Everybody loves to go boating.
I’ve made you something! A free tutorial for a dear little paper mache boat ornament. The boat is 5 and 1/2 inches long and 6 and1/2 inches high – a very nice size for very nice mice or tiny rag dolls.
They are quick and simple to make (really quick! make a bunch) and only require little bits of fabric, cardboard and other things you probably already have. And the pattern scales up easily – if you’d like to make a larger boat. I think it is helpful to read through all the steps before you begin.
To get started download the dear little boat and sail templates here.
* You can click each image for a larger view.
1. Place the boat template on your cardboard and trace the outline. Mark the fold lines (the dashed lines on the template) in colored pencil. Use the BACK of the exacto knife to lightly score the fold lines. Cut out the template.
2. Gently fold at the scored fold lines.
3. Bring the front sides and bottom together.
4. Tape over the tabs with masking tape – it’s helpful to tear off several little pieces of tape so they are ready when you need them.
5. Tape over the outside seams as well.
6. Fold up the back of the boat and tape over the tabs as well as the outside cardboard seams.
7. Fold the boat bottom flap tabs toward the print side.
8. Fold the bottom flap into the boat and tape over the tabs
9. Fold the sides over – into the boat.
10. Tape along all the edges. We are ready for paper mache.
paper mache tips: Because the boat is small and our armature is sturdy – one layer of paper mache is enough. If you are making a larger boat use at least two layers. Tear small pieces of newsprint – roughly an inch or smaller – small pieces of paper create a smooth sturdy result- use the smallest pieces for covering corners, tight curves and edges. I like commercially prepared wall paper paste – available at most hardware stores Collect text scraps for embellishing.
11. Begin with the edges – paint paste onto the boat – apply a piece of paper and paint paste over.
12. After covering the edges fill in the rest of the areas. One layer of paper is enough for a small boat – two will make it even sturdier. If adding a second layer there is no need to wait for the first to dry.
13. Optional – When the boat is fully covered add text embellishments. allow your boat to dry completely.
14. I like the newsprint to show so I paint lightly with water color and acrylic paint thinned with water.
15. Pin the sail pattern to a double layer of cotton – right sides together. Stitch as shown – leaving the bottom corner open for turning right side out.
16. Trim off the excess fabric at the corners and turn right side out.
17. Press the sail – fold in the edges at the opening and stitch closed. I added a whip stitch with contrasting thread all around the edge and several patches.
18. For flags fold a two inch wide strip of fabric in half and press. Cut off 4 or 5 one inch squares. Stitch through the folded side with embroidery thread or string. Leave the ends long.
19. Glue a wood, spool or bead to the bottom of the boat ( wood glue is best). Apply glue to one end of a wood dowel or skewer cut to 6 inches in length.
20. Insert the glued end into the bead or spool and allow to dry completely
21. Add lengths of thread or string to each corner of the sail.
22. Use a large needle to poke a whole through the front and back of the boat and tie on buttons.
23. Make a loop in a piece of thread or string and tie it to your mast – add a little glue to the mast and wind the ends around. knot and trim off the excess.
24. Thread the loop through a wooden bead and glue in place. You could alternatively cover the top of the mast with a little flag.
Finally to rig the boat tie the sail to the top and bottom of the mast and wind the front string around the front button. Attach the flag string to the mast and buttons.
Send somebody little to sea!