Popsicle Stick Pirate Ship

No pirate is complete without his or her boat. We decided to have some fun building popsicle stick boats so my little adventurer could discover the high seas in our neighborhood.

  1. Ages: 5 - 8

  2. 30 minutes - 1 hour

  3. Messy

  4. Grownup needed


Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    What you'll need: Popsicle sticks (aka craft sticks), hot glue gun*, piece of cloth for a flag, a pirate figurine (optional) *We used a glue gun, but little explorers might want to use a safer adhesive gel glue or just craft / Elmer's glue. We actually purchased multi-color craft sticks because what's more fun than a rainbow boat? You could also of course use plain brown craft sticks, if that's what you have handy. Start by creating your boat base with 10 popsicle sticks and lay them out vertically, no glue required yet.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    Then you'll need eight more popsicle sticks to form part of your boat floor. Put glue on the flat side of one of the sticks and lay it horizontally across the base. Do this with the seven remaining sticks, placing them all directly next to each other, but leaving room for two more sticks at one end. Once you've glued your eight sticks to the base, you will have room for two more sticks. You'll want to cut one of the two sticks in half. This will allow you a space to put your mast. You'll then want to grab another popsicle stick and cut off the round part so it has a flat end bottom. This stick will be your mast. Glue your mast to the boat base and glue the two floor halves around the mast to keep it in place.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    After the mast is secured, glue the last full stick next to the mast and two stick halves. Once your boat is constructed, you'll need a sail. The sail can be made out of cloth, construction paper, or even a large leaf! We used excess fabric from our Painted Vines Knot girls dress.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Step 4

    If you use fabric, fold it in half so both sides will show the pattern. Then cut out two triangle shaped pieces measuring 3 inches on all sides. You'll need to fasten your two pieces of fabric together, pattern side out, at each triangle tip. We used our glue to do this, but you could also use a small safety pin. Lastly slip your sail over your mast and cut a small hole ������¾ inch from the top of the mast triangle to slip over the top tip of the mast. Now your boat is ready to set sail!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

  • Step 5

    Add a pirate figurine, lego man, or GI joe to the base of the boat. After all, every boat needs a fearless captain! You can set your boat assail with a secret message attached for another explorer to find. Or, you can tie fishing string to the boat mast so you can real your boat back in for another day of play.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 5

  • Done!

    Happy Sailing!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 6

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