Be a sailor: make a boat!

A simple junk model craft idea to make a cardboard box boat, along with some pirate themed play ideas.

How to make a simple cardboard box boat craft - junk model boat

Be a sailor: make a boat

My daughter loves all things ocean at the moment, and with a trip to the seaside coming up in a few weeks she’s thinking about how she might like to be a sailor. So when a big cardboard box arrived in the house she knew just what she wanted to do – make a boat!junk model ship craft
She started her boat by making portholes, and fixed a deck inside the box, using a piece of the box held in place with sticky tape.

painting a boat craft
She used acrylic paint – for good coverage and durability – in shades of ocean blue.

how to make a simple boat craft

She painted inside and out, using a wide paintbrush to make stripes on the outside.junk model boat

She added a tissue paper sail and a ship’s wheel cut from the base of a pizza board.

cardboard box boat craftAnd her junk model cardboard box boat is ready to sail.

pirate maps

Added extras for pirate play

She made some maps for her boat too: tearing around the outside of her paper to make ragged edges, and using paint to stain it to look old.

You could also add in an  egg box treasure chest.

Or make one of these  toy boats that really float.

Or try this pirate map idea for storytelling.

Or use these pirate activities and craft ideas.

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  1. says

    This is so cool! We often use boxes as boats and cooking spoons as oars but have never spent much time creating the boat. I’m sure the maps and treasure chest really add to the fun. I love these ideas!

  2. says

    Adorable! I love the power of imagination! Have you ever seen the children’s book called Not a Box? Your post reminded me of it.

  3. says

    What a brilliant idea and I will have plenty of boxes once we move and unpack. I have pirate posts on my blog too so maybe ours will be a pirate ship. Thanks for sharing.

  4. says

    Excellent. Made a puppet theatre today and had to get the boys out of the box as they were using it as a boat. Next stop at costco – 2 boxes for boats!

  5. Jennifer (aka Hint Mama) says

    Love this:) I’m always looking for relatively easy projects that can be done with materials most of us have around the house (like cardboard boxes).

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