How to Build a Paper Rocket

How to Build a Paper Rocket

Paper model rockets are lots of fun to play with and even more, fun to make. The rocket designs you can create are only limited to your imagination. With a few everyday household items and craft supplies, you can make a paper model rocket that will impress your friends and family.

For this project, you will need a cardboard paper toweling tube, a disposable paper cup with a pointed bottom, craft glue, acrylic craft paint, masking tape, paint brushes, and scissors. Optional supplies are glitter, clear thread, and orange and blue crepe paper.

Begin by trimming the paper cup. Cut approximately two inches from the rim towards the bottom of the cup. Carefully trim off a two-inch-wide portion as evenly as possible all the way around. Repair the circular strip of the paper cup using a small piece of masking tape. This circular part will be used later for the base of the rocket.

Next you will need to paint all of the rocket parts. Use acrylic craft paint to paint your rocket any color you desire. For example, you could paint the body of the rocket white or black, and the nosecone and base silver. Use your imagination to create a one-of-a-kind rocket. After painting the body of the rocket, set it aside to dry.

After the parts to the rocket have dried, make it more realistic looking by painting orange, yellow, and blue flames around the base. To create realistic-looking flames mix together orange and yellow paint to create several different shades of the same color. Also, mix together various shades of blue paint to closely match the color of realistic blue flames. Paint flames on the rocket by beginning at the bottom using the darkest shade of orange. Use the next darkest shade for the midsection of the flames, and gradually make the flames a lighter shade of orange near the tip. Paint the tips of some of the flames blue. This will make your paper model rocket very realistic looking. Set it aside to dry completely before continuing.

After all the parts are completely dry, you can start assembling your paper model rocket. Start by gluing the bottom of the rocket to the base. Apply a moderate layer of glue to the base, and secure it to the paper toweling tube. Before the glue dries, adjust the tube so the rocket body is straight when placed upright on a flat surface. Hold the parts together for a few seconds until the glue bonds to the paper. Next glue the nosecone to the top of the rocket. Place a moderate amount of glue on the rim of the rocket body, and carefully position the nosecone on top. Make sure it is straight, and allow the rocket to dry completely before going on to the next step.

Optionally you can make your paper model rocket fancier by adding eye-catching glitter. Use a thin layer of craft glue on the areas where you’d like to add glitter. One idea is to choose a name for your rocket, and draw it on the side using craft glue. Sprinkle glitter of your choice over the glue. Allow the glue to dry completely before handling your rocket.

Crepe paper streamers may be added to the base of the rocket if desired. Cut strips of orange and blue crepe paper approximately 1/8 of an inch wide. Make them about 8 inches in length. After you have made several strips, glue them to the inside edge of the rocket base.

Show off your paper model rocket by tying clear thread just under the nosecone. Hang your creation in front of an open window or near a doorway. When a breeze catches the rocket it will appear to be floating in midair.

Everyone that sees your paper model rocket will be impressed by your creativeness and artistic ability. Make several to hang in your room or to give as gifts to friends. You’ll enjoy giving them away as much as you’ll enjoy making them.


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