When I told my kids we were going to turn a cardboard box into a rocket, they were very excited. And they were also a little disappointed when I explained to them that no, it really couldn’t fly to Mars.
And if you have a spaceship-loving kiddos like I do, you can find a super fun printable rocket papercraft in my Etsy shop.
Malcolm and Sean love when our Amazon Subscribe and Save shipment comes each month – and not just because of the yummy stuff inside. They love it because it comes in a huge box. It’s usually big enough for both kids to fit in whether it’s standing up or lying down.
They play with it for a week or two until their interest starts to wane (or until I get tired of breaking up squabbles over it and who-shut-who into it).
Sometimes we use it to do a project. This month we made a cardboard rocket!
- Large cardboard box
- Extra cardboard for tip and wings
- Packing tape or duct tape (A tip: I used cheap packing tape to put ours together, and it was falling apart by the end of the day. I’d recommend using higher quality packing tape or duct tape.)
- Box cutter
- Tape measure
- Permanent marker
1. Cut the triangles for the tip of your rocket.
Measure along the top edges of your box, where you want the tip to be. If you have a perfectly square box, this will be very easy! I was working with a rectangular box, so it was a little more tricky. The measurements for my box were 22×16 inches.
Pick one side to begin with. I began with one of my 22 inch sides.
Cut a triangle with the bottom edge being the number of inches for the side you picked (in my case, 22 inches). I decided about how tall I wanted the tip to be. I used a ruler to measure from the middle of the bottom edge (11 inch) up to how high I wanted it to be, then drew the sides.
Using the triangle you just cut, trace it out on your cardboard and cut out another one.
If your box is square, just cut out another 2 triangles that match your original and you can skip this next part. If you are working with a rectangular box like I was, you can see my steps below for cutting the next two triangles.
Measure the side of the triangle you just cut out. For me, this was 18 inches.
We want the sides of the other triangles to be 18 inches and the bottom edge to be 16 inches (matching to the top of our box). Cut out your triangles.
2. Tape your triangles together to make your tip.
3. Use your box cutter to cut out a round hole for a window. I cut two – one on each side – because I know my kids, and if there’s one window, they’ll be fighting for who gets to look through it.
4. Cut out your wings to whatever size you’d like. Attach these to the sides of your rocket. Not only do they look cool, but they help stabilize the rocket so it wont fall over as easily when kids are playing inside.
5. Tape the tip of the rocket onto your box.
Ready for blast off! Both boys played in this thing for quite a while, and it was the first thing they wanted to show my husband when he got home.
Do your kids love cardboard boxes? And let me know how your own rocket turned out!
If you’re looking for more rocket fun, check out the printable papercraft rocket in my Etsy shop here.