Introduction: DIY Cardboard Pirate Ship

Hi, in this instructable I show you how I made a pirate ship.

For this project I used cardboard from pizza boxes, egg cartons, hot glue, thread, super glue and paint.

It took me about 5 days to finish, working a couple of hours daily.

Step 1: Making the Patterns

I started by designing the patterns. I had some idea of what I want to create so I drew the profile of the ship, then the top view of the deck. The ribs of the ship were a little bit of a guessing game, knowing only two dimensions from the side view and the top view. You can see the result translated in 10 images containing the patterns I will be using in the following steps. All 10 pages are in A4 format (297x210 mm) so try to use them without changing the aspect ratio. My cardboard was 2 mm thick and used two pieces for each pattern, so the thickness you see there is 4 mm (except for the orange one which is the main line of the boat and made it in 4 layers, 8 mm thick). You may have to adjust some of the patterns if you use a thicker or thinner cardboard.

Step 2: Gluing the Framework

Gluing the pieces together should be easy if you follow the first picture with all the patterns along with the video. Basically the colored 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 pieces are glued to the brown A, B, C, D, E pieces and sit on top of the orange piece. The green a, b, c, d pieces are the deck and sit on top of everything. Make sure to glue the deck horizontally.

Step 3: Gluing the Planks

I made some long 15 mm stripes of the same 2 mm pizza boxes cardboard and started gluing them to the framework. I started from the bottom of the ship and worked my way up. I overlaid each piece over the one before just a little bit.

Step 4: Making the Ship's Railing

Using the green patterns a, b and d, I outlined the railing top view. You can make wider, thicker or thinner. Mine was 15 mm wide and 6 mm thick. I made the pillars gluing 3 small 30x5 mm cardboard pieces together.

Step 5: Adding Details

I added some details using thin stripes of cardboard on the sides. Although these details are not so visible now, they will look great when making the patina. I also added some round and square windows.

Step 6: Making the Rocky Stand

I needed a stand for the ship so I decided to go for a rocky one, full of textures. I made the stand out of egg cartons. I broke the carton into smaller irregular pieces and glued them together. This type of carton is easy to bend and glue in any shape you want.

Step 7: Making the Topmasts and Sails

I made the main three pillars by rolling and gluing the cardboard until I reached the desired thickness. One pillar is about 20 mm thick. The middle one is the tallest and it has 360 mm, the one in front has 320 mm and the last one has 220 mm. I made patterns for the sails also. 1a and 1b are for the front, 2a and 2b are a little larger and are for the middle and 3a is for the third pillar. I made the curved sails by gluing two pieces of cardboard together and bending them while the glue is still hot. I used the cutting mat to help along with the bending. I added threads as best as I could. I am no expert in this so I used some Google images for reference. Even though I had no idea of the correct way this should be done, the threads added a realistic effect to the ship, and this aspect was all that mattered to me. I glued the ends of the threads using super glue.

Step 8: Painting

I covered the surface in a dark color first. This will serve as a base. Make it go in all the cracks and the deepest holes. It will act like a shadow and contrast layer when we add brighter colors. I add a brighter color only to the surface of the texture, gently rubbing the brush with very little pigment so I don't get it in the cracks. On top of that bright color you can add other colors as well. You can make it brighter and more colorful, it's your choice. I went for a wooden look for the main body of the ship. I painted the sails white first and then added a diluted brown to the top and spread it gently and dissolving it to the bottom until the sail looked older and used. I hope you liked my instructable and got some inspiration to start your own projects. Have fun!

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