We love a good challenge, and ever since partnering up with the Choose Cartons campaign by Evergreen Packaging we have been discovering the crafting possibilities with recycled gable-top milk cartons. Thanksgiving is around the corner, so this time we made a kid-friendly craft to honor the occasion. Teach your kids about the country’s earliest days by crafting up our DIY Mayflower, complete with sails and printable woodgrain patterns to add to the sides of your boat! There are lots of little details in this project, but putting the DIY Mayflower together is certainly not difficult.
If you’re crafting with cartons, it’s always best to start by cleaning them out. Conveniently our DIY Mayflower only needs one carton, unless you’re making multiple boats. Prep the carton by gently washing it out with soap and water, then give it some time to dry. Next, use a craft knife to cut the boat shape. There is a template for the shape of the boat to guide you as you cut your carton – find all the PDF downloads on the Choose Cartons site here. Line up the boat template with the side of the carton to match up the cut lines. Important tip: cut the entire side panel piece out first, then trim the extra pieces to form the shape of the DIY Mayflower. Be sure to save these pieces for later! You should be left with the side panel piece plus two thin 6-inch strips. Toss the rest of the scraps.
Next, use your craft knife to remove the plastic screw top on the carton. Finish cutting and wipe out the inside of the carton to make sure it’s completely dry and clean. You will also find a printable woodgrain pattern to attach to the sides of your boat. Print this onto regular copy paper, cover each side of the boat and glue the woodgrain to the carton with Mod Podge glue. After this dries, use brown paint (we used Raw Umber acrylic paint from Blick – link in Shop this Project) to paint the inside of the boat and the side panel piece (that you previously cut off the carton). We also outlined the boat and covered our dowels with this paint.
Let the paint dry and cut three evenly spaced holes in the side panel piece using your craft knife. I recommend slicing a small hole and then pushing your dowel through to enlarge it – this will let the dowel fit snugly without having to use any hot glue. Here is where those 6-inch strips come in. Slice a hole in the centers of these pieces just like the side panel and stick the dowel through this too so that the strips are stacked under the large panel piece. Bend these strips so that they will help support the side panel piece when you add it to the inside of the boat. We didn’t even glue anything here! Now you can add the sails to your DIY Mayflower.
We cut the sails out of a Champagne text weight metallic paper (link in Shop this Project). For our readers with cutting machines, we added the SVG file for these below. For everyone cutting by hand, the PDF is on the Choose Cartons site. After gluing the sails we added our finishing touches with the thin twine accents and the little paper anchor. Arrange these any way you like and your DIY Mayflower is finished! For more carton crafts be sure to check out our milk carton village or coffee shop chandelier. Or, browse all of our Thanksgiving projects for holiday fun. Enjoy! ~ Lia and the Team