Introduction: Spaceship for Kids Fold-able Made From Cardboard

Picture of Spaceship for Kids Fold-able Made From Cardboard

One day at work we have received a delivery of some items in two large boxes so I have decided to make a spaceship for my friend's little boy and took the empty boxes home. I was really excited about this little project of mine :-) ......

Step 1: 1st Step - Make a Drawing and Start Cutting

Picture of 1st Step - Make a Drawing and Start Cutting

So the first step is really just to get started. The easiest thing to do from the start is to draw your vision on a piece of paper as once you have it black on white it is so much easier to then get to the finish :-) I have drawn the space ship from each view, top and bottom and also the interior.

Using a Stanley knife I cut a window and a door (only half way for easy opening) and then taped the edges with a cross weaved tape for rigidness. The front was extended using a part from the second box. Velcro has been fitted on the front with glue, stapler and tape so that the ship can be easily folded and put behind a wardrobe when not being used.

Step 2: More Velcro and Painting

Picture of More Velcro and Painting

I have cut 3 more windows on the other side and put more velcro bits on the sides. Started painting the outside with white acrylic gesso and white tempera - as that's what I had at home :-) (it took about 4 layers to cover the brown box though). I have bought 2 sheets of A3 acetate and put them together with a strip of clear tape. this was then cut to size and attached with a glue gun as the front window. I have turned the space ship upside down and painted the ceiling with black acrylic paint and then with black glitter paint.  

Step 3: More Painting and Spraying

Picture of More Painting and Spraying

After about 4 layers of white paint, I used a clear glitter paint for the outside and then started painting the inside white. I painted the outside of the door with silver acrylic paint and glitter. For the back door inside used blue acrylic paint. Then I measured and cut all sorts of shapes from thin white cardboard - for the window frames, door handles, exhausts (with velcro on one side) and all the bits and bobs I was going to decorate the ship with later. This was then sprayed (outside) with chrome project spray paint and some of them with glow in the dark spray (later on attached to different parts of space ship - including the the dashboard inside - I have attached some buttons that  then glow inside the ship) Used glue gun for attaching these.By the way all the bits that glow in the dark are on these pictures white-yellowy color. 

Step 4: Finish Painting and Start Adding Buttots Etc

Picture of Finish Painting and Start Adding Buttots Etc

After I have finished painting the inside, I have added some glow in the dark planets and then using glow in the dark paint (acrylic) and a brush, I painted stars and galaxies onto the ceiling. 

I was given some buttons and screens from old play stations and Nintendos etc by a local shop, which I have then glued on with a glue gun. Then glued the sprayed window frames and more acetates for the windows, door handle, drawn screws with a permanent marker and used a strip of silver ribbon for decoration.

I have also glued a piece of velcro on the back of circle touch lite (with batteries) and then on the wall; a piece of velcro on a joy stick and on the floor, so that when the ship is folded these bits can be detached. Glued a little handle from crushed aluminum foil for head phones and also glued a bit of velcro on a small portable radio.

Bought a silver fabric and glued it on the floor.     

Step 5: Finished Space Ship

Picture of Finished Space Ship

And after many hours spent on the space ship it is finally finished :-) ..........

I have to say, It was hard to say goodby to this little project of mine as I had so much fun playing in it myself (especially when you leave a lamp inside for a bit to charge the ceiling and then watch the stars in the dark), but seeing my friend's little boy - how happy he was when he got it made it all worth while.... He plays in it all the time and I'm sure it'll last him forever... or I'd like to think so anyway :-)

 I've added this project as I am sure there are more Star Wars fans out there and it might be useful for some...

If you need any help or if I have forgotten to write about anything just let me know and I'll do my best to answer.

By the way, I would recommend this toy for children over 4 as in this spaceship project I have used a chrome paint, glow in the dark paints, and lots of little bits that could be swallowed, so be careful if you wish to do this for little children.  

I hope you've enjoyed this and as soon as I have got something new, I'll share it.

xxx Snow White's Creations


That Redhead (author)2016-07-02 are insanely talented!!!!

Thank you so much!

BeastandEpicProductions (author)2014-10-05

Awesome! I plan to build a larger scale set based of the "Nostromo" in the movie "Alien".

Eh Lie Us! (author)2014-07-25

Man.. that is amazing.

Just build it simple and a child's imagination will do the rest!

Kris T. (author)2013-08-17

This is also perfect for "Kids at heart," lol.

Some of my best toys were cardboard boxes. I used to have a time/world traveling machine (I was unaware of Dr. Who at the time).

Tspherix (author)2013-08-13

Very nice! I'm envisioning some over-enthusiastic space kids forcing their legs through the bottom, lifting it up and running around with it as if they were flying.

dozer789 (author)2013-08-12

This is pretty cool!!

Uberizer (author)2013-08-11

Wow, at the start it looks kind of lame but by the finish when you have everything applied it makes this totally awesome! As a suggestion for copycats, A more durable way to do this and save using so much paint would be to use coroplast! That's the stuff used for election signs. It's pretty cheap and much more durable than cardboard. You can get it in different colors as well.

Wazzupdoc (author)2013-08-10

You give a kid a big box, markers, a junk box and a pocket knife and (s)he'll build a spaceship and travel with Kirk, Spock and the Time Lords! A big box is the most creative gift one can give to develop creativity in kids (IMHO). Well done.

xaraxania (author)2013-08-09

well done you this is a fantastic project you could go into all kinds elaborations and let your imagination run riot when creating the inside
if you have time you could also set up some battery operated light switches
this is really great i want one for me :)

askjerry (author)2013-08-08

I used to go to the store and get the refrigerator boxes... then cut them so that they opened into four large panels. We found that cardboard does not glow under black light... but when painted with florescent acrylic paint it shows up very bright. We would paint up a scary scene and use it in the living room at Halloween. We cut openings and secret compartments into it... when the kids came we would open them and go whoo! It was a lot of fun. The space ship could have something similar... a black light to make all the buttons and stuff glow might be fun... and the glow-in-the-dark stars would be very bright too!

