Clothespin Airplane with Spinning Propeller

Hi Friends!

Today we have an airplane craft for you. Naomi and I really enjoyed making our first planes together and the “happy accident” that arose from improvising. That happy accident was discovering we could have a spinning propeller by using different items than intended. Even the little goof we had along the way wasn’t so bad because we had something unexpected to look forward to. I think those are the best instances, when you can make something out of nothing or make an unplanned situation functional. Right?! Regardless of all that, these came out really cute and we were SUPER proud of our spinning propeller!

Hey, I’ll take any win and this was a nice one! These airplanes were simple enough and your littles will love to spin them.

Check out all the details, including our goofs and a little propeller action below!

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What You'll Need

  • Clothespin

  • (2) Popsicle/Craft Sticks

  • Small Cardboard Piece

  • Craft Glue

  • Flat Tack (Have an adult help with this step)

  • Pencil

  • Craft Paint & Brushes

  • Scissors

    OPTIONAL: Wax Paper, Rinsing Jar, Old Towel, Gorilla Glue

The Steps


1.Take your clothespin apart and set connector aside

2. Take one craft stick, cardboard piece and pencil to trace out your 2 smaller pieces (1 propeller, 1 horizontal stabilizer: see photos)

***This is where we had that happy accident arise from. I was certain I had small crafts sticks, that wasn’t the case. Then I remembered we had small (unused) nail files lol, I don’t mind improvising, but those were still too long. After looking around we decided on cardboard! We could cut it down to size, it was free, lightweight and paintable! That’s not even the best part. When I couldn’t find small wooden beads to glue onto the propeller as a finishing touch aka a spinner, we moved on to the next idea… Using a flat tack as THE spinner and as a way to attach the propeller to the plane. THEN WE DISCOVERED WE COULD SPIN IT!!! Proud moment :)

3. Paint your clothespin completely (body of plane), 2 crafts sticks (wings) and 2 short cardboard pieces (propeller & horizontal stabilizer)

Naomi chose a peach color for the body, gold for the wings, yellow for the horizontal stabilizer, and a yellow, peach & silver for the propeller. I chose a metallic silver for the body, black for the wings with a few stripes in gold and turquoise and lastly gold for the 2 smaller pieces.


***Now this is where I, mom, goofed. I kept thinking we needed 3 large craft sticks painted, so I instructed Naomi to paint a 3rd one as I had already done mine. She kind of questioned it but obeyed her mama. It turns out I was wrong.

4. After each piece has dried assemble the body by adding back the connector.

5. Glue the wings at the front of the clothespin and the horizontal stabilizer (small piece) near the tail of the plane.

We mistakenly added a 2nd horizontal stabilizer; 3rd craft stick. DO NOT ADD.


optional: using Gorilla Glue, Goop or other flexible glue, where the connector rests at the groove, will allow for the plane to stay in tact through all the play time. Apply as a last step so that it can dry fully, a few hours up to overnight.

6. Add the propeller last or before gluing all the pieces, to the front of the plane. Push the tack through the propeller (adult assembly recommended) and almost all the way into the plane.


To share: have an adult take a photo of your creation, click on photo submission and have them submit the photo.

Photos were taken before we realized we had added an extra stick and needed to remove, oops

Happy crafting friends!

Amanda and Naomi