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Move over paper airplanes, because the straw plane is in town! I don’t know what you call this thing but we refer to it as a straw plane. Whatever you want to call it, it’s pretty cool! *Note: paper straws work fantastic as well, we made this originally in 2011 and had a stash of plastic straws still at home. Consider re-using takeout straws (that have been sanitized)!

How to Make a Straw Plane

You’ll need some heavier paper (we used 3×5 index cards), a straw, scissors or something to cut the paper with (we love using a paper trimmer for paper projects), and tape.

DIY StrawplaneYou will need to cut 3 pieces of paper about 1″ wide and 5″ long.

DIY StrawplaneTape two of the pieces together “long ways” and then tape to form a circle. We put tape on both sides to secure the circle.

DIY Strawplane

DIY Strawplane

Use the remaining piece to form a small circle and tape the ends together.

DIY Strawplane

Now you have a large circle and a small circle.

DIY Strawplane

Tape the straw to the inside of the circles placing the small circle at one end and the large circle at the other end.

DIY Strawplane

And you’re done!

DIY Strawplane

DIY Strawplane

Now is the fun part! Fly it just like you would a paper airplane but be amazed by how much better it flies!

DIY Strawplane

DIY Strawplane

The boys had to try and fly a straw without the circles to make sure that it wasn’t just the straw that was the good flier. Even Dad was impressed and you know how hard it can be to impress Dad’s! (Well ok he said “Oh yeah that does fly pretty good” but I’ll take that as being impressed).

Other Paper Airplane Variations

Try these fun variations on the straw plane to see how it affects flight!

Or how about making up this round plane (no straws needed)?

Or maybe try this one that’s more square

And there’s always this awesome flier

Have fun flying!

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Allison Waken is a wife, mom of boys and Phoenix, AZ native. She has been creating inspiring content for All for the Boys since 2011. Allison loves travel, movies and spending as much time as possible with her family while she can!


  1. Very cool!

    BTW, i love that you have the perfect spot in your home to take these photos with gorgeous light. I know that has nothing to do with the post, which I do find very intriguing and will try with my nephews. Back to the light….I struggle unless I go upstairs to the guest bedroom to get good natural light shots. I have windows, but the porch keeps them covered during the day.

  2. Just made this with my 3 year old and it was a huge hit! Thanks for the idea!

  3. We just have to try this! So many great ideas for boys that you share on your blog and thanks for your very kind words about our science party, I am so glad you liked it, it was fun doing.

  4. HI! Just found you on pinterest and love the idea! I have one boy and am looking forward to trying your ideas.

  5. Please pardon the interjection from a stranger. 🙂

    Ring-wing is one name I've seen for them (I found the design for them in a book on making your own cool toys in my early teens: I'm 43 now). Your title, "Straw-plane: so much cooler than a paper air-plane" made me grin. 🙂 I used to make all kinds of paper planes when I was a kid… and I am a GIRL

    Which brings me to this next bit:

    Your "explanation" for why this site exists, with it's unintentional sexism, bugs me. There ARE a lot of sites for crafting, sewing- but I thought they were for EVERYONE, not just ladies. Ruffles and lace- can we be any more stereotypical? Boys can be creative- it doesn't have to involve machines, forts (I built those, too), carpentry (fixed any number of wood pieces) or cars (I did body-work on an Oldsmobile Cutlass as a summer project), nor does an interest in clothing and jewellery design or sewing make a boy "girly".

    If our culture would cease doing silly things like teaching girls that science, math and machines are "scary", "for the boys" and "don't worry your pretty head about it, I'll handle it (from some 'helpful" male)", there might be less of this goofy idea that girls are only interested in "ruffles and lace"! It's all conditioning, and I think enough women have proven that interest-popularity with one gender over another is culturally-imposed bunkem. *points to the ever-growing number of engineers, "hard" scientists, physicists and researchers*

    Anyway, back to this cool design: awesome! It flies wonderfully, too- just seems to move along through the air like it was pulled on a string. I've always liked that one: seems kinda counter-intuitive because we're all conditioned to think: flying plane= horizontal wings. LOL Even more fun, some engineers are seriously proposing building a working prototype. How cool is THAT? 😀

    What someone else said about your luck in good lighting for your photos, I agree. If you weren't using indirect light-sources, reflectors and screens, you hit the jackpot in lighting! Your photos are beautifully-done, too.

  6. All for the Boys Reply

    No one here is a "stranger" 🙂 On the reason why the site exists – the site was started for MY boys hence "All for the Boys" THEY don't like princesses, ruffles, or lace. Girls are most certainly welcome (and do as some of our girl readers are our good friends). The problem we had finding fun things from general sites was that there was a lot to scroll through that my boys didn't enjoy so I thought maybe other parents/caregivers would feel the same. Not to say there aren't boys that don't enjoy "ruffles and lace" or girls that would love anything we post here.

