Introduction: How to Make a 3 Chamber Cardboard Rocket Ship With Girl Scout Cookie Box Fuel Canisters

So you want to build a rocket ship out of some cardboard you have laying around the house or in this case a Children's Museum?

No problem. This instructable has you covered.

You will need a few items.

Cardboard boxes

A Makedo Cardboard kit OR

duct tape, scissors, maybe some hot glue?, some markers etc

Optional items:
engineering degree
the ability to read or at least look at pictures and emulate what is in them
permission from mama or in this case da' boss

Step 1: Collect Your Materials

Here we have a collection of boxes from a super computer we built that we will use to take over the world. That is another instructable that has yet to be written.

The one unique item we have is a big bag of Makedo Cardboard connectors. They are pretty cool. It makes whatever you are doing non permanent, you can take it apart and rebuild it easily.

Here is a link:

Although, I am sure you can do what we did with some good old fashioned duct tape. 

Step 2: Start Assembling!

You don't need to know how your rocket is going to end up. You just need to know that not all astronauts agree on everything and sometimes its best to let things just happen. For instance: many astronauts believe that an asteroid killed the dinosaurs. Others believe that the dinosaurs had sophisticated space monitoring equipment. The wealthy dinosaurs hopped on a rocket they had constructed and flew away from the predicted disaster. My wife is in the latter camp.

Here we see some folks discussing the possibility of using the cardboard boxes -as is. This is totally a terrible idea and any good astronaut will tell you that doing this will get you kicked off of a space program before you can say "moon cheese."

The young lady with the green scarf agrees that a rocket built this way will only end up in evil dictator style disappointment. Fill in your own evil dictator of choice.

Step 3: Start Putting Stuff Together Correctly

Start cutting stuff up and getting cray cray.

Use your imaginations. Force your ideas upon the weak minded in your group.
If you want, go really slow until others in your group have to leave for meetings and then just do what you want in their absence.

Here you see some really cool people building the first floor of our rocket ship. It has a box like shape without just being a box. We used the makedo connectors to reinforce the the sides and create a sturdy shape that will be able to withstand at least 7 g's.

Ignore the FRAGILE stamped on the side of the STAGE 1 rocket. That is a nonsense word that is used to keep people away from cool things.

You can plainly see the MAKEDO connectors on top of the stage 1 rocket. Again, duct tape should do in its place.

Step 4: Reinforce the Rocket

Here you see two aspiring rocketeers enjoying each others company while building a rocket. If you are observant, you will notice that one of the people is wearing a scarf. This is not entirely necessary.

Step 5: Remember Portals

In space people need to see what they are doing or they might fly into the moon or a star. This is a fact and is part of an astronauts training. (no charge for that little nugget.)

We suggest portals for your rocket ship. Circular cut outs are aesthetically pleasing and make sense for those of you out there with round eyes.

My sister is an optometrist and she agrees that round eyes should always look out of round window holes. It makes the best use of the eyes vision power thingy. (direct quote)


Rocket ships have controls. This is basic rocketry 101.

Use your markers, leds, strobe lights from your hippie brothers room, whatever you have lying around to create controls.

Draw, paint, sculpt whatever. Just believe. Its true that if you dont believe in what you are doing your rocket will fail.

Its also possible that even if you believe in your rocket it will fail. However, that is mostly advice for evil geniuses and not children or good adults.

Be sure to make a steering wheel. This is important for steering around people getting off of elevators.

Step 7: Build the Nose Cone

Ok, so far so good.

Do you have an artist on site?

Is someone in your family clearly unique?

Put this person in charge of the nose cone.

When he tells you that nose cones look like a crown just smile and say "ok, thats great"

This will keep the team spirit going and the rocket will work out in the end.

Hey, maybe the planet you will be landing on will be like a giant piece of fruit or cheesecake - your fork top rocket will land perfectly... upside down... but hey.

Anyway, agree with anyone with scissor in their hand - that's my philosophy.

Step 8: Assemble Rocket and Prepare for Paparazzi Photos

Ok. Here is the final rocket assembled and ready for launch. Fork top has been bent down for aerodynamical-ness. (techie space term)

We added some sweet LED's for decoration and function.
We also have simulated fire coming from the rocket boosters. This visual effect is the result of tissue paper. It is not hot or even warm to the touch.

See how everyone is happy? 

This could be you and your family or coworkers if you build a rocket.

Step 9: Columbia Mini Maker Faire

Columbia Mini Maker Faire is looking for makers!

Do you make stuff?

Attention artisans, technicians, programmers, coders, crafters, foodies, performers and those with imaginations to invent: Columbia’s first annual Mini Maker Faire will be held June 1, 2013 at EdVenture Children’s Museum. Have you thought about turning a banana into a piano key, a cat scratching post into a snack -dispensing cat scratch feeder or a cigar box into a rockin’ guitar? Then you’re a Maker. Creatives, tinkerers, DIYers, cinematic explorers, hopers and dreamers, you’re all Makers.  If you want to teach, share and show off what you’ve made to the world, then you’re a Maker and we need you! It’s our chance to gather the creative community and show the world what this city can make. We ask you to fill out the form telling us about what you’d like to show at the Faire, so we know who you are and what you’re all about. Our call for Makers ends on April 1st. Click the “Makers Apply Here” form at the right to submit your exhibit. Great minds think alike, so spread the word to your friends!

Cardboard and Duct Tape Contest

Participated in the
Cardboard and Duct Tape Contest