The Paper Puzzle Parade

Build your own paper rocket

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Hi there!

Still looking for something to shoot into the sky on new year eve? Here it is:
Build your own little paper rocket - it comes complete with a pneumatic launch pad.

Using pressurized air as it's only fuel, the rocket might rise as high as five meters. No fire and no explosives are used - it's perfectly safe for indoor use.

The rocket kit

All you need is a printout of the rocket kit sheet -
a sheet of paper containing all paper parts for both the rocket and the launching platform. Simply download the

rocket.pdf (70kB)

PDF file. The Tips and Tools page gives some hints on how to get a proper printout of this file and also show up all the requiered tools.

A color printout will make a cute rocket, but rockets made from black and white prints will just fly as high ...
Many copy-shops can make both b/w and color prints from the files above. Print the file onto a light cardboard (approx. 160 g m-2); most color printers and copy machines can handle this.
Please take care: The original file fits onto a "DIN A4" sheet. If you have to use the american "letter" sheets, you might have to resize the printout.


How to build the rocket :

Building the rocket is rated "tricky". Folding the bellow requieres some endurance. The most important thing to observe is that all bellow parts must be air tight! The more precise you work, the higher the rocket will fly.


The most difficult part is the bellow's side wall. Cut it out and carefully scribe the bending lines! Then strictly follow the bending lines:

Outside bend line
Inside bend line

as described in detail on the Tools and Tips page. The bends must not break! If they do, close the slits with adhesive tape, applied to the back side of the paper.

The folded bellow is then glued to the base plate. Remember: The connection ought to be air tight!

Fold up the flaps at the front of the base plate and glue them to the top side of the folded bellow.

Build the starting tube by coiling the part around a pen or a stick. Slide it up through the top plate as shown on the left and glue it on the back (bottom) side of the top plate.

After the glue of the first connections has dried, mount the top plate on top of the bellow.

Check whether everything is air tight: Close the end of the starting tube with your finger and carefully press the bellow. If you find any escapes for the air, stop them up!

Now build the rocket itself. Once again, the tubular part should be prepared by winding the paper around a stick or a pen. The finished tube must fit over the starting tube and slide easily along it.

Form a cone as the rocket tip and glue it on top of the tube - once again: Air tight, please ...
Build the fins and glue them to the sides of the rocket.

Wait some minutes to allow the glue to dry.



  • Put the launch pad onto a robust and unbreakable surface!
  • Remove all sharp or pointed object around the pad!
  • Keep the airspace above the pad free from all faces!


Now you're ready for the first take off:

  • Slide the rocket over the starting tube.
  • Carefully bash onto the top of the bellow with your flat hand.

Watch the rocket race into the sky - or most likely into your room's ceiling ... If you did a good work with the bellow, five meters of height should be no problem.

If you have built the rocket - why not leave a comment in my guestbook?

New: Send in your flight data!

Your Name:
Your e-mail:
Maximum height reached : meters
Date of flight:
Place of flight:
Further comments:
All entries will be added to this page.
Flight data sent in until now:

Name: Height Date Place / Comments
Franziskus Heigl 5,20 m 06-jan-99 FU-Spacelab, Berlin, Germany
Georg Eggers 4,4 m 26-dec-98 Göttingen, Germany
Matthew Catto 17 m (??!!) 03-jan-99 Bradford, (Great Britain?)
Well, Mathew promised to be honest, but maybe he just meant 'feet' instead of 'meters'!?

Mathew's statement to this speculation (04-feb-99):
"It really was 17 metres, i sellotaped a load of metre sticks to the wall of my house and got a few mates to help me out with the rest."

Bert Hecht 2,75 m 23-jan-99 Konstanz, Germany
Bert claims that the rocket hit the ceiling at 2.75 meter and that the deformation of it's tip corresponds to about 5 meters of actual height ...
Daniel Brophy 6,20 m 05-feb-99 Bradford, England
Daniel comments that this is a dangerous toy as it smacked one of his friend's head on its way down. Hard hats might be a good idea to prevent such incidents ...
hkrussia 0.1 m 15-jul-99 Hong Kong
TsingYi YeeYip 508
Anthony 10 m 17-sep-99 ??
Andrew 5 ft 22-sep-99 my backyard
Jörg Schulze 0,8 m 13-oct-99 Böblingen, Germany
Jörg has sent some photographs from the take-off:
Bogica 1,85 m 26-oct-99 Hungary
Jack Me Hoff 600000000 10-nov-99 my backyard
Jack comments: " it didnt come back , i want my rocket back you sleazy rocket stealers, i think you should be ashamed of yourself, I think that you should be shot you st**** pi*******"
/Comments have been sanitized for your protection ... /
Bo Rebsdorf-Pedersen 0,8 m 23-dec-99 Kobenhavn
Comments: Din raket er skide god.
Lars W Larsen 2,95 m 28-jan-00 CTS Scanpoint A/S Denmark
Tim Johnson 1,0 m 08-jan-00 m.e
Where the hack is "m.e"??
Matt Voigt 10,7 m 20-feb-00 My Highschool Gym.
Comments: Dude can this thing fly, i mean this thing hit me in the eye a few times but it really goes when you wack it just right!!! Snake~
Bill 5,9 m 13-jul-00 Ibiza
Comment: lots of lovely ladies
chris 5.21 m  

