Make a Milk Carton Boat


These cute boats are a fun and easy summer project even for a group of kids. The basic materials are a discarded milk carton, straw and napkin.

Items needed: 

  • Milk carton
  • Straw
  • Napkin
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Colored Duct Tape (optional)


  1. Lay carton on side, so that the carton has a "pointed" bow.  Carefully cut the top side away.  It is easier if you poke a hole into the center and then make a big X, then cut along the sides to remove the entire side.
  2. Each boat can be customized by adding extra little boxes to the inside of the "boat" or adding a paper tube for a smokestack, etc. 
  3. We taped the sides and front bow section with colored duct tape but you can also use permanent markers to color plain duct tape.  Decorate with stripes, squares, etc.  Since the boats float on top of the water, you could even color masking tape.  Permanent color markers would work also.
  4. For our big boat (1/2 gal size), we took the bottom section of another 1/2 gal carton and made it into a cabin of sorts. 
  5. To make a sail, fold a napkin in half, making a triangle, and then make tiny slits along the edge (not too close to edge or it will tear).  Insert the straw into the slits, weaving from front to back.  Tape top of napkin to straw to hold in place.
  6. Make a small hole, either in the bow of the boat, or if you made a cabin, to slide the straw "pole" into to keep in place.  You could also tape the "pole" to the side or back of your boat.
  7. Now, just go float the boats for some real summer fun!