How To Make Paper Floats

Paper Floats


These floats are one of the easiest ones to make , as they're made by wrapping paper or tissue paper around the stem of the floats.


The body shape is determined by the angles of the sides of the triangle (Scalene Triangle)


And, by altering the angle, you can make different body shapes


this is helped by lightly drawing a scale onto the paper to be used in pencil (then rubbed out before the wrapping stage) as a cutting guide / template .


The scale height should equal body length ( 1½ " - 2 ½" wide ) x body width ( dia~10 - 16 mm ) 12"+ long .This will give a rectangle shaped piece of paper


Cut out the triangle slivers of paper, one that will yield three to five triangles 1 x main body wrap and additional wraps in descending sizes ( narrowness )
one sheet could yield upto five pieces (wraps)

These are then given a very thin coating of glue - either watered down Pva glue or a cheap glue stick (pva)


Then the initial wrap is made by placing the straight edge along the float's stem, being careful with the alignment. It's best to put a small amount of weight to the pointed end of the sliver of paper triangle to keep it under tension whilst it's wrapped around the chosen stem.


Carefully wrap the paper around the stem, maintaining a level wind. And apply the occasional dab of glue to avoid the paper slipping internally between the layers


Several additional wrapping may be required to gain the body size & shape required, and each sheet may need to cut short and restarted if required. Some experimenting might be required and sometimes two parallel wraps are needed with a filler to attain correct body shape and size


There's no limit to the types of floats you can make or designs to choose from.


(ducker/puddle chucker : cane avon : crowquil avon : zephyr / chubba : tissue avon : porcupine quill)

Paint your floats tips with fluorescent paints ready for the final clear coat of varnish.


A final sealer coat of clear varnish or neat waterproof pva woodglue.


You could also add some turns of whippings to decorate & strengthen your floats



Parcel wrapping paper , grease proof type paper (any one sided shiny paper will do) or cheaper rolls of baking paper ,Kitchen towelling is both strong and cheap its quilted absorbent construction makes for a very buoyant body

Glues: for the actual sticking of the paper to the stems and to secure the windings, you can use the waterproof pva woodglue thats been thinned down with a drop or two of water to give thinner coatings


Or a pva based glue stick is great as it gives easy application & thin coating of glue


Body stems can be a verity of materials ; cane, peacock quill, balsa or wooden dowelling, porcupine quills, reed stems, etc

Some paint for the float tips And clear varnish to finish it off.

Download the pdf version HERE

By S.J.devereux