Boat Crafts for Kids Summertime Fun

by Karen & Grace Morris

You can let your imagination sail away with our boat crafts for kids. No matter if they are pirates or sailors, both boys and girls will enjoy making these interesting projects. Some of your newly made toys can float in your wading pool or sink.

examples of boat crafts

Boat in a Bottle

I have always been intrigued with a boat in a bottle. I didn’t want to make it too difficult so I used a wide mouth plastic jar.  

boat in a bottle

You will need;

  • An empty plastic jar with a wide mouth (I used a peanut jar)
  • Flat toothpicks
  • Two small piece of construction paper (different colors)
  • Four pipe cleaners
  • Tacky glue
  • A small piece of felt or you could use paper
  • Cardboard
  • Glue Stick

To make the boat, fold a small piece of construction paper in half. Cut into a boat shape so that it will fit into your bottle.

Next glue toothpicks onto the outside of the paper, so that it looks like a wooden boat. (Captain! Captain! The ship is sinking) Let the glue dry overnight.

To make the stand for the bottle by bending two pipe cleaners (blue) into circles. Cut a piece of cardboard and construction paper (I used blue so that it looks like the ocean) the length of the side of the jar.

Using a glue stick, glue together the cardboard and paper together. I used tacky glue, to glue the pipe cleaners to the end of the cardboard paper combination. I then used a heavy dictionary to help the pipe cleaners stick to the paper. I let it dry overnight.

Because the book flattened the pipe cleaners I toke a pipe cleaner and placed it under the flatten one, twisting it into a circle. I did same with the other side. The stand is now complete.

For the boat make a flag with a small piece of black felt (I was trying to make a pirate flag but I didn’t have enough room for the Jolly Roger). I made two slits so that I could push a toothpick through.

Then I glued the toothpick to the flag and the inside of the boat. Then I placed the boat into the bottle before the glue had dried.

(Abandon ship!) The flag will dry crooked. (Now that I know how to get a boat in a bottle I wonder how you get a ship in a narrow bottle.)  I let it dry overnight with the cap off. The next day put the cap back on.

After you make your boat in a bottle place it a shelf or desk. Have fun making more complicated designs, try adding the rigging to the ship.

Make a Sailboat with Shapes

Even your preschooler can have fun making boats. Cut out a triangle for the sail. You will need a small rectangle for the mast and a larger rectangle for the boat. Have your child glue the pieces to blue paper. You can tell stories with your boat. (The boat is rocking, rocking….)

sailboat made with shapes

Another idea is to cut everything from felt. Then your child can use the shapes over and over again.


With recycled lids you can easily craft a fleet of different sized sailboats. (Avast ye matey!) I used a mayonnaise jar lid. Mine was green, but I have seen blue and white. You will also need a pony bead, toothpick, and construction paper.

green sailboat

First glue the bead in the center of the lid with tacky glue. You need to wait overnight before you place your sail. Cut a triangle out of construction paper to make the sail. Tape the sail onto a toothpick.

The next morning glue the toothpick mast into the bead holder. Now you are ready to set sail. Have races with your friends and see if you can improve your sails to go faster! 


There are all kinds of different boats. Tugboats are used for pulling other boats. Some are even used for breaking ice. They are also built strong. Let’s get making this boat!

tugboat you can make

You will need a small round box that cheese wedges comes in, construction paper, a small paper cup, and a glue stick.

Cut colored paper so that it will fit in the center of the box. Also cut a strip of paper that will cover the outside edge.

To make the wheelhouse, cover a paper cup with white paper. I made the view screen by cutting a square from black construction paper. Fold in half and cut the center out. This will be the outside of the window. I then cut a piece of yellow paper to fit in the center of the black piece. Glue to the black paper. Glue the windows onto the cup. (There goes Theodore!)I did not glue my wheelhouse down.

Cut black circles for tires. Use a hole punch to cut holes in the center. Glue to the side of the box. This boat won’t float but it will look cute on your desk. I liked the diagram of a tugboat on the Wikipedia site.


Are you familiar with the story of Tom Sawyer? In the story Tom Sawyer goes to a deserted island. I think that every boy dreams of making a wooden raft and do the same.

straw raft

For this project you will need straws, pipe cleaners, tape, and string.

The direction seems difficult but it is  easy to make. First make the bottom of the raft by cutting four straws in half and taping them together in a row.

Your raft will need a rudder to steer. So cut a one-inch piece of straw. Then thread some string through the small piece of straw. Then thread the string through the center straw on the raft. Bring the string over the top of the raft go back into the rudder. Wrap the string around string you threaded through the raft then knot.

Now you need something to hold your cabin on and to make the raft float better. So take one straw and cut out two pieces about two inches. You will need to do this again so that there are four pieces. Next thread a piece of string through two straw pieces. Slide onto the raft so that one piece is on top and the other is on the bottom.

Make a knot in the string to secure. Do the same with the other two pieces. The top pieces will hold your cabin. The bottom will help your raft to ride on the water.

Next make your cabin. Cut eight pieces of pipe cleaner and twist four on each side in a form of a triangle. Now go float your raft on the high seas of your wading pool.


Everyone needs a rowboat and this boat craft for kids is super easy. They are good for fishermen and those who want to float lazily down the river.

an easy rowboat to make

For this craft you will need a piece of craft foam eight by five inches and a stapler.

On each short end fold the center a little ways in. Fold the ends over then staple. Do the same with the other short end. Add an action figure and go float your boat. (Row, Row your boat gently down the stream.)

Doing boat crafts for kids is a cool and wet summer time activity. Hope you have fun!