Introduction: Shoe Box Spaceship

About: I graduated from Cardonald College with an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design in 1999. He has worked as a Tattoo Artist, Community Artist, and Freelance Artist ever since. I like making instructables that ev…


As a child some of my favorite times were new shoe days. not because i wanted new shoes. No, it meant a new shoe box to make something out of. Friends my age have children of their own now but they dont seem to get as excited as i did about shoe boxes.

This instructable is not a direct "how to" as all the materials are pretty much just household objects that you may have laying about and subject to what you have but it may give you some inspiration.

The Shoe box Spaceship make a great day project for a parent and child and is limited only by how much random bits and pieces you have laying around :)

This seems like quite a long instructable but it really isnt.

Step 1: Stuff You'll Need


If you start accumulating bits and bobs a bit before the project you can end up with a fair amount of great stuff. Plastic packaging like battery packs, toilet paper/kitchen roll tubes, pringles tubes are all great additions to your stash.

Paint (i used spray paint but any will do. Acrylic is less likely to make the card go soggy)

Oh and of course a shoe box.


Things can be attached using PVA glue (takes a while to dry but you can speed this up with a hair dryer), glue dots or a glue gun.



Craft Knife.


Step 2: Shaping Your Spaceship: Nose Cone

This will vary depending on your shoe box, so if it seems vague i apologise.

For the one I am using I untucked one end. This gave me extra cardboard at the end that i could shape into a more "spaceshippy" type front. I did this by bringing the side edges in at an angle and marking it off with a pen and then marked the side panels. trimmed these down and taped/glued it all in place. Once I shaped the nose cone i cut a window into it.

I trimmed back the lid so as to not interfere with the front.

Step 3: Windows and Doors

You want to make sure that what ever toys you are using can get in and out, for this i am using My Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (what? I'm a fan) as my size gauge.


Use your toy to mark out a door big enough. i have done it on the side that doesn't have the flap so it doesn't interfere with the door opening/closing.

Cut it out but dont throw away the part you just cut out.

Take a separate piece of cardboard and make a bigger square. this will be your outer part of the door. I used the handle section of a box of wine to get that look (pictured). Attach it to the smaller section. the smaller section will fit in the gap holding the door in place. to make the hinge cut a small rectangle the same width as your outer door, leave a small gap and join them together by putting tape on both sides.

attach the smaller piece to the main body of the ship.


Here I am using the lids off of the pringles tube. Using the lid i mark out on the box where I want to place them. i then mark a smaller circle inside this one and cut that out.

I also cut a part off of the lid to make sure it doesn't get in the way on the other side.

On a separate piece of cardboard draw round the lids again and once again make a smaller circle inside. cut out this hoop and attach it onto the lid and attach these over the window holes. if you are going to spray paint it you may want to keep the smaller circles to use as masks

Step 4: Rocket Boosters!

Whats a space ship without rocket boosters?!?

I take two toilet roll tubes and attach them together. i then attach some bits on to make it look a bit more space ship like (these where the clips from a pound shop set of parasol lights)

I then attach them to the rocket making sure the lid doesn't interfere with their placement.

Step 5: Exterior

The first thing I did was make an "fin" that would act as a foot stand when the lid was open. i measured it up so that when the lid was open it would touch the floor and help keep the space ship from tipping over.

I then set about attaching random bits and bobs to give it a more space ship look, mainly the plastic bits from packaging as well as just other bits of card to look like panels. I even used an old bubble blower as the antenna.

Blobs of glue from a glue gun make good "rivets"

So you can see what it looks like i skipped ahead a step so you can see what they look like painted (last pic)

Step 6: Landing Gears: Making It Move

To make the landing gear i took some of the dispenser caps off of the laundry liquid and attached them to some toys cars i got from the pound shop (3 for a pound and i made sure to take the extra lights off for use on the ship)

I then glued them in place (glue gun is very hand for this) and attached some bits and bobs before attaching them to the base of the ship

It rolls quite nicely and if you where inclined you could attache some string to the front so it could be pulled along

Step 7: Paint It Up

I used spray paint but any will do (acrylics would be my next choice though)

At first i was going to leave it white but opted to go with a darker colour as you will see in the next few steps

Step 8: Front Window and Seats

Front window

i took a flat bit of plastic packaging and cut it to match the inside of the window shape remembering to leave extra around the outside to glue it in place.


I took some more toilet roll holders and measured it out so my toys would fit. cutting away the extra length (but keeping it aside) and cutting to slits. i then folded the inner part inside to make a seat with arm rests. I then rolled up the off cut and glued it on like a head rest.

I attached the seats to the inside by pushing a split pin through the base of the ship and the seat. this lest the shairs swivel around (i also ended up painting these too)

Step 9: Ready to Go Where No Man...ahem...turtle Has Gone Before

And we are done.

You are ready to travel to galaxies far far away in a space ship made from a shoe box and stuff that would normally end up in the bin

I didn't do much with the interior but you could add all sorts of boxes, panels and gizmos to really kit it out (possibly another instructable)

I hoped you enjoyed this instructable and as always thoughts/comments/criticisms and even pictures of your own spaceships are welcome in the comments below :)