Cork Sailboat Craft Idea

cork sailboat craft idea

Row, Row, Row Your Cork Boats!

Last Father’s Day, my good friend asked me for a fun outdoor craft idea her family could do. Their pool immediately popped into my mind. Then I thought of little boats, ones that I knew her husband and two boys would enjoy racing. I gave her instructions on how to build little rafts and sails out of popsicle sticks, and they were certainly great, but I wish I had thought of these boats back then! You can float them in the bathtub, at a lake, or even just have pretend races,on your blue blanket, like Tanya, my photographer, and I did! This is a craft for the little pirate in all kids. Or, for your girly girls, suggest a princess boat they can paint pink and fashion with glitter. The options for decorating are endless!

Here’s how to start sailing:


  • Take three corks per boat and put and an ample amount or Aleene’s Tacky Glue between each. I put a piece of masking tape around them to help the glue set, but you don’t have to. If you have a hot glue gun, you can use that for a quicker fix. Just be careful, especially with kids around! I have more glue gun burns and scars on my hands than fingers, and that’s saying something!
  • While waiting for your newly-glued base to dry, decide how you want to decorate your sails.
  • It is pretty hard to get the paint to really adhere to the waxy surface of the playing card. I used plain masking tape and covered the back of my cards so I could paint on them. This works really well and allows you to create layers. I painted some blank, taped cards and cut out a heart and a number on them to be fancy. Get creative!
  • Once you sail is decorated, take a needle, or the tip of a pair of extra-sharp scissors (or a teeny, tiny hole punch – they sell 1/8″ punches at craft stores and they’re super helpful!) to poke a hole in the top and bottom of the sail for the skewer to hold it. Cut a bamboo skewer in half and push the pointed end through first.
  • When the cork boat base is dry, you can paint it or leave it natural. Poke a small hole in the center of the middle cork with your scissors or needle. Push the pointed end in until it is secure.
  • For your rope handle, find either a small branch from a tree or a small wooden dowel like I used here (you can use pretty much anything, even a crayon for the kids to pull their boat with, if in a pinch!)
  • Wrap about a foot of jute rope or yarn or plastic lace around your handle and knot it securely.
  • Take the sharp “hole maker” that you used for piercing the cards and corks and make a hole in the side of of the cork serving as the back of the boat.
  • Take a brad faster and thread the rope through it. I applied some tacky glue on the inside of the opened brad to help secure the rope. Make the brad pointed again after the rope is threaded though and stick it into your hole. You can put a bit more glue on the tips of the brad before you insert it into the cork, for extra strength!
  • Now you can put on the finishing touches. Encourage your kids to embellish their boats to fit their personalities. They’ll like this craft so much, before long you’ll have yourself a fleet!

cork sailboat craft

Photography by:
Tanya Alexis,

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About Courtney

hi, i'm courtney. i own an amazing children's bookstore & crafting studio in pasadena, california, called little junebugs. sometimes when i sneeze, glitter comes out. i love buttons, dragonflies, umbrellas, rainboots and sunshine. all of the photos taken of my work are done by the talented Tanya Alexis. check out more of her amazing work at

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  1. Love this idea Courtney! I wish we had a place to get corks so readily.

  2. Oh, how fun! What a cute idea – I bet my kids would love these custom boats in the tub!

  3. That is so cool! My boys will love this, thanks!

  4. I ADORE this!

  5. Blake would have a blast making and playing with this boat! Thanks!


  1. […] post Cork Sailboat Craft Idea appeared first on Go Graham […]

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