DIY Cardboard Pirate Ship

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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!

Trash to Treasure

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Trash to Treasure

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    39 Discussions

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    annette2ya

    Question 16 days ago

    Love it.... I just can't download... it ALL wants me to buy something or download a program... where is the file????? so I opted out... sorry... it's too difficult for me to get the file to even start the project.... will watch video in slow motion... and make my own I guess...


    But beautiful work!!!! Thank you for sharing!!!

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    Creative Motherannette2ya

    Answer 15 days ago

    Hi, Thank you! But why would you try to download the whole pdf? That option is only available to premium users. You only need the patterns so just go to each pattern picture and download it individually

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    JamieC1982

    4 weeks ago on Step 8

    Just wanted to say what a genius idea the ship was... I absolutely love them and it is definatly a great way to use up old cardboard boxes etc. Great job

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    ecsaul23

    4 weeks ago

    Voted, awesome work

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    Creative Mom CZ

    4 weeks ago

    Great idea and a beautiful execution!

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    Insolitis

    4 weeks ago

    Very impressive! The result is beautiful you are very talented!

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    pgs070947

    4 weeks ago

    I like card models.
    Scale models of buildings that I've seen somewhere.
    Another favorite are the card models of railway buidings like Superquick.
    Amazing just how strong cardboard can be when used the way you have. Looks good enough to sail.

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    Tarantula3

    4 weeks ago

    You are a champion

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    LenaI

    4 weeks ago

    Waouh, it's amazing ! Thank you !

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    Vapowrite

    4 weeks ago

    It is really beautiful......i was having a very bad day (like the worst of my life) and seeing this made me feel better..... It is really spectacular...... Very amazing.... Hats off!!!

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    maxglitz

    4 weeks ago

    I've done some wood sculptures that have ended up in museums, if that matters here, because I'm about to praise the high heaven out of this. Your eye for design and color allows you to enhance even the rough edges of the cardboard and letting it contribute to an aged look that ROCKS this boat. You've managed to let the raw material be proud of itself with good reason. That's just brilliant. Congratulations.

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    Mad Props

    4 weeks ago

    Excellent from construction to paint. Great job.

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    tem494

    4 weeks ago on Introduction

    What talent.
    I have seen another of your card board creations and have marveled at how great they look.
    I have an 8 year old granddaughter that loves to build and make things this looks like a great project for her to give to her younger twin brothers.
    Thank you for giving such a neat gift to everyone.

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    raddevus

    4 weeks ago

    Absolutely beautiful and amazing. A work of art for sure.
    The knowledge / experience that you must have to be able to create this from memory and "guesswork" is fantastic! And then, add to all that the ability to write it up as an Instructable.
    It's all very inspiring.
    Very impressive.

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    pablofiasco

    4 weeks ago

    Pizza boxes you say...hmm....ive got no spare pizza boxes, but ive got an epic crap-load of Diaper boxes....

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    AnandM54

    4 weeks ago

    Great work Mom ...!!!! Superb