How to Make a Paper Football

paper football with banner

The Spruce / Rita Shehan

Overview
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 1 football and goal
  • Skill Level: Kid-friendly

Keep your young children occupied when the adults in the house want to watch football with a kid version of the game. Not everyone is an avid football fan, but almost everyone will enjoy playing the simplified version of table football.

Paper or "flick" football is a game that is loosely based on the rules of American football, and it's an entertaining table game that all ages will love. The object of the game is for two opponents to flick a paper football across a tabletop to make a touchdown. A touchdown is when the ball hangs off the edge of the table without falling. After scoring a touchdown, the player gets to flick the paper football through the goal.

Some versions of the game require you to use your fingers to form a goal. Others suggest making a goal from wood craft or ice pop sticks. It's up to you to decide which version of paper football you want to play. After you make this football, make other footballs for your game-friendly household.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Hot glue gun
  • Sharp serrated kitchen knife
  • Bone folder or ruler
  • Scissors

Materials

The Football

  • 1 sheet 8.5-inch by 11-inch paper
  • Black or brown marker (optional)

The Goal

  • 5 Thin wood craft sticks or ice pop sticks
  • 2 1/2 inch Plastic foam ball

Instructions

  1. For the Football: Cut a Piece of Paper in Half

    Fold the 8 1/2-inch by 11-inch sheet of paper in half vertically, from side to side ("hot dog" style).

    Best Paper for Folded Footballs

    You will have better luck folding your football when using thinner paper, such as computer or lined notebook paper, rather than thicker paper sheets. Often when using thick paper, it becomes almost impossible to fold the paper in the last steps of the project.

    sheet of paper cut in half
    The Spruce / Rita Shehan
  2. Prepare to Fold Your Rectangle

    You should now have a paper rectangle that is approximately 4 1/4 inches tall by 11 inches wide. It's ready for folding.

    half of a sheet of paper
    The Spruce / Rita Shehan
  3. Fold the Rectangle

    Fold the paper rectangle lengthwise (bottom to top). Use a bone folder to sharply flatten the crease.

    Bone Folder Substitute

    Use a ruler to do the job of a bone folder if you don't have that specific tool.

    fold cut sheet in half
    The Spruce / Rita Shehan
  4. Make the First Horizontal Paper Fold

    Starting at the right end of the folded half sheet of paper, fold the upper right corner downwards so that the top right corner is now aligned with the bottom edge.

    Why a Bone Folder Helps

    Make sure to press each continuous fold down with your bone folder. This tool helps keep your paper football project folded evenly.

    first paper football fold
    The Spruce / Rita Shehan
  5. Make the Second Horizontal Paper Fold

    Grasp the bottom right edge point and fold to the left.

    second paper football fold
    The Spruce / Rita Shehan
  6. Make the Third Horizontal Paper Fold

    Grasp the bottom right point and fold upwards so that the point is aligned with the top edge.

    paper football fold 3
    The Spruce / Rita Shehan
  7. Make the Fourth Horizontal Paper Fold

    Grasp the top right point and fold so that the point is aligned with the top edge.

    paper football fold 4
    The Spruce / Rita Shehan
  8. Make the Fifth Horizontal Paper Fold

    Grasp the top right point and fold so that the point is aligned with the bottom edge.

    paper fold 5
    The Spruce / Rita Shehan
  9. Make the Sixth Horizontal Paper Fold

    Grasp the bottom right point and fold so that the point is aligned with the bottom edge.

    paper football fold 6
    The Spruce / Rita Shehan
  10. Make the Seventh Horizontal Paper Fold

    Grasp the bottom right point and fold so that it is aligned with the top edge.

    paper fold 7
    The Spruce / Rita Shehan
  11. Make the Last Paper Fold

    Fold the leftover paper diagonally onto itself from the bottom left corner toward the right, aligning the corner with the centerfold.

    last football paper fold
    The Spruce / Rita Shehan
  12. Tuck Into the Triangle Pocket

    Tuck the left side of your triangle into the center pocket.

    Making Better Tucks

    You may have to fold over the left bottom tip to get it to slide easily into the center pocket. It may also help to squeeze the inner pocket open a bit to give you more room to push the left side of the triangle into the paper football.

    tuck in corner of Football
    The Spruce / Rita Shehan
  13. Decorate Your Paper Football

    Though optional, mark up your paper football with black or brown markers to make it look more like an authentic football.

    decorated paper football
    The Spruce / Rita Shehan
  1. For the Goal: Determine the Size

    Determine how big you want your goal to be and use a sturdy pair of scissors to easily cut your craft or ice pop sticks to size.

    flick football goal post
    The Spruce / Rita Shehan
  2. Make the Goal's Frame

    Glue the sticks together to form the goal post with hot glue.

  3. Make the Goal's Base

    Cut the plastic foam ball in half with a serrated edge knife. One half of the ball is the goal base, flat side down on the table.

  4. Finish Your Goal

    Stick the goal post frame into the top of the rounded plastic foam ball. Your goal stand is finished! If you want, make a simple garland to hang behind your goal.