How To Fold a Paper Boat

I’m so excited that my publisher, Simon & Schuster, has asked me to do a Facebook Live Snack & Read on the Simon Kids page. I’ll be reading from THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST, sharing a snack and doing a craft. We’re going to have fun!

For the craft, I thought it would be awesome to create a paper boat like the boat on the cover of THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST. See it stuck in the sand on the right of the Boy?

(By the way, the fabulous Justin Hernandez is the artist behind this wonderful picture on the cover of my book. You should check out his work. You’ll be in awe.)

I found the perfect paper boat in this fantastic video on the Colors Paper YouTube channel. It’s perfect except it’s missing seats. So I experimented and found a good way to make little seats like the boat on my cover.

Here’s the boat I made. What do you think?

Paper Boat by Samantha M Clark

I hope you like it! I can just imagine it skimming across the ocean to a mysterious beach.

I had to pause and rewind the video a few times to get the folds right, so while I HIGHLY recommend you watch the video (and all their other great videos), I also took fold by fold pictures of me making my boat. Plus I’ve added in the steps for the seats. Follow along…

Materials

The video used a sheet of paper that’s 21cm by 21cm, which is roughly 8.5 inches by 8.5 inches. I didn’t have any square paper handy, but I dug out of my bookshelf an old pack of 8.5 x 11 computer and craft paper in pastel colors. The width was already 8.5 inches, so I measured 8.5 inches on the two longest sides, drew a line connecting them using a ruler, then cut. Don’t throw away that extra rectangle. You’ll use that to make the seats!

Step 1

Using your big square sheet of paper, fold it in half, then fold each half into half. You’ll end up with three equally spaced creases.

Step 2

With the unfolded paper in front of you so the creases are horizontal, take the bottom edge and place it on the third crease (the one farthest away from you). Fold the paper down making a new crease.

Step 3

Take the left corner and fold it to its nearest crease, making a 45-degree fold.

Step 4

In that same corner, fold diagonally to the same crease again.

Step 5

Take the bottom left corner and fold it up to its nearest crease, making a 45-degree fold. The top edge of the fold will meet the bottom edge of the folds from Steps 3 and 4.

Step 6

In that same corner, fold diagonally to the same crease again.

Step 7

Going to the top of the folds you made in Step 6, fold the rest of that length down to meet the nearest crease, i.e. so it meets the bottom of the diagonal part.

Step 8

Take the bottom right corner and fold it upward to make a 45-degree angle. Its top edge will meet the bottom edge of the fold you made in Step 7.

Step 9

Take the piece you folded in Step 8 and fold the whole thing along its bottom edge. Basically, the folds you have been making in all the steps so far will now be touching each other.

Step 10

This is the part that was tricky for me to see in the video. Turn the paper over so the folds you have made are against your table and farthest from you. The diagonal corner will be on your left.

Step 11

Fold the top of the paper (the part with the folds) toward you at the edge of the folds, so the folded parts are now on the top.

Step 12

Turn the paper again so that all the folded parts are facing the table and toward you.

Step 13

Fold the folded part back on itself to meet the nearest crease.

Step 14

Turn the paper so the folded parts are facing the table and farthest from you.

Step 15

Now we repeat the folds we did in steps 3 to 9 but upside down. To start, fold the bottom left corner diagonally to the nearest crease, making a 45-degree angle.

Step 16

Fold the same corner diagonally again.

Step 17

Fold the top left corner diagonally to meet the fold you just did, making a 45-degree angle.

Step 18

Fold the same corner diagonally again.

Step 19

Fold the bottom edge up to meet the nearest crease.

Step 20

Fold the top right corner diagonally to meet the same crease, making a 45-degree angle.

Step 21

Fold the bottom edge up to meet the top edge.

Step 22

This is the top view of the fully folded paper. See the right-hand edge? That’s the next fold.

Step 23

Here’s the top view of your folded paper. Notice the diagonal folds on the inside of the right edge.

Step 24

Fold the right-hand edge to one side up to where the diagonal fold is inside the paper. Use the picture in Step 23 as a reference. Make it crease well.

Step 25

Fold that same right-hand edge in the other direction and crease it well.

Step 26

Open the two sides of the folded paper, and lay the paper in front of you so that the open side is facing up.

Step 27

Carefully pull open the sides to make the walls of the boat. The folded back edge will automatically flatten out as you open the sides.

Step 28

Crease the back corners well with your fingertips.

Step 29

You’ve made the basic boat!

Step 30

paper boat seats1

Now we’ll make the bench seats. Get the rectangular strip you cut off your sheet of paper at the beginning. Put it up against the back of your boat with one side of the paper even with one side of the boat. Make a mark at the other end of the boat, then do the same on the other side of the strip of paper.

Step 31

With a ruler, draw a line between the two marks

Step 32

Cut along the line you’ve drawn.

Step 33

From one of the short edges, fold about a half-inch. Fold that again, then again and again. In all you’ll do 4 creases.

Step 34

After you’ve got your 4 folds, cut the leftover. Then repeat: From the short edge, fold 4 times and cut off what’s left.

Step 35

Unfold one of the pieces, then form it into a square with one edge overlapping. If you’d like, you can put some glue or double-sided tape between the overlapping pieces. Do this with both of the folded pieces. They make up the bench seats in the boat.

Step 36

Place the bench seats inside your paper boat where you want them. You can use a dab of glue or strip of double-sided tape to keep them in place.

Step 37

Congratulations! You’ve made a boat like the one on the cover of THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST. You can give your boat a name and write it on the side. What’s the name of your boat?

Post a picture of your boat on Instagram and tag me @samanthamclarkbooks. You can also find contact info for me here if you can’t post it on Instagram. I’d love to see your boat.

And make sure you follow Simon Kids on Facebook to watch more fun crafts from authors and illustrators.

 

One Response

  1. Haley Gao says:

    I just love it.

What do you think?

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