How to Make a Cardboard Canoe for Your Kids in the Pool





Introduction: How to Make a Cardboard Canoe for Your Kids in the Pool

This instructable shows how my friend Jared, my brother, and I  built a cardboard canoe for his kids to play with in the swimming pool.

Materials Used:

-Packing Tape - 1 1/2" - (lots(3 rolls))

-Cardboard - 1 sheet - 40" x 84"

-Utility knife (to cut the patterns out of the cardboard)

-Time (about 3-4 hours start to finish) (Not including CAD/Design/Snack time)


Step 1: Step 1: Design the Canoe

 We've attached the canoe design so that you can print it out and scale it to however big you want the canoe to be.

We printed the shapes out on an 11"x17" paper and made a model (see pics)

The final kids' canoe shapes were printed out just shy of 8' long.


Step 2: Step 2: Get the Design Onto Cardboard

Now that we have our canoe design we needed to get it on the cardboard.

We decided to scale the pieces up to fit on a 40"x84" piece of double walled  cardboard.
We projected the shapes using a laser galvanometer and traced them.

If you have access to a CNC, you could use that instead.
If you have a large laser cutter, that would work.
**UPDATE** You can use a normal computer projector (like for doing a power point presentation)
**UPDATE** You can print out the pattern and use an overhead projector.

If you are a very good artist, you could just copy the pattern using that grid technique that only works for a drawing of Mickey Mouse.
You can use the pattern and have it printed out on a large format printer like they have at copy stores(Kinkos) and then cut patterns out of paper to transfer it to the cardboard.



Step 3: Cut Out Your Pieces

Use a razor knife to cut out the patterns.  Since cardboard is difficult to cut, you may want to do an initial cut that just breaks the surface of the cardboard and then go back and cut all the way through.  This may help you from making mis-cuts.
Use proper knife safety. Don't let your kids cut the cardboard. Don't cut any cheese during this step.

Step 4: Step 3: Prep and Assemble the Pieces

Because the canoe needs to be as water tight as possible, we encased each piece in packing tape.

After taping each piece, tape the pieces together to form the finised canoe.

Step 5: Step 4: Play in the Water!!

Step 4: Now that our canoe is built its time to hit the pool!



    • Paper Contest 2018

      Paper Contest 2018
    • Science of Cooking

      Science of Cooking
    • Pro Tips Challenge

      Pro Tips Challenge

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    About 96" long from end to end.

    Good Luck!

    on the paper what is the scale. please tell me sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooon.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Do you have a way to copy your design for anybody to copy ??? Some plans that we can copy in a printing shop !!

    So cool!!! Wish I had that much cardboard. I call myself a "cat" because I love getting into boxes. LOL

    Thank you! I did the trick to cure my son's summer time boredom. We had a great time building it and paddling across our neighborhood pond.

    Go to your local hardware store and buy a few door skins. Me and a friend built a small drift boat out of 2 of them for a friend's kids. You cut them the same way but you fiberglass or resin them. I suggest go with the glass. But it will last years. Also just Google "door skin canoe plans" and you will find it.