How to Build Pop Can Airplanes

Posted by
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (11 votes, average: 2.82 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...


How to Build Pop Can Airplanes

Model airplanes look beautiful, but you have to admit they aren’t very practical because they can cost a lot of money. If you don’t want to buy expensive model airplanes, here’s what you can do: build a pop can airplane. It’s quite easy and won’t cost you much.

What You’ll Need:

  • Three empty aluminum soda cans
  • All-purpose glue
  • Scissors
  • Permanent marker
  • Hobby knife
  • Thick work gloves
  • Hammer
  • Nail
  • Block of wood
  • Small screw
  • Nut


  1. Gather all the materials, and make sure they’re ready to be used. The aluminum cans must be rinsed out, while the scissors and hobby knife should be sharp. Prepare a good pair of work gloves too, since aluminum edges can be very sharp, and you might end up accidentally cutting yourself.
  2. Get the first aluminum can, and poke a hole in it, using the scissors. The hole must be at least half an inch from the top. Carefully insert the scissors’ blade in the hole, then cut the the top off. Aluminum is thin, so be careful not to crush the pop cans when you take away the tops. You can throw this top away, as you won’t need it anymore.
  3. Using the scissors again, cut 2 1/2 inches form the bottom off the second can. Don’t throw it away, since you’ll use this later.
  4. Cut the top off the third soda can, as well as the bottom part. Afterwards, cut its body in half, opening the aluminum so it will lie flat.
  5. Draw two airplane wings on the flattened aluminum, using the permanent marker. These need to be in the same shape and size. Afterwards, draw an airplane propeller, at least three inches long.
  6. Cut out the propeller and airplane wings using the scissors. Be careful while doing this, so the aluminum edge won’t cut you.
  7. Get the first pop can, then make two slits in its midsection area. Use a hobby knife for this. Make the slit long enough to accommodate the airplane wings’ width. Then, cut a horizontal slit carefully across the bottom of the can, too.
  8. Slide the wings in place, then glue securely.
  9. Get the scrap flattened aluminum and draw a tail. Use sharp scissors to cut it out. Slide this on the slit you made at the back, then glue in place, too.
  10. Take the pop can bottom you cut off earlier, and drill a hole in its center, using a nail, hammer and a block of wood. Then, make a hole in the airplane propeller’s center. Attach this to the bottom using a nut and small screw. Don’t tighten the nut too much, though, or the propeller won’t turn.
  11. Secure the pop can bottom to the metal with the propeller mounted to it.
  12. Slide the pieces together gluing then in place. Paint the can or leave it as it is.

Recycle aluminum cans with this cool model airplane project. Don’t let kids play with it, though, since the edges are very sharp!



  1. James said,

    on March 22nd, 2012 at 4:58 am

    I loved this project, although I cut my hand on the aliminium can, and there is now warnings up. I thought the project was a great idea, and it has changed my life for the better. However I got an infection in my hand and I now have 7 days to live. Thanks guys