my back yard
Im suprized it worked

sam 650 ft dec 8 2000 dallas t.x
hi this is sam my comment is that this is dangerous the paper rocket hit my great grand mom as it was coming down and she had an attack and die at the hospital
fagina humpalot to high to count none of your buisness my bedroom
This thing can really fly when you got the right person handling it!!!!!!!!
martin about 6 m 11/15/00 football field
good job with your rocket how did you think of this? write back!
mr DJ Bednall 928.2 high and 1/2 mile away 31/10/00 Snakepass glossop uk
fixed larger fins and dody. covered it with a balloon so no air could get out used an air bed pump to compress air into it and then let go. by the time it had reached the grown 1/2 mile away the drop was about 928.2 meters. Had a right job finding it walking in all them cow pats mud and all that
Sam Rocket'e 122 Sept18,2000 Conger Springs, Saratoga, CA
It was simple to make.
mike ford 1000 april 1

school yard
comments: sweet!!!!!

JOHN 5 19,5,00 LONDON
Canada 5,5 march,10,2001 beulah,Texas
comments: we had alot of fun and we are going for more highths
Onizuka 6,20 17-mar-01 Osaka, japnan
kim williams 20ft   back yard
comments: cool wow 20 ft with modifications i am so sexy
Tory Bouyea 250 3/14/01 olva school
comments: this flys awsome!!!!!!
dave 690 jan.5 02 yard
comments: I am so smart... s-m-r-t!!!
Nayelly Melo 2 03-16-01 school
chritayl 29 2/02/01 earth
comments: What a great thing! But it flew high and landed in my neibourghs pool.
daniel morgan 4,5 1/1/01 Addleberg, Germany
josh grehan 10m+ 30/10/01
dad's work yard
comments: My dads got some massive air compreseor 200psi...blew the top off the rocket 2nd attempt
ALI .25 4/10/2001
Emma Fradette 5,20 4/23/01 plano texas
cory 12 5/2/01
black creek, wi
hilanshah 17ft
mark ferron 50 3/12/01
back yard
Nick Young 334 6/22/01 Wheaton, IL
comments: exceptional added booster aided in attaining extreme altitude. Rocket was lost.
Jeorge Johns 3 meters 27/07/01 my living room at Minsterley, Shrewsbury
comments: Flys well but had a lot of bother with bellows but landed behind computer screen. Jeorge age 9
pesso 3 20.10 tel aviv
Kristjan   2002
place: Tallinn
comments: Yep, it flow to the sky and never came back!
Nicole 2 dec 31, 2001

comments: cool site

Sylvain 2.5 m + 12 jan 2002 Near PARIS
comments: thanks to the designer for giving a space rocket for free. Test flight has proven ability to go above 2.5m by leaving a black spot on the ceiling of the living room. This is due to the ink on the rocket nose ! I made the model using cardboard and white (carpenter's) glue. Next test will be with normal paper (80g) for the zig-zag part of the belows. And a white rocket nose too ! Great fun for all the familly.
Tai 4 m 21-Feb-2002 Backyard
comments: It's very fast and crash my hair to move up 3 more meters.
Lee Guang Rong   17.3.02

comments: Help. Something is wrong with my rocket.

Detlev Fleischhauer It's still flying 16 July 1969 Kennedy Space Center
comments: I got my friend Neil, Neil Armstrong, to hold on to the rocket for me, and then I hit it really hard and then the next thing you know...Neil was gone, and our ship, the Apollo (we named it together), was flying, and with our Walkie-Talkies, we got in touch and he told me that Georg's rocket flew him to the Moon. That was one small rocket for me and Neil, but one Big Step for Mankind. And the rest, as they say in show-biz, is history!
sean larkin 5 metres 20

grove school st.leonards on sea
comments: my rocket was really good because i glued the base plate front to the outside of the top plate

gavin nash 1 metre 20/3/2002

grove school st.leonards on sea
comments: me and group of year 9 each built a rocket,mine wasn't that good.

Tips and tricks sent in by other rocket pilots:

A word about the glue:

The special montage glue ('Fixogum', by Marabu) recommended by some people seems not to be the optimum under all conditions. 'Fixogum' will help to achieve an excellent finish of the modell, because you can just rub off any excessive glue with your bare finger.
The parts connected with this glue however tend to detach during the starts. To face this problem, the following procedure (which is also mentioned on the package of the glue) should be followed: Smear the glue onto both parts to be connected; wait about one minute, then join the parts together and press firmly for a moment.

Water based glues seem to work fine, but they tend to corrugate the paper. Do not try to start the rocket before the glue has dryed, because the wet paper parts might otherwise rip very easily.

A solvent based glue will give the strongest connections and will cause no corrugations. But this stuff is regarded to be unhealthy, inflammable and dangerous to the enviroment. For this reason, it has become almost unobtainable in Germany during the last years. Be careful if you use such kind of glue.

Reinforce the base plate:

The rocket will rise higher (and the launching platform will last longer) if you glue the complete bottom side of the launching platform to a strong cardboard.

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The Kit How to
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This kit: © 1997, 98 by Georg Eggers, all rigths reserved. Not to be used for any commercial purpose!

Last modifications: Wednesday, January 04, 2001
Author: Georg Eggers email:
Please leave a comment in the Guestbook!

Number of request since Tuesday, December 29, 1998: