Paper Boat Directions

Step 1: Make the paper square. Take your time to make it a nice square piece, clean and crisp.

Step 2: Fold the paper in half (not diagonally in half) and then unfold the paper flat again. Fold the paper in half the other way (not diagonally). Unfold it again. If the paper was red and the fold lines white, your paper would look like the Red Cross symbol.

Step 3: Take each corner of the Square, bring it to the middle of the cross and fold, so you wind up with a smaller Square and four triangular flaps. Fold the smaller Square in half (not diagonally). The four corners meeting in the middle should be on the “inside” of the fold, hidden. Now you have a Rectangle (the smaller square folded in half).

Step 4: Place the Rectangle in front of you so that the side with the “hinge” is closest to you. There are four sides to your Rectangle. The “bottom” side forms the hinge and the “top” side is actually doubled, a flap for each half of the fold from Step 3. Take one of the “top” sides of the Rectangle and fold it towards you so it is flush with the “bottom” (hinge) side. Flip the paper over and do the same to the other “top” side of the Rectangle. You now have a smaller, longer Rectangle with Right Triangles on both ends. See them?

Step 5: Place the Rectangle in front of you so that the same “hinge” is closest to you. There are four corners to your Rectangle. The “bottom” corners form the hinge and the “top” corners are actually doubled, a left and right corner for each half. Take the “top” right corner and bring it down to the “bottom” side of the rectangle, NOT to the “bottom” corner (just fold along the obvious line). The right side of the Rectangle should be flush with the bottom side (i.e. fold the Right Triangle over on its opposite side, the side of the Right Triangle that is opposite the 90 degree Angle formed by the “top” corner of the Rectangle). Do this to the left side of the Rectangle too and then flip the paper over and do the same to the other corner so that all four Right Triangles are folded over on their opposite sides. You now have a Trapezoid (an isosceles trapezoid to be exact).

Step 6: Place the Trapezoid in front of you so that the same “hinge” is closest to you. Again, there are four corners on your Trapezoid. The two “bottom” corners form the hinge of the fold, while the “top” corners are indented to form the top of the Trapezoid and are doubled, two corners for each half. Take the “top” right corner and bring it down to the “bottom” side of the Trapezoid, just like you did in Step 5. Make sure the right side of the Trapezoid is flush with the bottom side. Do the same to the “top” left corner so that, at the middle of the top side, it overlaps the fold you made with the right. Note: your folds will overlap here. Flip the paper over and do the same to the other half. You now have an Isosceles Triangle.

Step 7: Place the Triangle in front of you so that the apex or “tip” of the triangle is pointing away from you. Take the apex corner and fold it down so that the very tip is flush with the “bottom” side of the Triangle. Flip it over and do the same to the other half. You now have a Trapezoid again.

Step 8: Pick up the Trapezoid and look at the “hinge” (the long or “bottom” side). You’ll see that the “hinge” is actually three folds now. Place your thumbs on either side of the middle hinge, between the middle hinge and the parallel folds on either side, and open it up a little. Now, turn the whole thing inside out by holding the two flaps with your thumbs and pushing on the “top” of the trapezoid with your fingers. Don’t be afraid, but be careful of ripping the paper. Flip it all the way inside out and push it all through with your fingers and thumbs until you have the hull of a boat

(Optional: Look inside your boat. On the bottom, where you would be sitting if you were rowing. You’ll see the original four corners you folded in from Step 3. If you take the corner that points to the bow or stern (the front or back) and lift/pull it up, you can have a little roof for your boat. You can fold the corners back underneath towards the bow and/or stern to make it look a little neater.)

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