October 11, 2009


The main centerpiece of our party. A significant element in the story, it represented Max's travels into and out of his imaginative world. Obviously time consuming but nonetheless, worth the hard labor. I looked forward to working on this each and every morning I woke up. A must have! Plus, how amazing will a somewhat life-size bright red boat be in the middle of your party?

Materials: large cardboard box, cardboard scraps of all sizes, small boxes, 2 poles, small stick, yellow posterboard paper, yellow plastic table covers, rope or twine, L brackets
Tools: yardstick, straightedge ruler, x-acto, packing/masking/duct tape, gorilla/wood/epoxy glue, drying clips, paintbrushes, red spraypaint or house paint, tan paint, white paint

(Again, we had humongous cardboard boxes on hand from a set of dining chairs we purchased months ago. For the boat, I used the same box as the Cut-Outs. First, cut an entire box apart and lay flat. It'll take some ingenuity to create the layout of your boat. I'll leave it to you to figure it out as it is difficult to explain the process (I simply "winged" it) but for starters, here's a photo of my boat layout. A word of advice...create a small scale rough to get a better working idea. Use yardstick and straightedge to keep cuts straight.

Next, piece it together and secure with gorilla glue and packing tape. Now you have your boat core (Basically, it's like a rectangular cube cut in half with one side coming to a point serving as the boat's front)

Create a base for the sailpost using cardboard scraps and small boxes. I doubled up 2 boxes and placed cardboard sheets in-between. Then I punched a hole through the base to insert the sailpost. Scroll down and see detail pics.

Next, create wooden planks using scrap cardboard pieces and the front, side, and back of the boat core as a template for sizing. Apply using wood/gorilla glue, clip together, and let dry. Reinforce the corners and tip of boat. Add a pointed tip to the boat's front. By now, it should look "wooden".

Paint it red!!!

Moving on to the sailpost, take 2 poles (I used 2 plastic broom handles) and connect together with duct tape. Reinforce and cover the duct tape with rope or twine. Add a small stick to the tip. Paint it all tan. Insert the sailpost into the base. It'll take some gorilla glue to keep it stable and sturdy.

Now add the sails. Cut 1 large triangle and 1 smaller triangle from the yellow plastic table cover. Secure to sailpost by tying in knots. Add a small flag to the stick at the tip using yellow posterboard paper.

Add ropes by tying to sailpost and L brackets, which have been glued on.

For the final touch, name the boat after your special someone right in place of where "MAX" would be written. Now you have a boat very similar to that of Max's that stays true to fashion.)

Sail off through night and day......
(View full photo set here)

Total time: 5 days
Total costs: $12
Supplies from: OSH, Dollar Tree


  1. thank you so so so much for this Tutorial! I am now in the process of making one myself for my son Forest's first birthday as a photo prop that all the parents can use to take a picture of their little ones in!
    out of ALL the boats tutorials I looked at (I looked at a lot), this is by far the best one! Great job, keep on keeping on!

  2. Nice job, thanks for posting