Great job!

askjerry (author)askjerry2013-08-08
By the way... never underestimate the power of cardboard...

annieannie (author)askjerry2013-08-08

That was one of the coolest video's ever!! I wish I could go play in Caine's Arcade!! Sweetest boy ever! :) I also LOVE your spaceship.. I wanted to put on a silver zip up suit and go explore the world in your spaceship.. and yes, even at 51 I still play! :)

askjerry (author)annieannie2013-08-08

There is a follow-up video to that one... but I don't want to hijack this instructable... do a Google search and you will find it... equally amazing.

And yes... his cardboard rocket inspires me as well... I wish I had someone to build it for... it would be a GREAT project!

annieannie (author)askjerry2013-08-09

I just watched the second one.. WOW! The saga continues into a world wide miraculous event. There was a precious child who wished to be as popular and be appreciated who commented on caines video. I became her first fan and subscribed to her channel and sent her encouraging words. I told her she is now popular, she has a fan club... what a darling girl :)

mario59 (author)2013-08-09

In my childhood something like this would have fooled me.
Also today, but a bit outdated at 54!

sosclosetsandfurniture (author)2013-08-09

Really great job! I'll have to do something similar for my son.

Mexaniker (author)2013-08-09

It's a kid's Dream. Well done!

kaneda (author)2013-08-09

Great project. That's really fantastic.

tiggeroush2 (author)2013-08-09

This looks very cool. I want to make one now. Thank you for posting it.

Treknology (author)2013-08-09

It may only be cardboard but the child beneficiary will have fond memories of it when he grows up.

Boomshadow (author)2013-08-08

I don't have documentary evidence to back this up, but your project suggests that your parental awesomeness level is deep in the 99th percentile. ;)

Capohanf (author)2013-08-08

For those with a few woodworking tools and a bit bigger budget, you could make a frame out of 1X2 firring glued together and then "skinned" with cardboard. This would make a more ridgid item that although no longer foldable would stand up better to the riggers of play. I once converted a golf cart to a Star Trek Shuttle Pod in this manner for a festival.

techno guy (author)2013-08-08

I wish I had something like this...

zomfibame (author)2013-08-08

Love it.

DeeRilee (author)2013-08-08

OMG...this is so cool!!!!! I want to come play!

LesB (author)2013-08-08

One of these days your friend will notice that Junior hasn't come in the house for a while. He'll go check out in back and he will see a crater where this space ship used to be. And it will then be too late, as his son will be in the darkness of outer space, well on his way to the Andromeda galaxy.

mbaldridge (author)2013-08-08

You could put some cheap LCDs on the windows, build a wood frame, and blow the kid's mind with a simulator. :D

gn0stik (author)2013-08-08

Needs cardboard tube (think poster tube) warp nacells. You could put flashlights inside to simulate warp activity.

dewertsnc (author)2013-08-08

Did your kid have to beg you to let him have a turn inside? LOL Great job.

onemoroni1 (author)2013-08-08

Really cool! Fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars! To be a child again.

nplant (author)2013-08-08

For your next cardboard build, might I suggest the Transmogrifier? This is really, really cool, though. Makes me jealous of little kids. Maybe I need to buy that new fridge after all....

foobear (author)2013-08-08

Why isn't this in the forts contest? Shoo in

Dr.Bill (author)2013-08-07

Ha! Ah brown box.
I remember the one I had some 54 years ago.
Since my Dad was a ships captain, my brown box was a sea going ship like my Dad's.
It had no paint.
No color except brown.
No buttons or wheel.
It was in my sand box until a storm at sea took it out. lol
Your project will stay in that kids memory for a life time and you will be remembered by him for as long as he lives.
What ah great legacy. Maybe he will pass it forward.

Dream Dragon (author)2013-08-06

That's Totally AWESOME! Wish I had a parent like you. Thanks for sharing your inspiration with the rest of us so that we can be awesome parents too. :D

Pandroe (author)2013-08-05

OMG! Your kid is so lucky to have you as a parent! Keep feeding the imagination. This is awesome!

SHIFT! (author)2013-08-05

I wish I had this when I was a kid. Then maybe I wouldn't have grown up so fast!

GpaSteve (author)2013-08-05

I could see making something like this out of plywood for my grandkids.
This is a very cool project.

AndyGadget (author)2013-07-31

Brilliant Instructable.
I immediately thought of "The Rocket" - One of Ray Bradbury's beautiful short stories from the golden age of science fiction.

Very Interesting (author)2013-07-31

Cool & fun!

HelenaDaydreamer (author)2013-07-30

Cheers guys, appreciate your comments! I've got to say it's really cool to have a play house when you're a kid, you just use your imagination all the time so even a brown box with a cut out window would do :-) when I was a kid me and my brothers would take about five blankets or throws and using chairs and other furniture we would make a house/ bunker. I had lots of fun doing that and played in the bunker for ages!!!! :-)

stubbsonic (author)2013-07-30

Holy Smokes, this is awesome!! I remember wanting to buy a "real submarine" from the back of a comic book. My mom wisely told me about how advertising works, and how this product would be a big let-down. She suggested I go get a box from an appliance store. Me and my friends had a ton of make believe fun in our "time machine". You really hit it out of the galaxy with that one!

Dreamchronic (author)2013-07-30

Cute:) I like it, it looks so natural for a spaceship, no stupid shining thingies everywhere. I hope you came up with more cool projects :D Stay creative Snow;)

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