Idea 22: Airport


By Dave Pierik, Shelton-Mason County Journal

Happy Tree Airport

Paper airplanes are a joy to make, so let’s create an airport for them!

Tools: scissors, marker, paintbrushes.

Materials: Newspaper, cardboard (cylinder, corrugated and thin), school glue, masking tape, sand, round toothpicks, acrylic paints, small round beads, and a plastic milk-pull.

1. Paper planes

Practice: open newspaper flat on a table, and fold different angles down the middle for several styles of large planes. For this project: cut 4” squares of newspaper and fold two at a time into several plane designs. Run a bit of glue down the middle and put masking tape over the top to hold in place. Let dry.

2. Landing gear

Cut round toothpicks to different lengths and carefully poke into the bottom of each plane. Glue in place. Let dry. Trim any excess lengths with scissors. Paint small beads black, let dry then glue in place for wheels. Let dry.

3. Control tower

Trace the outlines of smaller and larger cardboard cylinders onto corrugated cardboard, and cut 2 circles of each. Test-fit, glue together, and let dry. Cut seven ¾” cardboard window squares and one 1-¼” x ¾” door rectangle. Bend them to fit, glue and tape until dry. For the radar dish, cut a round toothpick and a milk pull, glue and mask until dry. Flock edges with sand.

4. Details and paint

Mix white paint with glue to base-coat the tower and any planes you want to. Let dry. Mask off the windows, door and any areas you want to leave white. Mix glue and sand with grey and paint the sides, then repeat with black for tower tops. Let dry. Remove tape. Paint the radar dish silver, the windows and door handle metallic, and the door blue.

5. Happy Tree Airport

This windowsill makes a great runway, or you could paint a strip of cardboard black. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your pilot speaking. Fasten your seatbelts; Flight 24 from Happy Tree to Shelton will be departing shortly!”

For questions, tips and information please email with your feedback. Visit the Journal office to see the display!

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