nothingness, and the never-ending tarantella of the material with the conceptual. Mallarmé’s is the poem that made the world modern and then post-modern.

The poem also launched a host of livres d’artiste in numerous languages as well as homage in the form of film, painting, photography, sculpture, installation, theater, costume, music, dance, programming, and book art. Even exhibitions of book art. The exhibition best known from the 20th century is Marcel Broodthaers’ 1969 show. Academic exhibitions for the 1998 centenary of Mallarmé’s death included artworks. The fact, however, that no less than five art exhibitions in homage to Un Coup de Dés appeared in the first decade of the 21st century demonstrates a rapidly growing recognition of its importance as a muse to book artists.

You can find the exhibition here.

And if you are lucky enough to be in Cambridge before June 26, 2022, you could see some of the works in person.

More information about the exhibition can be found here.


Have you made inkblots as a game? The Public Domain Review has an article featuring three instruction manuals with examples. You can read the article and flip through all three books on this page.

In other news:

Images of all the works –including two of mine– in the current exhibition at the Saskatchewan Craft Council Gallery are now up. You can have a look at the show here.

About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than twenty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004. I also create prints and drawings that are frequently text-inspired or text-based.
This entry was posted in art, artist's books, book arts, DIY, instructions, origami, paper toy and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to An Origami Airplane and Some Other Things

  1. dinahmow says:

    Paper darts! Oh! the trouble we got into at school for sending darts whizzing around the classroom! Well, mostly the boys got into trouble – I always seemed to have crash landings more than flights!
    I’ll check out those links later…


    • Byopia Press says:

      This particular paper airplane is not particularly speedy in flight, but still fun. The Books on Books online exhibition is definitely worth a look. The collection is large, so you may want to view it a bit at a time!


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