How to Make a Styrofoam Boat

    by Brian Adler

    About the Author

    Brian Adler has been writing articles on history, politics, religion, art, architecture and antiques since 2002. His writing has been published with Demand Studios, as well as in an online magazine. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Columbia University.


    Commonly employed as a packing material, styrofoam is available in blocks, boards, sheets and chips. It is solid but very light, and it can float. This means that you can build a simple, workable toy boat out of it. It's a simple craft project that that doesn't take much in the way of facility with tools, but definitely benefits from an abundance of creative spirit.

    Things You'll Need

    • Styrofoam block
    • Long pencil or thin dowel
    • Retractable utility knife
    • Paper
    • Scissors
    • Clear tape

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    Cut a styrofoam block to the same length as a new pencil or a piece of dowel that is the same length and diameter as a pencil. Use a retractable utility knife to cut the material. The block should be about a third as high as it is long, and about half as wide as it is long.

    Stick the pencil or dowel down into the middle of the block to act as the mast. It should extend at least halfway into the styrofoam.

    Cut a piece of paper into the shape of a triangle with scissors. One of the short sides of the triangle should be about three-quarters of the length of the mast. The other short side should equal about half the length of the styrofoam boat.

    Hold the triangle against the mast so the long side of the triangle faces away from the mast. Tape the triangle to the mast by the upright short side, using clear tape.

    Turn the mast to adjust its angle relative to the wind to power the boat.

    • You can make a square sail instead of a triangular one. If you do, tape the center line of the sail to the mast. A large styrofoam boat can have multiple masts with both triangular and square sails.
    • You can trim your block of styrofoam into any boat-like shape you choose.
    • Never abandon a styrofoam boat in a natural area. Any animal that eats it could suffer serious injury.

    Photo Credits

    • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images