Build your own Airship!

Today we have another fun crafting project for you! Bid artist Sara Felix has designed a lovely papercraft airship for us. Pick one up at a Glasgow in 2024 Fan Table near you, or download it as a PDF here:

When printing yourself, we recommend using a slightly heavier paper – I used paper with a weight of 120 g/m². We have two types of instruction here: Sara Felix made a video to show how to make this up, and there’s a text-based tutorial with pictures and explanations below.


Sara’s wonderful video tutorial.



Tools used to make the airship described below.

Tools – from left to right:

  1. Scissors and/or craft knife
  2. Ruler and embossing tool, alternatively an empty ballpoint pen.
  3. Craft glue, a few paper clips and something thin and long (doesn’t need to be a crochet hook, it’s what I had lying around).

The design consists of two parts: the balloon (part A), and the gondola (part B).

Step 1 – Colour! Using coloured pencils or felt-tip pens, create your personal airship design.

Printout of airship design, coloured with felt-tip pens - grey balloon with violet and green Glasgow logo, and a brown gondola with yellow light coming out of the windows.

Step 2 – Prepare the fold lines. Put your design on a relatively soft surface, for example a folded newspaper or similar. Using an embossing tool (or an empty ballpoint pen, same effect) and a ruler, draw over all the folding lines, making them easier to fold later. The image shows the back of the paper at this stage.

Backside of sheet with airship design, showing the raised folding lines after embossing.

Step 3 – Cut out the pieces. The only internal place to cut is around the flap on the bottom of the balloon. Cut along the solid line, the dotted line will be the fold line.

The balloon and gondola of the airship cut out from the pattern sheet.

Step 4 – Fold along all the prepared fold lines. All the folds go inwards, the only exception is the flap on the bottom of the balloon, which needs to be folded outwards.

Both pieces of the airship, folded along the prepared fold lines.

Step 5 – Glue. Glue the sides of the gondola together to make a little box. Paper clips are useful to hold the box together while drying.

The sides of the gondola glued together to make a square box. Glue points held together using paper clips.

When gluing the balloon, start by making two halves, then let this dry.

The balloon after gluing both halves separately.

Now glue the halves together, starting with the side opposite the opening. When done, you still can access the inside by pressing the piece together from the tips.

The almost finished balloon, pressed open on the tips to give access to the last remaining flaps for gluing.

When not pressed, the piece should close automatically. Make sure the three flaps end up on the inside. Apply glue to those flaps and close up the form. Insert a narrow tool through the hole at the bottom to apply pressure to the flaps from the inside against your fingers on the outside to make sure the flaps get glued on.

Now we only have to connect the two pieces. First, fold the flaps on the gondola inwards and glue them together at the corners. This stabilises the box.

Both pieces of the airship, the balloon showing the bottom with the place where the gondola will attach, the gondola with the flaps folded inward and secured.

Now, apply glue to the outside of the flap at the bottom of the balloon, and slide it into the open side of the gondola.

Both parts connected using the flap on the bottom of the balloon, the gondola folded back to give access to the remaining flaps.

Apply glue to the flaps of the gondola, press down on the balloon, and you’re done! I used an eraser to put a bit of pressure on the joint to make sure it stays glued:

The completed airship lying on its back, with the gondola on top. An eraser is used to weigh down the gondola while the glue dries.

If you like you can touch up the colours around the edges, and then take your airship on an adventure! Show us where it has been! You can find us under @GlasgowIn2024 on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Use #Gin2024Crafts and #AirshipCrafting to share your creations with us!

Coloured papercraft airship with the Glasgow bid logo on the side on a green cutting mat

This article was brought to you by Constanze Hofmann, Craft Co-ordinator, Promotions Team.

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