How to Make Flying Paper Helicopter with 3 Blades

If you love the flying helicopter with 2 blades, you are going to love this paper helicopter with 3 blades! This simple origami paper helicopter design will have your kids amazed when they see it spin as it falls through the air.

Paper Helicopter Finished Product (1)

The paper helicopter takes less than 5 minutes to put together, so you can make lots of them and drop them all at once. And all you need is paper and glue. 

Don’t believe me? Keep reading.

DIY Flying Paper Helicopter for Kids


  • Paper (we used origami paper)
  • Glue

Paper Helicopter Instructions:

  1. Cut from the paper 3 same-sized stripes. If you are using origami paper, I recommend cutting stripes so that they are about ½ inch wide.
    Paper Helicopter 3 Stripes
  2. Fold all 3 stripes in half.
    Paper Helicopter Folded Stripes
  3. Take two of the folded stripes and put one in the middle of the two flaps of the other.
    Paper Helicopter Intercept Stripes
  4. Take the two flaps of the third stripe and put one above and one under another stripe. Then pull the two flaps together through the last stripe. 
    Paper Helicopter 3 Stripes Crossed
    Paper Helicopter 3 Stripes Crossed (1)
  5. Pull the folded end of the stripes closer together so there is no gap in between them.
    Paper Helicopter Loose Flaps
  6. Glue the loose flaps together. 
    Paper Helicopter Finished Product
  7. Optional: Glue the middle part where all three stripes meet together. This prevents the paper helicopter from coming apart.
  8. Drop the paper helicopter from somewhere high and watch it spin!

Isn’t it simple? The only tricky part is when you have to integrate the third stripe, but hopefully, you understand how to do it with the above instructions and pictures.

The kids were pretty amazed that you could make a paper helicopter just out of pieces of paper. They doubted that it would be able to fly, so they were pleasantly surprised when it spun as it descended to the ground. Then of course we had to do it a few more dozen times.

The Science Behind the Paper Helicopter with 3 Blades

Similar to the other paper helicopter activity, the main driver behind why the blades spin is air resistance. You can read more about it in the other post.

For more fun, you can try the following experiments! 

  • Use heavier paper. Does the weight of the paper affect how the helicopter spin or the speed at which it descends?
  • Use longer or wider stripes of paper. How do the dimensions of the blades affect the helicopter’s flight?
  • Instead of releasing it, try throwing the paper helicopter. Does the helicopter right itself and spin to the ground? 
  • Try sticking or taping something heavy to the middle of the helicopter (for example, playdough or slime). Does the heavier weight make the helicopter spin faster or descend faster?

Final Thoughts on the DIY Paper Helicopter

Did your kid enjoy the spinning blades on this helicopter? How cool is it that you can make something so fun out of just paper?

If you liked this activity, make sure you check out other flying crafts here:

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