Introduction: Colourful Boat

About: The Valletta Design Cluster is a community creative hub in Valletta (Malta), including a makerspace, foodspace, co-working space, incubator for chagemakers, roofgarden, and more.

DIY tutorial Age: 7-8 years old

I am going to use materials easily found at home. In the tutorial, I will be using: a craft knife, hot glue gun, nail and a hammer. It is highly recommended to use them under the supervision of your parents.



  • 2 milk carton boxes
  • 4 wooden sticks
  • 1 chopstick or a skewer
  • A few sweet wrappers
  • 1 champagne + 1 wine corks
  • 6 metal caps (or plastic bottle caps)
  • String +felt
  • Coloured paper (paint colour samples)
  • Buttons
  • Duct tapes
  • Markers
  • Tissue paper/coloured paper


  • Cutting mat
  • Scissors + craft knife
  • Liquid glue + glue stick
  • Hammer + nail
  • Ruler + pencil

Step 1:

To build this super colourful boat we will need two empty milk cartons, please remember to wash them well beforehand. In the first step, you will need the help of your parents to use a craft knife. We will cut out the bottom part of the milk carton, approx. 1cm high. This is going to be the roof of our cabin.

Step 2:

Next, grab the second milk carton and place the previously cut roof of the cabin on the backside of it. Use a marker to mark the exact size of it on the cardboard. You can mark only two small lines on the edges of the box.

Step 3:

Once we have marked the size of our cabin we will build the roof for it by using 4 wooden sticks. They can be either painted or plane. Take a marker and make 4 lines in 4 corners of the marked area. Around 5mm afar from the edges. Make them wide enough so the wooden sticks could go through the hole, grab a knife and make gentle cuts on the lines. Get the sticks and fix them in the holes.

Step 4:

Now it’s the time to attach the roof (bottom part of the milk we have cut before). Firstly, by using a marker, mark 4 lines inside of it, 5mm afar from the edges. Once again make gentle cuts on the lines wide enough to fit the wooden sticks. As the last step push the wooden sticks through the holes in the roof. Adjust the height of it and make sure it’s stable.

Step 5:

In the following step, we will create stairs to go under the deck! To make it easier remove the roof with sticks and put it aside. Take a marker and mark the area where the stairs will be. Make sure they are between the marked holes. I am making a little bit more advanced pattern but you can easily go ahead with a normal rectangle. If you want to follow my chosen pattern remember to do it at least 5mm afar from the cuts we have made forthe wooden sticks. Use the craft knife to cut it off, but remember to leave the line in the middle uncut. Just like in the photo. Once it’s done, bend our stairs on the remaining line and push them inwards the boat.

Step 6:

On our stairs surface mark with the marker the number of how many stairs you want to make and bend marked lines in opposite directions.

Step 7:

We are going to place a felt carpet on the stairs. Use a pencil and the ruler to measure how much felt you need to cover the stairs.

Step 8:

When you cut it out, put liquid glue on the surface of the stairs, attach the felt and fold the stairs with the fabric again to form them. Cut out any excess fabric if needed.

Step 9:

It’s time to make the mast! To build it, you can use a chopstick or a skewer. We will also need some sweet wrappers in different colours. But first, take the wine cork and use a craft knife to cut a small slice from it. We will use only this part of the cork. Take a hammer and nail, aim the nail in the middle of the cork and make a hole in it. Push the nail through to widen the hole, so the chopstick can fit in. Push the pointy part of a chopstick in there.

Step 10:

Make a small hole in the middle of the front part of the boat, widen it with the nail and press the chopstick down. Remove the mast, for now, to make the sail first.

Step 11:

To create the sail we will need colourful sweet wrappers and a glue stick. Stick them together to form a flat surface and cut the triangle from it. Use glue on the shorter edge, place the wider part of chopstick along with it and wrap the chopstick around to form a sail. Now you can fix the mast to the boat. Pour liquid glue around the chopstick on the cork, push it through the hole on the deck and keep for 30sec so it sticks.

Step 12:

Now it is the fun part so use your imagination. We will decorate the main deck. To do so you can use duct tape, markers, stickers or paint. If you decide to paint it please make sure that it is dry before you continue with the next step. I’ve decided to decorate my boat using duct tape, markers and buttons.

Step 13:

Now I am going to use buttons to decorate the deck around the mast. Pour liquid glue on the deck and start placing buttons to cover it. You can use a skewer to navigate placed buttons and avoid glueing your fingers. Once you finish, leave it to dry and wash your hands.

Step 14:

It’s time to make some windows! I will use empty caps and paint colour samples but you can use any coloured paper you have. Pour liquid glue on the flat round part of the cap and stick it to the coloured paper. Use scissors to cut off the paper around the cap. Grab the craft knife, press down the cap and gently cut off the top part of it, leaving around 3mm. Be gentle to not damage the coloured paper below. Repeat the process with all caps. Once all windows are done we will attach them with liquid glue to the sides of a boat, three on each side. In case you don’t have caps, use normal plastic bottle caps and stick them around the boat with glue.

Step 15:

To create the bow I will use a champagne cork and a string. Place a drop of liquid glue at the edge of the cork to stick a string and wrap it all around. You can add a little bit more glue if needed. Push the cork inside the hole in the milk carton.

Step 16:

As the next step, we are going to finish off the roof of the cabin by decorating it with tissue paper. It might be easier to remove the wooden stick for that process. We will place them back once we are done with that stage. Grab a glue stick and stick each piece of tissue papers all around the cabin’s roof.

Step 17:

Hurray, our boat is ready. If you still feel like doing more crafts you could create your own ship captain out of champagne corks.

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