    Calling them boy crafts, or a boy site HAS helped many people looking for these types of activities find our site (per search stats). I figured some people would be turned off by the description, and perhaps I will change it some day. But for now I apologize it offended you. It certainly isn't my intention.

    Thank you on the pictures as well – only natural light here. All that setup would require way too much work for me 😉


  7. >^__^<

    Naah, you didn't offend me personally at all. It was just something I saw in the description that made me wonder if the author knew how it could be interpreted. I'm actually flattered that you took the time to answer me, too- thank you! I'm just a crotchety old dragon, and when I see stuff that strikes me as ambiguous, I tend to squint at it and see if I can take it apart. When I did that to my buddy's Rubik's Cube, they weren't too impressed (though I did put it back together). :-p Cool reasons for the site name, though- makes a lot of sense in terms of search parameters. Hope I hadn't offended YOU (or anyone else here), either.

    And, I still like paper air-planes. *chuckles*

    RE; photos- ye lucky sod. <3


    -That crotchety old dragon, Murrah.

  8. I stumbled upon this post this morning and within a few minutes my 8 year old son whipped up a couple using construction paper. We also slid a piece of yarn through the straw and tied it off so he could run with it around the yard, kite style.

  9. Made one with regular paper and it worked great in the process of using construction paper. Should work good too. Very fun, thank you.

  10. Stumbled onto this post a few days ago. Just going by the photos, I tried to make this last night for my four year old son and it didn't work. Had to come back and read the instructions. Will try again tonight when I get home. He should love it. Great site! — new reader

  11. I found this post using Stumbler. Made the fliers today with the boys and they love them. I then pulled up your whole blog and I'm well on my way to reading every single post ever. LOVE the idea of crafty fun, science-y ideas for boys! Thanks so much.

  12. My four year old and I just made this – so cool! Thanks for the great ideas!

  13. Threeboysmummy Reply

    THANK YOU!!!! I am a mama to three boys and find that there is nothing but girilie stuff out there too!!! I gonna follow your blog like religion!! Looking forward to it!!

  14. I actually had to do this for an AP Biology lab. I found out that 22 cm rings attached to the straw approximately 3 cm from each end produces some nifty airplanes!

  15. Just stumbled upon this page. I signed up for an extra shift tomorrow at work (at a place where we have all the required components inc. a guillotine for cutting paper) and now have a way to pass the time. Thank you!

  16. Hello Allison,
    I am a mum of three boys and we are currently staying in Lalaysia (for my husbad's work) for the summer holidays. We didn't take a lot of toys, therefore I am very thankfull to your site, especially this idea of straw planes! We just need very little material and it s perfect.
    Thank you so much, putting your site in my favorites right now!

  17. I just made these for my boys! We're stuck indie due to hurricane sandy and I've been looking for fun EASY crafts! Thanks o much!

  18. Lots of great ideas! But why only for boys? Can't girls also be interested in paper airplanes for instance?

  19. Love this idea! We have had a blast with it. Works with coffee stirrer straws also! (Thats all we had on hand : ) )

  20. Hello Allison!
    First off, just want to thank you for taking the time to put this site together and sharing with the rest of us! I have a 5-year old that is "all that is man!"; ie he loves anything with wheels or wings! LOL He loves using his hands to make things and figure out how stuff works. So, of course, we are always trying to find new crafties etc. to keep him entertained. Your site will, I believe, keep us busy for a quite a while. So, again, thank you!
    Anywho, we made the paper helicopters and these "awesome" straw planes of yours. K-man LOVES them! So far we've each made and decorated one plane. K-man named his "The Lightning Bolt". He's also named a few of the tricks he's managed with it. He insisted his have 2 straws for "extra motor power". While I wasn't looking he added an extra 2 inch piece of straw to the top back as a spoiler. Another thing we tried (and I love) is that we added some thin ribbon to the bottom of the back circle. Looks "epic" when they fly and twirl. Can't wait to see what else he'll come up with! Thank you!

  21. This is so cool! And seems like something fun I can do with my predominately male 2nd grade afterschool class. However, I was wondering if knew the science on why it is better? Thought I could turn it into a lesson plan for them.

  22. Oh, my!!!! How simple! Can't wait to show these to my boys. We have Cub Scout Day Camp coming up next month, and these would be perfect to make and play with during our breaks. Thanks for sharing with us!

  23. Very interesting. Hmm…. actually I come across your site when I'm trying to search for making a ramp or a collapsible carpark for toy car. It has never occur to me using straw for planes. I always thought of making origami. Just made the straw plane & I hope my son will enjoy playing with it.

  24. I think it should be possible to use empty toilet paper rolls, this way you also recycle!

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