Paper Plate Sailboat

Use a paper plate, a craft stick, and paper to craft a delightful sailboat.
Paper Plate Sailboat craft


  • Paper plate
  • Craft stick or wooden dowel
  • Paper
  • Poster paint, tempera, or acrylic paint
  • Toilet paper tube
  • Paint brush
  • White glue
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Craft knife
  • Crayons or colored markers (optional)
  • Stickers, buttons, etc. (optional)

Safety Tips

  • Keep the stapler and craft knife out of young children's reach.
  • Watch out for this sign Ask for an adult's help.. It means adult help is needed for the particular step.


Step 1 Paper Plate Sailboat craft Ask for an adult's help.1.

Cut a paper plate in half

Fold a paper plate in half. Cut along the crease.
Step 2 Paper Plate Sailboat craft Ask for an adult's help.2.

Trim off the plate's curved bottom

Stack the two halves together. While keeping the two halves aligned, cut a straight line 2½-3 inches from the straight edge.
Step 3 Paper Plate Sailboat craft Ask for an adult's help.3.

Assemble the boat

Position the two halves facing each other so that they form a boat-like shape. Ensure that the edges are aligned and then staple all four corners together.
Step 4 Paper Plate Sailboat craft 4.

Paint the boat

Paint the boat with a water-based paint, such as poster paint, tempera, or acrylic.
Step 5a Paper Plate Sailboat craft 5.

Make a sail

To make a triangular sail, you can start with a square or rectangular piece of paper.

a.) Square - Prepare a square sheet, such as origami paper. Fold it diagonally in half to come up with a triangular sail.
Step 5b Paper Plate Sailboat craft b.) Rectangle - Begin with a rectangular sheet such as A4 or Letter-sized paper. If you used a small paper plate to make your boat, you may need to cut your sheet in half for a smaller sail.

Fold the top right corner of the sheet downwards diagonally so that it meets the left edge of the sheet.
Step 5c Paper Plate Sailboat craft Cut and discard the excess paper below the triangle.
Step 6 Paper Plate Sailboat craft 6.

Decorate the sail

You can decorate by drawing, coloring, or painting on both sides of the sail. You can also put stickers, or glue on some basic shapes that you have cut out.
Step 7a Paper Plate Sailboat craft 7.

Attach a mast

Unfold the sail and apply glue on all four sides of the square. Position a large craft stick or a wooden dowel along one side.
Step 7b Paper Plate Sailboat craft   Fold the square along the diagonal crease to form a triangle. Press on the edges to glue them in place.
Step 8 Paper Plate Sailboat craft Ask for an adult's help.8.

Cut a slit or hole on a toilet paper tube

Prepare a toilet paper tube. About ¾ of an inch from the edge of the tube, cut a small slit for your craft stick mast. If you used a wooden dowel for the mast, make a hole instead of a slit. Use the tip of a pencil to punch a hole.

The slit or hole should only be wide enough for the craft stick or the dowel to get through. To keep your mast stable, the stick or the dowel should fit snugly.
Step 9a Paper Plate Sailboat craft 9.

Attach the mast

Push the bottom end of the mast into the slit or hole until it touches the inner surface of the toilet paper tube.
Step 9b Paper Plate Sailboat craft Place the toilet paper tube inside the boat. The tube should fit snugly. If it moves around, glue the sides of the tube onto the inside of the boat.
Step 10 Paper Plate Sailboat craft 10.

Add accents

Glue on accents such as buttons or foam shapes. To get your sailing theme going, cut out and glue on items like anchors, life savers, and flags. You can also draw and cut out paper people to ride on your awesome sailboat.

Your sailboat can stand upright, but it's not made to go on water.

More Ideas

Brown paper plate sailboat craft Instead of a paper sail, create one from fabric. Choose a plain piece of fabric or a colorful patterned one. Cut it into a triangle and glue it onto the mast.

*Check out these crafts for ideas on how to decorate plain fabric:
Paper plate sailboat For a wooden-looking boat, first paint the boat a light brown color. Once it's almost dry, use a dry brush to paint horizontal stripes in a darker shade of brown. Add very little or no water to the dark brown paint. Spread the paint a bit below each stripe so that it blends lightly with the background.