Pirate ship Centerpiece

A friend of mine asked me to make him a ship for a table centerpiece for a rally he is attending.... a ship? could only mean one thing right? A PIRATE SHIP!
I set about looking for ship plans online to use to make a cardboard pirate ship.
Not as easy a task as you'd think... I ended up basically drawing freehand on cardboard from the online patterns I'd seen and tweaked it along the way.

 Here is what I started with.... a very rough ship-- but I could see the potential.
I didn't want to spend a ton of time making this pirate ship-- although it did end up taking me much-much longer than what I had anticipated... so, I opted to give the ships hull an all over texture rather than create long planks along each side. I crumpled up a few sheets of deli wax paper liners and used Modge Podge to adhere it to the ships hull. While still wet, I added a light coat of Modge Podge on top of the papers so that when I applied paint it wouldn't re-wet the paper and make it fall off.

Once the paper had dried, I painted and added trim to the ship. It was looking good but I thought it lacked something.... so, I added some moss. I love how it really ages the ship.

All old pirate ships should have a nautical figurehead right? I was lucky enough to find this little plastic mermaid perfect for the job!
I created a cardboard decorative piece for the front of the ship and attached the mermaid to the center with some hot glue and wire. I used some wire cutters and a razor to cut off some of the bulk of her hair so she would sit a little more flush with the cardboard. Next, I added some deli paper to this piece with Modge Podge and let that dry.
Once dried it was just a matter of trimming off the excess paper and painting it. It is said that a nude or semi-nude woman as a ships figurehead would calm turbulent seas... interesting. Probably slowed down to look at the nude/semi-nude figure!

Next, I addressed the interior of the ship. I dry brushed the deck with some black paint to age it and again added some moss...
I painted the masts and cut white fabric and hot glued and tied a sail to each mast.

For the rear sleeping berth I added some plastic to act as glass in the windows and then trimmed out each window frame.
 I hot glued fabric curtains for some added detail.

I found a little cardboard anchor at one of the hobby stores, I painted it and glued it to one side of the ship.

In order for this pirate ship to represent a group of people who are going to be attending this rally, I decided to cut a lot of gold holographic paper into circles to represent coins and have individuals write small sentiments on each coin and lay them on the map that the pirate ship is sitting upon.
Just enough room to write a few words...
 I think it turned out cute. It is amazing what you can make with one cardboard box isn't it? 
big hugs,


  1. Oh Cheryl, this is magnificent!!! What a great job you did.. BRAVO!

  2. You are so clever, Cheryl. You did a terrific joy -- I know your friend is thrilled with the end result. Who wouldn't be?

  3. OMgosh!! What a cool project. Who would have ever thought to use waxed paper this way. A genius technique. Love it!
    xx, Carol

  4. Oh my goodness, they knew the person to go to didn't they.... you did an Amazing job on this, just outstanding, so clever and creative with the boat, the doll for the front and love all the moss too, I bet it was a terrific hit and they were more than pleased with it, great job!!

  5. This is fantastic! You really are very talented :)

  6. OMG!!! Love what you did to the mermaid doll. The ship is way past fantastic.
    Your friend is very lucky to have a talented crafter like you for a friend.


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