Paper Ferry

Length of Project:
Project theme:
Suitable for grades:
Tools & Materials
Material List
  • Paper template (3 pages)
  • Glue, glue stick or tape for connecting pieces
  • Packing Tape
  • Two popsicle sticks
  • Elastic band
  • Rudder (short popsicle stick, wooden spoon or other water-resistant material)
  • Optional: Cardboard for extra strength
  • Optional: White glue (if sealing with glue)
  • Optional: Paper or magazine for making your own hall or deck
Tool list
  • Scissors
  • Ruler or another Straight edge
  • Drawing Tools
  • Paintbrush (if making it water-resistant with glue)
  1. Print the template out on cardstock (65ib or 110ib paper). If regular printer paper is used, be sure to add in step 8.
  2. Using scissors, cut all solid black lines. This creates 10 pieces.
  3. On the KEELSON and FRAMES, cut the black lines into the middle with care. These will hold the boat together.
  4. Decorate the boat in your own design!
  5. Fold the paper on the dotted lines. You can use the edge of a ruler to help keep a straight line.
  6. Place the FRAMES into the KEELSONS
  7. Glue or tape the STEM POST to both KEELSONS.
  8. Optional: to make the boat extra strong, trace the TRANSOM on a piece of cardboard. Glue or tape this piece to the transom.
  9. Glue or tape the KEELSON to the TRANSOM (the TRANSOM attaches to the STERN of the boat)
  10. Glue or tape the PORT and STARBOARD sides to the FRAMES
  11. Glue or tape the long rectangle labelled BOW to the PORT and STARBOARD sides of the boat.
  12. Glue or tape the PORT and STARBOARD triangles to the STEM POST, BOW, and sides of the boat.
  13. Make it watertight! Use tape or paint on white glue to the cover the hull of the boat.
  14. Optional: to add strength, cut 5cm wide strips of paper and glue them onto the hull of the boat. This process is messy!
  15. Tape one popsicle stick to the PORT side and one to the STARBOARD side at the STERN (Back). Put these close to the bottom of the boat.
  16. Stretch an elastic between the two sticks.
  17. Put the paddle in the elastic.
  18. With help, test the boat in the water!
Extension Challenges
  1. Try making your own planks. Use only page 1 and 2 to create the frame of the boat. Use strips of newspaper or magazines covered in glue to make a hull.
  2. Make a boat out of cardboard, wood or metal. Print the template and trace the pieces on to the materials. Try making a prototype out of paper first. Ask for help to find the best way to cut and fasten these materials.
  3. Design you own boat! Try different shapes or dimensions. Can you make a round hull?
  4. What type of boats do you see around you? Try and replicate these designs.
  5. Make your own sailboat by adding a sail. Make a jet boat with a balloon. How else can the boat be moved?
  6. How much weight can your boat hold? Try different materials and shapes to hold more weight!
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