Homemade Styrofoam Boat

by Kristen Marquette
Turn packing peanuts into tiny sailboats by using a toothpick and paper.

Turn packing peanuts into tiny sailboats by using a toothpick and paper.

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Styrofoam comes in all kinds of forms: cups, trays and different types of packaging. According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, Styrofoam takes more than a million years to decompose. So instead of throwing Styrofoam products out, recycle them into crafts. Styrofoam floats in water, so it works well when making boat crafts.


Turn a piece of Styrofoam into a sailboat. Use a Styrofoam lid from a restaurant take-out container, a tray or cup for the bottom of the boat. If using a cup, you will have to trim down the edges of the cup so they are about an inch high. Decorate the Styrofoam with markers. Use construction or computer paper as the sail, a straw or stick as the mast and a small lump of clay to affix the mast to the boat. Once you assemble the boat, place it in a puddle, pool, bathtub or other calm body of water.

Speed Boat

If sailboats aren't fast enough for you, make a speed boat out of Styrofoam instead. You'll need two Styrofoam trays, a plastic pipe elbow, a plastic nut, a balloon and a rubber band. The plastic elbow pipe connects to both the trays and the balloon and is secured by the rubber band. To activate the speed boat, blow the balloon up through the open end of the pipe, then seal the end of the pipe with your fingers or hand until you set the boat in the water. Remove your hand and watch the boat take off as the air expels from the balloon through the pipe.

Pontoon Boat

Large pieces of Styrofoam often cushion electronics such as televisions or stereos, as well as furniture. Using a serrated knife or saw, cut the large pieces of Styrofoam into smaller pieces such as two long, rectangular strips for a pontoon boat. Use a piece of cardboard cut from a cereal box or corrugated cardboard box for the floor of the boat. Glue the Styrofoam to the bottom of the cardboard. If you like, build a rail and hut for the boat out of cardboard as well. Place the pontoon body in a calm body of water and watch it float.


Adding a layer of Styrofoam to the bottom of a homemade raft will help it float. Build your rafts by gluing twigs or Popsicle sticks together. While these rafts should float on their own, the smallest wave will wash water over the top of them, since don't have any siding and sit so low in the water. Glue a thin piece of Styrofoam cut to the same size of the raft to the bottom of the boat. This will raise it out of the water a little bit and give it more buoyancy.

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