Derby Mom 360: Paper Boats for Nautical Themed Party

Paper Boats for a Nautical Themed Party

These paper boats are a really fun touch to a nautical party and they do actually float! With sails, they can be a little less balanced but without sails you could put several in a bowl or bucket and make a game out of it.


You’ll want to start with a decorative piece of paper.  Here are some fun full-page printable nautical patterns that will work great for these boats.  You can do the same design on both sides or switch them up.  There are two half sheets I used for sails and flags.

Printable: Blue Anchors on Gold
Printable: White Anchors on Blue
Printable: Blue Anchors on White
Printable: White & Blue Stripes

Printable: Blue Solid
Printable: Gold Solid

Printable: Blue & Gold Solid
Printable: Gold & White Sails 

Derby Mom 360: Paper Boats for a Nautical Themed PartyTo start, you will make a basic origami paper boat.  They look pretty good made from a sheet of letter sized paper or you can play around with the size and ratios.  Print up one of the full page patterns from the buttons above and then trim off any extra white on the edges.  I prefer to do this with a rotary cutter and a ruler but if you don’t have one you could just use scissors.

This site has a nice diagram of how to fold a boat.  You’ll want to fold a standard origami boat or any kind you’d like!  I did one or two on regular paper first before trying it with my fancier stuff. ​

The next step is the fun part, making the boat your own!  I added one sail and a string of flags to each bigger boat.

Derby Mom 360: Paper Boats for a Nautical Themed PartyTo apply the sail, you’ll need a mast.  Take one of your sewing pins from the last project and poke a hole in the high point of the boat to make a start hole.  Then you can poke the sharp end of the skewer through it.  Then cut the skewer down to your desired length.  I used electrical tape to attach the end to the inside underneath of the boat.

Then you’ll cut out a sail size of your choosing.   Making a bit of an curve to the shape instead of just a triangle makes it look like its sails are filled with wind.  I made a starter hole with a pin on the top and Derby Mom 360: Paper Boats for a Nautical Themed Partybottom of each sail.  then I threaded them threw the skewer doing my best not to stretch the holes out too much so the sail stays tight to it.

Next I made some flags for extra embellishment. First, glue the string down under a flap of the folded boat inside the hull.  Tie off the other under the sail near the top hole.  I added some Elmer’s on that knot so it wouldn’t slide down.  Fold a paper in half and cut out triangles with one side as the fold.  Then you can put a dab of glue inside and fold it over the string.  Play around with flags and sails to make your boat your own.Derby Mom 360: Paper Boats for a Nautical Themed Party


Congratulations, you’re done.  These make great party favors, centerpiece accents or a fun photo shoot proper for a bath or kiddie pool.


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