Pirate ship/Cardboard Ship

Ahoy mateys!! Jack and the Neverland pirates have become my kids’ favorite in recent times and they were pretend playing Pirates. So as a dutiful mom, I wanted to make a Pirate ship for my little pirates to help on their lookout for treasure 😀 It took about 2 hours from start to finish. But completely worth the time for the tight hugs and thankful smiles I received 😀

Pretend play helps kids in aiding their imagination. Unguided free play of at least a few hours a day is really important. This craft is not just for pretend play. You can teach the kids the different parts of a ship like Mast, deck, sail, anchor, hull etc while building it. It’s a good time to learn some boat terminologies! If you have older kids, you can ask them to build one by themselves reading the instructions. You can make use of those precious two-hours! The unlucky ones like me, please proceed to read 😛

I have used a used cardboard box and it is a recycled craft for most part. You don’t require a lot of materials. All you need is a lot of patience 😛 Now, let’s get to work!

Materials needed:

  • A cardboard box
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife
  • Glue gun/Strong adhesive like Gorilla glue
  • One big stick for the mast
  • Bamboo skewers/Sticks
  • Tooth picks
  • Construction paper/Old cloth for sail and flag


  • This is the box that I have used. The length was good and the height was small, so it made a perfect candidate for the ship.
  • I have just cut out little bit at the front and the back to form a boat shape. Measure and cut out the parts to cover the front and back. If you can’t find a similar box, don’t worry. Just cut out the shapes from a cardboard and glue them together.
  • Before gluing the front and the back, cut out the holes for the windows and cannons. It will be difficult to cut holes after sticking and the whole thing might come apart.
  • Now stick the front and back parts. You can actually stop at this point, as it already looks like a ship. Just add a few seats in between and you will be good to go. But if you want something much fancier, please continue.
  • Then, measure and cover the top parts of the windows to form a deck. Glue them in place. Stick a cardboard bench in the middle of the boat and pierce your mast stick through it’s center. Apply a little bit of glue at the end of the stick to make it fixed at the bottom.
It looks like a battlefield!! But look at the bigger picture here(Quite literally!:-P)
  • Now that the mast is ready, we can work on our sails. I glued the bamboo skewers first. But they came off after a few trips. So, I used a twine to tie the skewers to the mast stick. It not only lasts longer, makes it more realistic too.
  • Glue the tooth picks together to make a ladder and use a small circular cardboard and tooth picks to make the steering wheel.
  • Measure, cut and glue the upper deck. Stick the ladder and steering wheel in place. I have used black construction paper for sails. You can use cloth too. I have painted the flag on a piece of an old t-shirt.
  • I have made an eye-patch and a Tissue paper roll Telescope as accessories to complete the pirate story! You can rely on the countless hours of pretend play with this beautiful ship.(I am definitely hoping!! ;-))

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *